WordPress Plugins & Tutorials: Your Pick

January 24th, 2012 WP Plugins 3 Comments

Depending on your needs and professional skills, the choice of an optimal weblog engine can be quite time-consuming. There are many options, and selecting the best engine, you should know exactly what you’d like to have and which level of flexibility you’d like to achieve.

Among dozens of options, WordPress remains the most popular weblog engine out there. It is simple, powerful, extensible and flexible. There are literally thousands of plugins, themes, tutorials and related articles describing the ways to optimize WordPress for publisher’s needs and achieve the best possible performance of the blog.

You know them, because you use them and because you’ve searched for them once you needed them. In this post we’d like to give you an opportunity to share your knowledge and help us to create the essential list of WordPress life-savers – plug-ins, ideas, tips and useful tutorials you need to have ready to hand developing web-sites upon WordPress.

Wordpress Plugins and Tutorials: Essential Lifesavers

Begin: Date: 29.06.2007. Time: 08:00:00 EDT (Eastern Daylight Time) / 14:00 CEST (Central European Summer Time).

End: Date: 30.06.2007. Time: 08:00:00 EDT (Eastern Daylight Time) / 14:00 CEST (Central European Summer Time).

Folks, it’s your turn now. You have 24 hours.

[Editor's note: A must-have for professional Web designers and developers: The Printed Smashing Books Bundle is full of practical insight for your daily work. Get the bundle right away!]

How can I contribute?

Submit your best suggestions in comments. Please share one or more life-savers you use permanently using our comment form. Select the best ones, the ones you really couldn’t live without. Please provide the URL, the problem it solves and a brief description of the tool.

We’ll update this post permanently over the next 24 hours. During the next 24 hours we’ll scan through each and every one of the comments, select the best suggestions, add them to the list and provide a brief description of the tools (with or without screenshot). Of course, we’ll also directly link to the person who has submitted the suggestion.

We need your support. To make sure this post will provide web-developers with the best possible hints, we need your support. Please vote for us using the buttons at the top of this post, making sure this article reaches as many web-developers as possible and therefore offers the highest quality. Spread the word in your weblog.

Contribute: helping other developers, you help yourself. Please share your knowledge. Help us to help developers seeking for solutions you’ve already found once you needed them. And get solutions from other developers, ready to contribute to this post as well as you do.

You can submit your own work. You can also recommend plugins you’ve written and ideas you had, as long as they are useful. However, please don’t provide us with lists of WordPress plugins and tutorials – we know them already.

Spam will be blacklisted. Every comment spam will be blacklisted manually, so the link will never appear on Smashing Magazine again.

Share your knowledge, folks. We’ll do the rest.

