Riding shotgun next to WordPress

In an effort to answer the emails and search patterns requesting active plugin currently in use on 5ThirtyOne, I’ve widdled through the plugins page deciding which ones I relied on most.

I realized that quite a number of plugins were activated, yet unused. So I thank readers for their inquiries which prompted me to do a little Spring cleaning and sharing.

wordpress plugins in use on 5thirtyone

Bloggers always say that the content is what drives a blog into “stardom”. While completely true, there are some aspects of blogging which are often overlooked or receive very little attention. These aspects of blogging can be addressed by answering a simple question: Aside from that noggin’ of yours, what drives your blog / site?

I’ve taken the time to meticulously collect the plugins actively summoned on 5ThirtyOne in hopes of broadening the perspectives concerning and understanding the flexibility and convenience offered by the WordPress platform. If there’s something worth noting, or something which you highly recommend that WordPress users make use of, feel free to drop your insight in the comments.

Behind the scene control

WordPress admins in search of additional control and convenience regarding their pages may want to consider the following plugins below. These plugins – while completely transparent to the reader – offer an additional level of convenience while updating or maintaining a WordPress driven site.

  • Easy Admin Access – Access your admin Dashboard using this helpful navigation bar which sits prominently at the top of your WordPress pages.
  • Akismet – Assuming blogging is second nature, you’re more than likely aware of comment spam. Akismet does away with the hassle of mass moderation as its stringent filter picks up the slack. Note that a WordPress.com key is necessary in order to run this plugin.
  • Corrector – Gmail-like spell checking directly from your blog editing window. I highly recommend this plugin for users who find themselves blogging from public terminals which may lack the convenience of system wide spelling checks.
  • flickrRSS – Roll your personal Flickrstream into your blog and enjoy the added convenience of caching images (just in case Flickr decides to have one of its regular massages).
  • Code Snippet – When it’s time to share a little coding with the masses, make use of Code Snippet’s syntax highlighting and definitions in order to provide clear understandable markup without worrying about converted entities or stripped code. Original authors site seems to be down (9/3) – Mirror for Code Snippet 2.0 download.
  • Ultimate Tag Warrior – Definitely roll this into your site if you’re looking to create a tag based blogging platform. I’ve created four distinct WordPress categories on 5ThirtyOne which allow me to control what content is display on specific areas of the site. Because categories have lost their true value, I rely on the Ultimate Tag Warrior plugin to keep content somewhat organized and browseable.
  • WordPress Feedburner Plugin – This will save you a little time if you’re pushing Feedburner as your universal RSS / XML feed. Any calls for the default WordPress feed will summon your Feedburner feed thanks to this plugin.

A little eye candy for readers

It’s the little details that readers discern and walk away with. Despite the fact that the following may be rolled into every other blog on the street, the level of integration into your own pages will surely help you stand out from the rest.

  • Gravatar – Globally recognized avatars. Help readers identify comments with respective authors. Add a little personality.
  • Subscribe to Comments – While RSS may be “geek speak” many, email is definitely common language. Keep your regular and visiting guests in the loop by providing an option to follow discussions via email.
  • Extended Live Archives – Browsing by tags may not be a suitable option for readers who have yet to fully understand the free tagging spirit of modern bloggers. Provide readers with an option to browse by month, day, and year using this slick Live (AJAX) archive viewer. See mine in action here.
  • Quoter – Readers wishing to reply to specific comments will enjoy the convenience offered by this plugin. Instead of manually re-typing or copy n’ pasting a previous comment, Quoter provides easy quoting thanks to a little javascript. Make sure the Quoter link is prominent enough for readers to notice.
  • Addicted to Live Search – Interested in a no hassle method of integrating live search functionality into your WordPress driven site? Look no further as this plugin provides a convenient upload & activate method for offering readers instant feedback for their search qeuries.

Options that WordPress should include

The last two plugins to highlight offer functionality which I believe WordPress should include by default. Although some may argue that plugins play the role of filling the “gaps”, these two are one of the most common plugins I’ve seen active on most WordPress driven sites I’ve visited.

