Having posted Matt’s guide to some handy WordPress plugins to have onboard your blog, I realized that there are more WordPress plugins that I wanted to introduce to our fellow literary webmasters that Matt didn’t list. Be sure to view Matt’s list as well, as it includes some very good tools which make our lives easier.
In the meantime, here are several more that we use here at Curiosity Quills Press.
Before I list them, however, a warning…
Every time you post a new blog entry, or edit an existing one, WordPress “pings” (or notifies) multiple blog aggregation websites to let them know about it. If you do this too often, your blog may be flagged and future updates ignored. The ping feature is one of the important factors that sets blogs apart from normal websites – they are spidered and indexed by search engines a lot faster and more often because of this, and so it’s easy to find up-to-date content hosted on blogs.
This plugin keeps you from being flagged by enforcing a maximum number of updates per time period, including edits, so you can make frequent changes to your posts without worrying about unintended consequences.
If you host a Google Apps account for your blog (and if you don’t – try it!), you might want to have your website send out emails via Google’s SMTP servers (or some other SMTP server in general). Normally WordPress relies on your web server’s built-in mail engines.
This plugin allows you to override it, specifying a custom SMTP hostname, port, and login. Also very handy if your web server isn’t running it’s own mail transport engine (MTA).
Sometimes you might want to check your website traffic statistics without going to Google Analytics. Perhaps you want to exclude certain users from the stats, or just want a simplified data display, in case Google Analytics feels like overkill (though it’s still always a good idea to use!).
Counterize will do just that – simple and easy web statistics, with the ability to exclude specific users.
4. DBC Backup
This database backup plugin relies on WordPress’s own internal automated events system, running the same command over and over every given period of time. It backs up your WordPress database at a configurable rate, and puts it into a custom location on your server, optionally compressing them to save space. You can also set a maximum number of old logs being kept on the server. Very handy.
In case you use Feedburner for your RSS feed – and if you don’t, why not give it a try? – you probably want to keep people from hitting your native RSS feed, and use the Feedburner version instead. This plugin will help you do that – just specify your Feedburner URL and you’re set.
Ever wonder how those little pictures next to your comment are generated? WordPress relies on either randomly-generated graphics or Gravatars. But if you want to just upload a picture from your computer for use as an avatar – this is the plugin or you. It’s dead simple to use and does what it sounds like.
If there ever was a “must-have” plugin, it’s this (right up there with Akismet). This plugin optimizes your WordPress site’s performance, caching repeated requests, redirecting static content requests to an optional content delivery network (CDN), and even tweaking the output of your website using Minify.
For a high-traffic site like Curiosity Quills, this can mean the difference between serving up pages quickly and dropping dead from unmanageable system load. Even small websites can benefit from this, but please make sure you read the manual and implement your fixes properly, then test them.
So, in closing, I hope you find these plugins helpful. And if you haven’t read Matt’s suggestions for other great WordPress plugins to use, please stop by and do!
Got any tips or suggestions for more WordPress plugins that you found helpful on your author site/blog? Let me know here!