Add “Print This” to Your WordPress Blog Posts with WP-Print Plugin
This is a guest post by Stephanie Stiavetti from Wasabimon. Stephanie has agreed to write a couple of posts for the site while I’m busy moving and getting ready for NaNoWriMo. Please welcome her to the site, and do yourself a favor by visiting her site too!
I visit a lot of blogs as a part of my day-to-day life, and my number one pet peeve with finding information within the blogosphere is the inability to print efficiently. Anyone who’s tried to print a recipe from a blog post can attest to the fact that in order to get one page of cooking instructions, you also end up with sheet after sheet of paper wasted on the superfluous printing of ads, sidebars, and empty tables. Even if you fish through your print preview to look for the meat of the printing job, you’ll often find that the post itself is splayed across several pages, interspersed with the aforementioned bloggage. This is no good if you’re trying to conserve paper and printer cartridges.
This isn’t just a problem with cooking blogs, either. I read through a vast number of interesting blog posts everyday on an array of subjects, and occasionally I want to print out something to hang on my wall or pass on to someone else. Again, I find myself wading though a ton of blog chaff to get to the wheat of the post.
To sum it up, printing from a blog can be a complete and utter headache.
Thankfully, the developer community is a great source of additional functionality for those of us running WordPress. There are countless plugins available that allow us to customize our little slice of the web in whatever way we see fit. WP-Print, a plugin created by Lester Chan, allows you to add tidy printing functionality to your WordPress blog by automatically adding a link to every post that will lead to a clean, printable version of your content. Here’s an example of what the output looks like:
Installation instructions are located here, but I’ll summarize the steps below.
First, go here to dowload the zip file. Once you’ve decompressed the file, you should have a folder titled ‘wp-print.’ Upload this entire directory to the server where you host your WordPress blog, and put it in the wp-content/plugins folder inside of your blog’s master directory.
Next, go to your WordPress control panel and navigate to the plugin management screen by clicking the ‘plugins’ link in the upper right-hand corner of your control panel, next to ‘settings’ and ‘users.’ Scroll down until you see the WP-Print listing, and click the ‘activate’ link to the right.
After you’ve activated the plugin, you’ll want to edit its preferences. Click the ‘settings’ menu in the upper right corner of the control panel, and you should see a listing of installed plugins under the main control panel navigation bar. To get to WP-Print’s settings, click the link that says ‘print.’ Here you can edit a multitude of setting, such as if you want images or comments to print with the post (I don’t recommend you turn on comment printing, as often your readers will just want the information in your post and not necessarily extraneous information).
That’s all there is to it! WP-Print should automatically insert a link to every post you make, offering your readers a tidy way to print the entry. If you have trouble installing or configuring WP-Print, the support forum can be found here.
Stephanie Stiavetti is a feature writer, copywriter, and all around technical savant. Having spent the last decade ensconced in both the editorial and computer industries, she’s comfortable in either world and often combines the two. Her areas of expertise are food, cooking, nutrition, health/wellness, technology, and the writing lifestyle, though if she had her druthers, she would spend 100% of her time writing about her culinary exploits. Read more about her and her work at Wasabimon.