Hot Swap Time Based Content

One of my plugin developers is just finishing off a plugin that will enable you to swap in and out different parts of a WordPress page or post based on date and time.

At this moment you may be thinking “What use is that?”, but it’s something I realised I was doing quite a lot of by hand.

Let me explain.

Imagine you’re running a time-based sale on one of your blogs…

Aha!  With me?

There are suddenly several scenarios that jump to mind.

#1 – You’re running a sale from 6.00pm on the 15th December for 48 hours.  You want the sale to automatically go live at 6.00pm and close two days later on the 17th at 6.00pm.

#2 – You start at a heavily discounted price, and after 48 hours flip to the regular price.

…and variants of the above.

Marketers do this kind of thing all the time to reward their regular customers and subscribers, and also seed the marketplace with a new product to get it talked about.  I do it for those very reasons myself.

Here’s another good use and one I’m planning to do in January.

You write several blog posts that actually constitute an ebook or short report.

Your subscribers get to read it for free, and in return for this free content, you ask for comments and feedback.  You let everybody know that the content will auto-expire at a certain date and time and will then only be available for purchase when you release your ebook.

Suddenly you’ve given what (on the face of it) is free content, a LOT of value.

And you’ve picked up testimonials and suggestions for improvement along the way.

Most importantly, all the while you’ve been doing this, you’ve earned the gratitude of your subscribers.

Take careful note of the above.  It’s marketing dynamite (on a timer) when used carefully.

On Wednesday 15th at 6.00pm I’ll be running a 48 hour low cost introductory sale of this new plugin.

It’s another one of those steps to turning WordPress into a total marketing machine, and you need this one in your marketing arsenal.

More on this on Tuesday.

-Frank Haywood

Posted by Frank Haywood in internet business, software, wordpress plugins

Private Comments Available Today

Update: The Private Comments plugin sale is now LIVE and you can purchase a discounted licence for the plugin by clicking the button below. There are 50 copies available at just $7 and the plugin itself will be updated shortly with some additional features. 🙂

Buy now


This is a quick reminder that just 50 copies of the Private Comments plugin will be released at 5.00pm GMT (12.00 midday EST) for only $7 and it’s a case of first come, first served.

Now as I write this, my developer is testing out some additions to the plugin that I’ve asked for.

IF she doesn’t think she can get these changes in, then I’m not going to hold up the sale, as when I do that I get told off.

It’s true.

In the past when I’ve delayed a sale for any reason, I’ve always had complaints that people can’t now make the new time and that I shouldn’t have changed it.

So “come hell or high water” I’m going to release the 50 licences at 5.00pm GMT today.

IF the changes aren’t done and tested by that time, it will turn into a PRE-ORDER SALE and when the changes are done (probably tomorrow) I’ll update your download page with the plugin.



The Private Comments plugin sale is now LIVE and you can purchase a discounted licence for the plugin by clicking the button below. There are 50 copies available at just $7 and the plugin itself will be updated shortly with some additional features. 🙂

Buy now

-Frank Haywood

Posted by Frank Haywood in internet business, software, wordpress plugins

Private Comments Plugin

Update: Sale starts today, Friday 19th at 5.00pm GMT (12 noon EST).


Tomorrow I’m going to release 50 copies of my new plugin called Private Comments, and it’s something I’ve wanted myself for ages.

It allows you (as admin) or a visitor to your blog to add a private comment that isn’t seen by the rest of the world, allowing you to hold a private discussion with someone.

This is incredibly useful.

From my own perspective, I sometimes get a comment on my blog that really shouldn’t be published, and that I’d like to reply to there and then.

I’ve found it quite frustrating not being able reply directly to a visitor so they can see what I have to say to them and not involve everyone else.  You’ve probably had the exact same issue.

The only way round this is either to use email when I often don’t want to give the person my email address (and that’s not always guaranteed to get through spam filters), or to edit the comment they made and leave it unpublished, but that’s not always noticeable, and it just doesn’t seem to be a good way of doing it.

The visitor can’t then reply without creating a new comment and it all starts to get a bit messy.

The upshot is, we don’t always want everyone to see the content of a discussion do we?

This plugin solves the problem.

It allows you or the visitor to mark the comment as private.  Now only you as the site admin and your visitor can see the tic-tac of back and forwards conversation.

And as a little nice bonus, we’ve built in comment threading (nesting) for those themes that don’t support it.  This means you can reply to a comment and the plugin will keep it all cleanly organised and directly underneath the original comment.

(There’s a teensy problem with some old WP2.x themes, more on that in a moment.)

The Private Comments plugin does this without requiring your visitors to register on the blog.  Instead, it uses the cookie that WordPress normally drops on your visitors browser allowing them to see their comments, and now of course, yours too.

Think of it as being like the blog equivalent of a PM (Private Message) on a forum, but where registration isn’t required in order to keep it private.

(And we’re also planning on making it more robust for those people who do register.)

Apart from the obvious use discussed above, I also realised that this plugin could be used for some other things too, such as client discussions, and even a simple support desk.  😉

Now then…

At the moment, the only downside to this plugin is that it seems to have problems with some (not all) old WP2.x themes, and it doesn’t do the comment threading (nesting) properly or at all.

But don’t worry as the developer is looking at this to see if it can’t be fixed or worked around, and when it’s solved we’ll release a new version.  (Who knows, she might get it done by tomorrow.)

The good news is, every WP3.x theme we’ve tried it on seems to work perfectly.