WordPress Functional Plugins

  • Include AdSense and YPN ads automaticallyAdSense-Deluxe offers advanced options for managing the automatic insertion of Google AdSense or Yahoo Publisher Network (YPN) ads to your WordPress posts. (TheBlogJoint.com)
  • Use a lightboxLightbox 2.0 overlay images on the current page for WordPress. You can turn it on and all images are now working with it. This version of lightbox – Lightbox version 2.0 uses Prototype JavaScript Framework and Scriptaculous Effects Library. (Yehia Nada)
  • Use an instant comments editorWP Ajax Edit Comments allows users and admins alike to edit comments on a post. Users can edit their own comments for a period specified by the admin, and admins can edit all post comments. What better way to show reader appreciation than letting the readers edit their own typos? (AJ)
  • Use a code cleanerHTML Purified will not only remove all malicious code (better known as XSS) with a thoroughly audited, secure yet permissive whitelist, it will also make sure your documents are standards compliant, something only achievable with a comprehensive knowledge of W3C’s specifications. (Edward Z. Jang)
  • Use an audio-playerAudioplayer makes it very easy to play mp3 files within your posts. (Yehia Nada)
  • Use an enhanced admin interfaceAdmin Drop-Down Menu transforms admin menu in a quick drop-down menu; you can reach any admin page in one click, instead of first clicking on the first level link (”Manage” for example) and then only on a submenu link (”Comments“). (ozh)
  • Use an enhanced comment formPXS Mail Form creates a mail form with multipart verification, various messages and an auto redirect on successful send. It is much more easy to contact with website author. Alternative: Contact Form v2.0. (TheBlogJoint.com)
  • Use a post star rating. Post Star Rating enables users to rate posts of your weblog.
  • Use a search-and-replace toolSearch Regex adds a powerful set of search and replace functions to WordPress. These go beyond the standard searching capabilities, and allow you to search and replace almost any data stored on your site. In addition to simple searches you have the full power of PHP’s regular expressions at your disposal. (Sassan)
  • Use a spam-filter to prevent spam in your commentsSpam Karma 2 Akismet Plugin is a standard solution for preventing spam comments. (Cory Miller)
  • Use a stylesheet switcherCSS Ajax Switcher combines the power of Server Side processing and DOM scripting to swap style sheets on the fly with the power of Ajax. If JavaScript? is disabled – UDASSS degrades gracefully to improve your website accessibility. Needless to say, it is very sexy indeed. (Dan Cameron)
  • Use a tagging system. Simple Tagging is a smart, quick and powerful tagging plugin with high performance and low server requirements.
  • Use and control RSS subscription in a smart way.Feedburner Plugin. Forwards all feed traffic to Feedburner while letting through some important User-Agents. (Andreas)
  • Use caching to reduce the server usageWP-Cache 2.0 an extremely efficient WordPress page caching system to make your site much faster and responsive. It works by caching Worpress pages and storing them in a static file for serving future requests directly from the file rather than loading and compiling the whole PHP code and then building the page from the database. (Brian)
  • Use CAPTCHA to prevent spamAnti-Spam Image Plugin works perfectly with users who have cookies disabled, users can pick random words to display. Alternative: reCAPTCHA. (redwall-hpMax)
  • Use maths to prevent spamAnti-Spam Image Plugin 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. (Tobbi)
  • Use validation to prevent trackback spamSimple Trackback Validation performs simple but very effective tests on all incoming trackbacks in order to stop trackback spam. (Tobbi)
  • Use comments subscription for your postsSubscribe to Comments is a robust plugin that enables commenters to sign up for e-mail notification of subsequent entries. The plugin includes a full-featured subscription manager that your commenters can use to unsubscribe to certain posts, block all notifications, or even change their notification e-mail address! (redwall-hp)
  • Use feeds to write posts in a smart wayWP-o-Matic allow you to create posts automatically from feeds. With its simple interface, you just type in the feed url, select in which categories you want to create the posts, and you’re ready to go. (Charlie Park)
  • Use head meta tags for search enginesHead-Meta Description provides an automatic meta description tag for your blog, inserting a dynamic description depending on the query-type (i.e. page you’re on). Some search engines are supposed to love this tag, so I guess we should, too.
  • Use the search functionalitySearch Everything adds search functionality with little setup. Including options to search pages, attachments, drafts, comments and custom fields (metadata). (Dan Cameron)
  • Provide an enhanced RSS-feed.Feedburner Plugin. Forwards all feed traffic to Feedburner while letting through some important User-Agents. (Andreas)
  • Create and manage Custom Fields on the flyBetter Feed allows you to enhance your feeds with several highly customisable features. (ozh)
  • Create archives in a smart and sexy wayExtended Live Archives implements a dynamic, AJAXified way of digging into the archives of a blog. (TheBlogJoint.com)
  • Create data backups on the flyWordPress Database Backup setups your backups to occur at almost any imaginable frequency. (Yehia Nada)
  • Create various profiles for your users. Role Manager allows you to define and manage multiple subscriber profiles – called Roles and their Capabilities. Also you can create new Roles and Capabilities. (Saioa)
  • Define and execute your own functions in your posts. Code Markup makes it easy to include program code samples in your posts. You can even include HTML markup in the code sample; Code Markup magically knows which characters should be displayed as code and which should be rendered as HTML. (Dan)
  • Execute php-commands in your postsExec-PHP. The Exec-PHP plugin allows <?php ?> tags inside the content or excerpt of your posts and pages to be executed just as in usual PHP files.
  • Generate Google Sitemaps automaticallyGoogle Sitemaps Generator generates a XML-Sitemap compliant sitemap of your WordPress blog. This format is supported by Google, YAHOO and MSN Search. XML-Sitemaps can help you to get indexed by the major search engines. (Cory Miller)

