Over this past week I added quite a few features to the famous Media Tags plugin for WordPress. The list below details many of these new features
- Added a new tab to the Media Upload popup box. Anyone familiar with WordPress Post or Page entry is familiar with the popup provided to upload images and other media files. In this popup if you wanted to search for items using the handy Media Tags it was not possible. Now the user is provided with a new Tab labelled ‘Media Tags’. When the tab is clicked the user is presented with a listing of all Media Tags used on the site. Along with the Media Tag name there is a use could in the far right of the listing. This count if greater than zero is a link and will filter the Media Library (another Tab) listing for items from that Media Tags group.
Below is a screenshot of the new popup tab.
- More control over the permalink prefix. The Media Tags plugin works with the WordPress Permalink rewrite system to provide ‘pretty’ URLs for the archive. For example if you have some media loaded and tagged on your site for say ‘Texas’. The you can display these items in an archive type listing by using the URL http://www.mysite.com/media-tags/texas/ This format should be familiar to most users of WordPress since Categories and Tags or handled in much the same way. This feature was added in Media Tags version 2.0 and has received much acclaim from the users. The problem is the prefix ‘/media-tags/’ was hard-coded into the plugin. I have a few users request a way to alter this prefix. Other than suggesting they edit the config file for the plugin there was not a good solution.
So I starting thinking I would just build my own admin page where the user can set this permalink prefix. But I hated having to build a new admin page just for the one setting. Well over the weekend I found the solution of solutions. Why not just add my own field to the WordPress Settings -> Permalink page. This turned out to be quite easy using the new Settings API introduced into WordPress 2.7.
Below is a screenshot of the new Media Tags Permalink option. The new field just below the standard Category and Tags fields.
Playing nice with other plugins. I’ve used the Google Sitemap XML plugin for quite some time and generally install it by default onto any client site I’ve worked on. This is one of those plus plus plugins that can only help your site. Recently I had to figure out a way to include non-WordPress pages into the XML sitemap output. This is actually very easy to do as the plugin authors have provide a nice hook to allow this.
So my next enhancement to the Media-Tags plugin was to include the Media Tag archives into the Google Sitemaps XML output. This feature is quite powerful since it just adds juice to Google content harvesting. Not wanting to hard-coded this feature into the plugin I ended up building that admin interface I mentioned in the previous point. There is only one option on the page (more to come soon). A simple Yes/No box to include/exclude the Media Tags archive from the Sitemap XML output. I assume most people will wan this but also know there is always the possibility some may now.
Below is a screenshot of the new Media-Tag admin interface. Look for this under the standard WordPress Settings section.
- Along with the above mentioned new features I also cleaned up some code related issues. Most of these are under the covers cosmetic items and not related to any screen changes.
Media Tags Future Enhancements
Still on my list of features to add in some upcoming release is Media-Tags Cloud. This is still one of the most requested options for the sidebar. Still working on that code. Trying to follow some of the code written for the built-in WordPress Tags. pretty ugly stuff. Has to be a better way.
Other than the Media Tags Cloud I don’t have any big changes planned for the plugin. Then again the three features mentioned in this post were not planned at all. Just something that hit me on Friday that I started working toward.
So if there is a feature you just think would make the Media-Tags plugin rock for your blog please consider leaving a comment below.