WordPress – Tinymce extra plugins

The text editor for WordPress is based on the open source text editor, TinyMCE.

This is quite adequate for basic projects, allowing you to select for a reasonable variety of fonts and colours and offering you a great deal of formatting errors.

However there are limitations for those more design focused CMS users.  But, all is not lost.  Within the plugin library there are three very useful associated plugins that significantly enhance the functionality of the editor.

TinyMCE Advanced.
This wonderful plugin will add a very impressive array of additional routines to the standard editor.  Once installed and activated you’ll find a range  of new tool buttons on the editor menu as well as a host of additional routines/buttons that you can add as required to make the most of the editor.

One particularly useful feature in TinyMCE Advanced is an option that prevents the editor from stripping out HTML tags such as <P> & </br>.   For anyone who has experienced the frustration of the characteristic of TinyMCE this is a great find.

TinyMCE Custom Styles
The standard range of selectable fonts is impressive, but designers are never happy with standard.  So, if you are using custom or google fonts, how can you allow users in the CMS area the luxury of using these fonts to modify text content.

Well TinyMCE Custom Styles is the answer.  It allows you to work with every style imaginable and all make the styles available from the “format” button on the TinyMCE Advanced menu.

Of course we’re assuming that you have made the font available to be used in the first place.  If not, you need to read about loading custom fonts.

You can create unlimited styles from the “Settings > TinyMCE Custom Styles” menu.
Once you’ve added them, you can access them from the editors button bar, selecting the Formats > Custom Formats option.

TinyMCE Color Picker
So, the colours that come with the TinyMCEs colour picker is limited.  Activate the TinyMCE Color Picker plugin.
Next time you go to use the editors colour picker you’ll find an option to add your own custom colours.

WordPress – what plugins should developers use

WordPress is an excellent CMS engine and has lots of plugins that extend the range and functionality of the application.

As a developer, what plugins are most useful to developers.   Any list is open to debate and new tools are allows coming online.  In the most part this list is made up of free tools.

Coming Soon Page & Maintenance Mode
this is a very handy plugin to let people know your site is under construction or redevelopment.

Query Monitor
Accessible from the admin menubar, this tool enables you to see what is happening under the hood.  This has saved me hours of debugging.

Error Log Monitor
This has been brilliant for helping find out what is happening with my PHP code and database calls.

Email Log
The free version doesn’t show a lot of information, but it does confirm if emails from your application are getting sent or not.

Advanced Custom Fields   ( & Pro)
Unless you want to really get into the code, ACF is a fantastic tool to  allow you to create posts with unique data that can be presented in the front end.
The Pro version really builds on the free version.  But the free version is fantastic.

Custom Post Types
Another great tool to allow developers to very quickly modify the basic post type and give you a easy means to categorise groups of data.

There are heaps and heaps of tools, but this simple set of plugins will get you a long way to developing a custom type or application.

My custom Functions
This excellent plugin allows you to add php routines to your theme without having to modify the “functions.php” file.

One added benefit of this plugin is the fact that if you have PHP syntax errors in your code, you will not kill your theme as happens when you make mistakes in the functions.php file.