Ever Wished WordPress Had a Live Preview Option For Everything?

If you’ve ever wished WordPress had a live preview for everything, not just when you’re trying to decide which theme to use, then you might find the Out Of Sight Editor at CodeCanyon useful.

Disclaimer: This plugin was written by me. This isn’t necessarily an objective review! Though I would love it if someone did do an objective review for me!

So, what’s the point of the plugin? Well, if you’ve ever developed a website on WordPress, particularly lately with all manner of fancy layout options that come with some of the more advanced themes, you might have worked out that sometimes you want to have a play with all manner of settings and get things looking just right before you let them loose on your unsuspecting public visitors.

Previously your only option was a Maintenance Mode plugin which stops your visitors from seeing anything on your site at all. That’s really not helpful if Google decides to trawl your site while you’re playing. Bye Bye SEO – months of hard work could be down the drain. Plus it’s inconvenient for your visitors who might just decide to visit a competitor instead.

Enter the Out Of Sight Editor. Or should that be Out of Site Editor?

This plugin provides preview mode for almost every setting within WordPress. Provided that the options you want to play with are stored within the standard WordPress database tables, then you can enable preview mode and play around to your hearts content and your visitors will see the page exactly as it was when you first switched on preview mode.

It no longer matters if it takes you days to get your site just right because your users are still being served your original content, just as it was when you switch on preview mode.

And if you make a monumental mess of the layout, or options on your site, you can discard the changes and start again. Your visitors will be none the wiser.

The latest version allows you to work on your current theme template files, either via FTP (using a special -preview folder) or directly within WordPress transparently. And again, any changes you make to your template files will not be seen by your normal visitors. If you’ve ever edited WordPress template files and broken one, rendering your whole site inactive due to a PHP error, this plugin could be a Godsend. Because your visitors aren’t being served the template files that you’re playing with, your site remains live even if you break your preview version.

For further details check out the Out Of Sight Editor at CodeCanyon.net. If your website is based on WordPress and you update or change it on occasion, it’s well worth a look. It’s very reasonably priced too.

Filter Top Menu Plugin

During my escapades with WordPress and various templates we’ve put together and worked with, I’ve discovered an interesting problem with a number of the DHTML menus that are generated from the WordPress categories or pages (using wp_list_categories or wp_list_pages).

If you have a hierarchical page system (which this blog does not, but www.kabarty.com.au does – and performs a nice demo site for my plugin!) then it may very well be that the item that forms the top menu item (in the case of Kabarty’s site, almost all of the top menu items) is not actually a page you want people to be able to visit – but WordPress forces all Categories or Pages to be clickable links when they’re returned through wp_list_categories or wp_list_pages.

Take for example the following menu structure;

HomeMarketing & DesignCompany
 Web Site DesignAbout Us

It’s highly likely that the menu items Marketing & Design and Company do not need to have pages of their own, but because the DHTML produces a drop down menu, they still need to be clickable links, so that the menu will drop down when you hover over the top.

This is where my plugin comes in. It will alter the destination urls for the top menu items (ie, Marketing & Design and Company) so that instead of going to a page they actually just go to ‘#’ – which most browsers will simply ignore when you click – but still allows the browser to display the drop down menu when you hover over the item.

To install the plugin, first determine if you’re working with categories or pages, and then download the appropriate plugin below. Install it into your WordPress installation in the normal way. Go to your Administration for WordPress, choose Filter Top Menu under the Settings and enter the page/category numbers of the pages/categories that you wish to not have actual pages. It’s that simple!

Filter Top Menu

If you have any questions, please just ask!