Document Importer, one of our top performing plugins version 1.5.3 is re-released, with a couple of major updates added and bugs fixed. And we’re really glad with its improved performance and efficiency.
The journey of this plugin from version 1.0 to 1.5.3 had many ups and downs. It’s become one of our top performing plugins, by virtue of it being a time savior and a painkiller and for many WordPress users who write in .docx files, saving their time and energy..
Below are some of the most vital lessons learnt from user feedback and the consequent features developed, that resulted in a more mature and functional plugin.
1. 500 Internal Server Error – Fixed
Initially we received a lot of support queries that said nothing happened when they tried to import a document. Instead, they received a 500 internal server error. After a series of tests and code revisions, we finally found that the error was because the customers didn’t have XSL enabled on their host server.
For the plugin to perform efficiently, we need XSL enabled on client’s server, which helps us in importing documents onto the WordPress editor. This was perhaps the reason documents were imported successfully in our test environment, but not for our client. In order to fix this issue, we’ve added a feature in the Settings page of Document Importer which has the option to enable remote XSL.
On enabling this option, a document is imported successfully in WordPress using XSL present on our server. In simple terms, all the critical .doc-to-html conversions happen on our server seconds before the content gets displayed on the WordPress editor.
This feature is to DEBUG, and uses our server space and time to import the document; hence we’ve limited this feature to just 8 imports per month. However, in order to be able to import more than 8 per month, users will have to request their host providers to enable XSL on their servers.
2. Images Don’t Show Up – Fixed
Many users complained that the images in their .docx files were not being imported in WordPress successfully. The reason for this was that Microsoft Word supports several uncommon image formats, but which may not be supported by browsers. For example:
Windows Enhanced Metafile (*.emf)
Windows Metafile (*.wmf)
Hence we suggest our users to use JPEG and PNG formats, which are supported by almost all browsers. We’ve also included this info in our FAQs.
3. Supports Only Bullet List
We’ve been aware of this issue beforehand, and have now fixed it with this update. .docx happens to support a good number of list style formats. Initially we supported only a bulleted list, because it was time-consuming, delaying the Plugin launch, which why we hadn’t included any other type of lists. Now in this version we support bullet, numbered, Roman and alphabet(small and capital) list style formats.
4. Multi-File import
This feature was asked by customers who use Document Importer day-in and day-out, so it was imperative for us to add it. We created a Dashboard widget from where our users can import multiple .docx files and create multiple drafts, that they can publish later once they’re reviewed. Users are now shown how far the file importing has come along in the progress bar. They can also view the errors if something goes wrong, like if they or try to upload file other than .docx. In a single click, users can create multiple posts, saving hours on end.
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