Last months 9 New & Popular WordPress Plugins In October 2008 post went so well, I decided to do it again for December. This time with some of my “usage tips” to give you some ideas.
I spend hours of time every month watching new plugins and features rolling into Official WordPress Plugin page. This is a summary of the plugins that I’ve tested and see being useful to the majority of WordPress users.
IntenseDebate Comments enhance and encourage conversation on your blog or website. This service is gaining popularity and is free. Its a great way to jumpstart a blog by having your comments in more than one place. Comments made on your site appear on IntenseDebate and vice versa. Easy integration, Comment threading, reply-by-email, user accounts and reputations, comment voting, along with Twitter and friendfeed integrations is what makes this experience special.
Usage Tips: Enhanced comments and drive more traffic to your site!
Easy Paypal Payment or Donation Accept
Wordpress Easy Paypal Payment or Donation Accept Plugin allows you to put a simple donation button on your site, or provide a dropdown list of preselected fees. This allows for a very simplistic method of charging for services. Once a user pays you it will note the email they used. You can use that in correlation with a form if you don’t already have an ongoing discussion directly with the customer to know when they pay you.
Usage Tips: Best for simple solutions and predefined packages.
Custom Permalinks allows you to change the URL of any page on your WordPress site. The new ones will automatically redirect the the right page as well so you get the best of both worlds.
Usage Tips: Moving your site over to WordPress? Instead of doing 302 redirects, you can simply change your new URL’s to the old ones.
This plugin allows you to specifically select which widgets appear on specific posts, pages, categories, authors posts and tag pages. You can also use conditional tags to display widgets on a per WP Template basis.
Usage Tip: Monetize your website on a per category basis.
This plugin gives your WordPress site an event management tool. Allow your visitors to signup for an event and display a list of attendees for people to see who’s coming. When the event is over, just deactivate it and it prevents further signups. The clip of the form above is only a portion of the input fields. Technically you could add as many fields as you want, but I like the built in image uploader so each person can associate a thumbnail picture with their entry when they register.
Usage Tips: You could repurpose this as a contests script.
This allows you to easily implement typical CMS navigation elements into your templates for your WordPress blog.
- Top navigation bar, listing the top-level pages and their children (as drop-down items).
- Breadcrumbs trail navigation that shows the path to the current page all the way from the home page.
- Left navigation that shows where the visitor is next to the page’s parent and nearby pages.
Allows you to create and administer multiple survey’s on your blog through WordPress admin. Allows you to see results as a whole or on a person by person basis. I like this better than polls in some cases because it allows a multipart answer.
Comment Approved Notifier
Comment Approved Notifier sends an e-mail to a commenter’s when you approve their comment. No settings to configure, ust activate it.
Usage Tips: Use this as a way to draw visitors back to your site and involve yourself more within your niche. Typically, when you approve comments, you also respond to them (or you should be if you want to effectively grow your website). Approving a users comment will prompt them to come back and see that response even if they never subscribed to the comments for that post.
Social Media Page
The Social Media Page plugin adds a list of links to your social media profiles. You can then display them on page, post, or sidebar using the built in widget.
Usage Tips: The screenshot examples show the 16×16 thumbnail, social network name, and keyword. You can remove those fairly easily and simply provide the list as thumbnails which takes up far less space if you have a lot of accounts.
WP Tuner plugin for WordPress (and mu-Wordpress) allows you to find out what is causing your sites performance to degrade the most. Very useful if you just installed a handful of new plugins.
Usage Tip: Use this to enhance the user experience. No one wants to wait more than 10 seconds for a page to load these days. You can also use this in conjunction with Debug Queries to find problem areas on your blog
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