This has been a real fun plugin to write.  Regular expressions may be annoying at times, but I can’t help but enjoy them.

Glutton for punishment, I know.

Anyway, the purpose of this plugin is simple: It creates attractive links in posts and pages in a number of ways.  They’re designed to work in a similar way to Facebook links by grabbing the title, description and image and displaying it in a div.  Check it out:

The best part?  Here’s how it looks in the editor:
linkify sample

The most interesting part though is how the plugin reacts to pages which are missing any of that information – it finds the next best thing.

If there’s no image_src defined in the header, then it’ll find the first image on the page.  If there’s no meta description, it’ll find the first <p> tag.

Not only that, but it has a number of ways of converting basic links to “pretty” linkified links:

  • The simple – paste a URL on a separate line in a post or a page.  This can be disabled if you’d rather just use the shortcode!
  • The advanced – using a shortcode will allow you to display alternate information and also add rel and target attributes to the link.

To save constantly grabbing information from other servers, the plugin will save information into your media library, where you can edit the description and title for links to that page without even having to use a shortcode.

If, however, you’re limited on server space – disable it in the settings!  It’ll simply grab the information through jQuery each time the page is viewed – it takes a little more processing on the server, but since it uses jQuery, it doesn’t slow down the load time of the page at all.  Until the information is loaded, a basic link is displayed so that the loading operation doesn’t get in the way of functionality, either.

The plugin also features a customisable stylesheet – you can set your own colour scheme, or choose from a list of themes.

I’ve recently submitted it to WordPress for publishing and it’s currently pending review – watch this space!