WordPress Plugin: Authenticate Lite

[ Icon: Authenticate Lite ] Update (2012/10/25): the Authenticate Lite plugin is rebuilt and relaunched as Simple Custom Content! The following information about Authenticate Lite remains here for reference purposes only.

Authenticate Lite is a follow-up version of the original Authenticate custom-content plugin for WordPress. Just as with the full version of Authenticate, Authenticate Lite enables universal and/or targeted inclusion of custom content for both feeds and posts. Ideal for adding copyright information, distribution policy, thank-you messages, custom links, special offers, etc. Custom content may be added to any location within posts or feeds — before, after, or even within post content. This highly flexible content-addition plugin works great on all 2+ versions of WordPress (i.e., 2.0, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.5+).

Usage examples include:

  • Selective display of targeted advertisements
  • Invite readers to take advantage of special offers
  • Add a copyright message or feed distribution policy
  • Include universal footer content for all feed content
  • Include universal footer content for all single-view posts
  • Improve the brand awareness of your site by adding a custom site logo
  • Add custom messages targeting site visitors, feed subscribers, or both
  • Send unique “thank-you” messages to subscribers and visitors
  • Spice things up by displaying a periodically updated thumbnail or banner image
  • Selectively include links and other information for a targeted collection of posts
  • Anything! This plugin provides an easy, versatile way to add custom footer content
  • Implement a plagiarism-detection string in all of your content for easy identification

The Authenticate Lite plugin makes it easy to specify a versatile portfolio of customized secondary content:

  • Include custom text/(X)HTML content for all single-view posts
  • Include custom text/(X)HTML content for all feed-view posts
  • Include custom text/(X)HTML content for any number of targeted single-view posts
  • Include custom text/(X)HTML content for any number of targeted feed-view posts
  • Include custom text/(X)HTML content for ALL targeted single-view AND feed-view posts
  • Include custom text/(X)HTML content anywhere within specified feeds or posts

Any combination of these configurations is specified via customizable variables within the plugin file itself. Thus, this “Lite” version of Authenticate is intended primarily for those who are familiar with editing variables in PHP. Further, the only functional difference between Authenticate and Authenticate Lite is the presence or absence of an Admin options page. If you plan on changing your custom content frequently, you will benefit from Authenticate’s full-featured Admin screen. Conversely, if you are simply adding some custom copyright and/or other static content that doesn’t require frequent editing, Authenticate Lite may be the perfect choice.

Installation

To install Authenticate Lite, follow these easy steps:

  1. Download and unzip Authenticate-Lite.zip (two files: plugin & readme)
  2. Upload authenticate-lite.php to /wp-content/plugins/
  3. Activate the Authenticate Lite plugin via the WordPress plugins admin screen
  4. Configure your preferences in via the custom variables specified in the plugin file
  5. Each custom message option is fully explained via comments in the plugin file

Implementation

Complete usage instructions are included in the Authenticate Lite plugin file. Here is how to implement the different types of custom messages:

  • custom message for all single-view posts — specify custom content in the corresponding options field; content will automatically be added to all single-view posts.
  • custom message for all feed-view posts — specify custom content in the corresponding options field; content will automatically be added to all feed-view posts.
  • custom message for all specified single-view posts — specify custom content and add <!--authenticate_posts--> to any location with any post or series of posts.
  • custom message for all specified feed-view posts — specify custom content and add <!--authenticate_feeds--> to any location with any post or series of posts.
  • custom message for all specified single-view AND feed-view posts — specify custom content and add <!--authenticate--> to any location with any post or series of posts.

Usage Example

Authenticate was originally developed for my own purposes here at Perishable Press. After integrating some new functionality and improved features, I decided to release the plugin for general consumption. To see an example of Authenticate in use, check out the footer of any post on the site (see source code for more details). I use Authenticate to easily include a plagiarism-detection string that is used to track and validate syndicated and distributed content. Further, the plagiarism string is quietly converted to a custom “Authentic” logo using a CSS image-replacement method. One of the benefits of using the Authenticate plugin to achieve this is that it will be simple to update the footer information with a few mouse clicks.