List Of WordPress Plugins I Use

Wordpress PluginsOver the past few weeks, I have had a number of individuals ask me questions regarding the plugins I use on this site. I thought I would take the time today to tell you every plugin installed and in use on this blog. This article took 2 hours to write and I hope it answers most of your questions. If not, ask away within the commenting section of the article. At the end of this list, let us know which plugins you suggest to use. Enjoy!

Plugin//Version//Description

AddThis Sidebar Widget 1.2 – AddThis is an awesome plugin that gives users the ability to bookmark a specific page to one of any number of bookmarking services such as Digg, Delicious, Technorati, ect. Instead of having a ton of icons or badges for each service, I can use one image which makes it easy to implement and use. You can see this plugin in action by clicking on addthis plugin at work

Akismet 2.02 – I don’t think enough can be said about Akismet. Akismet was created by Automattic as an anti spam application. It’s one of the best around and without it, I would of had to manually delete 2,500 entries which have been detected as spam. If you are running WordPress, make sure this plugin is activated.

AskApache Google 404 2.2 – This plugin has turned my WordPress 404 Page into something useful. I wrote a detailed review of this plugin here ( Add Google Ajax To Your WP 404 Page ) and it has become the second most viewed article on this blog. Google 404 adds an Ajax powered search into your 404 page. When someone ends up on a 404 page, the terms that generated the error are automatically plugged into the search bar which generates a Google search amongst your own blog, the internet, images ect. To see it in action, visit http://jeffc.me/blabla

Dagon Design Sitemap Generator 3.1.2 – This is one of two sitemap generator plugins that I use. This plugin is highly customizable and gives me the options of how I would like to display my sitemap to the public. When you visit http://jeffc.me/my-sitemap/ the output comes from this plugin. Works seamlessly in combination with my Google XML Sitemap generator.

Digg This 1.0.2 – There are many WordPress plugins that center around Digg but this one is still one of my favorites. When anyone submits one of my blog posts to Digg.com, I am notified by email and a Digg button is automatically placed on the right side of the post. The plugin works by detecting a referral url from Digg. You can customize where the digg button shows up within your post as well as a few other options. To see the plugin in action, visit ( Migratr – Backup And Migrate Your Online Photos )

Dofollow 2.1 – I covered this plugin more in depth here ( You Comment I Follow ) Essentially, this plugin strips the “REL=NoFollow” attribute from a commenter’s URL. This is good for Google juice to be applied to those that comment on your blog. It’s also a good showing of appreciation to those that engage in the conversation through comments.

FeedBurner FeedSmith 2.3 – This plugin finds all the ways to subscribe to your blog and consolidates them into one feed using FeedBurner. This ensures accurate feed reader statistics. It’s one of the first plugins you should install when you begin a WordPress blog so that it’s as accurate as possible.

Get Recent Comments 2.0.2 – This displays the most recent comments/trackbacks on the sidebar. I have implemented this plugin near the top center of the page called MOST RECENT COMMENTs by adding the hook into it’s own div container. There are a number of different formatting options to display this plugin which make it highly customizable for your situation.

Google XML Sitemaps 3.0 – This is purely a Google only sitemap plugin. What I like most about this plugin is that it creates sitemap.org compatible sitemaps which are supported by Ask.com, Google, MSN and Yahoo. This plugin combined with my other sitemap plugin covers my blog at all angles.

JS Toggle Boxes 1.4 – Js Toggle Boxes provides a means to add a plus symbol or a minus symbol to a div element that contains an unordered list. Using a combination of Javascript, CSS and cookies, readers of this site can now show or hide at least 6 different content blocks.

Live 0.4.1 – Wrote about here ( WordPress Real Time Browsing Stats ) Live gives WordPress admins the chance to see who is browsing what in real-time. The plugin provides information such as IP address, whether the user is on a page, comment, or a hit from an RSS aggregator, and referral URL. This is probably one of the most used plugins I have installed to monitor what’s going on. I’ve been anxiously awaiting a new version which promises additional functionality.

Live Comment Preview 1.7 – I came across this plugin while reading a blog post on how to make your WordPress blog Web 2.0ish. Powered by Ajax, this plugin gives readers a chance to preview their comment in real-time before it’s published. You can use the provided preview function to add a PREVIEW area anywhere on your site. It’s nice to know what your comment will look like before it’s published.

Most Viewed Widget 1.0 – This is an addon for another plugin called WP-Postviews which I’ll get to later. This widget will take the posts with the most number of views and display them as a widget or wherever you place the hook. You can modify the plugin code to determine how many articles are shown in the widget.

MyAvatars 0.2b – I covered MyAvatars here ( MyBlogLog And Gravatar Support ) in light of the recent Gravatar acquisition. MyAvatars displays avatars from both MyBlogLog and Gravatar. The best of both worlds it would seem.

MyBlogLog Widget 2.0 – In order to use a MyBlogLog widget, you first have to visit MyBlogLog.com and create one. Once you get the code for the widget, paste it into a TEXT based widget. This is essentially how you add any 3rd party widget to your site.

