WordPress Plugin Update Notification Hider

Plugin Update Hider is a WordPress plugin that lets you block update notifications for annoying plugins that constantly offer updates for plugins that you simply do not want to update.

After installing the plugin a link will appear below each plugin with an available update that will allow you to hide its update notifications.


To download, search for Plugin Update Hider through the WordPress add plugin page or use the link below.


WordPress Plugin Update Notification Hider

WordPress Blogroll Last Post Information – Blogrolling

Add last post and time to your blogroll links without slowing down your page load times.

One of the disadvantages to using wordpress is that it can be often times very complicated to get the same behavior out of it as blogspot. One common feature seen on blogspot is the ability to keep track of all of the links in your blogroll, telling people when those pages were last updated, and also what the title of their last post was. WordPress has remnants of such functionality, but appears to have been abandoned long ago. That is why I wrote the Blogroll Fun plugin.

Blogroll fun automatically fills in the rss field for all of your blogroll links and then communicates with our servers to find out when the links on your blogroll were last updated. You don’t need to worry about anything, it is simply drag, drop, and activate. Using the link widget, you are given the option to display the last updated time and or last past below each link in your blogroll as you please.

Installation is simple, simply search for Blogroll Fun in the WordPress admin section and click install. The blogroll fun plugin replaces the default Links widget that comes with wordpress. Its behavior is nearly identical to the default widget. Settings can be found under design, widgets and then editing the Links widget. Once installed you will have the option to select whether or not to display the last update time, last post, and also the order your blogroll should be sorted, whether by name or last update time.

Download:Blogroll Fun WordPress Link Last Update Plugin

Custom WordPress Plugin Activation Error Messages

One of the goals of being a WordPress Plugin developer is to reduce the amount of support needed by people using your plugin. One way to make your life easier is to display easy to understand error messages when something about their setup is preventing your plugin from working correctly. One way to do this is to check for compatibility during the plugin activation. Unfortunately, by default when WordPress fails to activate your plugin only cryptic or unhelpful messages are typically displayed. I will introduce a quick and easy way around this.

To add code that runs during activation you simply add the following line to your plugin:


where your_activation_function is the name of some function in your code that handles your plugin activation.


By default WordPress will display one of two error messages if your plugin fails to activate:


  1. The plugin generated %d characters of unexpected output during activation. You will see this is you have any text outside of the <?php ?> tags in your plugin’s php files, or try to output any information during the activation process. You cannot simply output error messages during activation, because WordPress will not show them.
  2. Plugin could not be activated because it triggered a fatal error. If your plugin triggers an error during the activation, this message is shown in addition to the php output error message. If you have a custom error handler setup on your server then this detailed error information may appear elsewhere.

Neither of these error messages are very helpful; fortunately, this behavior can be modified.  When WordPress activates plugins it first validates the header information of the plugin, and then it loads the plugin and runs the activation hook. If it detects any errors or output it decides the plugin is broken. It then opens up an iFrame where it runs the plugin activate hook a second time. When it does this WordPress adds a url parameter so we can know where in the activation process we are. So, instead of using the built in trigger_error function you can define your own that modifies the behavior according to the whether or not the action=error_scrape parameter is present.

Instead of

trigger_error('Some error message', E_USER_ERROR);


br_trigger_error('Some error message', E_USER_ERROR);
function br_trigger_error($message, $errno) {
          &amp;&amp; $_GET['action'] == 'error_scrape') {
        echo '<strong>' . $message . '</strong>';
    } else {
        trigger_error($message, $errno);

Your users will now be presented with information that they will be able to understand.

As an example, one of my plugins uses file_get_contents to retrieve information from a url, which requires that allow_url_fopen is allowed. In the activation function I have:

  if(!ini_set('allow_url_fopen')) {
    br_trigger_error('Your server does not allow \'allow_url_fopen.\' Please contact your webmaster and ask them to enable this setting.');