Five Useful WordPress Plugins

Five Useful WordPress PluginsI haven’t done a WordPress plugin post for some time, so I thought I would introduce you to some of my newer plugins which I have found to work really well on my website.  If you want to check out some of my previous plugin posts then take a look at Plugins Your Blog Readers Will Love, and Spread the Luv on your Blog!.

I’ve been using these five plugins for a while now and they have saved me time and made my website function in the way I’d like it to.  Below I have taken an extract from each of the plugin websites which gives you an overview of what the plugin does.  I have then written a little bit about why I use the plugin and how I think it improves my website.

 

Broken Link Checker for WordPress

Sometimes, links get broken. A page is deleted, a subdirectory forgotten, a site moved to a different domain. Most likely many of your blog posts contain links. It is almost inevitable that over time some of them will lead to a “404 Not Found” error page. Obviously you don’t want your readers to be annoyed by clicking a link that leads nowhere. You can check the links yourself but that might be quite a task if you have a lot of posts. You could use your webserver’s stats but that only works for local links.

The reason I installed this plugin was because I run and maintain another website and I knew it had a lot of broken links.  I tested various software online before I realised there was probably a plugin which did the same.  I receive an email whenever a broken link appears within my website, you can easily go and double check the link, amend it or ignore it.  I like the way it prompts you instead of you having to manually do a search of your website. 

 

Facebook for WordPress

This WordPress plugin makes your site deeply social by integrating functionality from Facebook.

This is a new addition to my website and one which I wasn’t completely sure about at first.  There are lots of features within this plugin, and some of which I am not using.  I have opted to use the ‘Like’ button at the top of each post and the ‘Subscribe’ button at the end of each post.  The plugin will also publish any new blog posts to my Facebook page wall, and this will be my first post to do this so I will be interested to see how it turns out.  One of the options I haven’t opted for is the comments box, and the reason I haven’t (because I think it’s a great way of interacting on Facebook) is because it completely removes the standard comment box on my posts.  When I post a comment on a blog, I always opt for the integrated box rather than the Facebook one, unless this is the only option.  I did just remove the recommendations option, because I have found a better alternative (see below), but I think it was a great addition.

 

WordPress Backup to Dropbox

WordPress Backup to Dropbox is a plugin for WordPress that automatically uploads a backup of your entire website, including all files and its database, to Dropbox. It has been created to give you piece of mind that your website is backed up on a regular basis.

Just choose a day, time and how often you wish yor backup to be performed and kick back and wait for your backup to be dropped in your Dropbox!

I’ve had a Dropbox account for some time, so to have this plugin integrated into my account is great.  My whole website gets backed-up each morning and goes directly into my Dropbox account.  I now set this up as standard on client WordPress sites, because even if I am unable to fix a crashed website at least I’ll have all the files close at hand which means someone can!

 

WP Greet Box

This plugin lets you show a different greeting message to your new visitors depending on their referrer url. For example, when a Digg user clicks through from Digg, they will see a message reminding them to digg your post if they like it. Another example, when a visitor clicks through from Twitter, they will see a message suggesting them to twit the post and follow you on Twitter. You can also set a default greeting message for new visitors (not matching any referrer URLs) suggesting them to subscribe to your RSS feed.

I came across this plugin while reading another post about plugins, it looked interesting and I thought it was quite good at getting people to share my posts.  I’m not sure how well it works in getting people to share, but I quite like the fact it knows where you have come from and reminds you to reshare.

 

Subscribe / Connect / Follow Widget

Subscribe / Connect / Follow widget for WordPress displays image links (icon buttons) to various subscription services and social networking sites in the blog’s sidebar (or in any widget holder).

To find a plugin which has the full complement of social networking sites all in one place took me quite some time.  I tried various plugins, but usually I had to have separate ones for different networks.  This one, although you can only have five, is great because you can choose the important ones you want displayed on your website.

 

As a bonus plugin, check out nrelate Related Content which I only installed today!  

Launched in late July of 2010, the nrelate Related Content plugin has become one of the most popular content plugins used by bloggers today. Whether showing internal related links, links to partner content, or sponsored posts, the plugin is a great way to increase page views, reduce bounce rate, and even make some extra cash.

I haven’t had a lot of time to test this one, but taking a look at what it does for each of my blog posts makes me want to include this in my list.  I only came across this plugin this morning and installed it immediately.  I loved the idea that nice images and recommended reading would be at the bottom of each of my posts.  It took a couple of hours to populate, but it seems to be working like a dream now.  Do let me know what you think?

I love to try out new plugins, what are your favourite WordPress plugins and why?  Let me know in the comments below.

