WordPress Plugin: Authenticate

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

Authenticate is a free WordPress plugin that 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, and much more. 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
  • Implement a plagiarism-detection string in all of your content for easy identification
  • Anything! This plugin provides an easy, versatile way to add custom footer content

The Authenticate admin options screen 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 easily facilitated via the Authenticate admin options screen:

[ Thumbnail: Authenticate Admin Options ]
Click image for full-size view of the Authenticate Admin screen

Installation

To install Authenticate, follow these easy steps:

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

Implementation

Complete usage instructions are included in the Authenticate options screen next to each custom-message field. 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.