Publish Confirm – To the Rescue!

I love WordPress but, despite many improvements, its interface is still pretty damn clunky in many parts. Previewing what you wrote, fixing errors, checking the layout and making sure things are mostly OK before you post something new can quickly become a cumbersome series of clicks and a constant switching between various open browser tabs.

In the past, this has often led to that dreaded accidental click on the “Publish” button instead of the “Save Draft” one and … wooosh … the whole post went live. That is not a problem for many people, simply because you can quickly revert back to draft status, but it does become a deadly problem if you have readers who subscribed to your blog’s feed and who get instant notification whenever a new post is published. If then, like me, you have set up your blog’s feed to serve up the entirety of a post instead of an excerpt which readers need to click through to read the full post on your site, the whole unfinished post goes live for that part of your audience without you being able to do anything about it.

That sucks!

I have been working on a major post for months, in small bursts of writing activity, which will go live sometime in 2017. The other day, accidentally, I hit that dreaded “Publish” button and for my subscribers the whole thing went straight into their feed, warts and all. It had missing images, parts weren’t finished, a lot of it wasn’t polished at all, quite a bit of it needs plenty of rewriting, etc. A major disaster, although the post in question is mostly for Danish readers who don’t frequent my site with little to no useful information for all of my subscribers.

When that happened, I decided to look for a plugin to make sure that kind of worst-case scenario would never happen again around here.
Never.
Again.

***

In walked “Publish Confirm“, perhaps the most important WordPress plugin I have installed these past many years.

It does exactly what it says it will do. When you hit that “Publish” button, it will throw a small confirmation window (“Are you sure you want to publish this now?“) at you to make sure that publishing your post is what you wanted to do. If it wasn’t, the “Cancel” button will come to the rescue.

Simple.

***

[rant:] I have absolutely no idea why failsafe routines like these aren’t integrated (at least as options) into the core of WordPress, especially because the people using it are often non-adepts, your average Janes and Joes who couldn’t care doodly-squat about the intricacies of designing and implementing a user interface for a publishing platform.

I have often closely followed the almost religious debates circling around integrating this or that into WordPress and often I get the impression that the compromises at the end of these discussions, if there are compromises at all, are more geared towards those people who have spent their entire lives working on the platform instead of the many normal people using it.

The understanding is, apparently, that you have the core of WordPress, which can then be extended infinitely via its plugin architecture, but, really, a lot of what an average user expects to be included in core isn’t. Looking beyond the small problem I outlined above that many users run into constantly, one could extend the list indefinitely. Media management in WordPress, for example, is, to say the least, clunky and devoid of basic functions that could help your organize the thousands (!) of media files present if you run a site for longer than a couple of months, plugins are still allowed to place themselves pretty much wherever they like in the user interface, and quick access to core functions is still limited to a series of back-and-forth clicks to get simple things done. If you have more than a few posts and pages, the post and page administration also becomes a tedious click-o-rama fast, and … ah … forget it.

On the other hand, “Don’t install too many plugins!” is one of those warnings you read all over the place in regard to the speed of your WordPress website. Yet, wherever I look, I need plugins to extend what is available out of the bag. Schizophrenic.

But, it’s free, so who am I to complain.

***

I thank “Publish Confirm” to have helped me be as perfect as WordPress core contributors expect myself and everyone else to be.

***

  • Name: Publish Confirm
  • Description: Accidentally published a WordPress post too early once too often, instead of saving it as a draft? This lightweight WordPress plugin implements an extra confirmation dialogue between your click on the Publish button and its actual processing. Simple and effective—never publish by accident again! Once a post has been published, the confirmation dialogue will not appear anymore for that post.
  • Download: https://wordpress.org/plugins/publish-confirm/
  • Author: Sergej Müller
  • Maintainers: pluginkollektiv

Posted by Volkher Hofmann

Volkher Hofmann (deus62) has been blogging on and off since the 1990s and deus62.com is all that is left. He loves music, literature, drumming and, most of all, real life. He thinks the open web is much more important than social networks, closed-in ecosystems and other severely commercialized online endeavors.

  1. Even though it’s been unsupported for many years, I still use Windows Live Writer for blog composition. It’s WYSIWYG, has basic image editing functionality, supports tags and categories, allows composition offline, and keeps a local copy after publishing. It has plugin support, but the only one I’ve used is for source code formatting and colorization.

    For some reason, Microsoft wants people to use Word for blog composition, but it doesn’t support both tags and categories, so it doesn’t work for me.

    Reply

    1. Volkher Hofmann08/12/2016 at 2:36 pm

      After having gone through all kinds of alternatives, I’ve gone even simpler … I use an improved “Notepad” (++) most of the time to write posts and then add all the rest once I’ve copied that into a new post via the WordPress edit screen. It’s certainly not WYSIWYG, but after many years of WordPress, I have in my head what it’s going to look like.

      But ever since WordPress actually made an attempt to improve the editor, I also often catch myself happily writing away in its editor. I like the distraction-free full-screen view which other alternatives I used previously also had.

      When your comment popped up here (thanks, by the way, for actually leaving one, which is a rare thing nowadays), I was actually writing my next Weekly Digest (#2) in Notepad++, which, when I checked quickly just now, has become the #1 editor around here, both for my website and all job-related work. It currently has 21 open tabs with all kinds of texts and snippets, completed, partly finished or still in their infancy.

      Reply

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