Plugin Notes Plus

Description

Have you ever returned to a site that you built a while back and asked, “Dude, why did I install this plugin?” This plugin provides an extra column on the Plugins page that enables you to add, edit, or delete notes about the plugins you have installed on a particular site. These notes are intended to provide documentation regarding why a particular plugin was installed and how or where it’s being used.

Features

  • Add as many or as few notes as you need for each plugin.
  • Edit or delete notes as desired.
  • Select an icon to go with each note to quickly convey what type of content it contains (e.g., info, warning, link, etc.)
  • Format notes using basic HTML tags if desired.
  • Any links included in the note will be automatically converted to target="_blank"
  • Notes are added and updated via Ajax, avoiding slow page reloads.
  • Notes also display on the WordPress Updates page for any plugins that need to be updated.

Screenshots

  • Upon activating the plugin, you will see a new column on the Plugins page that enables you to add, edit, or delete notes about the plugins you have installed on a particular site.

Installation

  1. You can either install the plugin via the Plugins directory from within your WordPress install, or you can upload the files manually to your server by extracting the .zip file and placing its contents in the /wp-content/plugins/ directory.
  2. Activate the plugin through the Plugins menu in WordPress.
  3. Add, edit, or delete notes in the Plugin Notes column on the Installed Plugins page.

FAQ

Can I modify which icons are available to display next to plugin notes?

Yes, you can use the filter plugin-notes-plus_icon_options to modify the set of icons available. The icons must be selected from the list of available WordPress dashicons.

Here is an example of a snippet that removes one icon and adds an additional icon to the list of options. It can be added to your child theme’s functions.php:

function pnp_change_icon_options( $icon_options ) {

    // Remove key option
    unset( $icon_options['dashicons-admin-network'] );

    // Add smartphone option
    $icon_options['dashicons-smartphone'] = 'Smartphone';

    return $icon_options;
}
add_filter( 'plugin-notes-plus_icon_options', 'pnp_change_icon_options' );
Which HTML tags are permitted, and can that list be modified?

You can use the following HTML tags: a, br, p, b, strong, i, em, u, hr.

To modify the list of available tags, use the filter plugin-notes-plus_allowed_html. Be careful, however, to avoid allowing tags that could leave the site vulnerable to an XSS attack.

function pnp_change_allowed_html_tags( $allowed_tags ) {

    // Remove br from allowed tags
    unset( $allowed_tags['br'] );

    // Add img to allowed tags
    $allowed_tags['img'] = array();

    return $allowed_tags;
}
add_filter( 'plugin-notes-plus_allowed_html', 'pnp_change_allowed_html_tags' );
Where is the data stored?

Plugin notes and note metadata are stored in a custom table whose name ends in plugin_notes_plus. In the initial version (1.0.0), notes were stored in the options table. Version 1.1.0 was released to migrate existing notes from the options table into the plugin_notes_plus table. Upgrading to version 1.1.1 will perform a cleanup, removing any notes from the options table.

How does it work on multisite installs?

Each site within a multisite install maintains its own plugin notes. Additionally, the superadmin can maintain their own plugin notes.

Reviews

October 7, 2019
Years ago I used something similar, but got some problems and then the plugin was abandoned or something. I don't remember exactly, because I got no plugin notes to put it in! Finally here is the new solution. How did we survive without it? Thanks!
September 20, 2019
I was actually building something like that for myself when I found this plugin. You did a great job! I also translated the entire plugin to Hebrew, to use in my clients sites. Does the plugin has a GitHub repo? It has RTL issues and I want to fix them.
August 28, 2019
The WordPress team should incorporate this plug-in as part of the core product! That's how useful it is. The WordPress design philosophy is lots of plugins being installed -- potentially fine-grained ones -- to add to the WordPress functionality to avoid doing PHP programming. However, the negative side of that is the maintenance nightmare of tracking in your head "Why did I install that obscure plug-in? What is it used for on my site?"; in the worst case, you weaken the security of your site as you are too scared to disable any (potentially) unused or unimportant plug-in as you don't know if it is providing a crucial role or not! This plug-in solves all that!
August 16, 2019
I install this on all sites I manage. It's particularly great when not the sole admin on a site.
July 17, 2019
Dang man, you stole my idea for a simple plugin to make! 🙂 Well done...
June 25, 2019
This plugin is an amazing help on our site where we have multiple admins. Any one of us could add a plugin and it's so simple to add a note telling what it's for. We have notes for a few trouble plugins saying not to update past a certain version until it gets fixed. That's been a lifesaver. We also have some really useful notes about what pages a particular shortcode plugin was installed to be used on, etc.
Read all 25 reviews

Contributors & Developers

“Plugin Notes Plus” is open source software. The following people have contributed to this plugin.

Contributors

“Plugin Notes Plus” has been translated into 4 locales. Thank you to the translators for their contributions.

Translate “Plugin Notes Plus” into your language.

Interested in development?

Browse the code, check out the SVN repository, or subscribe to the development log by RSS.

Changelog

1.2.2

  • Added: Updates for RTL compatibility. Thanks to @ramiy.
  • Removed: Unnecessary po and mo translation files.

1.2.1

  • Fixed: JavaScript error that sometimes happened on update-core.php if a plugin had no notes. Thanks to @brianhenryie for bringing this to my attention.
  • Added: Hungarian translation. Thanks to @tomek00.

1.2.0

  • Added: Plugin notes now display in a read-only format on the WordPress Updates page (update-core.php). Thanks to @douglsmith for the suggestion.
  • Fixed: Removed unnecessary multisite hook. Thanks to @foomagoo for pointing this out.

1.1.2

  • Fixed: Bug that prevented user from adding or updating notes after an ajax response. Thanks to @anticosti for helping to identify this bug.
  • Added: Spinning icon to indicate that a note is in the process of being deleted.

1.1.1

  • Added: Cleanup routine to remove notes from the options table. (If upgrading from 1.0.0, notes will first be migrated into their own table.)

1.1.0

  • Fixed: Bug that caused plugin notes to disappear on Windows servers due to discrepancies in the plugin file path related to forward vs. backslash. This update will recover missing notes. Thanks to @gwalsh66 for helping to identify this bug.
  • Changed: Plugin notes will now be stored in a custom table called $wpdb->prefix . 'plugin_notes_plus'
  • Added: Migration routine to move notes from the options table into their own table if upgrading from version 1.0.0
  • Added: Entry in the options table called ‘plugin_notes_plus_db_version’ to track the custom database table version

1.0.0

  • Initial release