Lean about what the plugin does and how it works.
The plugin generates short links using the Google URL Shortener API (which requires an API key to work). Optionally, you can choose your own custom service like bit.ly or goo.gl. The plugin has many options that allows you to control almost everything in terms of look & feel and behavior!
Fetch articles related to this one via other websites (6 references)
The plugin would be easier to use if it could automatically shorten links from other websites as well. The developer should find a way to open this functionality up or select which site's links it should shorten.
URL shortener services like bit.ly and goo.gl is hard to find and it's better to be able to set your own custom service (2 references)
It would be nice if the plugin let the user choose their own URL shortening service, such as those provided by bit.ly or goo.gl. This would make it possible to use these services instead of Google's API key system for instance.
The plugin might work on the locally hosted website but not so well on a shared hosting plan (1 reference)
In case you have a self-hosted WordPress site installed locally using XAMPP for example, you can install this plugin with no problems whatsoever as long as your WordPress installation fulfills the minimal requirements. But if you host your site on a shared hosting plan, then things will most likely get complicated as shared servers usually don't support the standard requirements of this plugin.
The plugin requires the user to create an account with Google's API before using it (1 reference)
This is one of those features that just makes sense and works well for everyone involved. A free option would be nice, but if we want something like this, and we really do, then we should go ahead and put in some effort and sign up for an API key from Google Maps. If you think about it, it's actually kind of brilliant! Who wouldn't want their own custom URL shortener? With such freedom comes great responsibility though, so keep it classy!
When you sign up for a free API key from Google Maps, they'll give you access to three different URL shortening services. In order to use one of them in this plugin, you'll need to generate your own unique secret key for this specific shortener. Once again, the developer should implement an option that lets you put in your own custom service rather than using bitly or goo.gl instead (1 reference)
If we want something like this and we really do, then why not just create our own? It's actually kind of brilliant! Who wouldn't want their own custom URL shortener? But if we have to pick a third party service provider anyway, then let's choose someone who isn't going to slap us in the face with a $200/month price tag!
The plugin uses unsecure unshortened links (1 reference)
Let's go ahead and get this straight: when you shorten a link using either bit.ly or goo.gl, it doesn't matter which one you use actually since they both do the exact same thing except for the domain name of course. But if we have to pick between them, then let's make sure that whatever choice we make is not only free but also secure! It would be nice if the developer could add this functionality in an upcoming update. Then again, it's very easy to implement yourself by adding your own short URL service before you start making other people's links shorter.
When a user clicks a shortened URL the plugin creates, the user will be redirected to a login page that asks for an API key from Google Maps (1 reference)
Let's face it: this is not an ideal situation since if you don't have your own custom domain name, then you'll end up with something like http://goo.gl/9yKlzd which looks awful and can scare away potential new visitors. But really now, there's no need to worry! We're talking about a WordPress plugin after all and we should know by now how active developers are when it comes to improving their work and listening to what users have to say about their suggestions. So let's just wait patiently for the next update and hope that the developer decides to add a custom short URL service option.
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