 

Comments

  1. I love these type of posts to see what everyone is using and if I’d like to include them. I see some on your list that I’m going to check out.
    shawn recently posted..Don’t Have a Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes MarriageMy Profile

  2. Thanks for the very useful information on these plugins, some of which I’ve not come across before so will have to check them out.

    I am also using the Facebook for WordPress plugin but am finding it a little ‘buggy’ at present. I’d be interested to hear how it went with posting to your page, as I’ve been getting an error message.

    One of my favourite plugins – CommentLuv!
    Valerie Cuell recently posted..3 Top Tips For Building A Business OnlineMy Profile

    • Thanks for your comment Valerie… The Facebook plugin wasn’t perfect to be honest, so I removed it and shared it as I normally would. It seemed to share on my personal timeline in a much better format for some reason. I think parts of it are good, but other parts are lacking a little.

      I also love CommentLuv! :)

  3. Thank you for sharing some “new” favorites. I loved the “Like” my page pop up that appears for new visitors. Is that one of the plug ins listed? It made finding and Liking your page so easy!

    I am going to go check out your previous lists as well, review my favorites and share those too!

    Thank you!
    Terry
    Terry recently posted..WordPress Widgets –My Profile

    • Thanks Terry.. The plugin for the Facebook pop-up is called Facebook Page Promoter Lightbox Premium – I ended up paying for the premium version as it meant I could hide it after people had ‘liked’ my page, as I am sure it gets annoying if it keeps popping up! :)

  4. Thank you for this summary list. There are some that I have yet to try. One of my faves is All in One SEO pack and Photo Dropper. These are my two that I can not live without. Just recently added the WP About Author box but am having a bit of a time with it.

    thanks for sharing…
    Laura

    • Thanks Laura… I use Greg’s High Performance SEO but have recently been using a better (I feel) SEO plugin on my client websites called WordPress SEO (by Yoast) which I plan on using on here when I get the time to transfer everything over.

  5. I love posts like this! I learned about the related content one yesterday and have installed it myself, but the broken link one is another REALLY helpful plugin! I moved my blog a couple months ago and have been wanting to check this… didn’t think to try looking for a plugin! Duh! Thanks so much :)
    Suburban Style Challenge recently posted..Follow Up: New Year’s ResolutionsMy Profile

  6. Hi Jo, I removed the FB plugin as it drove me crazy and the disadvantages outweighed the advantages (for me anyway). Thanks for the broken link checker link, not used that one and it will be very useful!
    My fav plugin of all time has to be Yoast’s WordPress SEO – it just keeps getting better and better
    Jan recently posted..Learn Basic SEO in 10 Minutes (Video)My Profile

    • I can see where you’re coming from Jan, I’m going to test it a bit more to see if it’s worth keeping… obviously when I add new plugins I try to deactivate other ones so I don’t slow my website down, so this one might go in the next overhall! :)

  7. Ooh, the Dropbox one sounds killer. These are great, thanks for sharing. :)
    Lisa Marie recently posted..Are You Being Ridonculous?My Profile

  8. Thank you :) That is VERY helpful! I just installed nrelate and am exploring the others.
    Kelly recently posted..Creativity and the Tarot, how are you inspired? (Creative Tuesday)My Profile

  9. Hi Jo, Like Valerie, I have not had much luck with the Facebook plugin either. The features that I want to use don’t seem to work yet. The other plugins you mentioned are great. I just started using nrelate and love it!
    Carolyn @ Wonder of Tech recently posted..Hands-On with the Microsoft SurfaceMy Profile

  10. Hi Jo,

    I use a lot of plugins on my WordPress site, and I have several favorites. One is, Simple Trackback Validation with Topsy Blocker. It stopped a massive trackback spam problem by making it impossible for robots to leave trackbacks. Robots usually have the address of the robot provider and the address of the customer, so Topsy Blocker blocks any incoming trackbacks with two addresses. Another one is WP Smushit. This plugin allows you to speed up your block by compressing media images. It can be done individually, or with a bulk smushing action. Pretty neat, I think.

    Lou Barba
    Lou Barba@shortstorykitchen.com recently posted..The Cookie CookMy Profile

  11. Thanks Jo!!

    I’ve just installed the Dropbox back-up, had never heard of it before so thanks very much for that.

    Have a happy Wednesday :)

  12. Thanks for those Jo, I’ve not heard of some of them but am installing them now
    Rob Scott recently posted..How To Create A Pivot TableMy Profile

  13. Thanks Jo! I have bookmarked this page for my web designer as I am setting up my new domain and want to make sure all these great plugins are there!

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