My Plugins

Sunday, May 10, 2009 7:20 | Filed in Blogging, Technology

This is going to be off less interest to those of you who aren’t computer geeks/nerds and don’t have a wordpress blog, but for those of you who are relatively new to wordpress (hi Gary!) you might now have come across some of these before.

So here’s the run down.

  1. Akismet is the spam-blocker extraordinaire. If you don’t bother with any other plugins, bother with this one. You will need a account to get your API key however.
  2. Spam Karma 2 is a customisable spam blocker which allows you to set up a blacklist, monitor different settings, make regular commenters less likely to be identified as spam, and generally do many of the same functions as Akismet. I use it alongside. It is no longer being maintained, but it still works fine for me.
  3. Bad Behaviour looks at the delivery method for the spam and attempts to stop spam bots from posting to your site. I have generally found this to be very good, although again it is used in conjunction with Akismet and SK2 so it’s sometimes difficult to know who to hand the credit to…
  4. Author Highlight deserves a mention, even if I’ve just stopped using it. This outputs a class attribute if a specific author comments on your site. I used to use this to output a little avatar for my comments, in order to make my comments stand out more clearly as belonging to the site owner. However, since the redesign I have been supporting Gravatars, rendering author highlighting redundant for my purposes (although you could, for example, use it to ensure all author comments were displayed against a particular coloured background).
  5. Get Recent Comments is a widgetised plugin which allows you to easily view recent comments on your blog and stick them into your sidebar. You can also include pingbacks/trackbacks if you wish.
  6. No Self Pings is essential for me. If I refer to one of the other pages on this site, I don’t want to create a trackback link, because I feel that not only does it clutter up the comments, it starts making me come over as a complete dick who keeps talking about himself (this might indeed be the case, but I’d like to minimise the number of instances of giving that impression). Therefore I can link to my other pages without cluttering up the site with a whole pile of trackback links.
  7. Mike Cherim and Mike Jolley‘s Secure and Accessible Contact Form. Not everyone likes this (although I’ve never heard a complaint from someone who has actually used it, merely that there are too many css hooks in it), but it’s the best contact form I’ve found: it cuts down on the amount of spam coming through the contact form dramatically, and it’s accessible.
  8. Twitter Tools. I’ve talked about this before, but really if you want to integrate your twitter account with your blog in some way, this is where you should start looking.
  9. stats sounds as though it is a plugin which will monitor stats for accounts. However, what isn’t so clear is that it will also monitor stats for self-hosted wordpress blogs, as long as you have your API key (which you need anyway, for Akismet). Brilliant for people who want to spend every day checking whether their number of visitors are going up or down and agonising over why.
  10. WordPress database backup, for taking backups of your database. Use as part of your backup routine, whatsoever that may be.
  11. WordPress Popular Posts is a widgetised plugin and relatively new to this blog (you can see it in the third column, just under “recent posts”). This allows you to identify the most popular posts on your blog by either total page views, total comments or average daily page views, and can be done over a 7 day, 30 day, or ‘all time’ time period. I am currently runnning this on total views over the last 7 days.
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6 Comments to My Plugins

  1. Gary Miller says:

    May 11th, 2009 at 11:18 am

    Thanks for the mention! A good set of plugins; I find the stats one to be awesome in the information you can get about individual posts.

    Have you tried Odiogo at all? Not tried it myself but I’ve seen it recommended in a few places. I need to check out its accessibility first.

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