Highly Recommended WordPress Plugins for Specific Uses
Yesterday’s post covered what I see as the mandatory WordPress plugins; today’s post focus on the best plugins that meet specific needs.
Book Lists – Now Reading
For regular readers this plugin from Rob Miller allows you to let people know your recommended reading, displays book covers and you can of course add links to Amazon with your affiliate code.
Caching and Performance Tuning – WP-Super Cache and WP-Offload
These plugins improve the response time of your blog in two ways; one by caching your pages and the other by caching your images on another server.
The first plugin is WP Super Cache by Donncha O Caoimh. This plugin caches your blog posts and pages to flat files in order that they do not have to be built from the database every time they are accessed. The result is that your blog is far more able to withstand spikes in traffic due to the digg effect or being slashdotted.
The second plugin is WP Offload by Blagovest Buyukliev. It copies any images embedded in your posts onto his network of servers where they can be cached and delivered more quickly to your visitors that they would be if the images were located on the server where your blog is hosted. The creation of the cache happens in the background so you do not have to change your posts to reflect the cache location of the images. Very clever. It also has features for resizing or flipping images on the fly. By offloading the images on another server this increases the capacity of your blog to handle more visitors.
Categories and Tags – Category Order, WP-Cumulus
The first of these plugins by Wessley Roche allows you to sort your categories to appear in the order you want, whether that be in menus or widgets.
The second of these plugins is by Roy Tanck and can be used to create a tag cloud widget which can add visual appeal to your blog. The cloud can contain tags, categories or both.
Charitable Donations – PayPal Donations
If you want your visitors to be able to make donations to a charity then this plugin by Johan Steen fits the bill.
Custom Code : Exec-PHP
This plugin by SÃ¶ren Weber allows your blog to execute PHP. This allows a high degree of customization.
Guest Posting – TDO Mini Forms
If you want your visitors to make guest posts where they can upload cards, projects, etc then this plugin by Mark Cunningham allows the reader to update your blog with guest content subject to your approval.
Navigation – Page Links To
This plugin by Mark Jaquith allows you to add non blog pages to your navigation menu.
SEO – All In One SEO Pack
If you are not using the Thesis theme which has built-in SEO support, then use this plugin by Michael Torbert to enter title, description and keywords data on your posts. This improves the position of your blog in the search engine rankings.
Shopping – WP Shopping Cart
This plugin by Instinct Entertainment allows you to display and sell products on your blog.
Sitemap – Dagon Design Sitemap Generator
Use this Dagon Design plugin if you want a human readable site map page on your blog that is updated automatically as you post.
Twitter – TweetMeme Button
If you are using Twitter to publicize your blog then this plugin adds a Tweet Me button to each post.