WordPress has had some impressive new plugins over the past few months. I spend a fair amount of time searching them out and testing most of them. Doing this gives me some functionality ideas for my own blog. So, I thought I’d begin sharing with you my top picks. The following are my recommendations from the plugins released in October 2008.
This plugin gives you full management of 125×125 ads. All the way down to automated payments from PayPal. If you don’t like that you can turn the feature off and approve ads as they come in. You can also automatically schedule ads and maintain your own never expiring “home” ads. This plugin trumps a lot of the services out there who often take a rather large cut of your revenue.
Wordpress Referrers is a way of automatically tracking and displaying URL’s that are linking to your site. This plugin gives you the option to rename a URL, specify how long URL’s are kept for, and define how many referrers you want displayed.
WP Post Thumbnail
WP Post Thumbnail does two things. It first allows you to easily crop and save and image within the write post section of WordPress. It also allows you to configure up to three preset thumbnails which show up within your theme. This is perfect if you want to display a thumbnail on every page or have a thumbnail image associated with each post or a widescreen thumbnail for featured posts.
Note: Sissors is another new plugin this month that is similar to this but focuses on uploading, cropping, and resizing an image before it gets put into the media library.
Retaining your visitors from a search engine was never so easy. Landing Site is a plugin that detects when a visitor is coming from a search engine and displays a related post.
WP Double Opt-In Subscription
Allows you to have a built in mailing list which gives you a double opt-in method when users sign up. Confirmation links are sent to the user and they confirm it. All the details of the subscription is logged to your WordPress installation. You can manage the list within WordPress or export it to be used inside another marketing program. Custom mail server option, customized signup form, unsubscribe notifications, automatic cleanup of users who did not confirm, and more.
All In One Video Pack
This allows you to embed and upload/record/import videos into your post, right through WordPress. It also allows you to edit and remix content with an online video editor. Manage your video content, create playlists, and allow other users to respond to your video. Supports several embed sources and over 150 video, audio, and image formats/codecs. Note, a lot of this is integrated with Kaltura’s online video editor.
This plugin displays the most recent backlinks it finds from searching blogsearch.google.com. There is a widget in the dashboard of WordPress that does the exact same thing. The nice thing about this is it doesn’t rely on trackbacks which some blogging platforms don’t have.
This plugin can create an animated silideshow of anything you want, including a series of featured blog posts or pages on your site. A really nice addition to your frontpage widgets or to display the elements of a service you’re offering.
Note: Featurific is another very popular feature slideshow animator.
A quick and simple way of displaying posts from a category of your choosing. You can customize the amount of posts that are displayed, heading, and layout.
Note: If you want to get your hands dirty with code you can take a look at a simple way on how to do this on any page. My example here: WordPress Custom Home Page Design – Widgetized Front Page shows you how to do it in the first part of “Coding The Widgets”.
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