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WordPress Pluggins: Part One

wordpresslogo.jpgLast year it sounded all so easy and routine when I said to myself “let’s move my blog from Blogger to WordPress. Should be a piece of cake”.

Famous last words.

One year on and three attempts later, my blog is now finally on the WordPress platform. I now feel like I need a long holiday.

Moving over to WordPress involves a very steep learning curve and it was only in the past week or so that I realised how little I actually knew. So I figured a few posts about WordPress features, widgets and plug-ins would be a good idea for anyone else contemplating the “Big Move”. For anyone who is contemplating it, I would say it is worth the effort involved but it’s good to get someone knowledgable to help you. When it is all done, you’ll see how far superior WordPress is to Blogger in terms of features and control.

The Top Five Tools You Should Have On Your WordPress Blog

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I’ve tested some of the following features and others I have only glanced at. So don’t blame me if you try any of these out and they don’t work! Try them at your own risk!

To activate them, you need to unzip them and then place them in your “wp-content/plugins” folder by firing up a FTP program and moving things from your PC to your blog (FileZilla Transfer Files by FTP with FileZilla Transfer Files by FTP with FileZilla Read More is an excellent choice). Often, there are written instructions inside the folder you must follow for it to work. Like everything else, this is all trial and error. If it doesn’t work, keep fiddling around with it until it does work.

Recent Comments – one of the things I like most about WordPress is the ability to highlight recent comments on the front page. It’s only natural for readers to get a kick out of seeing their name on the page and this encourages them to come back and comment again. It’s also good for the blog owner to get a brief overview of any new comments that have come in.

Subscribe to Comments – this is a really cool feature which I have just implemented on my site. It allows people to subscribe to the comments in a post by having them emailed to them. Plus someone can subscribe to the comments without having to leave a comment first. Again, this is a good way to encourage repeat visitors.

Show Related Entries – this is one I have always wanted for my blog. This scans the post you have just read and offers links to similar posts that you have written. This is good for getting visitors to read and comment on your older work that may not be so visible anymore. A good way of recycling something you wrote ages ago.

Askimet – anyone who uses the internet for any lengthy period of time knows full well the spam problem. Bloggers have an even rougher time of it as blogs attract regular visitors and that is fertile hunting ground for the spammers. Askimet is a robust effective spam filtering tool that nukes the spam before it has a chance to hit your blog.

Redirection – this one was recommended to me by Aibek but unfortunately I can’t use it. Basically this plug-in allows you to re-direct posts if the URL changes or if someone types in the website name without the “www” (redirection will add the “www”). But I can’t use it because it needs “.htaccess” and it seems that Yahoo (my hosting company) doesn’t allow it! Which is a pity because this looks like a really great plug-in.

I am currently looking for a good WordPress backup tool. If anyone can recommend one, please do let me know in the comments.

So those are my top five plug-ins so far. I’ll be back again tomorrow with my next batch of tools that you should look at for a WordPress blog. As usual, please leave your comments and recommendations!

  1. Zeb
    October 25, 2007 at 10:13 am

    Thanks for the write-up about WordPress. One thing I've found nearly impossible to find is a good, simple to use (, and well documented) gallery software for WordPress. Frickin' crazy that this blog tool is so popular but most of the software out there for it is crap!

  2. Andrew
    October 25, 2007 at 1:06 am

    If you want a more hands on option there is a MySql tool called administrator that can perform backups and restorations. You can get it from mysql.net

    I second Scott's comments though, wp-db-backup is probably all you need.

  3. Ellie
    October 24, 2007 at 11:06 pm

    I use WordPress Database Backup v2.1.4 by Austin Matzko — On-demand backup of your WordPress database.

    http://www.ilfilosofo.com/blog/wp-db-backup

    I have it currently set to backup nightly; and then email it to me. I have set up my Gmail with a filter, so the emails go into the "blog backups" label.

  4. Scott
    October 24, 2007 at 5:39 pm

    Whats it take to get a comment up here then ?

    • Aibek
      October 24, 2007 at 5:46 pm

      Hey Scott, sorry for trouble with comments. We get so much of spam that we have no choice but to send most of the comments through moderation queue. ;-)

  5. Scott
    October 24, 2007 at 5:07 pm

    The one I've been using is just wordpress backup

    at
    http://www.ilfilosofo.com/blog/wp-db-backup/

    I've set it to email a gmail account once a week with the database, simple

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