If you’re using WordPress.org for your blog, you may find a new plugin called “Insights” really interesting. Developed by WordPress guru Vladimir Prelovac, Insights makes it exceedingly easy and fast to:

  • Add Flickr images to posts
  • Add Google maps to posts
  • Add links to your own blog posts to a new post
  • Search Wikipedia and add Wiki references to posts
  • Search Google and link to Google information
  • Search for and add YouTube videos to your posts

Doing each of these takes only a few seconds, and I am happy to report that using Insights is straightforward and intuitive.

Simple, Intuitive Interface

When you add the plugin to your WordPress, an Insights option is added to the “Write Post” page:

"Insights" plugin

Here’s a close-up:

"Insights" WordPress plugin - dialog box

Searching Flickr and adding an image to a post now takes ~10 seconds!

Let’s say I want to add an image that has something to do with completing a project – and I search Images for “finish line:”

(You can specify how many images are shown in response to your search, by the way.) I decide I like the picture of the arrow and “Finish” written on concrete; all I need to do is choose the image size I prefer (75 to 1024px) and click on that image, and it appears in the post:

Albert feared the finality of completion.

What would have taken at least a couple of minutes takes literally 10 seconds or so. (For more elaborate Flickr searches, I’ll continue to use CompFight.)

Add a Google Map in seconds…

Similarly, let’s imagine that I want to display a map that shows the location of the Reflecting Pool in Washington DC. I click on “Maps” in Insights and type in “reflecting pool washington dc,” and a map appears immediately:

Insights Plugin - map function

To insert that map into the post, all I need do is click on the “Add Map” button:

Google map via Insights plugin

Incidentally, you can zoom in or out and change the view of a map before inserting it:

Google map via Insights plugin

You can add markers as well:

Google map with marker - via Insights WordPress plugin

Linking to prior posts could not be simpler!

This promises to be a tremendous time saver! If I want to add a reference to a previous PracticalHacks post, I simply highlight the text I want to serve as a link to the post, and search this blog for the relevant post. You may recall my post about the new Dell Inspiron Mini laptop – you can see it here.

Linking to past posts with the Insights WordPress plugin

To create the link which you see above this image, all I did was perform a simple search of my blog and then  just clicked on the link icon to the right of the post’s title…  pretty slick, and  it required all of 5-10 seconds. (In the past I’d have to open another tab, go to my blog, find the post in question, copy the URL, and then go back to the draft post and click on the link icon. With insights, what would have taken at least a minute or so, now takes seconds.)

Search Google or Wikipedia & add links to posts quickly & easily!

Searching Google and Wikipedia works in exactly the same way – write you copy so that you can link to a Google or Wikipedia reference, perform a search using Insights, and then create a link to your highlighted copy. Let’s say I want to link to an article about space based solar power…

Creating Google links with the Insights plugin for WordPress

Highlight the copy you want to serve as your link, click on the link icon, and you’re done! Works the same way with Wikipedia. (You can preview the search results by right clicking on a link and opening it in a new tab or window.)

Finally: a simple way to search and insert YouTube videos

By now you know how this terrific plugin works – the final function it offers is to simplify finding and inserting YouTube videos into posts. In this case I’ll search “Videos” for Lisa Nova Sarah Palin and will select the video I want in order to immediately insert it into this post. Just for laughs I’ll time it to see how long the process takes.

14 seconds, mostly because my typing is fairly lousy. Amazing. You can preview videos before inserting them, by the way, – right from your draft post – no need to use a separate tab or window.

A few final thoughts

As keen as I am about Insights, it isn’t without issues. Most of the concerns I have have to do with the Flickr searches. At present there’s no way to distinguish between images which are not available for use or those which are deemed “All Rights Reserved.” Additionally, crediting the photographer must be done manually.

But this is my only concern thus far. What’s abundantly clear is that this plugin will save me and fellow WordPress bloggers A LOT of time and trouble. You can find Vladimir’s “Insights” page here. Check it out!

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6 Comments on WordPress Bloggers: Save time creating posts with the “Insights” plugin!

  1. diacriticals says:

    This plugin is awesome !

    [Reply]

  2. Great review of the plugin, I could not have done it better my self! :)

    [Reply]

  3. […] “Insights” plugin for WordPress makes it easy to search and add links to posts of yours, images from Flickr, […]

  4. Lorna says:

    I’m glad I found out about this plugin, it’s so amazing. Its FAQ and readme file doesn’t explain much and do justice to what this plugin is really capable of.

    I’m going to download it now.

    [Reply]

  5. Kevin says:

    Lorna,

    Thanks for visiting. Vladimir is not real big on documentation, but the plugin is extraordinary… I’m sure you’ll love using it!! It’s saved me A LOT of time – just about every day!!

    Kevin

    [Reply]

  6. I use many Vlad’s themes and plug ins. Your documentation was much more descriptive and I see this is a “Must Have” plug in!
    Thank you both!

    [Reply]

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