Essential WordPress Plugins
When I decided to start over with a brand new blog, one of my goals was to streamline the amount and type of wordpress plugins that I have installed and activated on my site. Just like with wordpress themes, there are so many cool plugins out there (with more coming out every day), that's it's tempting to use hundreds of them.
But, there is that old statement about Too Much of a Good Thing.
So, I decided to cut down to just the essential plugins that I felt I had to keep. Fortunately, since Justin Tadlock's hybrid theme includes quite a bit of built in functionality, I was even able to cut out a few that I previously considered must-haves.
So with out further ado, here are a few plugins that I just couldn't live without ...
- CommentLuv - I’ve been using some version of this plugin since it first came out. When someone leaves a comment, it adds a link to their latest blog post. Not only is this a good way to “reward” people who take the time to join the conversation; but as a publisher it allows me to quickly spot interesting articles written by my readers.
- Rob Marsh - I'm just going to link straight to this guy's plugin page, since I've installed 4 of his little creations. I've installed popular posts, similiar posts, random posts, and recent posts. Since this blog is still so new, and needs more content, right now I've only activated the recent posts. However I had used similar posts on my other blogs. What I really like is how easily configurable all of these plugins are.
- Ping Optimizer - I don't know about you, but I've always had this habit of saving and previewing my posts multiple times as I'm writing them. What I didn't realize, is every time I updated the post draft, I was sending pings to every service on my list ... I was an unknowing spammer. This plugin ensures that services are Only pinged when a post is actually published or updated.
- Google Reader Shared Items - Everybody enjoys a good "link luv" post. I personally always have good intentions, but don't end up writing them nearly as often as I'd like. This plugin is about as close as I've found to a perfect lazy blogger sharing tool. When I read an interesting article in my google reader, I simply click the "share" button at the bottom, and shortly thereafter it shows up here on this blog in the sidebar.
- Short URL - If you have a nice short domain like tmtips.com, doesn't it seem like a waste to use a service like tiny url when you post a link on site like twitter? This plugin makes it easy to build (and monitor stats for) short urls on your own domain.
- Twitter for Wordpress - There are definitely Twitter plugins out there with more functions, but all I wanted to do is display my latest tweets in my sidebar. And for that task, this plugin is simple, and it works. That's enough for me.
- Ninja Affiliate Disclosure: I paid for this plugin, and the link to the left is an affiliate link. I don't know about you, but over the years I've joined quite a few affiliate programs. My problem is, even since I started using gmail labels, I still have a heck of a time keeping track of all the programs. Now all I do when I join a program, is drop the link into my ninja affiliate dashboard, and create a custom link on my domain. Now any time I want to insert a link, I've got a dropdown menu right on my post edit screen.
Obviously I use several addtional plugins, but most of them are fairly well known and widely used.
A couple of plugins that I used to use and really like, but didn't install here at tmTips.com ...
- Platinum SEO - A lot of very cool SEO features. But pretty much all the ones I use are already built into this theme.
- Dagon Design Sitemap Generator - I'd been using this plugin for about a year and a half, after it was suggested to me by Frank in a blog review at Optempo. Lots of options, and nice output. For this blog, I decided to try out a clean archives reloaded, but I may still switch back at some point.
Well, that's about what I've got for now. What are some of the wordpress plugins that you just have to have on all your blogs?
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- Some of my favorite CommentLuv blogs (gittegorzelak.blogspot.com)