Necessary Tools

The Necessary Tools plugin logo.

The Necessary Tools plugin is a WordPress plugin that builds on the default functionality of WordPress. Its purpose is to provide quality-of-life features to all users. Features include post cloning, and exporting posts individually or in bulk. Of course, custom post types are supported by both features.

The source code and download links are available on the WordPress plugin directory.

Exporting Posts

Exporting ALL of a WordPress site’s posts in order to import a handful of posts to another site is frustrating. However, selectively exporting posts removes the hassle!

The plugin's export page, which displays a detailed list of posts to choose from.
The “Necessary Tools Export” page can be found under the “Tools” admin menu. By default, the table on the page will be populated with any published posts available. The post type and post status dropdowns allow you to change which posts are listed. After selecting a few posts, hitting the export button will prompt you to download the XML file containing the post data.

The XML file can then be imported on any other WordPress installation, via the “Import” page in the “Tools” admin menu.

Cloning Posts

The cloning feature adds a “Clone” button right above the publishing button in the post edit page. This feature supports posts, pages, and all other custom post types. Any meta-data, excerpts, content, tags, categories, and custom taxonomies will all be copied from the parent post to its child. All it takes is one click and any post can be duplicated.

A screenshot of the post edit page, highlighting the clone post button above the update/publish button.
The clone button sits above the publish button.

For example, here’s a post before cloning…

A screenshot of a parent post, before cloning.
The post-id equals 610.

And here’s the clone of the previous post. It has all the same content, except it has a different post-id and I gave it a new name!

A screenshot of a cloned post, which highlights the change in the post id compared to the parent.
The post-id equals 612!

I find this feature extremely useful and use it regularly. Recreating posts with similar content is a massive time-suck, and this feature alleviates that pain.

Options Page

In order to mitigate any potential plugin incompatibilities, features can be toggled on and off via the “Necessary Tools Options” admin menu. I considered this necessary for the Clone Post feature more so than the Export feature. The latter is self-contained in it’s own sub-menu. Whereas, the former appears in an area of the post edit page. The post edit page is free-game for all plugins. This leaves the potential for conflicts with plugins such as Game On. Game On actually contains an old prototype of the cloning feature that is currently provided by Necessary Tools. It’s a weaker implementation, but functional nonetheless! This means that a site with both Game On and Necessary Tools installed can result in two “Clone” buttons. Thankfully, one of them can be disabled, so there’s no confusion.

The plugin's option page, which includes options for toggling the clone post and export page features.