Jun 13, 2009
kosmo - See all 765 of my articles
This article is about plugins for the WordPress blogging platform. If you aren’t a blogger, this article may not be very interesting to you – you might wish to browse the archives instead (there is a link to the archives in the blue bar toward the top of the screen).
When I began blogging, I was using Blogger.com. A friend quickly convinced me to move to a self-hosted WordPress solution. I was a bit of a leap of faith, as I needed to do a decent amount of work to get the same look and feel I had on Blogger. However, a few months later, I am very happy with WordPress. The best thing about WordPress is its flexibility. Plug-ins are a big part of this. Today, I share some of my favorite plugins.
- CommentLuv– This is my favorite plugin. When a visitor leaves a comment, they can select one of their recent posts, and a link to this post will be appended to their comment. The goal of Comment Luv is that subsequent readers will visit the commenter’s blog. I’ve stumbled across some great blogs simply by clicking on the Comment Luv links.
- Comment Author Count– This plugin displays the number of comments that a particular comment author has left over the time the blog has been active. A rather simple idea, but still cool!
- Do Follow– By default, WordPress appends a “no follow” tag to URLs within comments. The effect of this is that the URLs are links are not counted by search engines such as Google. The reason for this was the prevent spammers from leaving comments with bunches of URLs in an effort to boost the Google rank of their sites. This hasn’t been proven to prevent spam (and, in fact, anti-spam plugins are probably a better option) and “do follow” negates the “no follow” tag. So if you’re linking to things in your comments, Google knows about the links!
Look and feel
- WP-PageNavi– I wasn’t impressed with the default page navigation in my theme (text hyperlinks). Page Navi adds clickable buttons to quickly allows someone to navigate to particular pages. Note: if you are viewing this article as the result of a search engine or receiving a direct link, you’re not going to see this in action. Go to to front page to view the newest articles, and you’ll bump into Page Navi at the bottom. I apologize to my RSS subscribers – there’s really not a good way for you to see this.
- Bunny’s Print CSS– If you have printed many blog articles, you may have noticed that the printed copies often suck worse than the Washington Nationals. Garbage from the header, footer, and sidebars get printed, doubling the number of pages that get printed. There are other plugins that allow you to present a printer-friendly version of articles to your viewer, but this can cause problems with search engine optimization. Bunny’s Print CSS allows you to create a CSS (Cascading Style Sheet) that defines exactly what you wanted printing. A few minutes editing the plugin’s default Print CSS, and I had de-crapified my printouts to a large extent. I can still improve things, but they look a lot better.
Smart Archives– The nifty archives page that you can access view the navigation bar at the top of the screen is a product of the Smart Archives plugin, which rebuilds the page ever time a new article is posted. For Smart Archives to work, yu must first enable the ability to write PHP code in your “pages” – use Exec-PHP for that.
You may have notice the collapsing archives and categories widget in the left column. You can easily browse articles by date or publication or by category. If you want to simply read all my baseball articles, just click the box next to “baseball” and you’ll see a complete list, in reverse chronological order (newest first)
Ozh’ Who Sees Ads– At times, you may want to change the behavior of your ads, so that they are only show to certain subsets of your traffic (search engine traffic vs. repeat visitors, for example). Who Sees Ads can do that – in fact, you can use it to optionally execute all kinds of code. I plan to use it to restrict access to a giveaway that I am planning for Julyish.
This is not a comprehensive list of the plugins I use – but it’s definitely a list of some of the best! Which plugins are your favorite?
If you’re a brand new blogger, you might want to check out my article, “10 Tips for Novice Bloggers”. I ‘m fairly new to the game myself, but I hope I’ve learned a few things that can be useful to you.Share this article via email Kosmo is the founder of The Soap Boxers and writes on a variety of topics. Many of his short stories have been collected into Kindle books. Like this site? Subscribe via RSS, Subscribe via Email, or Follow us on Twitter or Facebook. The permanent URL for this article is: