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Three Great WordPress Utility Plugins

It’s no secret that one of the reasons for the great success of WordPress is its extensibility via plugins.

WordPress.org hosts over 57,000 plugins alone.  You could get lost down the rabbit hole if you are not careful.

This post will highlight three great WordPress utility plugins that I’ve found to be extra useful.

Let's take a look.

Batch Comment Spam Deletion

Batch Comment Spam Deletion Plugin showing how many comments are spam

Batch Comment Spam Deletion is written by my good friend Pippin, and it solves a very specific, yet common, problem. If your site has many many comments in the spam folder (think thousands), then deleting them can be difficult.  PHP has a default time limit of 30 seconds for any given script.  So if WordPress takes more than 30 seconds to delete your spam comments, it’ll time out and give an error. You must then start it again, and again, and again until they’re gone. This is both time consuming and frustrating.

Batch Comment Spam Deletion uses AJAX to call the deletion script to delete 200 spam comments at a time, which is low enough for almost any server. Then it calls it over and over until all spams are deleted. Note that this does not speed up the process of deleting the comments, it simply makes it so you could start it running and forget about it, and it’ll finish the job on its own.

Batch Comment Spam Deletion showing empty spam process box

More than 13,000 comments might take hours to finish. Hundreds of thousands might take days. But you can start it in a tab, leave it running, and not think about it again until it’s done.


Download Plugins and Themes from Dashboard

With WordPress’ amazing plugin installer allowing you to install plugins directly from WordPress.org, people rarely actually download plugins anymore. Yet there have been times when I’ve had a plugin installed on one site and wanted to install the exact same copy on another site for testing, development, or whatever.

Normally, you would need to log into the site with FTP or SSH, download the files, and create a zip from them.

Download Plugins and Themes from Dashboard helps with this issue by offering a zip file link right next to each plugin name on the WordPress plugins page in your site.

Download Plugins Themes from Dashboard so you can download ZIP file

The resulting file is a complete, installable version of the plugin. As a developer, I’ve found this to be useful when working on a client site where they have custom built plugins or paid plugins to which I don’t have access.


WP Notification Center

Who hasn’t logged into a WordPress site that’s owned by someone else and found something like the following?

WP Notification Center Dashboard

Notifications are not bad things. In many cases, they are very important things; however, without any kind of management, they get out of control and lose their power.  When everything is a priority, nothing is a priority.

WP Notification Center takes control of all those notifications and consolidates them into a single, manageable location.

WP Notification Center in top menu of backend


Summary

There are literally thousands of great little utilities like this that can make the every day, WordPress experience a little better.  If you know of some others, please let me know in the comments, and maybe they’ll make it into another roundup post in the future!


About the author

Topher is an accomplished programmer, having written his own content management systems and managed some very large websites. He loves to help people and believes playing with WordPress is fun. Topher lives in Michigan, USA.