Extra Options for WordPress

18 Nov 2010. Version 0.0.4 adds an option to disable the new Admin Bar of WordPress 3.1.
See full changelog of Extra Options at WordPress Extend.

Extra Options for WordPress is a collection of tweaks to improve your publishing experience and to make your site better and faster.

It strives to be simple and straightforward, and its options are self-explaining for the most part. If you need help for something or are curious to learn more, all options are explained below in detail.

Extra Options v0.0.1, a plugin for WordPress, Settings screen

Extra Options for WordPress v0.0.1, settings screen

Please note that Extra Options is still at an early stage and not considered stable. In other words, it is not expected to be without errors or to work well in every WordPress setup.

Note also that Extra Options requires WordPress 3.0. It will refuse to activate on earlier versions.

Extra Options page at WordPress Extend

Extra Options Feedback

The options explained

Writing

Add excerpt metabox for Pages
Adds an Excerpt metabox to the Page Edit screen, for writing excerpts for Pages. (Which you can then also use as meta descriptions for your Pages by selecting the appropriate SEO option below.)
Disable visual editor
Disables the WYSIWYG editor for all users, regardless of personal settings.
Disable plugin/theme editor
Disables the built-in code editor.
— Note: If the settings menu of a plugin or theme disappears after you select this option, this means the plugin or theme requires an inappropriate capability for access to its settings. Please contact the author and suggest they switch to a proper capability like manage_options or edit_theme_options (introduced in WP 3.0 specifically for themes).
Disable admin bar
Disables the admin bar introduced in WordPress 3.1.
Limit trash retention to 24 hours
Reduces trash retention from 30 days (which is the WordPress default) to 1 day.
Limit number of post/page revisions
By default, WordPress does not have a limit on the number of revisions it keeps for a post or page. So, if you revise a post one million times, WordPress will store one million revisions in the database. This option lets you set a limit to the number of revisions. To disable revisions completely, select 0.
— Note: This setting does not remove revisions already stored in the database.

SEO

WordPress comes well optimized for search engines and there are only a few useful automatic enhancements you can add to a default setup. This section offers automatic SEO tweaks that I consider worth one’s while and that I use myself.

Make meta descriptions from excerpts
If a post of any type (including pages, attachments and custom types) has a manual excerpt, then, and only then, its excerpt is also used as its meta description.
— Learn about meta descriptions and WordPress excerpts: op111.net/67
Make home meta description from tagline
If the site has a tagline (set in Dashboard › Settings › General), the tagline is also used as a meta description for the home page.
Add noindex where appropriate
Adds noindex for robots to anything that is not the home/front page or a post of any type (including pages, attachments and custom types).
Add nofollow where appropriate
Adds nofollow for robots to anything that is not the home/front page or a post of any type (including pages, attachments and custom types).

Content filters

Disable WP Texturize
Disables wptexturize, the built-in filter that replaces typewriter quotes with proper typographical quotes, two consecutive hyphens with an en dash, three consecutive hyphens with an em dash, etc.
You can disable WP Texturize for the main content, for the comments, or for both.
— Tip: If you don’t need this filter, disabling it is a good idea because it is expensive.
Disable convert_chars()
Disables a filter that does some normalization on text pasted from certain Windows applications.
Disable Capital P Police
Disables a filter that automatically replaces Wordpress (sic) with WordPress (sic) in your content.

Document HEAD

For the most part, this section has settings to clean up the HTML document head; that is, the part of a web page that provides information about the web page itself. That information is not directly visible to human eyes but it is useful and often necessary for user agents: web browsers, feed readers, remote clients, indexing robots, etc.

Add favicon link
Adds a link for your website’s favicon.
If no favicon is found in the root directory (the conventional location for favicons) this option is grayed out.
Remove WordPress info
Removes a line that states the tool by which the page was generated (WordPress) along with the version. For example: WordPress 3.1. This line serves no meaningful purpose as far as I know.
— Recommendation: Remove.
Remove canonical link
Removes an SEO device introduced in 2009 by the three major search engines and quickly adopted by WordPress. Even if your site suffers from the problem rel-canonical is meant to solve (most probably it doesn’t), the current implementation in WordPress is bad and has nothing to do with what the search engines recommend.
Learn about rel-canonical at Google Webmaster Central.
— Recommendation: Remove.
Remove navigation links
Auto-discoverable links for relational navigation are a potentially useful device that most browsers do nothing with and most people know nothing about.
There are two reasons you may not want them: (a) Their current implementation in WordPress is expensive: they add too many database queries for what they offer. (b) Firefox arbitrarily prefetches links of type next (in addition to links of type prefetch), which increases your server load and your bandwidth usage.
Remove WLW manifest link
Removes a link useful if you publish with Windows Live Writer.
Remove RSD link
Removes the Really Simple Discoverability link.
The RSD link provides information to clients like the Windows Live Writer or the iPhone App and to services like Posterous autoposting about the methods by which they can interact with your WordPress site.
Remove feed links
Removes auto-discoverable feed links.
These links are not directly visible to humans but are useful to user agents. Browsers, for example, rely on them to present us with the nice icons we click to subscribe to feeds.
Remove extra feed links
Removes extra feed links that WordPress adds automatically to specific pages. For example, when a category archive is viewed, WordPress inserts a link for the feed of that archive; or when a post is viewed, it inserts a link for the feed of the post comments.

Miscellaneous

Get AJAX libraries from Google CDN
Tells WordPress to load jQuery, Prototype JS and SWFObject from the Google CDN, rathen than your own server. If you have plugins that use any of these libraries on the frontend, this will make your pages faster. It will also save you the bandwidth required for serving these files.
— Recommendation: Enable.
Remove anchor in “Read More...” links
Removes the #more-123 part from Read More... links.
— More info: See Seemore for the original implementation and an explanation.

Alternative plugins

A few selected plugins that either do bits of what Extra Options does or offer finer control over a feature: