Big Ed – An Introduction

Update:ย  The Big Ed Nickel Sale is now live and you can get to it here:-


Tomorrow, 16th September, I’m going to run a nickel sale for my latest WordPress plugin.

My wife took one look at it and said “Ooh! I WANT that on my blogs!” and Iย  think you will too.

There’s not been a lot of notice for this nickel sale I know, and I’ve been keeping this “under my hat”, but it’s now all done and I’d like to get it out there right away.ย  (And I like to reward those people who pay attention to what I’m doing by giving them the best possible price.)

This new plugin adds additional features to the built in TinyMCE editor that comes with WordPress, and we’ve nicknamed it “Big Ed”.ย  ๐Ÿ˜‰

Apart from expanding the capabilities of the default WordPress editor, we’ve also added a few extra features that we’re very confident you’ll find incredibly useful.

And while it sounds innocent enough, wait until you see what it can do.

By default, the buttons you get with the WordPress editor look like this:-

And you can also then press the “Kitchen Sink” button to get some additional toolbar buttons:-

So that your toolbar would then look like this with the other buttons enabled:-

Now what happens when you install and activate Big Ed?

Well…ย  You get to see this:-

You might have seen something like this before, and there are other plugins that do a similar thing, but we went a step further and added some very special formatting tools.

For instance, now you can add three new styles to your posts in the form of Johnson boxes, graphical bullets, and graphical separators.

First, here’s an example of one of the Johnson box styles you can add.ย  We’ve included a selection in a mix of styles and widths, making 9 altogether.ย  This isn’t a screenshot you’re looking at, this is the plugin in action and the text in this box is selectable – try it.

Next, how about some separators? There are 10 in 3 different widths making 30 altogether.ย  Here are some examples…

First, Green Shade:-


Next, Dashed Blue:-


And now Dotted Red:-


Finally, how about some graphical bullets? There are 6 different bullet styles you can use.

  • Bullet.
  • Bullet.
  • Bullet.

And here’s another example of bullets.

  • Bullet.
  • Bullet.
  • Bullet.

And some more.

  • Bullet.
  • Bullet.
  • Bullet.

In time we’ll add some more styles to the plugin, but I’m sure you can see there’s a very nice selection available already.

Okay, that’s enough detail for now.

Tomorrow (16th September) at 6.00pm GMT (1.00pm EST) I’ll be running a nickel sale for this plugin, starting at just $6.97.

Just in case you don’t know what a nickel sale is, it’s a rising price sale where the price increases by a small amount – in this case a nickel.ย  The sooner you buy, the lower the price.ย  If you wait too long before purchasing and decide to buy later you might find that it’s then twice the price it was when you looked at it earlier.

A starting price of $6.97 means the first 20 buyers will get it at under $8.00.ย  The first people to buy get the better deal, and typically the first 100 sales occur in the first hour.

-Frank Haywood

P.S.ย  If you’re not sure of the time zone I’m in and you want to check the time here, you can see the current time in my time zone (GMT) underneath the photo of me in the sidebar.

Posted by Frank Haywood


WOW! I truly believe that you’ve “out done” yourself this time…

This is going to be ‘fun’ to work with. Thanks Frank, one more
for the arsenal!!

Frank Haywood

@Vern Brown:

Thanks Vern, we’ve been quietly working on this one and think it will be a great addition to any toolkit. We’ll make it bigger over time because I personally want a lot more styles, but this really is a great start.


What would be really amazing if you made a plugin like fckeditor for wordpress plugin that also works with your widgets in it plugin.

Frank Haywood


I know, but it’s the 80-20 rule in action I’m afraid. Very few people use anything other than the standard WP editor. I used to use WYSIWYG Pro, but the licence only allowed you to use it one blog and I have about 50-60 so I stopped using it.

We would be spending a lot of development time for little benefit to make it work with anything other than the standard editor, and no-one would buy to make the cost of doing it worthwhile. Unless you wanted to donate a couple of thousand for us to get it done?



Hi Frank, this is another great bit of kit that I’ll be adding to my WP plugin box!
It will be great to dress up those dull looking blog posts. You and your developers are continuing to out do yourselve with the great ideas you keep coming up with. I always look forward to your emails just to see what little gems you have come up with.
Thanks to you all for creating these great quality tools for WordPress.


Frank Haywood


You’re very welcome. And dressing up dull posts was exactly what I was thinking of when we started work on this.

People like to see the odd boxout and seperator and “pretty” stuff when they’re reading, and this plugin makes it easy to do.



What will be the maximum price for this plug-in, please? It will be 5 a.m. my time (New Zealand) when it goes on sale, and I’ll probably not be among the early birds. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Frank Haywood


It’s difficult to say. Almost for certain whenever you buy in this nickel sale you’ll be getting it at a lower price than when it goes officially on sale at $27.00, so it won’t be the end of the world for you.

I’ve had a similar problem when other people have been running nickel sales. I’ve seen the email a couple of hours after the sale has started, gone to the page and found it’s three or four times the starting price, but still worth it.


