Plug it in, Plug it in
Careful! This post is looking a little old and could be inaccurate in many, many ways
Over the past week I have been designing and building a blog that will utilise a variety of WordPress plugins, some of which I have no previous experience with. The benefit of using WordPress as a blogging platform is the sheer number of plugin’s available; however it can be difficult with the information available to ensure you are installing the best plugin for the task. By viewing what is available on other websites you are able to assume what is achievable, but short of emailing the website owner you have no way of knowing exactly what plugin they are using.
As I believe in sharing information I have listed the plugins I have used in this website:
Comment spam is one of the biggest problems in the blogging community and yet surprisingly some bloggers do not use this plugin. Akismet is a simple plugin that collects comment spam separating it from your real comments for easy management. Since this websites launch in May Akismet has collected 143 spam comments alone.
As this webste utilises Feedburner to track subscription to the RSS Feeds installing this plugin allows for better integration with Feedburner to ensure users always get the right RSS feed.
Although I don’t extensively use this plugin is does allow for a greater level of control over elements that can affect search engine rankings such as title tags and meta data.
Theft of an individual’s work is unfortunately common place on the internet. What the RSS footer does is allow for a link to your site to be added in your RSS Feed to ensure that if people scrape your feeds for content they also scrape the back link, thus making the scrapers work for you.
This plugin quite simply outputs recent photos from my own Flickr account. Like most of the plugins that output to the screen I have edited the original plugin to ensure that the code ouputted matches the original design I created.
This plugin works similarly to the FlickrRSS by collecting information from my Last.fm account and displays the albums I’ve most listened to in through the previous week.
Personally I hate the default paging navigation used by WordPress as it requires a certain level of flexibility to accommodate long post names. This can interfere with other elements of the design. By using the pagenavi plugin instead I can insert a numbered paging navigation in the code which I find more suitable to use on a blog.
As I comment more and more on other blogs I like to keep track of how the conversation continues after my comment, however it is difficult to keep track of all these different blogs. For my website I wanted something that addressed this issue for users that may experience the same problem. Using this plugin it allows a user to opt-in to receive email updates when a new comment is added to the post. This plugin creates a page that allows for management of subscriptions both for the author of the comment and post.
This plugin was only recently added to the blog as I was looking for a plugin to better output code examples in the a post. The wp-synatx plugin is able to output text in a format similar to programming editors by colour coding the content for improves readability.
In most cases I chose the plugins above for their simplicity and the readability of the code. By ensuring the readability of the code I am able to easily edit the code where necessary to tailor the output specifically for my own purposes.
Currently I’m rather happy with the website and for once am not currently considering yet another redesign; however that does not stop me from continuing to develop within the constraints of the current design. As I’ve been considering the idea of signing up to Twitter (yet another social networking website) it will be inevitable that I would install and design a plugin that would interact with my Twitter feed.