This post was originally posted somewhere else, but I decided to close down the domain and collect my blogposts here.
GD Press Tools 4.0 PRO is the premier WordPress blog management plugin by Milan Petrovic at dev4press.com.
GD Press Tools PRO 4 is a monster of a WordPress plugin, and I will take you through the best features which by themselves make this plugin a must-have in any professional WordPress user’s tool belt.
You will find many of the features in GD Press Tools is covered by a range of other WordPress plugins, but if you were to try to find alternatives for just some of the things GD Press Tools can do, you will be hard pressed to do that with less than 10 other plugins at best.
And that is not including the unique features that set GD Press Tools apart, I will detail them more as we go along.
I love GD Press Tools
I’m an avid WordPress user, in fact my whole business is based on WordPress (and SEO consultancy) and to achieve maximum efficiency I use a fleet of regular WordPress plugins that I always use for new installations and customers who needs a tune-up.
GD Press Tools has been in my toolbox for a long time and the new 4.0 version went straight in to the box.
GD Press Tools PRO allows me to handle extra security measures, manual and scheduled backups, advanced XML sitemap generation, auto tagging, meta tags handling, database maintenance, cron handling, registration management with a lot of nice anti-spam measures, user pruning, file management as well as debugging tools for developement.
Yep. And those are just the main bullet points.
All of these features extends WordPress great, yet limited administration for professional WordPress users. If you run one or several WordPress blogs and take your work seriously, let me walk you through why you need GD Press Tools 4 PRO.
After installing and activating the plugin, you’ll want to first head to the front page which gives you an overview of your installation’s technical settings, and most importantly you see the current test results of the security of your WordPress installation.
Milan has collected a range of sensible security measures and implemented it in a nice and easy to use interface.
Each setting has a short and simple explanation of the implications of turning things on and off.
GD Press Tools checks and makes recommendations for:
- WordPress version
- Administrator username (it shouldn’t be “admin”)
- Files and folders access rights
- Injection and XSS attacks
- User registration filtering
- WP Installation folder browsing
- Commenting without referrer (to filter out a lot of potential spam)
- Limiting access to core WordPress files
- Limitation to length of URL requests on your site (very long ones are usually hacking attempts)
- WordPress version hiding
- Registration and login error displaying
- File upload limitation
- Blocking potential spammers via user agent filtering.
- Change default WordPress CHMOD file and folder creation.
Yep, those changes will close the holes on the major security issues on WordPress sites, as well as adding nice extra features for the extra paranoid.
Backing up is always important, and GD Press Tools PRO has a couple of features that sets it apart from other WordPress backup plugins.
First of all, you can control which kind of method to use for dumping the MySQL database, via the MySQL Dump command or the manual export option. The first is always the preferred method, but it is nice to be able to change it depending on the individual server configuration.
You can also choose what to backup, the whole database, selected tables only, or just the table structure.
That in itself is nice, but what is really nice and sets GD Press Tools completely apart from any competitor in the backup-area is the Tasks.
Not only can you backup your database, but you can actually get the plugin to include files from your WordPress installation as well. This is nice in case you are doing continuous maintenance and improvements to your theme or adding/installing WordPress plugins.
Even better? You can choose to only get partial content, such as
- Just the wp-config.php and .htaccess files
- All of your /wp-content/ folders
- Just your /wp-content/ and subsequent subfolder (except plugins/and themes/)
- All plugins
- Or just all themes.
Okay, that’s great, but how about automizing this?
Well, Milan got this covered also. By using WordPress built-in cron system (you can even use GDPT 4 to add/edit cron schedules) you can set your preferred backup configuration to be run whenever you want it to.
You will of course get an e-mail about a successful backup which are saved locally, and here’s another unique backup feature from Milan.
Not only are the files stored locally, but you can also set GDPT 4 to transfer and store your backups on Rackspace Cloud, Amazon’s S3 (Simple Storage Service), Google Storage or simply just FTP the files to another location.
You can set the files to be automatically deleted locally once uploaded to a CDN or FTP, or just leave them on the local server as well.
Yep, a lot of plugins offer this service, even Joost is working on a sitemap module for his popular WordPress SEO plugin.
But Milan has all of them beat here as well. Not only can you control the individual priorities and update frequency for all types of WordPress posts, pages, media, taxonomies, categories etc.
