Kickass plugins for your WP blog and why you should use them

WordPress Plugins for you blog

Wordpress plugins are legion, there are 1000’s of them out there. Here is a selection of some of the ones I use with a little paragraph on some of the reasons why.

Adsense Injection

Inserts Adsense into your blog without a log of f**ing around. By Dax “The Hammer” Herrera.I’ve used this plugin for a while now. Its highly configurable and enables you to inject adsense ads into your blog. You can randomise them, set the number of ads to appear, the types of pages they are to appear on too.

Buy Me a Beer Allow your blog visitors to buy you a beer by sending you money through PayPal. A special BlogClout plugin By Sherief Mursyidi.Outputs a little link at the end of each post or into your sidebar with a link to your paypal account. You can specify an amount or leave it blank so users can enter an amount themselves.Also allows you to specify when writing posts as to whether or not the link appears. Good plugin that enables your readers to reward you, should they feel so inclined Dean’s Permalinks Migration

With this plugin, you can safely change your permalink structure without breaking the old links to your website,and even doesn’t hurt your google pagerank. By Dean Lee.

I recently changed my blog configuration and was looking for an easy way of migrating my old permlinks to new. This one does just that, giving a 301 moved permanent response header to the new, allowing for a relatively painless transition from old setup to new. No need to contact anyone linking to your old style documents as referals will automatically be recognised and redirected to the revised url structure. Damn handy.

Digg Dugg

Syndicates all kinds of stories from digg.com for specific users, friends, topics, digg search, and the Popular/Upcoming sections of digg to display them in your blog. By Tim Isenheim.

A great plugin for showing your users related content from Digg. Forward thinking monetisationists could do very good things with a plugin like this.

Digg This

Adds Digg story link on detection on digg referer By Aviran Mordo.

Great way of showing your users ‘dugg’ stories and encourage interaction. Also acts as a little visual prompter for your friends to digg your stuff.

Feedburner Feed Replacement

Forwards all feed traffic to Feedburner while letting through some important User Agents. By Steve Smith.

Andy Beard – Niche Blogging officiando alerted me to this plugin. Very handy way of pulling together the various WP rss feeds and links into a single unified url. Requires a feedburner account to work, but definitely an asset

Get Recent Comments

Display the most recent comments or trackbacks with your own formatting in the sidebar. By Krischan Jodies.

People like to visit active blogs. Show your users recent comments as they have arrive. Configurable too, with various options that enable you to debar your own comments, trackbacks, set numbers of comments to be shown, grouping of comments that sort of thing.

Landing sites

When visitors is referred to your site from a search engine, they are definitely looking for something specific – often they just roughly check the page they land on and then closes the window if what they are looking for isn’t there. Why not help them by showing them related posts to their search on your blog? This plugin/guide lets you do that, works with a long list of search engines.

This is a neat little thing. I’d been meaning to do something with SE query strings for some time, so to see this saved me a lot of faffing about coding it myself. As described above its a cool way of honing in on that search engine query and offering up alternatives and calls to action.

Math Comment Spam Protection

Asks the visitor making the comment to answer a simple math question. This is intended to prove that the visitor is a human being and not a spam robot. Example of such question: What is the sum of 2 and 9? By Michael Woehrer.

Damn handy little simple effective anti spam measure. Isn’t perfect, but has drastically reduced my comment spam inbox. Also has configuration options that enable you to change the form objects that help break those smarter spambot attempts.

MyAvatars

This plugin allows you to add MyBlogLog.com avatars to WordPress comments. By Andrea Micheloni & Napolux.

Users like to put a face to a comment. Add a human dimension to your blog by showing mybloglog avatars of your commenters. Where a commenter doesn’t have a mybloglog account then it will produce a standard sillouette. Not an ideal solution, but a definite plus for the active blogger/blogging community.

Posts you may have missed

5 you may have missed By Robwatts.

Outputs 5 posts that haven’t received any comments. Similar to my tumbleweed plugin, without the icons and %’s

Post Teaser

Post Teaser generates a preview or “teaser” of a post for the main, archive and category pages, with a link underneath to go to the full post page. It includes features to generate a word count, image count, and an estimated reading time. By Jonathan Leighton (Turnip).

I like this plugin because it snippetises all of my posts and is a great time saver. I dont have to insert a more tag to denote a cutoff, i just set a number in the options page and it does it for me. I can also configure the message too. By showing your visitors that bit of extra info on your post (number of words and estimated time to read it) you make your blog that little bit more user friendly and focused. Not everyone has the time to read a 3000 word post 😉

Related Posts

Returns a list of the related entries based on active/passive keyword matches. By Alexander Malov & Mike Lu.

Another very good plugin that lets you output related posts at the foot of your blog posts. Users might read your post and think cool, I liked that and then notice your 5 related links and read those too. Damn handy for mixing things up and adding value genereally.

Show Top Commentators Follow and Nofollow (modified)

Modified version of the top ten commenters plugin by Nate Sanden with added nofollow version for internal pages. By Rob Watts based on an original work by Nate Sanden.

Self explanatory really. Rewards top comenters with a home page dofollow link as well as (for qualifying particpants) a site wide nofollow link too. Requires a little work with your theme layout (creation of a new sidebar option or is_home function) but definitely worth the effort. Reward your commenters without excessively draing your blog juice.