Frank, your sidebar time is NOT showing GMT, it’s showing BST! Therefore if it is showing 23.00, it is actually 22.00 GMT. Therefore, you sale starts at 5pm GMT or 17.00 Hrs GMT and 6pm BST or 18.00 Hrs BST. ๐Ÿ™‚

Frank Haywood


Yes, very good. You know what I mean. ๐Ÿ˜‰


Keith Bowman

Looks great Frank. I can’t wait to get it and start using it to dress up my posts!

Frank Haywood

@Keith Bowman:

It’s terrific. Although there are always going to be limitations within the TinyMCE editor, this plugin works quite well with it. *Sometimes* you may have to nip into HTML mode when TinyMCE throws a wobbly, but I found that with practice it’s not that often, especially if you write the text first and then format it afterwards.

That’s not a limitation of the plugin, it’s a limitation of TinyMCE. Good as it is, it sometimes gets things wrong. Once you’re used to it, it’s fine.



Hi Frank,

Looks like I have to get this like the rest of your stuff :). Does this come with free updates. It will be good dress up my posts.



Frank Haywood


Yes, all minor updates such as v1.1, v1.2 etc. V2 will likely (but not necessarily) be a small upgrade fee.


Kenneth Mustain

You always have good..and sometimes very good software, love your site, however, the nickel sale doesent rock my boat unless Im first at the door…lol….no way will I pay $17.00 for software you sold for $7.00 the same day….I would have to have a screw loose to do that…hope you make a killing Frank….great tool. But I dont see how anyone would like paying more than the original price. Just my opinion.

Frank Haywood

@Kenneth Mustain:

Hehe. I understand, but that’s just a way of thinking that you can easily control rather than let it control you. It’s all relative…

Put another way, if the sale price was $1 and you could now only get it for $7, would you think in the same way? Sure you would.

The same goes if it was for sale at $27 and you could now only get it for $47. You’d be thinking “There’s no way I’m buying it at $47 when I could have got it for $27.” ๐Ÿ˜‰

If it’s something that makes your life easier or better in some way (and I think Big Ed falls in the latter), then isn’t it worth it?

Don’t let a trick of the mind that you’re willfully doing to yourself control your actions. I used to do something similar but I don’t any more.

Look at it this way if you still can’t face the thought of buying at the now higher price.

The price for Big Ed will be $27 when we make the site officially live (coming soon). If you can get it a discount today, then to me, that’s definitely worth it as you’ve saved yourself at least $10.

Just imagine how much you’ll be kicking yourself later when you really want it and the only way to get it is at full price. That for sure would leave a bad taste in your mouth…


Say Frank,
i get this message when i activate the plugin:
“The plugin generated 2 characters of unexpected output during activation. If you notice โ€œheaders already sentโ€ messages, problems with syndication feeds or other issues, try deactivating or removing this plugin.” -> will there be problems?
Plus i did have issues: when writing a post and publishing it i get a blank screen. Browser is still present but the page is blank where i should be back at my wordpress panel. Didn’t happen after deactivating the plugin (so far). Could be an issue with the plugin, maybe it is something totally different. Just wanted to let you know.

Frank Haywood


Thanks for that. Hopefully by now you’ve raised a support ticket and had this fixed? If not then please do so as it will make the plugin better for everyone if we can knock these problems on the head.


Agence Index Web Marketing – Montreal

They look awesome !

Money’s tight but I will give it a go (heads to paypal!).

Hey Frank.

I think I’ve bought every plug-in you’ve offered lately and they’re all really nice. However, on some of my sites, I disable the “pretty” formatting via the TinyMCE editor because if I don’t someone will go into it and mess around which messes up my PHP code that I’ve put on some of the pages. Is there any way to access the features of BigEd through shortcodes rather than through the TinyMCE editor? If so, I’d love to use this in more places.

Thanks again for some really great features added to WordPress.


Frank Haywood

@James Dunn:

Aha! Same problem we all get I think. There’s a plugin I use called Hana Code Insert that allows you to define a shortcode where you can paste in PHP / javascript etc. You then use the shortcode in your posts and pages and the WP visual editor TinyMCE doesn’t muck it all up for you.

You’ll probably find it easier to do it that way rather than have us create shortcodes for Big Ed, but I hear what you’re saying and I’ll go have a word with the plugin developer to see what she can come up with.


@Frank Haywood: Thanks Frank. That might be the ticket. I actually installed the Big Ed plugin on a new site tonight just to see what the code is that it generates. I was planning on printing each of the codes and then just hand code each of them as I need them on pages and posts. But, I’ll give the Hana Code Insert a shot. Since I use a good bit of PHP in my pages and posts, I installed the plug-in to be able to do that, which recommends that I turn off the TinyMCE editor. That didn’t bother me at all because I rarely (if ever) use it. I’ll give this plug-in a shot and let you know how it works.

On another note, can we do custom things on the johnson box? I noticed that there’s a custom selection, but I’m assuming that’s only the colors – didn’t click it so I don’t know if it changed the options or not. Just curious because I was thinking it would be great if we could customize the Johnson Box to match the color scheme of our blog. (such as a certificate with colors other than the standard color that it gives us).

Thanks again for this great plug-in and especially for responding to my question.