More WordPress plugins

wplive2Here’s a great WordPress plugin that, while I’m not quite sure what true value it might have, is a lot of fun using.

Live is a free WordPress plugin that lets you watch your site activity in real time.

You can watch as people are visiting your pages, leaving comments, and grabbing your feeds, as this screenshot I made yesterday indicates.

The plugin uses your server log files and some Ajax magic to keep showing you everything that’s happening on your WordPress blog, as it happens.

Plugins are one of the most valuable elements of WordPress as a platform. With so many people in the WordPress user community developing these little add-ins that enhance WordPress from both a blog author’s as well as a blog user’s perspective, literally the only issue you need to worry about is choosing which plugins to use.

With that, let me share with you the plugins I have installed in this blog that make my blogging life, and that of visitors, easier and/or more fun. All of them are free.

In alphabetical order:

Essential WordPress plugins

  • Akismet: First line of defence against comment and trackback spam. Bundled with WordPress 2.x versions; if you use WP 1.5 or earlier, you can get the plugin from Aksimet. To use it, you need a WordPress API key which you get by signing up for a free account with the WordPress.com hosted blog service.
  • Bad Behavior: Deny automated spambots access to your blog.
  • Feedburner Feed Replacement: More control over your RSS feed by forwarding all RSS feed traffic to a feed you set up at Feedburner.
  • Mint: Not strictly a plugin (and the only one in this list that is not free), Mint provides you with comprehensive statistical information on visitors to your site and what they do when there. I use this in conjunction with the free StatCounter service to provide me with useful information about my visitors and what they like reading here.
  • Subscribe To Comments: Allows readers to recieve email notifications of new comments that are made to a post.
  • Simple Recent Comments: Shows a list of who has made recent comments with a link to their comments.
  • Trackback Validator: Eliminates spam trackbacks with surprising accuracy.
  • WP-ContactForm: An easy-to-use contact form for visitors to quickly send you messages.
  • WordPress Database Backup: On-demand backup of your WordPress database. Bundled with WordPress 2.x versions; download it if you use WP 1.5 or earlier.

Not essential but very useful

  • Akismet Spam Count: Display the number of comments Akismet has marked as spam.
  • Comment Quicktags: Inserts a quicktag toolbar on the blog comment form so you can easily add links and format your comments with attributes such as bold, italic, blockquote, etc.
  • Diagnosis: Adds a page within WordPress that shows you detailed information about your server, the operating system, your database, and more (I posted about this plugin).
  • Live: View your website activity in real time.
  • Most Commented: Displays a list of the posts with the most comments.
  • podPress: Everything you need in one easy plugin to use WordPress for podcasting.
  • WordPress Mobile Edition: Creates a version of your blog suitable for display on the small screens of mobile phones (my post about it here).
  • WP-ShortStat: Track your blog stats from within WordPress. Based partly on Mint (see above).
  • WP-phpMyAdmin: Provides phpMyAdmin access from the WordPress admin console, without you having to separately log in to your server.

This list is hardly comprehensive and does reflect my own subjective views on what’s important or useful. There are many other plugins out there including, for example, some essential ones regarding tagging your posts that I don’t use because I create my content with an offline editor rather than write posts using WP’s own editor. One especially good one: the Ultimate Tag Warrior, which now supports external editors.

Two other list resources:

What different plugins do you use?

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About Neville Hobson

Entrepreneurial business communicator with a curiosity for tech and how people use it. Early adopter (and leaver) and experimenter with social media. Co-host of the weekly business podcast For Immediate Release: The Hobson and Holtz Report. Also an occasional test pilot of shiny new objects. Follow me on Twitter and Google+.