WordPress Plugin Recommendation

Once you’re familiar with the concept of plugins, the next step is to find a few you might like to try out then take them for a test drive.

There’s no single definitive place to go when looking for plugins but WordPress.com recently created a section on their site solely dedicated to WordPress Plugins. Unfortunately not every plugin is currently listed on their site so searching for the term “best wordpress plugins” is a pretty good way to get some lists showing what people like and use most often. I found KylesCove.com’s Best of: WordPress Plugins list to be one of the most helpful as it’s one of the few sorted by categories such as Admin Tools, Ads, Archiving, Comments, Images, Post Data, Search Engine Optimization, Social Bookmarking, Spam, Stats, Tags and a few others.

The overwhelming number of plugins can make selecting the right tool for your blog a rather daunting task. In an attempt to share some of the insight I’ve gained while creating this blog, I thought I’d give you a quick rundown of the plugins I have installed and provide a brief explanation of their purpose.

  • Kimili Flash Embed: One of the easiest plugins to demonstrate and explain is the Kimili Flash Embed plugin. It lets me easily place a Flash SWF file anywhere in my blog by specifying the SWF’s URL and setting its properties.

    For example, writing the following:

    [kml_flashembed movie="http://www.pixelwit.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2007/04/pinuppageflip.swf" height="200" width="250" /]

    produces all the necessary code to display the the Flash file below:

  • CodeHighlighter: This plugin uses the GeSHi Syntax Highlighter to color and highlight various programming languages for display on your blog. Simply wrap your code in "pre" tags and specify a language. For example, this...

    <pre lang="actionscript">//
    function drawLine (){
    	lineTo(_xmouse, _ymouse);
    }
    //</pre>

    produces this...

    //
    function drawLine (){
        lineTo(_xmouse, _ymouse);
    }
    //

  • Sidebar Widgets: This plugin allows you to add, position and modify the elements of your sidebar via a simple drag and drop interface. You can visit the WordPress.com widget page to get an idea of the widgets currently available. I found the following widgets to be rather handy...

    • Widget Collapser: If you have JavaScript enabled and look at the sidebar on this site, you'll notice that the sections can be expanded and collapsed. This is due to the Widget Collapser.

    • Get Recent Comments: This highly refined widget displays excerpts of the comments and trackbacks most recently posted to your blog.

    • LinkBlock Widget: Lets you display individual blog categories in a segment of your sidebar and specify a custom title for that segment.

  • Advanced Admin Menus: This plugin is a nice little time-saver that lets you navigate directly from one page in your WordPress administration panel to another page without having to load any interim pages. For example, if you're on the "Write/Write Post" page and want to get to the "Presentation/Themes" page, you don't have to press the "Presentation" tab then wait for it to load so you can click the "Themes" link. Instead, you can just hover over the "Presentation" tab and then press the "Themes" link to go directly to that page.

  • Codex Search: This plugin, which is also called "Search Docs", places a "Search" box in your Administration Panel and queries the 'WordPress Codex' and 'Help Forums' then displays the results within the current window without forcing a page reload.

  • Search Everything: The standard WordPress search feature only sifts through the content found in your Posts. If you'd like to help your readers find content anywhere on your site, the Search Everything plugin makes other resource categories such as Site Pages, Attachments, Drafts, Comments and MetaData available to their search queries.

  • Subscribe to Comments: This plugin provides the person leaving a comment on your blog an opportunity to receive e-mail notification after somebody else posts another comment to the same article.

  • the_excerpt Reloaded: This handy plugin gives you more control over the way your posts are abbreviated when shown as an excerpt. You can see the excerpt feature in action by using the search feature found on this site and viewing the results.

  • WP-PageNavi: An advanced page navigation system which provides more info than the standard "Next" and "Previous" links. The WP-PageNavi plugin displays the total number of pages, your current page, and surrounding pages and lets you customize the text used for "previous" and "next" links.

*UPDATE: Read the expanded and updated list of my most recent plugins.

3 Responses to “WordPress Plugin Recommendation”

  1. Vic says:

    Thank you for such a great plugin list. For the new person this list are just priceless.

    Thanks

    Vic

  2. […] been a while since my last WordPress Plugin Recommendation so I thought I’d let you know how much of a “Plugin Ho” I’ve become since then. I’m currently using […]

  3. […] best-of-wordpress-plugins WordPress Plugin Recommendation […]

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