Archive for plugins tag

My favourite WordPress plugins

I’ve been asked what plugins I recommend for WordPress so here’s the ones I currently use. Some of them require work in your theme – I started with the Redoable 1.2 theme which supports many of them.

Akismet

Probably one of the most well-known plugins for WordPress this little wonder screens all comments for spam using the Akismet web service. Get a key to access the service by signing up for a at WordPress.com and then configuring it in Plugins > Akismet Configuration.

Feed Statistics

I’m don’t want my subscribers in the control of a third party but I do like FeedBurner’s subscriber counts and analysis tools.

The Feed Statistics plugin provides a small subset of that functionality, the important one being a subscriber count which I now show in the sidebar. I went with a 3 day count configured from the Feedin WordPress admin.

Google Analytics for WordPress

There are a bunch of Google Analytics integration plugins out there but Google Analytics for WordPress apears to be the one currently using Google Analytics New Tracking Code ga.js instead of the old Urchin one. This actually uses a new URL and technique that hopefully won’t be blocked by so many viewers and also promises access to exciting new features as they become available…

Google Reader widget

I’m still in love with Google Reader especially since they added search to it (quite how they forgot that I’ll never know). One of the great things is that you can share your stories with your friends or better yet expose it as another RSS.

Google Reader widget adds a sidebar widget to show the stories you have chosen to share in your sidebar so no need for the annoying link-list posts (unless you need to add opinion or commentary of course). Configurable via Plugins > Google Analytics.

Gravatars2

Blog that don’t allow comments don’t get onto my Reader list without a fight. Without comments a post can’t be trusted – the author isn’t interested in any other opinions or thoughts.

Gravatar is a great site where you can register a picture with your email address so any site implementing Gravatars will show it next to your comments. In no time you’ll start recognising faces and pictures and decide if you want to check out their blogs too.

The Gravatars2 plugin puts those images next to the people who comment on your blog and can helpfully cache them locally for you given permission. It is configured from Options > Gravatars and the cache managed from Manage > Gravatar Cache.

Gregarious

Social bookmarking is incredibly popular through sites like Digg, StumbleUpon, Reddit, Delicious, Technorati, Windows Live Favourites or plain old email.

Gregarious takes care of providing links to submit your posts to these sites at the whim of a passing viewer. You can configure it in Options > Gravatars to choose the sites you want (I added DotNetKicks with a URL of http://www.dotnetkicks.com/kick/?url={url} ) as well as emailing you when a post is dugg and draw those famous little ‘n diggs’ yellow buttons.

Related Posts

Problogger’s Darren Rowse recommends interlinking posts to keep readers on your site and interested.

Related Posts automatically provides a list of likely related posts & pages based on keyword matching.

StatPress

Google Analytics is nice but the stats tend to lag a bit behind and sometimes you want to know what’s happening right now.

StatPress collects and reveals interesting real-time stats on Dashboard > StatPress including per-day & month counts of visitors, pageviews, spiders and feeds as well as recent hits, search terms and referrers. It also shows some visitor analysis and an interesting spy mode that shows recent visitors path through the site including how they got there.

My only complaints are that the MySQL database grows quite quickly and the analysis pages are slow. This is most likely caused by logging and analysis of raw data. Still it seems a lot less resource hungry that FireStats.

WP-PostRatings

An attempt to get quick feedback on what posts people are finding interesting and which aren’t with a simple star-rating next to each post.

Through no fault of it’s own WP-PostRatings has failed rather miserably here with few people wanting to click a star to rate a post. Will be dropped in the redesign.

WP-PostViews

Another visitor-retention seeking effort. By presenting the most popular content in the sidebar I’m hoping to entice people to look at a couple of other posts and hit the magic RSS subscribe button.

WP-PostViews records the stats and provides a method to get the post stats out you can put into your theme but most importantly comes with a widget to render a sidebar full of your most popular content.

[)amien