It’s time to update my list of wordpress plugins. Some that used to work don’t and there are some that have been superceded by much better plugins. I’ve just done a complete wipe of the site and SQL for a number of reasons, which I’ll explain in another post. So now’s a great time to refresh and go through what I’m now using. There are other plugins I’d use if I didn’t use the Thesis Theme, which has a huge range of user friendly and SEO friendly features. Plugins like All-In-One-SEO.
Many of the plugins are the same as my last plugin list. I’ve deleted a few, some don’t work with later versions of wordpress and for some, I’ve found a plugin that does the job better. For the last group, I’ve got the old one listed with a strikethrough and then listed the new one.
This is great for displaying ads – see them over there –>
But it’s the stats and the customizability that I like best. You could run adsense with them if you wanted. Or test adsense v other ads. Or if you don’t have ads on your site you could use the plugin to cycle between links different posts (you don’t need a picture). You can have multiple adblocks. In the admin area (oh and you can add a widget to your admin dashboard to display the stats) it’ll give you a breakdown of how many times an ad was shown and how many times it was clicked on, etc. It’s pretty cool, I reckon :)
Don’t leave home without it. ’nuff said.
This improves WordPress’s native blogroll, giving you more formatting options, including the ability to add images.
This plugin is useful if someone puts a nonsense or offensive web address in the comment box, but have otherwise written a useful comment and you’d rather not delete the comment. Don’t use this if you’ve got Keywordluv installed – it changes the author’s name.
5. Do Follow
Simply put, this removes the “nofollow” attribute from comments on your blog. Nofollow will still work in your posts and widgets. While this may be an invitation for more spam, Akismet will catch most of it (just moderate the rest), and your readers will generally be more keen on commenting on your blog.
6. Feedburner Feedsmith
This enables easy integration of your Feedburner feed into WordPress. You DO have a feedburner feed… don’t you? If not, get one. It makes your feed more universally accepted and is free. Feedburner is also owned by Google, so there’s another way for Google to notice your work. I couldn’t find Feedburner Feedsmith, but this one does the same anyway.
7. Google Analytics for WordPress
This makes it super easy to include your Google Analytics code in your blog, without editing footer.php. It’s so much better than the Google Analytics for WordPress for the simple reason that you can have a dashboard widget that shows your stats when you login to your wordpress backend. Why use Google Analytics? It’s the best site traffic analysis software out there at the moment. And it’s free.
Automatically create a sitemap compatible with google, yahoo, msn, ask, etc. It then submits it to the search engines, keeping them up to date with your site. If you use Google Webmaster Tools (which you REALLY should), it’s super easy to import the sitemap to the Webmaster Tools.
When you’re doing upgrades to your site and you don’t want to make your readers feel like they are on a rollercoaster, with menus flying everywhere, pages disappearing, then reappearing, etc, you should set this plugin to “enabled”. You can activate it and just have it sitting in your admin area until you need it. It will display a page to all visitors apologizing for the delay and giving an estimated time of completion, which you set.
10. Mybloglog Widget – Now MyBlogLog Recent Readers Widget
Create a widget in your sidebar which can help you build a community around your blog.
This is a cool little plugin that turns the WordPress 2.7+ menu into a drop down, which saves time in reloading pages. I recommend checking the box that says “Shrink top level links down to their icons” for even easier use. You should also set the menus to “break” on more than 10 or 15 entries: you’ll have lots of entries in the Settings menu and you don’t want to have to scroll the page looking for them.
Set the importance of views and work out which are your most popular posts. There are also lots of options to display the results, like down the bottom of my blog, where I have “Most Viewed” and “Most Commented” posts. You can also have, eg, most popular in xyz category, etc.
This automatically inserts correct Alt or Title tags into the <img> code, based on your post title, or other settings you choose. An easy way of SEOptimizing your images.
14. SEO Slugs
WordPress creates the permalink for your post based on the title you give it. This plugin takes out the unnecessary words (as defined by you) like “the”, “and” & “a” to keep your permalink shorter. This is useful because if it’s too long, the permalink can get cut in half when someone sends the link to a friend and the search engines may also have difficulty processing really long urls.
This creates a checkbox underneath the comment box that enables the commenter to be informed when others comment on the post. It’s a great way to build a conversation between your readers.
16. Thesis Openhook
If you use the Thesis Theme, you need to get this plugin – it’s the key that transforms a very good theme into the best theme ever made (if you find a better one, be sure to let me know – I only go with the best lol)
17. Tweet This
This is one of the ways you can harness the power of the emerging phenomenon known as Twitter. It creates an icon at the end of each post which lets your readers easily post the story to their twitter account. It has lots of different icons to choose from and you can also add some of the major social bookmarking tools as well. I prefer this to the Tweet This plugin because it’s much easier to use and puts an instantly recognizable image in the top right. All the cool kids are using it these days :)
18. WordPress Database Backup
With a few clicks, backup your database of posts, comments and settings, so if anything happens to your site, you won’t lose all your years of hard work. It emails the backup to you and also has a nifty automatic backup schedule. I consider this plugin essential. Without it… well, let’s just say my site would still be broken!
Basically, this creates a list of related posts based on tags and inserts them at the end of each post. This helps with visitor interaction.
20. WordPress Mobile
With the number of people surfing the net on mobile platforms like the iPhone or Blackberry, you should consider installing this plugin. It creates a simpler version of your blog that is more easily readable on these platforms. It automatically recognizes when a reader is using a mobile platform and serves the simple version. It doesn’t change your content and will still display pictures in posts, but it removes all other graphics and only has essential text navigation links. I like this plugin better than the previous one because with the previous you had to do some messing around in ftp (which SUCKED everytime you had to do an update!!). Add to that the awesomely cool layout of the new plugin when viewed on an iPhone (check it out) and it’s a no-brainer. If you have a blackberry, could you do me a favor and let me know how this site looks on it?
I hope this review helped you. If you have any further suggestions or you think another plugin does a better job or is easier to use than any of the ones listed above, please share in the comments. The list above is by no means exhaustive, but hopefully should represent a good starting point.