FD Word Statistics Plugin for WordPress
Shows readability of the post currently being edited using three different readability measurements and also includes a word and sentence count.
Readability analysis is an attempt to show how difficult a text is to read. There are several methods of doing readability analysis. The most popular methods are used here. The Flesch and Flesch-Kincaid methods use formulas based on the average number of words per sentence and the average number of syllables per word. The Gunning-Fog method uses a formula based on the average number of words per sentence and the percentage of “hard” words (words with 3 or more syllables) in the passage.
Both the Gunning-Fog and the Flesch-Kincaid give a score that is the number of years of education the reader must have completed to understand the text. Different types of writing calls for different scores. Technical subjects may require a higher level of education so a higher Fog or Kincaid score is acceptable. Informal writing may try for a score in the 7-10 range. The Flesch score is a percentage. The higher the value, the better the readability.
Some sample scores:
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Gunning-Fog: 19.6, Flesh-Kincaid: 15.6, Flesh: 26
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Gunning-Fog: 20.2, Flesh-Kincaid: 16.2, Flesh: 35
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Gunning-Fog: 10.7, Flesh-Kincaid: 7.9, Flesh: 63
- WordPress 2.0 or higher.
- You can user version 0.81beta of the plugin with WordPress 1.5 or higher.
To install the plugin:
- Copy fdwordstats.php to the wp-content/plugins directory.
- Activate the plugin from the Plugins tab in WordPress.
Nothing special needs to be done other than the installation to use the plugin. The plugin will automatically display readability statistics in WordPress whenever you edit or save (and continue editing) a post. Hover the mouse over the statistics to see a brief description.
The plugin also defines several new template commands that you can use:
- Returns a count of words
- Returns a count of sentences
- Returns the Gunning-Fog index
- Returns the Flesch-Kincaid index
- Returns the Flesch index
Each of these functions takes one argument, the text to be analyzed. For example:
<?php echo wordstats_words(get_the_content()) ?>
The syllable and sentence counting functions could use some improvements to handle special cases. Also, the hard words counting algorithm doesn’t take any exceptions into account. Sometimes the counts are off but it shouldn’t affect the statistics too much.
Don’t expect the readability indexes to match up with anyone else’s readability indexes. Different tools all use slightly different counting algorithms and thus will all give slightly different numbers. Your best bet is to use the numbers to see how changes you make are improving your text relative to older versions. For example, if you can increase the Flesch index then you are theoretically improving readability.
Copyright (C) 2004 John Watson
This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or any later version.
This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.
- 0.8 beta Wed Sep 01 2004 Initial release
- 0.81 beta Wed Sep 07 2004 Minor documentation update
- 1.0 Fri Dec 30 2005
- Upgraded to work with WordPress 2.0
- Changed template functions to return values rather than echo them. So now you can do things like
<?php printf('Flesh index: %0.1f', wordstats_flesch_kincaid(get_the_content())) ?>in your templates.
- 1.1 Fri Mar 28 2008 Cosmetic changes (name + docs). No functionality changes.
- 1.2 Thu Dec 11 2008 Changed the visual style to match WordPress 2.7. This version remains compatible with older versions of WordPress.