WordPress Plugins Rock!

I’ve been meaning to share with you for a while now exactly what I run under the hood (so to speak) as far as WordPress plugins – which ones and and why I have these installed.

WordPress is an incredibly powerful blogging platform that gives the blogger a flexible framework and an extensive set of extensions to allow the owner to tailor and customise their blog site to their own liking. Other blogging platforms also provides similar functionality but I believe that WordPress currently has the largest following of freelance developers (plugin builders) than any other blogging platform currently on the market.

Plugins are exactly what the word says – plugins – or add-ons if you like – smallish programs that extend the power of WordPress with that little extra “oomph” thus giving the blogger the ability to create a Blog that is unique compared to any others. (Perhaps a bit like owning a Harley Davidson?).

I was prompted to write this post on WordPress plugins because the latest one I fired up is called “Olympics Medal Table” – which gives a live medal count update by country at the Beijing 2008 Olympics. A quick installation of the plugin and then adding the widget to the blog (literally 5 minutes) – Bob’s your uncle!.

Pretty cool eh!! There are literally hundreds if not thousands of WordPress Plugins available for free and ready to add giving your blog that little bit of creative individuality that will make your blog-site unique and yours!!

Be warned though that additional plugins put extra load on the system and this can and does lead to being penalised by one’s Provider. The consequences of going overboard with extra “ubeaut” functionality can quite easily lead to a suspended account due to so called abuse of CPU cycles or excessive I/O. I am currently experiencing this issue and am still trying to find that balance between nice function and fair reasonable usage of shared resource.

So lets cut the chase and get down to business. The list below is what I am currently running Plugin-wise, together with a link to the authors site and also a brief description of what the plugin does. I have also grouped the plugins into functional categories. I do not have any qualms about providing a link back to the plugin authors website as these folks provide an invaluable service to the WordPress community – they do this in their own time and basically do it for free (although many do request a small donation).

(All of the following plugins are currently active)

Administrative (work behind the scenes made easier)

Broken Links Remover
Checks for broken links and redirects them to a 404 page.

Dashboard Widget Manager
Makes the standard WordPress dashboard much easier to navigate.

Lighter Menus
Create drop down menus for the Admin dashboard.

Maintenance Mode
Shows a friendly page when blog is set to maintenance mode.

Page Links To
Allows one to point pages or posts to URL of choosing.

Plugin Central
Automatically install and update WordPress plugins.

Post-Plugin Library
Needed for the Marsh series of plugins.

Simple Tags
Extended tagging functionality.

TinyMCE Advanced
Enables advanced features in the standard editor.

WP-DBManager
Tools that hep manage the WordPress DB including backups.

Security (protect against Spam, bots, spiders and other nasties)

Akismet
Basically protects the blog against comment spammers.

AskApache Password Protect
Additional security protection through .htaccess settings.

Bad Behaviour
Protects against bad bots, spiders and agents.

WP Security Scan
Does a security scan of WordPress installation.

Aesthetics (pleasing to the eye)

Add Sig
Adds a custom signature to the bottom of all posts (Trupela Tok).

Better Blogroll
Provides more control over the Blogroll widget and presentation.

Category Icons
Assigns icons to individual categories – I use this for one for my RSS feed.

Different Posts per Page
Gives me control over how many posts are shown on different pages.

Excerpt Editor

Adds or edits excerpts for posts and pages.

MaxBlogPress Favicon
Gives me full control of that little icon called a Favicon.

No Self Pings
Stops WordPress from sending pings to own site.

Olympics Medals Table
A beauty! Shows medal tallies for Beijing 2008 Olympics.

Random Posts
Displays a list of random posts (used to display my Rantings).

Recent Comments

A nicer way of displaying recent comments.

Samsarin PHP Widget
A widget that provides support for PHP code.

Twitter Widget
Displays my Twitter feed (used as a way of displaying news flashes)

Popular Posts
Displays popular posts based on WordPress.com stats.

WP Cumulus
A plugin to display Tags using Flash (very flash indeed).

WP Identicon
Displays identicons in the recent comments widget.

Reader Interaction (contact form etc…)

Contact Form ][
Easily configurable “Contact Me” form.

Search Unleashed
Advanced Search Engine for WordPress.

Sociable
Gives reader access to social book-marking sites.

Subscribe to Comments
Allows readers to receive notifications of new comments.

WP-Plugins Used

Displays WordPress plugins within a Post

Photos

CoppermineSC
Allows me to display photos on the blog from my online Coppermine album.

RSS (News feeds and syndication)

Feedburner Feedsmith
Redirects all feeds from blog to Feedburner account.

Statistics

Feedburner Feed Stats
Makes it easy to view Feedburner stats from within WordPress.

WordPress.com Stats
Tracks some really nice WordPress statistics.

WordPress.com Stats Helper
Required to display Popular Posts.

WP Google Analytics
Sends reader stats to Google Analytics.

SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) and Pinging (Directory updates)

Google XML Sitemaps
Automatically submit updated sitemaps to Google.

MaxBlogPress Ping Optimiser

Controls frequency and quality of pinging.

Platinum SEO Pack
Complete SEO solution for WordPress.

SEO Friendly Images
Automatically adds alt and title attributes to all images.


Caching

WP Super Cache
A very fast caching module for WordPress.



(Sorry Mum for writing another nerdy post!!!)


The Author

2 responses to “WordPress Plugins Rock!”

  1. MadDog

    Robert, I’m very jealous of your knowledge about WordPress. I’ve got a few plugins, but I’m wanting more. I’ve tried some, but had no luck. For instance, I’m still not running the latest version of WordPress, because I can’t get the automatic update plugin ot work. And I’m scared to do anything that might mess things up, because I’ve never gotten a sucessful backup using the automatic backup plugin. I’d say, when it comes to WordPress knowledge, YOU ROCK!

    And I love the look of your blog. It has tremencous visual appeal.

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