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WordPress is the best all round blogging platform. You can use it for a simple online journal or to power huge websites such as our very own MakeUseOf.

I guess thats why so many bloggers trust it to get the job done on an everyday basis, as well as keep their site looking great with themes Save $87 By Making A Free 'Thesis' Wordpress Theme Clone Save $87 By Making A Free 'Thesis' Wordpress Theme Clone Read More and widgets.

That being said, there are times when we need specific features and that’s where plugins come in. Many of us will use plugins to make our blog comparable with another service such as a social network or to improve server response time, but today I want to take a look at three cool WordPress plugins I use which just make blogging easier and more enjoyable.

Theme My LogIn

The WP login page hasn’t changed much since the platform was first released so it’s cool to be able to jazz it up with this plugin.

cool WordPress plugins

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What it does is simple: it transforms your login page into a page of your blog when wp-admin redirects you to the login page. The login area is displayed where your post would normally be with the rest of your blog being the same. You can still use the normal login page by going directly to wp-login.php.

While this doesn’t make blogging any easier per se, it does give you a little bit of individuality and fun.

Future Calendar

This plugin will be of great benefit to those who post on their blogs every few days or so and like to keep their posting pattern regular. Obviously, if you own a bigger blog then some of the point is lost because all of the days will be highlighted but it might still be useful to you to decide which day a post would be best suited to.

cool WordPress plugins

It’s a basic plugin but one of my favorites. A small calandar will appear once the plugin is installed, to the right of your posting area. The days when you have post scheduled for the remainder of the month will be highlighted in green as seen above. The current day is highlighted and bolded.

I find this really handy when posting as I just have to glance at the calandar to check my frequency and to decide what day/date would be the best for the post to go live.

Photo Dropper

A picture is worth a thousand words and like most bloggers, I like to start off an article with a big, high-quality picture that really captures the theme of the article. The trouble is that when posting creative commons images you have to source the picture on a separate website such as Flickr and post an attribution link.

cool WordPress plugins

Photodropper however, creates a small icon in the post editor as shown. When clicked a search bar will appear. This enables you to search Flickr for CC images. When you click on one of the results and select the appropriate size (the largest being 500px), the image is placed in the post and an attractive link along with the Creative Commons 3 Tips For Getting More Out Of Creative Commons 3 Tips For Getting More Out Of Creative Commons Read More logo is placed below.

I think this makes the post look very professional and also saves you a lot of hassle.

So there you have it. Three cool WordPress plugins to make your blogging life a little easier. Do you use any interesting plugin which helps you blog or just to liven things up?

Image Attribution: Pantagrapher

  1. Cin
    March 16, 2010 at 10:03 pm

    I love the future calendar and the photo dropper! Thanks for the share-going to install the plug ins today! i've never heard of that photo source before either-nice!

  2. Evan Wondrasek
    March 16, 2010 at 12:49 pm

    Photo Dropper is a great find! I've always wanted a better way to manage Creative Commons images.

  3. ProLire
    March 16, 2010 at 12:30 pm

    Future calendar is great to see the schedule of articles in the future (and not make the mistake of publishing several posts the same day)

    As Theme My Login adds a new page, the access to the login page is public and I'm quite afraid of that. (even if every body who knows WordPress can access to the login page of any website adding wp-admin at the end of the URL...)

  4. Zack
    March 16, 2010 at 10:49 am

    The third one about the Flickr photos looks interesting. I'll have to test drive that one. Just have to see if it interferes with timthumb.

  5. Jonathan Bennett
    March 16, 2010 at 9:03 am

    It's funny you mention Theme My Login because I just started using it on my site the other day. Nice list!

  6. Jane Cooke
    March 16, 2010 at 7:25 am

    I especially like the photo dropper and how easy it makes adding photographs to a blog post.

  7. dream interpreter
    March 16, 2010 at 6:09 am

    I use WP and i am very happy about this platform!

  8. Jeff Farthing
    March 16, 2010 at 5:04 am

    Thanks for the review of my plugin!

    Just for the record, Theme My Login also includes quite a few "extra" features besides just what the name says. It also allows you to theme user profiles, allow users to set their own password upon registration and password retrieval, redirect users anywhere according to role upon log in and log out, customize the e-mails sent to the user for new registration and password retrieval, moderate users by requiring them to confirm their e-mail address or admin approval, and more!

    Also, coming soon I will be adding more and more "modules" to the plugin (modules are like plugins for the plugin, which can be activated/deactivated) including custom fields and captcha.

    Any other questions/comments/suggestions should be directed to my forum at http://www.jfarthing.com/forum.

  9. Jeff Farthing
    March 16, 2010 at 2:04 pm

    Thanks for the review of my plugin!

    Just for the record, Theme My Login also includes quite a few "extra" features besides just what the name says. It also allows you to theme user profiles, allow users to set their own password upon registration and password retrieval, redirect users anywhere according to role upon log in and log out, customize the e-mails sent to the user for new registration and password retrieval, moderate users by requiring them to confirm their e-mail address or admin approval, and more!

    Also, coming soon I will be adding more and more "modules" to the plugin (modules are like plugins for the plugin, which can be activated/deactivated) including custom fields and captcha.

    Any other questions/comments/suggestions should be directed to my forum at http://www.jfarthing.com/forum...

  10. Harsh Agrawal
    March 16, 2010 at 2:16 am

    Theme my login seems fun... I was using similar plugin call BM login plugin.. time for a change now :)

  11. Bimal Roy
    March 15, 2010 at 6:08 pm

    Thanks for the plugins. They were really helpful especially the future calender.

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