10 most useful wordpress plugins according to Sabahan.com
Last modified on 1st April, 2006
I scoured the net to find useful wordpress plugins that do certain functions to make Sabahan.com more functional, sticky, and helpful. I ended up with these must have plugins which fulfill my current needs. I hope you’ll find them useful too.
All plugins has been tested and works with WordPress 2.0.1 unless mentioned otherwise.
Being an Adsense publisher myself on several of my earlier websites, Adsense Deluxe is one of the first plugins that I searched for. It’s a great plugin allowing you to plug your Adsense ads easily anywhere within your post simply by inserting html comments. You can define a single default code or as many variations as you like for your skyscraper, banner, link unit ads.
Adsense-Deluxe allows you to test your Adsense styles without having to edit your WordPress templates. However, if you want to use the ads defined in Adsense-Deluxe within your WordPress templates, you can do so by placing the following code where you want the ads to appear:
<?php adsense_deluxe_ads('Ad_Name'); ?>
If you are looking for ways to associated keywords with each of your post, this plugin might suit your need. What I like about Jerome’s Keyword plugin is its versatility. You can define your own keywords/tag system in your blog to help your readers find contents that interest them or create local tag cosmos like Technorati or Flickr or automatically use your keyword for page meta tags.
By default Technorati tag the WordPress post category as keyword. Now I can use Jerome’s Keywords to have specified keywords tagged by Technorati as you can see at the bottom of this post. Once installed, a keyword field is added into your WordPress editor for entering and editing keywords.
There are other keywords and tags plugins out there but this one does nearly all the tasks you ever wanted.
3. Post Teaser
The Post Teaser plugin is one plugin that generates a preview of a post with a link underneath pointing to the full post. You might like this plugin if your main page is filled with long posts that force your readers to scroll down just to find the post that interest them.
You can also save bandwidth with this plugin by having your readers view a full post only if they actually want to read it. Also, instead of cluttering you main page with ads, you can include post specific ads which can only be seen by the reader when they view the full post.
It includes features to generate a word count, image count, and an estimated reading time. Jerome’s Keywords is easy to install and configure without the need to tinker with your wordpress template.
One way to increase your blog page view is by adding links to posts which are related to the one they are currently reading. You can do this with Related Posts plugin which automatically returns a list of related entries based on active/passive keyword matches.
Your post title will be used for matching but you can also manually relate entries using keywords in situations where post’s title may have little to do with post’s content.
I use the default matching option and found that adding a descriptive title will help the plugin to find more relevant matching entries. This plugin is installed on nearly all my blogs such as Internet Security Online, Offbeat Enough, Portable MP3 Player, Office Supplies and Pay to Surf Reviews besides Sabahan.com
After installation, you can specify the number of related posts to show, include excerpt and among others.
You know, when you are in WordPress admin area and want to perform certain task such as editing your index.php theme, you’ll have to click â€˜Presentation’ and then click on the second lever menu which is â€˜Theme Editor’.
Here’s where Admin Drop Down Menu comes in. It eliminates the need for this double clicking by allowing you to see the second level menu just by placing your mouse over a main menu. The image below shows the â€˜Presentation’ main menu is currently selected but it also shows the â€˜Linksâ€ second level menu by placing the mouse over it. Neat isn’t it.
Word of mouth is one of the best viral marketing method. People tend to trust their friends and colleague more then they trust the salesman. Adding email-to-a-friend tool can provide a powerful way to promote your blog to a circle of friends.
WP-Email is one of such plugin which enables your readers to send your blog entry to their friends. I have to warn you though that the installation is not as straight forward as some other plugins listed here.
When I first installed this plugin, it added some entries into the database. These entries are used to create the email, error, success page. To match my blog template, I had to fiddle with the plugin code and edit the database entry because there’s no straight forward way to update those entries (Update: This problem does not exists anymore in version 2.04 and above). But once installed, this plugin works like a charm. You can check out the demo at my other blog at OffbeatEnough.com
If you know of other email-to-friend plugin that’s easier to install, please leave your comment and share it with us.
Backing up your wordpress database should be done frequently especially when you are adding content actively. WordPress DatabaseBackup offers a one click database backup to help you backup your data easily. You may download the backup file, or have it emailed to the address of your choice. It’s included in WordPress 2.0. by default but you’ll have to enable it.
If you want to add a contact form in your blog, WP-ContactFrom might be the one for you. Leaving their comments is one way for your readers to communicate with you but having a contact form allow them to get in touch with you regarding matters not related to the post you made. Wp-ContactForm is very easy to use, just drop the HTML comment, <!–contact form–> anywhere in your post and you are ready to go.
This could be your best friend if your blog is inundated with comment spams. Akismet is a spam filter which checks your comments against the Akismet web service to see if they look like spam or not. You need a WordPress.com API key to use this service. It’s easy to setup and runs quietly in the background. Akismet also comes with WordPress 2.0.
10. Optimal Title
You’ve done everything to make your blog pretty and functional, you’ve added useful content for your visitors, so what’s next? You might want to optimize your blog for the search engines and one way to do this by installing Optimal Title which will turn your blog title into something more meaningful for the search engine.
By default your blog post title looks like this (take Sabahan.com for example):
Sabahan.com >> Post title for the search engine
Optimal Title optimizes your title to
Post title for the search engine << Sabahan.com
You may ask what’s the significant of this change. Well first, this provides more meaningful search engine results and browser bookmark names. Placing your post title in the beginning also ensure that long title is not truncated entirely when viewed in the search engine result.
Of course you can also do this by editing your header.php title tag manually but why bother when Optimal Title can do that for you? Also, if you notice when you visit Sabahan.com homepage, the title says:
Sabahan.com About Computer, Interet, Marketing and Interesting Stuff.
The title is a combination of the blog title and description. This is achieved using the following code:
<title><? optimal_title('«'); ?><?php bloginfo('name'); ?> <?php if (!optimal_title('', FALSE)) bloginfo('description'); ?></title>
By default wordpress will only display â€˜Sabahan.com’ as the title.
Phewâ€¦! This is the longest post I’ve written so far.
It’s easy to go overboard and install every plugins ever created out there. I try to keep the number of plugin installed on my blog to the minimum so as to avoid any difficulty when upgrading to a later version of WordPress.
Now that I’ve shown you mine, can you show me your favourite plugins?