WP Glossary WordPress Plugin – 10,000 Downloads

How it started

Daunted by all the hoops needed to get a theme onto wordpress.org, I thought I would opt for the plugin route instead. It would let me dip my toes in the pool that is the WordPress open source community. It was just meant to be a stepping stone, not actually a thing in itself.

How it came about

WP Glossary Plugin - 10k Downloads
WP Glossary Plugin – 10k Downloads

I brain-stormed, with myself, for about five minutes. My requirements were:

  • Custom post types
  • Custom taxonomies
  • jQuery
  • Complete solution (not an extension, something fairly trivial)
  • Simple and quick to understand (no confusion about what the plugin does)

That was it really. Took me about sixty seconds to think of “a glossary”. Another three minutes of searching to see if someone else had already done it. Several of the available glossary plugins at the time had not been updated for a while, others seemed obvious attempts to lead users in to a ‘pro’ paid-for version. And the rest did not appear to make use of custom post types. It seemed that my idea was just about unique enough (in execution) to permit an attempt. The last minute was spent coming up with a name. With glossary taken, I figured the simple thing would be to add the usual WordPress prefix. And so¬†WP Glossary was born.

What I expected

Honestly? I expected WP Glossary to languish unused and alone. I figured that some people would try it out of curiosity, but ultimately move on to one of the other plugins available. It would leave me alone to just try stuff out. I mean, no-one is going to install the plugin on an actual active site. A site being used.

What happened then

Some of those crazy WordPress-using people out there decided to use my plugin. And to suggest ways to improve it. And point out bugs. Other people got involved in my plugin. Seriously, that really did blow my mind. It was interesting to see how they used WP Glossary, and to find out what they wanted it to do.

The Future

I still have quite a clear idea of what I want to achieve with my plugin. The simple custom post type approach is solid, but WP Glossary is still quite rough around edges. As well as my own goals, suggestions and ideas have come from the forums (and in comments on this site). And there are some performance (and other edge cases) to deal with under the hood. All these possible changes are refinements rather than additional features. I think the core of WP Glossary is sound as it is.

The Summary

I thought I would blog a little about it, as I never, ever expected for the download counter to hit 10,000. I know that that isn’t 10,000 sites using my plugin, but it is a big enough number to show that I’ve written something that contributes back to the community. In my own small way. That has to be considered a success, right?

WP Glossary: Create your own glossary of hot-linked terms, inside your own site!

WP Glossary WordPress plugin updated – Version 1.4

My glossary plugin has been updated. Download the latest version from WordPress now!

There have been a few releases since my last plugin blog update. But in favour of progress and the greater good, I’m trying not to be afraid of mistakes. So I’m trying to embrace committing early and often. (It’s a blog post of its own but here are some references Commit Early, Commit Often, Don’t Be Afraid of Commitment and Using version Control)¬†Anyway, enough side-tracking. I just wanted to highlight why I’m not going to blog every time there is a plugin update.

This entry covers versions 1.3 and 1.4

New features

I have added support for i18n. I’ve tested it a little, but this is new to me, and I don’t think I have done it correctly. There are no errors generated, and the ‘Codestyling Localization‘ plugin recognises the text domain and allows creation of .mo and .po files. Cross fingers I’ll figure out what’s going on, and make sure it is implemented fully and correctly.

The glossary post type supports editing the excerpt. This the text used in the tooltip hover – you can use standard WordPress excerpt filters to change how the text appears.

The A to Z range function (for the Glossary A to Z) is passed through a filter so you can change the character range. I’m hoping this will allow for other alphabets and non alphabetic characters. I am however, banking on WordPress handling everything else nicely ūüôā

New version check hook. This will fix any permalink issues that folks might have. I don’t seem able to flush the permalinks on plugin registration, so this now happens every time the plugin gets updated. So this will fix old and new installations.

On The To Do list

These the ideas I have for what to add next. I can’t guarantee it though.

  • Make tooltip optional
  • CSV load of glossary terms
  • Glossary taxonomy

WP Glossary WordPress plugin updated – Version

My glossary plugin has been updated. Download the latest version from WordPress now!

Version 1.2 has a fix, a couple of updates and some new features. I have a weirdly warm and fuzzy feeling from the responses I received. I’m somewhat taken aback that people are actually downloading and using my plugin! Enough guff. Here’s a summary of changes:

New Features

Inspired by Brandon Sawyer, I created an A to Z version of the term list. It is powered by jQuery. Javascript is ridiculously common these days, so there is no non-js fallback. If a demand arises for it, then I have an idea how to implement it.

Although always planned, it was requested in the forums by jpmizell, and so reference meta has been added.

He also requested that the author be supported. I try to keep things tidy, and had not included it previously. It was easy to add back in, and there’s no real reason not to.


I reduced the font size and added a border to the tooltip hover. Hopefully that improved the UI.

Still inspired by Brandon, the original term list short code allows you to restrict the list to terms starting with a specific character of the alphabet. You can specify multiple starting characters.


The default CSS for the tooltip hover was  broken for longer glossary term descriptions. I added some overflow:hidden.

Thanks for all the great feedback!