WordPress Plugins Used On This Blog
Note: This post is outdated. The current plugin list can be found on this page.
I feel that I have been engrossed in WordPress long enough that I can put together a fairly authoritative list of WordPress plugins with an explanation of each. These are the plugins I use. I don’t use twitter or facebook, so you won’t find anything related to those two services in here. Presented in alphabetical order:
- AddToAny. This plugin allows readers to add a more profession-looking link to your blog on their networking service of choice. It has automatic options for Twitter, Facebook, Myspace, Digg, StumbleUpon, virtually anything you can imagine.
- Akismet. Akismet checks your comments against the Akismet web service to see if they look like spam or not, then it automatically files them under “spam” if there is a match. It allows you to manage/review the comments after they are marked as spam, and undelete comments if necessary. This plugin has already saved me from over 600 spam comments on this blog.
- All-in-one SEO Pack. This plugin allows you to setup your metatags for your both your main page and individual posts. You can add comments, craft an excerpt, or add tags for Search Engine Optimization.
- Apture. My favorite plugin. This allows you to contain your links within java pop-up windows on your site. Instead of people clicking your link to a Wikipedia article, they merely hover over the link and the article pops up within your page. This allows people to view material that is pertinent to your articles without navigating away from your page. It works automatically with YouTube, Wikipedia, Twitter, IMDB, Amazon, and many more.
- Audio Player. A highly configurable plugin that turns your links to .mp3 files into a stylish Play button. It uses Flash animation and expands when clicked. It also keeps the clueless from stealing .mp3 files off your server and forces them to stream the files.
- Better-Wiki-Link. This plugin automatically creates a link to a related Wikipedia article if you put double brackets around any text in your blog entry. When used in conjunction with Apture, it creates a hover-link that brings up the Wikipedia article in a pop-up java window.
- Better Tag Cloud. A more configurable tag cloud than the default tag cloud provided with WordPress.
- Blog Protector. This plugin attempts to prevent people from plagiarizing information from your blog. It disables the highlighting of text (and in turn disables copy-and-paste of text from your blog). It can also be set to a) disable the ability for people to drag your photos onto their desktop and/or b) disable the ability to right-click on your page. I currently do not have this plugin enabled because it causes conflict with some other features of my blog, but maybe after a few more developments of the plugin I will be able to enable it.
- Broken Link Checker. This plugin continually checks all the links (past and present) on your blog entries and validates that no links are broken. I have over 600 links in my blog thus far, so this is a great plugin for me (this post alone has 29 links). Sometimes pages disappear and links in your old posts no longer work; this plugin keeps you from having to constantly re-check all of your links. It runs in the background and is not visible to readers of your blog.
- CommentLuv. When people fill out their information to leave a comment on your blog, this plugin checks the URL they provide. If the URL points to another blog, the plugin will automatically add a link to their most recent blog post. This provides free advertisement to others’ blogs and helps the blogging community as a whole.
- Do Follow. Removes the nofollow attribute that WordPress adds to comments by default.
- Feed Pauser. Allows authors to pause a feed from immediately being published. I frequently make a host of minor changes to a post immediately after it is published. This ensures that the post does not show up in my RSS feed until I have made all of my final adjustments (I have my Feed Pauser set to wait 20 minutes).
- Flickr Widget. A widget which displays the most recent photos from a Flickr account (mine displays in the right sidebar). You only have to set it up once and it automatically shows the most recent photos for you as you update your Flickr.
- GD Simple Widgets. This is a pack of several basic widgets. Most of them are improvements of widgets that come with WordPress by default, such as Recent Posts, Related Posts, Recent Comments.
- Google XML Sitemaps. This plugin will generate a special XML sitemap which will help search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing and Ask.com to better index your blog. It runs in the background and updates automatically every time you make a change to your blog.
- Gravatar Signup Encouragement. Encourages commenters who do not already have a Gravatar to sign up for a free Gravatar.
- No Curly Quotes. Stops WordPress from turning the ‘ and ” characters into curly quotes in blog posts, titles, excerpts and comments. Options can be set for each element separately. Curly quotes cause problems when cutting&pasting text.
- Outbound Links. Forces all outbund links to open in a new window. This helps ensure that people do not navigate away from your page when they click a link.
- Sidebar Login. Adds a sidebar widget to let users login to your blog. I use it as the top widget in the right sidebar. (No one ever logs in, though).
- Smart Ads. Allows you to automatically place Google Ads at certain places in your posts. You set certain rules (ie, minimum wordcount) that determine if and where your ads are placed.
- SubZane YouTube Plugin. Like the Flickr Widget, this plugin allows you to automatically display the most recent YouTube videos from your YouTube account.
- Visitor Maps and Who’s Online. Displays Visitor Maps with location pins, city, and country. Includes a Who’s Online Sidebar to show how many users are online and a Who’s Online admin dashboard to view visitor details. The visitor details include: what page the visitor is on, IP address, host lookup, online time, city, state, country, geolocation maps and more.
- WordPress.com Stats. Tracks views, post/page views, referrers, and clicks. Similar to Google Analytics.
- WP Super Cache. A fast caching plugin for WordPress. If your page gets a lot of traffic, this plugin can cut down on the amount of traffic to your server while still allowing everyone to view your blog. It creates an up-to-date HTML version of your site instead of the more consuming PHP version. I do not currently have it enabled because I do not get what is commonly known as “traffic,” hehe.
- WPtouch iPhone Theme. Formats your site with a mobile theme for the Apple iPhone / iPod touch, Google Android and other touch-based smartphones.
- Wunderground.com Weather Sticker. Adds a sidebar widget to display the standard wunderground.com Weather Sticker for your [chosen] location. Because of this widget, I actually check my own blog to get the outside temp before I go out.