Displaying Data with WordPress

  • You can display popular postsPopularity contest lets you automatically highlight your best posts to your readers. It keeps a count of your post, category and archive views, comments, trackbacks, etc. and uses them to determine which of your posts are most popular. (Staska)
  • You can stick a postAdhesive allows you to easily mark certain posts as “Sticky”. Sticky posts appear at the top of the page when WordPress displays several posts. (Staska)
  • You can help landing users find what they needLanding sites 1.3 highlights search queries users were using in search engines to find your site. 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? (TheBlogJoint.com)
  • You can use enhanced paginationWP-PageNavi. This plugin adds a more advanced paging navigation your WordPress blog. Example: Pages (17): [1] 2 3 4 » … Last ». (Chris)
  • You can show similar and related postsSimilar Posts. This plugin displays a list of posts which are related or similar to the current post. Alternative: Related entries. (Chris)
  • You can create archives in a smart waySmart Archives for WordPress will allow you to display your archives in a much “cleaner” format. You can see it in action on my archives page. You’ll notice that everything on the page is hyperlinked (years, months, posts) and that all of the respective links are future-proofed. (redwall-hp)
  • You can create footnotes in your blog posts automatically. WP Footnotes lets you create footnotes in your blog “on the fly”. Also paginated posts are supported. (Chris)
  • You can create sidenotes automatically. fQuick enables the user to add small custom quicklinks to the sidebar. With RSS feed for easy syndication. Tutorial. lets you create footnotes in your blog “on the fly”. Also paginated posts are supported. (TheBlogJoint.com)
  • You can have more control over title presentationOptimal Title mirrors the function of wp_title() exactly, but moves the position of the ’separator’ to after the title rather than before. This allows you to have your blog name tacked on to the end of the page title instead of having it appear first.
  • You can enhance WordPress as a CMSCMS Enabling Plugins: WordPress contains almost all the features you need to get it going as a CMS out of the box. However, you’ll find that there are a few things missing that make up the final pieces of the puzzle. Here’s an overview of the five most useful plugins I’ve found, and the part they play in making WordPress a butt-kicking CMS. (Jim)
  • You can use sIFR for your headlinesCG-FlashyTitles a drop-in Plugin for sIFR 2.0 Flash-based title replacements. (TheBlogJoint.com)
  • You can show your favourite books automatically. Now Reading allows you to maintain a virtual library of books. Display which you’ve read, which you’re currently reading, and which you plan to read; add metadata to describe them; write reviews detailing what you thought of them. (Chris)
  • You can show your current events automatically. Event Calendar lets you manage future events as an online calendar. Display upcoming events in a dynamic calendar, on a listings page, or as a list in the sidebar. (Chris)
  • You can use gravatars in your comments. Gravatars adds an author’s icon functionality in comments. (TheBlogJoint.com)
  • You can use podcasts in your posts. Podpress: all-singing, all-dancing podcasting tool for WordPress. (jay mcdonald)

WordPress Tutorials

  • Separate users’ comments and admin’s comments.
    Comment Styling in WordPress and How-to style WordPress author comments. In the default of most themes, all comments look the same. There have been ways of changing the appearance before using plugins and hacks – and this is more of the same. Hopefully though it’ll give you some extra flexibility.
  • Paginate your articles.
    Styling Page-Links. Did you know you could split a single post up into different web pages? Using the Next-Page Quicktag from the Write Post Panel, you can break a single post up into different web pages.
  • Use time stamps.
    How to Take Full Advantage of Your Post Timestamp. In WordPress you can set the date for something into the future—think of it as a dorky sort of time travel—so that you can write (if you wanted to) weeks worth of posts in an afternoon. WordPress will “update” your blog by posting your content at the time you specify each day. Here’s how to do it. (Ryan Imel)
  • Use comment highlighting.
    Author Comment Highlighting and Author Highlighting Through Theme Options provide information about styling author’s comments.

Resources, articles

WordPress Ideas

  • “Change the Permalinks Structure – I use this format … /%category%/%postname%/ … I use the category slug so I can optimize my post titles with keywords that I won’t or don’t include in post titles. My friend Brian Gardner puts a .htm also at the end, which I’m experimenting with as well. My theory is that in search results some people might see the .htm and think there’s actual content in that link. Jury’s still out on that one.” (Cory Miller)

Source: http://wp.smashingmagazine.com/2007/06/29/wordpress-plugins-tutorials-your-pick/

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3 Comments

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