One of my aims with this site is to test various WordPress plugins and options for use with WordPress. This post is a list of the plugins I’ve decided to use and what I am using them for. I’m hoping it will be useful to some other people out in blog land.
Network Level WordPress Plugins
As I run a WordPress network I have some plugins enabled across the entire network.
This plugin is available from https://wordpress.org/plugins/autoptimize/
This plugin is available from: https://wordpress.org/plugins/jetpack/
The JetPack plugin has a number of features. I only use a limited number of these to meet my needs. Here’s some information about the features I use.
As a technological blog I enabled this feature on the off-chance I need to display some equations. This feature allows the use of latex scripts to display equations.
Custom Content Types
The custom content types feature enables a portfolio and testimonial option. Although I’m not using this feature yet, I’m hoping to use the portfolio functionality to document some projects I am slowly working on in my spare time.
This feature helps with sharing content to 3rd party services. I’m not really sure what the benefit of this function is, but I’ve enabled it anyway.
Extra Sidebar Widgets
This feature has a number of widgets that can be used in the theme’s sidebar. The only one I use is Display WordPress Posts, but for some reason this doesn’t seem to like reading from the remote blog I have configured; hopefully this is just a problem of mis-configuration.
This feature helps to prevent brute-force hack attempts across the WordPress network. I’m not sure if I really need this for a small blog such as mine, but maybe it’s saving me some massive headaches.
This feature enables the embedding of remote media in posts. When I find some media to embed I’m sure it will be extremely useful, but for now all my content has been local. Maybe I should start a YouTube channel.
Spelling and Grammar
I’ve only recently enabled this feature and I’m interested to see how many issues it finds. Based purely on this post, this feature seems to be effective at suggestion grammar improvements, but the dictionary seems to be based on US English and misses a lot of words I use.
This feature provides short URLs that I use when broadcasting my posts to social media.
This feature provides a simplified stats view in the WordPress dashboard. I think my Google Analytics will give me much more useful information, but this appeals to my laziness.
NextScripts: Social Networks Auto-Poster
This plugin is available from: https://wordpress.org/plugins/social-networks-auto-poster-facebook-twitter-g/
It can be purchased at: http://www.nextscripts.com/
As I’m using the multi-site version of WordPress I had to buy NextScripts SNAP. I’m using this plugin to post to two Facebook accounts (AlphaGeek and Michael Lambert), a Google+ account (Michael Lambert) and Twitter (Michael Lambert). I’ve posted a small review of this plugin before.
This plugin is available from: https://wordpress.org/plugins/svg-support/
SVG Support simplifies the embedding of SVG images in my blog. I don’t have any embedded SVG, but maybe one day I will.
Use jQuery CDN
This plugin is available from: https://wordpress.org/plugins/use-jquery-cdn/
This plugin causes WordPress to load jQuery from a CDN rather than locally. Hopefully this will improve my page load speed.
Verify Bing Webmaster Tools and Verify Google Webmaster Tools
These plugins are available from: https://wordpress.org/plugins/verify-bing-webmaster-tools/ and https://wordpress.org/plugins/verify-google-webmaster-tools/
These two plugins simplify adding metadata tags for verifying site ownership with Google and Bing.
WordPress MU Domain Mapping
This plugin is available from: https://wordpress.org/plugins/wordpress-mu-domain-mapping/
This plugin is available from: https://wordpress.org/plugins/wp-ses/
Site Level WordPress Plugins
This plugin is available from: https://wordpress.org/plugins/akismet/
Akismet helps to prevent comment and trackback spam. As I have disabled the built-in comments on my blog I only use this for checking trackback spam.
This plugin is available from:https://wordpress.org/plugins/authorsure/
AuthorSure I used to associate posts with authors and publishers. I’m hoping this will improve the search engine ranking of my posts.
Crayon Syntax Highlighter
This plugin is available from: https://wordpress.org/plugins/crayon-syntax-highlighter/
I use Crayon Syntax Highlighter to format and highlight any code I use in my posts. As this blog has a definite technical bent, and as I am a PHP and JS developer this plugin gets a fair bit of use.
This plugin is available from: https://wordpress.org/plugins/disable-comments/
EWWW Image Optimizer
This plugin is available from: https://wordpress.org/plugins/ewww-image-optimizer/
This plugin uses a number of utilities to better optimise images. I’ve enabled most optimisations and have also enabled the WEBP functionality.
Facebook Comments Plugin
This plugin is available from: https://wordpress.org/plugins/facebook-comments-plugin/
As I only have a small personal blog, I didn’t think local comments would be beneficial. I decided to disable the built-in WordPress comments and utilise Facebook for my comment system. The Facebook Comments Plugin made this relatively simple and means any comments posts on my Facebook app page will also appear on my local site.
This plugin is available from: https://wordpress.org/plugins/geolocation-plus/
From time-to-time I intend to create posts about specific locations. Geolocation Plus will enable me to geo-tag posts via a small panel on the posts page.
This plugin is available from: https://wordpress.org/plugins/image-credits/
I use the Image Credits plugin to display the sources for my images and videos. You will notice this on the bottom of most pages.
This plugin is available from: https://wordpress.org/plugins/lastfm-records/
I’ve set-up my media players to log the songs player to Last.FM. The Last.Fm Records plugin reads this information and then uses it to display CD covers in the side-bar of the site.
This plugin is available from: https://wordpress.org/plugins/linkify-text/
Linkify Text automatically converts words or phrases to links in my posts. I’m using this to save me the effort of manually linking commonly used terms to relevant pages.
Social Share Button
This plugin is available from: https://wordpress.org/plugins/social-share-button/
This plugin is available from: https://wordpress.org/plugins/table-generator/
This plugin is available from: https://wordpress.org/plugins/wordpress-seo/
The WordPress SEO plugin adds some metadata to my pages to improve SEO for Google. It also provides a panel on the post editing screen to show how effective the page is for search engines.
This plugin is available from: https://wordpress.org/plugins/wp-serverinfo/
WP-ServerInfo provides an extra panel on the WordPress admin dashboard with details about the PHP and MySQL installations.
WP Product Review
This plugin is available from:https://wordpress.org/plugins/wp-product-review/
WP Product Review adds some extra information to posts for product reviews. You can view an example of the output on the REVIEW: Bobble Jug post.
This plugin is available from: https://wordpress.org/plugins/wp-statistics/
WP Statistics provides geo specific statistics for my site. I find the information interesting, but for a site such as this it isn’t overly useful.