Sociable

Automatically add links on your posts to popular social bookmarking sites. By Peter Harkins. Modified with nofollow to external links

Great plugin. Social networking sites like digg and stumbleupon are fantastic traffic generators. Visitors with social media accounts might like to share your stuff with their friends and other net users. Plugins like tis, make that process a whole lot easier

Subscribe To Comments

Allows readers to recieve notifications of new comments that are posted after their own. By Jennifer – Scriptygoddess.

This plugin is very useful. If your readers drop comments on your blog, then its a good thing to give them an option to respond. By using this plugin they can be notified when someone follows up a comment of theirs. I’ve changed the default to auto subscribe people to comments they’ve made, they can always deselect the subscribe me box should they so wish, most don’t which stands to reason. I figure that if people engage in a conversation then it follows that they’d like to be kept informed. You should too.

Tumbleweed

Whats the TR for your WP blog? Shows an icon with a number and outputs random non commented posts that your visitors may have missed By Robwatts.

A handy little way of showing yourself and your users how busy your blog is. A well commented blog shows that your posts are of interest to your readership. By seeing your tr rise and fall you get a quick one look glance at how you are doing. Also outputs any missed posts, indicated by those that have received less than 3 comments.

WP-phpMyAdmin

Provides phpMyAdmin from the WordPress admin console By Christopher Hwang.

A neat little plugin that helps you to manage your database from within your blog backend.

WP-Polls

Adds an AJAX poll system to your WordPress blog. You can also easily add a poll into your WordPress’s blog post/page. By GaMerZ.

People love to see little polls and opinion numbers. This is a neat little plugin that enables you to do just that. Has a number of configuration options that let you specify when polls should appear and for how long they should run.

wpSEO

The wpSEO plugin rewrites your blog title, META-description, META-keywords and META-robots so these are more user and search engine friendly. By Sergej
Müller.

An interesting little plugin that as shown above lets you tweak and lay with your title and description and keyword tags. Lots of options to allow experimention with densities word placement and more. Definitely worth a little mess around with.

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Rob Watts
Kickstart your business today - Get an SEO Consultation or just talk to Rob about your online aspirations. With over 20 years experience in building traffic he's pretty much encountered most markets and scenarios
Posted on: 22nd June 2007, by : Rob Watts

14 thoughts on “Kickass plugins for your WP blog and why you should use them

  1. I keep meaning to publish an article on my own WP plugins.

    It’s always interesting to pick up some new tips, and there are a fair few here I’ve not tried before.

    Cheers Rob.

    My favourite, all-time plugin is probably subscribe to comments, though I prefer to leave the check-box unchecked after a couple of dissatisfied customers.

  2. Hello David

    Cool, hope you find something that adds to your mix

    >My favourite, all-time plugin is probably subscribe to comments, though I prefer to leave the check-box unchecked after a couple of dissatisfied customers.

    Yes, I think that ranks up high on my list of faves too.

    I’m surprised that you received complaints though, why wouldn’t people want to receive notifications of new comments to comments they’d made? They can always unsubscribe if they are that bothered after all. Some people are just too precious over the content of their inboxes.

    Look forward to reading your article on the same 😀

  3. I think the issue was that they hadn’t checked their email account in a few days, and returned to a hoard of separate emails when they weren’t expecting it.

    If only there was a way to integrate Gmail’s functionality into software like Outlook and Outlook Express, where replies to the same conversation remain in one single space.

  4. Ah I see…serves them right for commenting on an interesting blog post huh? 😉

    Yes, some software ‘outhouse distress’ for example is still stuck in 1999 and hasn’t changed that much at all.

  5. Landing Pages is pretty nice. I haven’t seen this one before. Do you feel that the math comment spam plugin works more effectively than Akismet?

  6. I’ve used most of these with varying degrees of success, but no the landing sites plugin. I’m going to go check it out, but I’m guessing it checks the header info to extract the query terms from the referrer and then show “related posts” on that? If so, I wonder how the results differ from the standard related posts plugins. Guess I’ll just go find out…

  7. I think the output is slightly different, owing to the contents of the SQL query and how the different plugins work.A definite plus though and food for thought. I’m not yet settled with how this one works yet, the aim is to add a touch of personlisation really. I like the way in which it kind of singles out the user for special treatment; although I think in terms of what additionals are shown, I could improve uopn them. I just need to figure out what exactly. 😀

  8. @ Absinthe fever – happy to prompt a memory cell or 2 😀

    @ Jason – I wouldnt know Jason – its a wordpress based plugin..not show how it would fit in with what you describe, best give it a try and see what happens.

  9. My suggestion is to keep the number of plugins to minimum! In fact the only ones I use are the wp-cache and the sitemap plugin.

    Using too many plugins will make your site slow and buggy.

  10. Rob great list of plugins. Just curious how you got Landingspages to work though since it doesn’t seem to give me anything but a blank page when I try. Also getting your post category into $category for Digg Dugg is a nice trick. Any blank magic you would care to share with the rest of us slow PHP learners?

  11. Hi Susan.

    I put the landingsites call in the header of my theme and palyed around with the html. Don’t forget it needs a referer in order to work too. No referer string no show.

    My diggdugg mods aren’t perfect but for those cat pages I did this.

    $catstring=single_cat_title(‘prefix’, false);

    I then use $catstring to populate the diggdugg function

    dd_diggdugg(”, 10, 1, $catstring, ‘upcoming’);

    Not perfect and doesnt always return things, but kinda useful

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