It’s been quite a while since our last plugin giveaway, and we’ve finally stumbled upon a nifty little plugin to get attached to your day. There comes a time in our lives when we require or are required to display some attachments in our WordPress posts. Of course hotlinking from the WordPress Media section or Dropbox may help, but what if you want nicely structured borders around a list of attachments? Copy and paste the code from a previous post?
There are quite a bit of recipies out there, like this one that allow you to accomplish some basic feats of managing WordPress post attachments. Back to uploading and attaching files to your posts, how do you usually do that in the context of your workflow? The add media buttons on the top? Yet, there doesn’t seem to be a straight-forward way to keep track of what you’ve uploaded without going to the Media Library one route or another. Lot’s of tiny (and not only) inconveniences is what Attachments Pro by Jonathan Christopher aims to solve.
Attachments Pro allows you to quickly and seamlessly attach all sorts of files to any type of post and subsequently display them on their respective templates. So in a couple of clicks you can upload several files, click the very convenient Attach all button, provide names and descriptions, reorder and remove attachments right from the post edit window. Simple as that.
So, where does the Pro come in? Turns out that attaching is the easiest, most straight-forward thing you can do with this plugin, because getting the attachments to display in the post requires some additional tinkering, reading the simple documentation, copy-pasting for the lazy ones. Hold on… isn’t there a shortcode of some sorts? There is one, out of the box, but it’s just a pretty print of what you’re supposed to parse and style inside your template files.
Attachments Pro returns attachments as arrays with the following set of keys: id, fields, thumb, name, url, mime, filesize, src. So you are basically required to add a bit of code to your template file. There are three obvious ways that this can be done.
- Create a filtered shortcode to taste
- Hack your theme page templates into attachment awesomeness
- Use the Attachments Pro Advanced Settings screen to add squiggly template code to be hooked to your content automagically
Option 2 is, as you’ve guessed, best for total control over what is displayed, how it is displayed, etc. The readme file has got some example code that should get you started if you choose this path. Option 3 is great for a quick integration – the template reference, the possibility to define different attachment instances (groups, sort of) surely do aid in allowing smooth, non-hackish integration of Attachments Pro, which is great.
I personally find Attachment Pro a great WordPress plugin, tailored to suit the professionals of WordPress theme development. This comes with a drawback as the front-end stuff does not work out of the box, you will have to go in and get your hands dirty with at least some copy-pasting from the plugin docs. For those of you who are looking for a little less pumped-up I suggest you check Attachment Pro’s little brother Attachments available for download from the WordPress directory. Anyway, here’s our personal wishlist for Attachments Pro:
- Shortcodes that display attachments in a more user-friendly and usable form
- Support for better visual audio integration (possibly a small flash player), and other types out of the box
- A vaster code snippet base (get ID3 tags, EXIF data) with simple and not-so examples
- An example of how to provide additional mime-types in the settings (comma-separated? space-separated?)
Jonathan Christopher has been kind enough to provide us with the possibility of giving away three licenses to the Attachments Pro WordPress plugin. So yes, you have the chance to be one of the three random lucky winners to get hold of a license. The rules are simple, as usual: tell us how you’d use Attachments Pro in your WordPress-powered website along with a link to your retweet of this article.
The contest closes on Tuesday, September 27th somewhere around noon when we announce the winners, so you’ve got all the weekend ahead. Thank you for participating and stay tuned!
Congratulations to Claire, Lasha Krikheli and Pablo Lara H — you’re the three lucky winners of the Attachments Pro plugin! You’ll receive an e-mail to the addresses you’ve used in your comments, containing a coupon code for the purchase process that will decrease the plugin price to zero. Hope you enjoy your new plugin and make sure you comment back and tell us how you’ve used it!
Thank you all for participating and stay tuned, we’ve got some more giveaways lined up! :)