Archive for the ‘WordPress Plugins’ Category
WordPress, out of the box, is already a great content management system (CMS) and a great blogging platform. However, just like most Web browsers, the real power of WordPress isn’t unlocked until you start to add some plugins that help you customize and streamline your WordPress experience.
But while most WordPress users are well aware of Akismet, various caching plugins and other near-essential tools for blogging, over the years I’ve found a slew of lesser-known plugins that have become indespensible to me and my bloggging.
Though the full list could probably go on for quite some time, here is a list of five of the more important plugins I’ve run across and how they’ve helped to make me a better blogger over the years and are plugins I probably wouldn’t build a new site without. Read More
More than five years ago, I was bit by the Autoblog bug. I don’t build them anymore, but I still build WordPress blogs in large numbers. One of my pet peeves when I was working with 100+ different blogs was that if I wanted to interlink them, or have the exact same links on the sidebar of each blog, I would have to add these links manually to each and every blog every time I built a new blog. For example, if I have 98 blogs, and I want every one of them to have a link to blog #99 that I just created, I would have to add that link to all 98 blogs manually. That is very time-consuming, so I knew there had to be a better way.
Of course, PHP can do just about anything if you know how to tell it to. I thought it would be awesome if I could have a shared links box on the sidebar of each WordPress blog, and have a form online that I could enter in the name and URL to each new blog as I built them, and then have PHP add that link to all 98 blogs instantly. Thankfully, I was able to set this up exactly how I needed it. This is what I am going to show you today, and you can use it however you see fit. One thing I want to remind you of is that even though I am using the shared content box for links, it technically can be used for anything, your imagination is the limit. Let’s get started.
nRelate is yet another related posts plugin for WordPress, however unlike other related posts plugins the nRelate option allows for easier and more robust customization of output settings. From choosing relevancy types (low, medium, high) to deciding output placement (top or bottom of post) and image sizes the program is simple to use and highly effective.
You can start by downloading the nRelate plugin directly from your Admin plugin section with a simple “nRelate” search. The program is in active development and currently supported databases up to WordPress 3.3.1.
Once installed you will go to the nRelate tab on the left side of your administration screen and click on the “Dashboard” option which revealed this screen: Read More
Working with an open-source platform that provides open-source plugins means it’s often cheap to build and maintain a website using WordPress, however because the platform and plugins are often open source it can also create a security headache for site administrators and that’s where Ultimate Security Checker comes into play.
The program is simple to use, essentially users simply search for “Ultimate Security Checker” in the WordPress repository and upload it to their server or they just install it direct from the WordPress plugins search section inside the admin area of their websites WordPress setup.
Once installed the program will ask you to run a diagnostic at which time Ultimate Security Checker will examine your blocks file settings, server settings, WordPress database and required plugin updates for stability. Read More
The Clean Options plugin is probably one of the easiest to use yet most effective plugins currently available for WordPress website users.
As you may already be aware when some plugins are deleted they fail to remove their database tables from your websites MySql database, conversely they leave commands nested inside your WP-Options table. In some cases poorly constructed plugins can slow down your website and keep it slow even after removed.
WP’s Clean Options plugin however helped you find those orphaned plugins and delete them with just a few simple clicks.
To get started simply search for “Clean Options” from the “Add New” screen in your WordPress admin areas Plugins screen or download and install the plugin: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/clean-options/
One installed the plugin is located under “Tools.”
After clicking on the plugin you will see the following screen: Read More
Managing a large scale website and all of the links, images and redirects you’ve created can be nearly impossible. For example if you wanted to make sure that every single outbound link you’ve ever posted still worked you would have to visit every page on your website and test those links. You would have to do the same to check for broken images, broken blogrolls and for other custom fields.
Thankfully you don’t have to manually check for broken items on your website if you simply download a WordPress plugin called Broken Link Checker
BLC is a program that crawls your website the moment you install it and then looks for links that go to “page not found pages”, “pages that time out” and pages with other errors, the program then notifies you of “broken links” directly through your WordPress backend. Because the program does not rely on WordPress theme
integration it will literally work with any WordPress template you choose to install.
Broken Links checker is 100% free and can be downloaded from the WordPress.org plugin repository or by searching for the program through your WordPress admin area.
Once installed the program will crawl your site, the crawling process could take several minutes or several hours. I recently ran the program on a site with 13,500 posts and after several hours the entire site was crawled. Read More
When adding recent posts to your Twitter account there are many WordPress plugins that can get the job done, however I rarely stray away from the WP to Twitter plugin because it’s use of custom fields and Twitter OAuth access have guaranteed that my posts will reach my Twitter account with the type of output I desire. I currently run WP to Twitter on 6 different websites and in each case the plugin has delivered as promised from it’s use of shortcodes to full URL shortening access and more.
Once you have uploaded the programs plugin to your WordPress install you will find a screen explaining the different post update shortcodes that can be used by the program. As you’ll notice you have the option with each tweet to add such output as post titles, blog name, a short excerpt from your content, category information, date timestamps, the posts URL and even the post author name. These options are all great ways to brand your content in a unique fashion that isn’t your standard “Post Title – Link – Blog Name” format. Read More
I am not an advocate for WordPress plugins, most of the time users go overboard with their installation and in turn WordPress sites become server intensive power hogs that are slow to load and hard to administer. With that being said there are a handful of new plugins this week that attempt to make a developers life easier, both by speeding up a WordPress installation and by allowing for simple output protocols to be achieved.
Here are 5 new WordPress plugins for developing a faster and smarter blog.
1. WP Separate CSS
As a fan of tweaking my websites design on a fairly regular basis I often find that purchased themes pose one significant problem, whenever an update is made available some developers provide all new files for that theme. Unfortunate that means If I update the theme without backing up the CSS file I lose all of the changes that made the theme my own. WP Separate CSS solves this problem by allowing users to create a separate CSS file that is then added into the theme’s CSS output. Simply upload the program, create a .CSS file within the plugins folder and edit that file instead of the typical style.css and other files. Once the .css file is saved the changes are loaded alongside the templates .css files. Read More
The Social Metrics plugin for WordPress has quickly become one of the very first options I add to my new WordPress blogs as they are being built. The plugin in it’s most simple of terms allows me as the administrator on my website to examine which social networks are having the greatest impact on the posts I create.
Using Social Metrics is extremely simple, after downloading and simply clicking activate the program can be visited in a section located directly below the “Dashboard” option within the WP-ADMIN area:
After clicking on the “Social Metrics” section the main display is then shown. Before choosing any settings the program automatically displays your newest posts first.
As you can see from the screenshot below the title for each post is displayed (you can click on the hyperlink to visit each story). Next you’ll find some of the most used buttons on most sites (Twitter, Facebook, Google+,StumbleUpon, Digg and LinkedIn). Next to each type of social sharing button is the number of shares it has received. Unfortunately Reddit is now implemented which is a real shame given the buttons increasing prevalence. Read More
For anyone just starting out in SEO or even existing SEO professionals, thereâ€™s arguably no quicker or easier way to experiment and learn than by running your own blog. In fact, Iâ€™m of the opinion that ALL SEO professionals should have their own side projects. If you donâ€™t, you spend your entire full time job just keeping up with competition and never eclipsing them. Running your own site gives you more freedom and exposure to techniques you wouldnâ€™t use on client sites. So donâ€™t wait, it takes just minutes to set up a WordPress site and here are the first plug ins you should add to kick off your SEO campaign: Read More