  • WP-Contact Form – Leaving your email address in plain site may sound ludicrous due to the likelihood of email spam. In order to circumvent that particular issue, check out this plugin which provides a blog editor quicktag for inserting a contact form wherever you please (single posts & pages).
  • Search Everything – WordPress’ defualt search functionality leaves a lot to wish for. The Search Everything plugin allows administrative control over addiitonal search options. By default, WordPress searches blog posts. What it will not search are additional pages or comments. Somewhat inconvenient as comments and pages often hold a great deal of applicable information. Use this plugin to specificy what reasources are made available for site wide searches.

Feel free to recommend your favorite plugins in the comments below as I am continually on the lookout to make this whole “blogging thing” a little easier. I would also be interested in hearing what methods or practices users employ to publish your content: desktop blogging options, etc. Digg this.

Discuss - 39 Comments

  1. Must Have WordPress Plugins…

    9ruler Derek Punsalan has written a great post about the plugins that keep his blog running in tip-top shape. I for one learned about some very cool plugins I’ve never heard of before. Check it out.

  2. Eli says:

    Clear, concise and eloquent writeup. A few more worthy of looking at:

    del.icio.us cached: Show your bookmarks. For the backend UI, you have Tiger Style Admin and if you prefer to use the standard interface, check out Admin Drop-Down Menu, which saves lots of clicks. Lightbox Plus: Clean overlay photo display. WP-Mint: Mint integration. Optimal Title: moves the position of the ‘separator’ to after the title rather than before.

  3. […] Derek wrote an informative article covering the WordPress Plugins he uses to keep 5ThirtyOne up and running. […]

  4. Good one Derek. There probably are a few more out there but this sure sums up nicely. Custom Query String is a good handy behind the scenes plug-in too.

  5. […] Essential WordPress extensions (tags: wordpress plugins blog) […]

  6. Jason Brown says:

    I am sad you didnt mention mine at:

    You need UTW3 active to have mine work..

    This will seriously improve your meta tags and title information

  7. Derek says:

    Amit, great tip with the Custom Query String plugin. I’ll have to roll that into my next design as it would most likley save some time from the “loop hacking” that often goes into getting content to display as I want it to.

    Jason, an interesting plugin but something I quite honestly would rather hand code in per page if needed.

  8. […] Riding shotgun next to WordPress | 5ThirtyOne – Refreshing isn’t it? Plugins de WordPress (tags: wordpress plugins blog plugin webdesign resource wp) […]

  9. Ben Gray says:

    Thanks for the tip on the code plugin. Stripped code has been a real hassle for me so this one is tremendous.

  10. Jonic says:

    I wondered where all that traffic was coming from!

    Thanks for the link, and for pointing me towards Corrector… As it happens not ten minutes ago I was looking for a WordPress spell checker plugin!

    Anyway, I’m glad you like EAA enough to tell people about it! Thanks again 🙂

  11. jarkolicious says:

    WordPress Plugins List by 5ThirtyOne…

    5ThirtyOne has just thrown together a nice set of plugins for WordPress. The list is fairly comprehensive, and covers many of those that I would consider vital. While the list could use some minor improvements here and there, overall it is perfect for …

  12. This has been one the most helpful posts I’ve read all day. Hopefully it will help me enrich my users experience. Thanks.

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  14. […] Ik heb de nieuwe plugins gevonden via 5ThirtyOne. […]

  15. […] Added a couple of plugins to the site. Maybe I’ll do a Top 10 WordPress Plugins. […]

  16. […] And on a somewhat similar note Derek wrote about some nifty WordPress Plug-ins,you might want to have a look at. […]

  17. Derek says:

    Yvonne, I actually considered that quoting plugin. For some reason, I thought the Damaged Goods version was a little cleaner.

  18. […] Last week I shared a little info regarding the WordPress plugins I rely on to keep 5ThirtyOne running as it should. The list received a decent amount of attention and opened the door as far as questions regarding the rest of my personal setup. More specifically, favored applications and methods for shuffling content on to 5ThirtyOne. […]

  19. […] Riding shotgun next to WordPress | 5ThirtyOne – Refreshing isn’t it? (tags: wordpress wp plugins) […]