Optimal Title 3.0 – One of the first plugins I’ve ever installed, Optimal Title mirrors the function of wp_title() exactly, but moves the position of the ’separator’ to after the title rather than before. This is what enables me to have links within the title bar of your browser that look like this

Optimal Title

Notice how the name of the post comes before the actual title of my page. I read this was supposed to help with SEO but I’m not sure if it has or not.

Related Posts 2.04 – This plugin returns a list of related entries based on active/passive keyword matches. The relation happens automatically and so far, it has worked out pretty well. This plugin becomes more accurate as you publish more posts. Not a good plugin to use if you have under 30-50 posts.

SezWho WP1.2 – SezWho is a comment rating/reputation based service. Users rate on comments for a given post which can in turn, leverage ratings of a commenter on other blogs. Replace the concepts of Gravatar with comment rating and user reputation and you should get the idea behind the service.

Share This 1.4 – Another awesome plugin that consolidates what would be a number of different images or badges into one easy to access control panel. ShareThis gives your users the oppurtunity to share a post with others through social bookmarking or by email. This is one of my favorite plugins as it provides so much functionality in such a tidy, neat package.

Subscribe To Comments 2.1.1 – This plugin adds a check box to a comment form which gives users the chance to subscribe to a particular page and it’s comments. After you subscribe to a post, each time a user comments on that blog entry, an email will be sent to your account letting you know someone has carried on the conversation. In my opinion, this is a function that should be supported out of the box.

What Would Seth Godin Do 1.3 – This plugin gives me the chance to configure a default welcome message to brand new visitors of the site. It uses cookies so that after a configured amount of times, the welcome message disappears. The welcome message contains the text “Welcome to my blog, if you enjoyed reading this, perhaps you would like to subscribe for more RSSLINK” Not sure if this has contributed to my RSS subscriber count but I haven’t had any complaints.

wp-cache 2.1.2 – The oh so infamous Wp-Cache. You almost have to use this plugin if your using WordPress. Wp-Cache is a very fast caching module that is actually modules within modules. This plugin has been known to withstand the Digg effect as well as the Slashdot effect. How’s that for noteworthy. I have quite a few issues with WP-Cache that I can’t seem to figure out but I’ll post about those some other day.

WP-PageNavi 2.20 – If you scroll to the bottom of this blog’s home page, you should see the numbers 1, 2, 3, ect in little squares. That is actually the PageNavi plugin in action. This plugin is just an advanced version of pagination which gives users more control over the navigation of the blog.

WP-Polls 2.21 – What good is a blog or website without a poll? This plugin is pretty much the defacto standard for polls within WordPress based sites. The poll is powered by Ajax, can be customized to match your template, supports multiple selections for answers, and the ability to use more than one poll at a time. There is also a Poll Archive page that be added to your site if you so choose.

WP-Polls Widget 2.21 – This widget works along side WP-Polls and displays the actual polls as a widget within your WordPress Template.

WP-PostViews 1.20 – This plugin provides a way for you to see how many views a particular blog post has. You can configure this plugin to show guest views, registered member views or both. I use this plugin just to provide me with “at a glance” statistics for posts. It’s a good feeling to be reassured that people are reading what I write.

WP-Print 2.20 – WP-Print adds the ability for users to print specific articles. The plugin contains options to allow users to print comments, posts, pages, or a combination of everything. I’ve added this functionality to my blog just in case someone feels to the need to print out a tutorial or something.

WP-Stats 2.20 – Displays your WordPress blog statistics. This plugin ranges from general blog statistics to plugin statistics. The plugin statistics are actually stats from a number of other plugins created by Lester Chan that you may have installed on your blog.

WP-UserOnline 2.20 – This plugin gives you and your user’s a chance to see who is currently browsing your blog. The plugin shows which registered members, guests and search engine bots are on your site and which URL they are currently browsing. It also provides a referral url to see where that user came from.

WP AJAX Edit Comments 1.1.1.4 – Reviewed here ( Digg Like Comment Editor For WordPress ) is a plugin written by Ronald Huereca of the Readers Appreciation Project. This plugin gives administrators and regular users the ability to edit their own comments within a given time frame. The plugin pretty much works in the same way that the Digg commenting system works. As I have always said, every blog should provide some sort of way for a user to edit their comments. This plugin is a nice solution to that problem.

WP_EasyReply 1.0 – It becomes tiring typing out something like @whoever each time you want to reply to someones comment. This plugin does that task for you, albeit with a little bit of help. Out of the box, EasyReply provides a link which automatically puts each user account name that has commented since your last reply into the comment box. With a little bit of hacking, I was able to get this plugin to perform the mundane task of typing out @username which is a time saver and a blessing for my fingers. To read how I hacked this plugin for my own purpose, please read ( WordPress Comment Reply Plugin )

Conclusion:

Wow. Can’t believe I’m finally finished with this article, 2 hours later. At any rate, I hope this article answers everyone’s questions as to which plugins I’m using. Installing and configuring the plugin is one thing, how you implement the plugin into your template is a different ballgame. I’ve used a bit of creativity on my blog but it shouldn’t be too hard to discover which content blocks are using which plugin.

