Previously I wrote about some plugins I love for making writing posts easier. This is a list of the little plugins I love that just do cool things around the place. They’re all useful, and most are ones I use on both sites I maintain. I would highly recommend them to anyone.
> Akismet checks your comments against the Akismet web service to > see if they look like spam or not. You need a WordPress.com API > key to use it. You can review the spam > it catches under “Comments.” To show off your Akismet stats just > put
<?php akismet_counter(); ?>in your template. See also: WP > Stats plugin.Matt > Mullenweg
Akismet keeps me spam free. I’m using it conjunction with Disqus for a double layer of protection. It’s pretty accurate - think Gmail spam filters for your site. Anyone who isn’t using this is asking for trouble.
I used to have a plugin here that showed more details about myself using a third party service. When I started First Waves I felt like I wanted a similar tool to promote my guest authors a bit but didn’t want to have to ask them to create an account on the service. So this plugin does something similar based on the information they fill into their profile on this site. When you click the Author’s name a little hovercard shows you their gravatar and a link to their other websites.
I can’t stand WYSIWYG editors, so I choose to use the HTML editor to write my posts. It doesn’t mean however that I don’t want to use shortcuts occasionally. The AddQuicktag plugin lets you define custom tags to wrap around your HTML while editing. For example, I have a <code><cite></cite></code> tag in addition to the normal <code><blockquote></blockquote></code> tag and a “Caption” button that wraps my image caption text in <code><figcaption></figcaption></code> (to save me writing them out every time).
This plugin creates an area on your dashboard that reports any broken links it finds - any sites that you’ve linked to that are no longer there, or resources that get 404 errors. Then you can go through and relink or ignore them as you like. Keeps your site tidy. You can also give it permission to cross out links that don’t work so your visitors know not to bother to click through.
Ultimate Google Analytics
Enable Google Analytics on your blog. Has options to also track external links, mailto links and links to downloads on your own site. Check http://www.oratransplant.nl/uga/#versions for version updatesWilfred van der Deijl
These two add the Clicky and Google Analytics tracking codes on my pages so I can be silly about the number of visitors my sites get. Clicky is particularly cool, as I can see people come and go in real-time and can feel a bit like Jack Bauer.
Organize > Series
> This plugin adds a number of features to wordpress that enable you > to easily write and organize a series of posts and display the > series dynamically in your blog. You can associate “icons” or > “logos” with the various series. This version of Organize Series > Plugin requires at least WordPress 2.8 to work.Darren > Ethier</em><
Wordpress doesn’t come configured out-of-the-box to incorporate posts into series. This plugin makes it feel like it does. This plugin post is an example.
Page Links > To
> Allows you to point WordPress pages or posts to a URL of > your choosing. Good for setting up navigational links to non-WP > sections of your site or to off-site resources.Mark > Jaquith
A good plugin if you want pages in your menu that go to pages off-site (like First Waves and nunnone email in the menu above). Create a new “Page”, and in the new option at the bottom of the post tell WordPress where you want the item to link to.
This is the best plugin I’ve found that lets me use my Bit.ly pro account (using my own domain for shortened links) to display a short link on my site for each post. I was originally using YOURLS to shrink my links, but when bit.ly offered theirs I switched over. Comes with a widget too, to display the link in the sidebar if you’d prefer.
Smart > 404
> Rescue your viewers from site errors! When content cannot be > found, Smart 404 will use the current URL to attempt to find > matching content, and redirect to it automatically. Smart 404 also > supplies template tags which provide a list of suggestions, for > use on a 404.php template page if matching content can’t be > immediately discovered.Michael > Tyson
This is such a simple plugin, but it can make such a difference to your site. When visitors try to visit pages that don’t exist, normally your site will give them a 404 Error (telling the browser that the page doesn’t exist). What this plugin does instead is tries to match up some content with the URL they entered, so for example when you try “//the.geekorium.com.au/batman” (a page that does not exist) you will be automatically redirected to the page for my Batman tag (of which there are quite a number). Or if you tried //the.geekorium.com.au/disqus, you’d be taken to a post with “Disqus” in the title. There are a lot of queries that it won’t work with, but it’s neat when it works.
There are a few more extra-special plugins that I want to share, but they’re the sort of plugins that you dedicate whole posts to, so I’ll share them soon. In the meantime, if you like the sound of any of these features give them a whirl. The great thing about Wordpress is just how easy it is to install and try out new plugins.