Developer Diaries: Comment Avatars and ClickUp

Photo of a group of avatars
License: Adobe Stock

It’s been a while since I wrote a Developer Diary. I’d like to go over my most recent projects.

First, let’s go over one of my premium plugins: Comment Edit Pro.

Comment Edit Pro

I recently decided to rebrand a few of my products and I even created a business entity called DLX Plugins (Deluxe Plugins). It hosts a few of my plugins that I think are worthy of the Deluxe title.

As part of the rebrand, I renamed Simple Comment Editing Options to just Comment Edit Pro.

Comment Edit Pro is an add-on to Simple Comment Editing.

Simple Comment Editing is known for its zero-configuration, with only a few options of the most requested features.

Simple Comment Editing Admin
Simple Comment Editing Admin

The admin options for Simple Comment Editing are pretty basic. SCE is a tiny plugin by comparison to most other plugins. However, I included a variety of hooks to make the plugin highly extensible.

As people pressed for more options, I decided to create an add-on called Simple Comment Editing Options.

Since I spun off my plugins onto DLX Plugins, I decided to rename it. As part of the rebranding, I decided I needed to provide Comment Edit Pro with some additional options and a rethink of the admin settings.

Matching the purple theme of DLX Plugins, I moved the tab interface to the side (for more breathing room) and added a splash of purple.

Comment Edit Pro Admin Options
Comment Edit Pro Admin Options

In addition to the rebranding, I decided to do something to spruce up the comment section. I went for the feature that could have the most impact. The result is a new feature I’m calling Custom Comment Avatars.

The first step was finding an avatar set that was:

  • Diverse
  • Colorful
  • Fun

After looking for what seemed like forever, I came across an avatar set that made sense for a comment section.

Avatar Selection
Avatar Selection

There are 42 avatars that users can select, and I am happy with the diverse selection.

A List of Comment Avatars
A List of Comment Avatars

Here’s how it looks in the comment list.

Comment Avatars in the Comment Section
Comment Avatars in the Comment Section

As a bonus, the avatars provide Gravatar protection, which means the email address associated with the comment does not generate a Gravatar. Gravatars can inadvertently expose an anonymous commenter should they want their identity a secret.

Loading 42 avatars on the front end is a costly endeavor. I decided to use a placeholder and load the avatars via JavaScript after the page load. This cuts down on the number of requests on initial load and preloads them enough that the avatars show almost immediately in the comments section.

After getting the front-end working, I started creating the admin interface for the avatars.

Comment Editing Avatars Admin
Comment Editing Avatars Admin

In addition to Avatars, I’m also working on a Mailchimp integration that is mostly finished. I have several other features planned, but I need to concentrate on QuotesDLX first.

Gravity Forms and ClickUp

Due to perceived demand, I started working on a plugin called Tazker for Gravity Forms and ClickUp. I decided on the brand name Tazker because I thought it was a nice play on words, and I also wanted to differentiate how the add-on is branded.

Tazker - Gravity Forms and ClickUp
Tazker – Gravity Forms and ClickUp

I have conquered the hard part, which is connecting to the ClickUp API and license integration.

I do plan on selling this, and I can’t list it in the repo because there are two trademarked names and .org doesn’t allow you to use the names in the slug or even in the plugin title.

Demand for the plugin hasn’t been great. I figured since ClickUp was on the Gravity Forms roadmap, there would be some demand.

It appears I am wrong for now. I do have a sign-up page, and if there is interest, I will complete the plugin.

Conclusion

As always, thank you for reading, and if you have any questions, please leave a comment below.

Ronald Huereca
Ronald Huereca

Ronald Huereca

Ronald has been part of the WordPress community since 2006, starting off writing and eventually diving into WordPress plugin development and writing tutorials and opinionated pieces.

No stranger to controversy and opinionated takes on tough topics, Ronald writes honestly when he covers a topic.

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Ronald Huereca
MediaRon - Ronald Huereca

Ronald created MediaRon in 2011 and has more than fifteen years of releasing free and paid WordPress plugins.