Please share your experiences and or implementations of the plugins above if you use them. If not, please tell us which plugins you use and why.

17 thoughts on “List Of WordPress Plugins I Use

  1. This is sweet as! Exactly what I was hoping you would post. :)

    If nobody else has done this, mind if I digg the post? It’s pretty useful for any budding blogger.

  2. An impressive list indeed. Thanks for sharing the info, its nice to see how others are solving common blogging problems! Some of these are classics that most people use (Akismet, WP-Stats), but others are new to me.

  3. @Mike I’m glad I could help. I don’t mind if you digg the post, stumble the post, tell the entire world about the post. The more the merrier.

    @John Kolbert Thanks John. I almost didn’t include Akismet but since it was installed and working, I figured what the hell. I’ve talked to a few people who don’t have that plugin activated and then they proceed to tell me how much spam they’re getting on their blog.

    By the way, I finally found a plugin that changes the blog authors comment background to a different color so people know when the blog author has made a comment. I’ll be posting a review of that plugin shortly. I’ve been looking around forever for a plugin like this.

  4. Excellent list! I think I’m going to install Sez Who on my blog as well! Especially since they just raised $1 Million in funding.

    I love seeing what other bloggers are using out there. I think I’ll work on a similar list for my site.

    Well done!

  5. Yup, but I hear the number of spam you get is directly correlated with how popular your blog is. :) I actually just found a plugin for highlighting author comments called, well, Highlight Author Comments. Works great for me.

  6. @Brad If you create the list, make sure to link to this post for a trackback url. If the trackback doesn’t work, I’ll add a link to your list or anyone else’s list at the bottom of the post.

    @John Kolbert Thats the plugin I’m talking about. Can’t wait to give it a try.

  7. That’s a great list Jeffro. A few discoveries there for me, and that’s always appreciated.

    There’s a few that seem like they don’t add any real value. JS Toggle Boxes, Live, WP-Polls, WP-PostViews, WP-UserOnline among them. It seems like most of the benefits of these plugins you’ll get anyway from your Analytics stats. JS Toggle Boxes seems particularly trivial.

    Live Comment Preview has its uses, but I could easily live without it.

    My opinion on SezWho has been revised however. At first I thought it was pointless, but I can see how it would be useful if you’re trying to build a sense of community.

    I think the trick with plugins is to take a VERY harsh and clinical look at what benefits they really offer. Same for the widgets you have down the right hand side.

  8. @Foomandoonian I understand your points completely. Installing plugins can be addicting, especially when you see all of the cool things you can make wordpress do because of them. However, you make a good point in that a blogger should take a HARSH look at each plugin they install on their blog to see what kind of value it adds. No sense in having a bunch of useless crap on your blog which will probably bog everything down.

    I installed JS Toggle boxes because I wanted those who choose to do so, to be able to minimize the top three and the bottom three content boxes to clean up the design. Instead of removing them completely from the design, I and others have a choice.

    As far as the others go, they may seem trivial to you or someone else but they add value for me. Most of the plugins I have installed enable the value to be seen in public with the exception of LIVE. I use that plugin quite often in the backend of WordPress.

    Not everyone has access to my analytics package. Thats why some of the plugins I have installed show certain values to the public that otherwise wouldn’t be seen.

  9. Hey buddy,

    I just noticed, that contrary to what I’ve been reading before, Google actually uses the description meta tag.

    If I search for a post on my site, it comes up with the title of the post, followed by the content of my description meta tag.

    Do you know of a plugin that allows you to insert a short description for each post, which gets inserted as a meta tag. Therefore when you do a Google search, it returns a relevant description, as opposed to random gibberish that it grabs off the post?

    Does that make sense? :)

  10. @Mike I think I’ve noticed the same thing during different Google searches. Sometimes the meta description is part of the text that Google displays with a link to an article, other times it displays bits and pieces of text surrounding the keyword that was used to generate the search.

    I’m not sure if you can control that but I would look into something called ALL IN ONE SEO. That might do the trick.

  11. Whoa! I just noticed my comment that I made in reference to your site in one of my posts has appeared on your site.

    Pardon my ignorance, but how did that happen?

  12. @Mike That’s called a trackback or pingback URL. Anytime someone published a new blog post and inserts a link to a permanent url of another blog, that blog will receive a trackback or pingback alert letting them know that someone else has carried on the conversation within their own blog.

    Perhaps I should turn this into a blog post :)

  13. Hey Jeff – I saw your name in my visitors’ list … prolly before I gave you props. Thanks a lot for your collection; great to see plugin creators getting the reviews they deserve. (On my WP.com blog I don’t pretend to do more than create lists now and again.)

    cheers
    –bentrem

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