Tomorrow (Friday 19th) at 5.00pm GMT (12.00 midday EST) I’m making available 50 copies in a pre-launch sale at a bargain basement discount price.  First come first served, and when they’re all gone that’s it, the price goes up.

Okay?  🙂

I’ll drop you a line tomorrow with details of the sale.

-Frank Haywood

Posted by Frank Haywood in internet business, software, wordpress plugins

Script Manager Plugin – You Should Get This

This is one of those unassuming but useful little plugins that you’ll end up using time and again across all your blogs.  In fact I’ve been trying to imagine how I’ve managed without it all this time.

It allows you to easily and simply add third party javascript code (for tracking and external scripts) to your header and footer area on your blog, either across all your pages and posts or only on some of them if you prefer.

You don’t realise how useful this is until you need to do it.

Traditionally you’d need to add the code directly to the theme’s header.php and footer.php (which can be fiddly), but as soon as you change or upgrade themes, your code changes are always lost.

And as I’ve had it pointed out to me, some themes will break if you go adding javascript to the header.php or footer.php, and now I’ve been reminded, I can remember that this has happened to me at least once.

Not any more.

Now you just add the code to either the global plugin settings, or on an individual post or page and the plugin will automatically insert the code into the right bits of your blog.  When you upgrade your theme, or switch to a different one, the code remains and everything carries on as normal.

So, like I said, this is an unassuming plugin that I think you’ll find entirely useful.

Or as Hamant Keval (hi Hamant) said:-

“That is one awesome plugin…”

I’m releasing 50 copies today at just $7.

When all 50 copies are gone I’ll set the regular price, but you’ll get it at a very nice discount until then.

Update: The price is now $17 until I set the final price which will likely be $27.

Buy now

-Frank Haywood

Posted by Frank Haywood in internet business, software, wordpress plugins

Extra Added Control

I know that title sounds like it might be for a hair gel, but it’s actually for a new WordPress plugin I’ve had developed called “Scripts Manager”.

Here’s the situation I’ve been in umpteen times, and I’m sure you’ve either hit it yourself or at least you will eventually, it’s just a matter of time.

First the background…

A plugin like Slide Up Ads will automatically insert the javascript required to make it work into all the pages and posts within WordPress.

You just activate the plugin and it’s done.

But I’ve found there are plenty of instances when I’ve wanted or needed to use an external non-WordPress script which requires me to add some javascript to all my pages manually.

For instance, imagine you need to insert some tracking code or another bit of javascript on all (or most of) your WordPress posts and pages.

Usually, either the code has to go into the header above the </head> tag, or it needs to go into the footer, just above the </body> tag.

The only way that WordPress allows you to do this is to go into the theme editor and update the themes header.php or footer.php to include your code.

Now that might seem okay, but in practice what happens is a few weeks down the line, a new version of your theme is released and you update it.  Or you find a better theme and decide to use that instead.

This has happened to me, and I figure it must have happened to you too.

When you update or change your theme, all the code modifications you put in get overwritten.  D’oh!

More than once I’ve found I have several days tracking missing from one of my sites, all because I forgot to get the tracking code and place it into the updated version of the theme.  (I use the tracking service, and it’s well worth it.)

You’d think I’d learn, but it just seems to be one of my blind spots…

At this point you might be smugly thinking, “Ah, I use the free Google Analytics for my tracking, and I have a plugin that does that for me.”  😉

My advice for what it’s worth is to get rid of GA immediately.  This is a prime example of the case where many people follow the crowd and put themselves in a situation where they hadn’t even considered the consequences.

This is what those consequences can be…

If you use GA or AdSense, then a competitor can pay a few dollars and find every single one of your websites.  (I’ve actually done this myself to study the structure of how one of my competitors was working his network of sites.)

And of course the other BIG downside to GA and AdSense is that if you upset Google, they can easily de-index ALL your sites because you’ve kindly let them know where they all are by adding tracking code to them.

The crowd is often wrong (1 in 5 times – 80:20 rule), and if you think hard about things and then follow a different path you’re much more likely to have the edge and to succeed.

That’s been my personal experience.

So I decide to get this plugin created to end once and for all the problem of updating and changing themes, and losing my StatCounter code.

And of course, I made it a little more flexible than I actually needed it to be, because… well you never know when it might come in handy.

Once you’ve installed and activated the plugin, you’ll see there’s a new admin section where you can paste your metatags and javascript into the appropriate area.

In that section, there are global areas where the contents of each will appear on every post and page.

These global areas are for:-

  • Header Scripts
  • Footer Scripts
  • Onload Scripts

That last one is for those unusual little instances where you need to run the script after the rest of the page has been loaded.

(I found recently that by using this plugin, it solved a problem with a script where all the pages on my blog were being blanked out in the Opera browser, but not in IE, FireFox or Safari.  Very strange, but now fixed.)

And then we took it a little bit further, because in some cases you might only want your code to appear on certain pages.  😉

So on every page and post in the admin panel, there’s a new section underneath the editor where you can either:-

  • Overwrite the global settings.
  • Append BEFORE the global settings.
  • Append AFTER the global settings.

Between the global and the post/page settings, this gives you total flexibility over where your scripts are active on your site.  🙂

On Friday (5th) afternoon, 50 copies of the plugin will be available for just $7.  When all 50 copies are gone I’ll set the regular price, but you’ll get it at a very nice discount until then.

Watch for a new blog post tomorrow.

-Frank Haywood

Posted by Frank Haywood in internet business, software, wordpress plugins