You can also control to split up the different types of content into different sitemap files, basically splitting up the sitemap into smaller sub-sitemaps. This is a very handy feature for large sites with big sitemaps.
If you go over the limit (Google’s recommendation is 50.000 links in a sitemap file) GDPT automatically splits into more files.
You can set the search engines to be notified when the sitemap has been updated and you can even handle the automatization of the sitemap creation to a very fine detail.
Not only can you set the sitemaps to be rebuilt automatically when a new post/page is published, but you can set it to be rebuilt automatically using WordPress cron-feature.
This is especially nice for big sites that otherwise might trigger the rebuilding of the sitemap needlesly often.
A nice feature, although I do not use it personally. GDPT 4 allows you to use Yahoo’s Term Extraction API, basically you send a lot of text to Yahoo, and Yahoo sends back a lists of suggested tags for that content.
This is handled automatically, and you can set GD Press Tools to process all previously published posts and pages, or just turn it on in the administration widget on the publish post/page interface.
This is a feature I have previously used a range of plugins to control, then lately I’ve used the WordPress SEO plugin previously mentioned, and now I use GD Press Tools.
Not only can you control individual meta tag settings for each post/page, you can also control the more general configuration of your SEO meta tags.
You can tweak as much as you want, or just go with the default settings.
Along with a couple of other tweaks you can also use this page to enter verification codes from Google, Yahoo and Bing to get access to more details from the search engines about your homepage.
Not to be confused with the backup section, on the Database page you can handle basic database administration, optimize, drop or empty the individual tables or even optimize or repair the whole database.
I’ve mentioned the cron scheduler earlier, and this is the page where you can tweak the different schedules that are in your WordPress installation.
Some plugins forget to remove their schedules when uninstalled, or maybe you’ve created 531 schedules by mistake. (Ahem)
It’s easy to add new schedules, remove schedules or just trigger one straight away if you do not feel like waiting.
GD Press Tools comes with a complete file manager, so you do not need to start up your FTP client if you have a quick change you need to make.
It’s easy to navigate like you normally would via a FTP client, and you can edit files, download them, change CHMOD settings or simply just delete files!
Now, if you thought you were almost done reading what GD Press Tools can help you with, think again.
This WordPress plugin is PACKED with features to fine tune and control your WordPress installation in very fine detail.
Here’s a walk through of the most important features:
- Disable the new admin bar introduced in WordPress 3.1 (we bleeding-edge users know it, and some of us love it, some really don’t like it).
- Add number of postviews to posts and pages, along with the id
- Change the users panel, removing columns and adding more with more detail such as last activity and last login.
- Add ID columns to post categories, tags, media, links and comment pages.
- Allow HTML in descriptions for categories, tags, taxonomies, links, notes for users and even in users biographical info.
- Fix the default “make sure WordPress is spelled correctly”-filter introduced from WordPress 3.0 by Matt Mullenweg.
- Remove different header information, some of them for security, others because it is simply unecessary. You are in control.
- Revisions to keep
- Hide various WordPress administration interface elements
- Disable flash uploader or the post auto save feature.
- Bring back the Delete Permanently feature. A nice feature if you are not afraid of deleting posts and pages immediately with no undo.
- Controlling the default WordPress Dashboard Widgets.
- Track post and page views, filtered by visitors and registered users.
- Track the users as they browse the site, along with their latest login timestamp.
- Maintenance Mode – If you need to make a couple of changes to your website, and you don’t want the whole world peaking over your shoulder while you work. You can also set the header to ensure you don’t get temporarily punished in your search engine rankings.
- Disable RSS feeds
- Delayed posting for RSS feed – Handy feature if you are the kind of person who presses the publish button and then instantly remember a couple of things you want to change. You can set the posts to be published in the RSS feed a little later on. Nice.
- Insert text before and after RSS feed items.
- Enable ZLIB compression for the whole blog. If supported by your hosting, you can push down the traffic usage by implementing compression.
- Url shortening. Simple yet effective, no need to use other URL shortening services.
- And.. Controlling the individual access rights for the different user types on your blog.
I left out quite a few major points actually, the ones I HAVE mentioned are the most important ones for my work, but all of the features will definitely come in handy at some point or another though, so they are all very nice to have.
I have interviewed Milan in the past, but the opinions stated in this review are my own and not influenced.