I’ve been going through WordPress Plugins left and right lately so I thought I’d do a quick post to let you know what I’m finding useful. (Quick? Ha, this one turned into a monster!)
If you do a quick search on Google for the “best of’s” you’ll come up with plenty of choices. Don’t even get me started on the Social Plugins though. I’ve tried so many now. Some are complicated as all hell and some are downright butt-ugly if you ask me. I’ve learned to be a little choosy now.
One thing I found recently is if you can find a Theme that incorporates some of these other Plugins all in one shot for you then you’re far better off. It makes things much easier that’s for sure. You might have noticed that I’ve recently changed Themes on this site (again!) for probably the 3rd or 4th time in the last year or so. I don’t mind change. But I’m also looking for the best solution to what I want to achieve as I learn more and more about website design and blogging in general. In some cases you may have a different need if you’re looking to do something in particular.
Alright, so these aren’t the Best by any means. I’m no expert. BUT, these are definitely Plugins I like and have found quite useful.
For SEO, there’s really two options to choose from; All in One SEO or WP SEO by Yoast. I use All in One on this site and it’s very easy to jot down your SEO quickly in the Settings menu. When you’re also doing a Post or creating a Page, there will be another area below your post for you to fill out your Post Title, Post Description and its Keywords. It has a helpful menu reminding you of the accurate character counts as well.
I’ve been using Trackable Social Sharing for a while now as I quickly grew frustrated with a large number of other Social Plugins. You can choose easily from a large number of social sites. Pick two, pick six, it’s up to you. (13 in all with more added every so often.) There’s a few different styles of each or you can add your own customized version. Just make sure to follow the same naming scheme of the files when you FTP them over. You can add some other Facebook Like buttons as well as the G+ if you so desire.
Along the same lines I’ve recently grabbed Wordbooker. It will look a little complicated but I’ve found you don’t need to do very much or rather use very many of the options to get what you want out of it. I will have to investigate further still but for now it serves its purpose well. What that is you may ask is it autoposts to Facebook for me. I am always looking for ways to automate some of the processes for me. I’d rather not have to go to Twitter, Facebook or Google+ individually to send out my blog posts thank you very much.
For Twitter I use WP to Twitter and have been doing so for quite some time. It was certainly one of my first Plugins as I love Twitter. I’ve since discovered something called Twitterfeed in the last two weeks or so and it looks like it will take care of both things in one shot but I haven’t go around to implementing anything yet. It also works a bit differently as the previous ones have an area below your Post field like the All in One SEO whereas Twitterfeed works with your actual site RSS feed. It monitors your RSS feed for changes to the website and updates accordingly.
You may have noticed recently I’ve increased the advertising on this site quite a bit. Some of it is me playing around and testing the waters on the other it’s not like comics bring me a lot of money or anything so I figured why not. In my exploring I’ve found a few different ones I like. In some cases I’m using these in conjunction with one another. One of these things is called Custom Sidebars. What that Plugin basically does is allow me to set up specific Sidebars to display specific things. When I write a Post or Page I can select on the right-hand side that I want the Post to include a “Style 1” for example. Style 1 could include my social icons, an ad, my search box, my recent posts, etc. Style 2 could be something completely different. Or, I could even leave everything as is and use my normal Primary Sidebar or Secondary Sidebar as is. It’s just plain freakin’ cool alright?! Plus, I love having the variety. The ability to change things on the fly like that.
Quick Adsense is another that I quite like which even though it has Adsense in the title doesn’t mean it’s only for Adsense. You could use this for any sort of ad. This Plugin allows you to make it so random ads appear throughout a Post or maybe you want the same one to appear at the beginning of a Post and another at the end. There are a number of options available.
Lastly there’s WP125 or WP-Table Reloaded. These ones allow you to make tables to present ads. These could be a group of four 125 x 125 pixel ads for instance. I like tables, I like the uniformity of them. So far I’ve found them not so user friendly though heh. For now I’ve deactivated them and left them to look at again in the future.
Akismet. Easy. Just get it. Make spam go away. There are also a number of other Plugins you can install to prevent spam in the comments section but honestly I’ve never had an issue. Discus commenting system is one such Plugin that you could get which will add another layer on top of using Akismet. I do use Discus on this site but not my others.
For translating your webpage I can recommend GTranslate. I’m not sure how useful it’s proving to be on the site but I know I do have a large number of international visitors. I’m sure they’re using it. Maybe?
Phew, look at that another massive post from me! Honestly though there’s just too many WordPress Plugins to talk about. I didn’t end up touching on Analytics, Sitemaps or Commerce. Maybe another time. We could seriously be here all day if I don’t stop now.
WordPress shows over 20, 000 Plugins and more are being developed every day!
So how about you, internet? What are you guys using that you find productive or helpful? Let me know as I love playing with these things.