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Over the first quarter of the year we managed to find some time to release two WordPress plugins of our own. Regular readers might well know that we’re huge WordPress fans, using it for as many projects as possible and finding new and interesting ways to implement its power.

A recent project of ours required that users of an internally used WordPress site were alerted when new categories, posts and comments were made. Not only is this functionality not available out of the box in WordPress but we also noticed that any notifications that WordPress offered were extremely limited in functionality. Basic options such as customising emails or choosing who to send them to are just… missing. In performing a little market research amongst the WordPress community, we discovered others felt the same way and so we decided to do something about it.

After developing a fairly adventurous roadmap of ideas, Peter and I began work on a WordPress plugin that would address the above problems and release it into the community for free. Using the research we had collected along with a few simple sketches of how it should function, we both got coding.

After two days, we had a working beta that allowed a site administrator to choose which notifications user roles would receive emails for and customise them with HTML and loads of useful shortcodes, inserting information where needed.

On release to the public, the plugin has perform fantastically. We’ve received some really positive feedback from users both via email and our support forum over at WordPress.org. We’ve fixed bugs, added a few new features and developed our roadmap even further and are about to start work on the next round of features. Our core aims at this stage are to make the plugin as sturdy and easy to use as possible.

If you feel that your WordPress website could do with better notifications then you might want to give our plugin a try. Our plugin page at WordPress.org should have all the information you need to get started along with some ideas for usage scenarios.

Download it here for free: http://www.wordpress.org/plugins/bnfw/