WordPress Plugins are getting sophisticated and powerful

In the past few months I’ve really ramped up using WordPress plugins, and they do some amazing things. All but two are free.

AddToAny is the widget at the end of each post which lets you share it on dozens of sites. I use it myself to to post to Twitter, Facebook, and Stumbleupon.

After the Deadline. Spell and grammar checker. Highly useful.

Akismet. Kills spam comments. Essential.

All in One SEO. Definitely improves visibility on search engines and does so completely ethically.

Backup Buddy. Backs up the database or the entire site and FTPs it to the Amazon S3 cloud. Fully automated. $45 and totally worth it.

FD Feedburner plugin. Takes all possible version of your main RSS and redirects them to Feedburner. This way someone subscribing to the RSS feed always gets Feedburner.

Pubsubhubbub. Instantly sends new posts to a cloud hub where they get picked up fast. With this, new posts on Polizeros literally appear in my Google Reader RSS feed 5 seconds later.

W3 Total Cache. The best cache around. 8 pages of configuration items (!) Be ready to spend some time learning it. Hint: If you are on a shared server, do not use database or object caching. It dramatically cut the load time here. Stats. A great way to track how many people are on the site. Appears in the Dashboard.

WPTouch Pro. Displays the site in a mobile format for iPhone / iPad / Android / Blackberry. If using W3 Total Cache, you must allow and disallow various user agents in order for WPTouch Pro to work right. Both plugins explain what to do. $25 and also worth it.

What plugins do you use?

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  • Hi Bob. You’re right about WP plugins becoming ever more powerful and sophisticated, but they don’t always play well together, e.g. WPtouch and W3TC did cause a harrowing 500 error on my site.

    That aside, if I were to add something to your list it would have to be WP-Thumbie for a list of really related posts, Simple Yearly Archive for my archive or list of posts, Better Tag Cloud for creating a powerful cloud and site index, and Redirection, for handling 301s and 404s, because I’ve been online for more than 13 years, with numerous file structure changes over the years, and I don’t want to miss out on any old and valuable links. I guess I could go on and on, but I’ve narrowed it down to those four.

    I’ve never hear about PubSubHubbub, but is sounds very promising, so I’ll look into it. As to spell check, the built-in feature in Firefox works well enough for me, but it sometimes still misses the obvious, perhaps I need to consider your plugin after all.

    Anyway, thanks for your post and happy blogging!

    • Hmmm, I run WPTouch and W3TC. But I don’t use a CDN, as Jamie, who does the programming at Crooks and Liars said they can be problematic and they don’t use one. No problems with them so far. Did you determine what the problem was?

      I try to keep my plugins to well-known ones and research them first. Pubsubhubhub is a no-brainer install and is a semi-Google product.

      Thanks for the list of plugins, I’ll check them out

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