It’s been around 6 months since I asked users of my Link Library WordPress plugin to answer a quick survey to learn more about their usage of the plugin. Having been around for more than 10 years, the plugin has evolved in a number of directions over time and all I typically hear about is when people are experiencing some type of issue.
One of the main drivers for this survey was to know if I can move Link Library to use WordPress custom post type instead of relying on the aging built-in WordPress Link Manager. Doing so will help bring a number of new features that many users are requesting such as paged lists of items in the back edit, quick editing and the ability to use other post management tools like Duplicate Post.
The first question of the survey was quite simple, asking how long people had been using Link Library:
As you can see, around 600 people took the time to respond and I want to thank all of them. I also want to thank users who have made donations to support this plugin’s development. It takes a lot of my time to develop and support this free plugin and all donations provide encouragement to take on projects like this new major update that I will discuss more below. If Link Library is useful to your site and work, please consider contributing:
With 10% of users using Link Library with other link management plugins, I was not so sure at first if I still wanted to move the plugin to use Custom Post Type, thus potentially breaking people’s web sites. I had to come up with another solution to keep all users happy. Thinking about this problem for a while, I recently came up with a solution that would move the plugin forward, while retaining compatibility with other plugin management tools: keep the data in sync.
When you upgrade to Link Library 6.0 later in the year, all of your existing links will automatically get copied to the new structure. While all data will be copied, the new items will also retain a pointer to the original items in the links table. Similarly, I will add pointers to the new items back in the links table, under a new field. From that point on, any change made in the new Link Library manager will be reflected in the legacy link section, and vice-versa. This will also include the creation of new links.
In terms of content editing, the additional fields that were available under the traditional Link Manager editor will move to the Link Library editor and that additional data will only be stored in the new Custom Post Type system. I don’t think that this will cause any issues as other plugins are not likely to be using any of this additional data. If you were using that additional data in your own code, you will be able to retrieve it from the post meta data very easily.
A section that I am not planning on carrying over is the XFN Link Relationship dialog. While the survey indicated that 15% of users store information in this dialog, Link Library does not do anything with this information so I feel that it is unnecessary. You will still be able to store this information in the legacy Link Manager if you really want to, but Link Library will not offer any fields for this data.
Going into this new version, I would like to see if some of your are interested in beta testing the new version, Link Library 6.0. This will help me validate and test the new code base before deploying to all 20000+ users. You can subscribe to the beta mailing list using the form below.
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please give me a link library new version
As mentioned in the post, I am currently developing version 6.0 and it will likely be available for testing in the next 2-3 months. A lot of work has to go in to convert everything to custom post types while retaining all functionality. If you signed up for the beta list, you will likely hear from me in mid to late September with early builds to test.
Thank you for the insight into your creation and maintenance process for Link Library, Yannick. Your product is excellent and my site functions so much better now that I use it.
This plugin quite simply makes my management of our site workable. Each year, due to the nature of our business, we have a new batch of nearly 1200 links to add so the results of the next year’s championships are able to be posted. Using this plugin allows us to continue using links which expands our number of people who can help maintain the site without HTML knowledge. It is mission critical. The batch export, change the year titles, batch re-import functions are a game changer. Please keep the core functionality the same and don’t force other changes. I am sure that’s what you are doing, but it is critical for those of us who roll out sites with development staff, and then ask very non-tech types to help with maintenance due to the volume of files. With more than 20,.000 links on our site, Link Library is our number one favorite plugin.
Julian: No worries, the core functionality will remain in place. With such a large library of links, I am sure you will appreciate new features like the ability to now have a paged view of links in the admin. I see you signed up for the beta program as well. I expect the first test to be available in the next 1-2 months, depending on how many other projects fall in my lap.
Thanks for sharing the results of the survey and well done on the number of responses.
I’ve been a long term user of your plugin, and since I develop a few websites, your plugin is one I consider a core plugin for any web project. I’ve used many plugins and themes for my main site, but one of the things that has remained consistent, has been your plugin.
Thank you for all your work and the support your efforts have given to our voluntary organisation.
Looking forward v6 and being on the beta program too.
Grad to hear it! FYI, v6 is taking longer than I expected since I have a lot of work trips this fall and a number of paid WordPress engagements have come up as well. v6 is still coming, but more likely in early 2016 at this point.
Been using it longer than I can remember – more than 5 years? Setting up a new site and was dismayed to find I can’t use it. I’m happy to beta test.
Hi Kathryn, Unfortunately, Link Library 6.0 is now progressing as fast as I would like. Between my day job, travel, WordPress customers during evenings and week-ends and supporting all of my plugins, I am not getting much time to develop the new version. It is still something I want to get to, just not something that will happen fast. Stay tuned for announcements.
Is Link Library V6 out? I still see v 5.9 in WordPress website!
Unfortunately not. I keep getting roped in projects and am very busy at my day job, so that project keeps slipping.
I know the feeling – wanting to progress on a project but also keeping up making a living- fortunately v5.9 is working fine for me (and I get the impression I am not alone); we look forward to v6 but at your pace.