Save the Internet from WordPress speed abuse.
Updated: August 2017
4 minute read
Why would anyone want to use a plugin to add a signature to the bottom of a post? It’s marketing communications touchy-feely stuff. The logical explanation isn’t that easy and not everyone “gets it.”
No one really explains the cosmic reason why signatures are “good” practice. So explaining from a marketing standpoint could be better. It seems so obvious to signature-plugin authors that they forget not everyone can see a benefit to an automatic signature.
It’s always been our recommendation for clients to add a personal signature on About pages — or what we sometimes label as Interview pages. The client always asks, “How come?”
These special pages with signatures (for us anyway) are in a FAQ format. For some reason, search engines think these are important pages. It could be the keyword “interview.”
Anyway, a signature (even a fake one – like a calligraphic script font) in blue ink on white background has a “feeling.” (Blue seems more pen like than black – again silly human memory stuff). It’s more intimate and experiential. It’s marketing voodoo. People consciously know you didn’t sign the screen – but they have a feeling of connectedness. They secretly wish you did sign each post.
Like a personal letter from a family member or friend, it’s subconscious psychological weirdness triggered by a scrawl onscreen. But it works. It’s endearing. It seems friendly. Perhaps because it appears handcrafted instead of by machine.
It definitely has to do with memories. Just like color combinations do. Or the smell of crayons. Or old songs on the radio. Why do those take us back in time? And make us smile or cry?
We could see creating a blog where we wanted that personal feeling on every page. Then we’d want a plugin so we didn’t always have to repeatedly place an image file at the end of each post.
Each post would then become a personal message to the reader (like a personality).
Above is an “interview” page we designed for a photographer. His signature is essentially his logotype and part of his branding. It’s at the top of the scrolled text. But most frequently, we put them at the page bottom. Here the signature almost serves as a caption for his photo.
His signature is quite distinctive. We humans can tell the difference in those small quirky details in a persons handwriting. We actual recognize the patterns and can say, “This note is from my cousin Bill. I’d recognize his sloppy handwriting anywhere.”
There are several ways to solve this automated signature problem. But not worth it if it adds one second to the load time. We didn’t do any speed tests.
We did a search on “Why put a personal signature on your WordPress blog?” and got a listing of various plugins and how to edit functions.php files that do this stuff. But no one explained why post signatures are a good idea.
156k download, Requires: 3.0 or higher, Compatible up to: 4.1.11, Last Updated: 1 year ago, Active Installs: 3,000+
Comments: The screenshot of the controls looked overwhelming. It wasn’t clear if an image file is included or if it’s just text.
179k download, Requires: 2.5 or higher, Compatible up to: 4.4.3, Last Updated: 3 months ago, Active Installs: 800+
Comments: Has integration of TinyMCE. This allows the addition of copyright, links, images, or ads at the bottom of pages or posts.
41k, Requires: 4.0 or higher, Compatible up to: 4.5.2, Last Updated: 2 months ago, Active Installs: 20+
Comments: This plugin is brand new for 2016. The author said, “All I wanted was to be able to select an image for my user, and set the alignment and size for the displayed image inside the blog post.” He felt the other plugin offerings were too bloated. We agree. To add your signature image, go to your profile page in the WordPress dashboard and, at the bottom, you’ll find a new section for selecting an image using the standard WordPress media upload screen.
4k, Requires: 2.5 or higherCompatible up to: 3.5.2, Last Updated: 3 years ago, Active Installs: 1,000+
Comment: Appears old, abandoned and suspicious of calling offsite resource. It’s too small of file size. Did you ever think you’d hear us say that?) Too scary to use.
69k, Requires: 3.1.2 or higher, Compatible up to: 3.6.1, Last Updated: 3 years ago, Active Installs: 1,000+
Comments: From the WordPress plugins site: “for those who have multiple authors on a WordPress site and want to show author information at the bottom of every post for each author like a signature. This can include an image, a short bio, a link to the author’s website and their social profiles.” This is overkill for us.
Based on this quick information, the plugin to use seemed pretty obvious: Danix Author Signature. It was fast and easy and didn’t add any drag to our page loads.
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