For most programmers it’s hard to switch gears to something that isn’t programming related, like building a blog site. For iDevBlogADay readers and authors I’m creating a 3-part series on how developers can use WordPress, in combination with their current knowledge, to help them with their blogging/website workflow.
• WordPress Tips For Developers: Part 3 – Backup
I don’t want to list every plugin I use, but I will cover the ones I find the most useful. As always, if there is one you think I should have listed, share it in the comments below!
Comment Reply Notification
Comments are one of those things that make blogs interesting. Most blogs don’t require an account to comment, which is great!
The problem is that many blogs out there don’t have a way for a commenter to know when there is a reply to their comment without re-visiting the page. (Actually, if it’s WordPress, there is an RSS feed for each blog post you can subscribe to for comments, but it’s usually not advertised.)
Adding the ability to send e-mail responses will add more interaction to your posts.
Secure WordPress & WP Security Scan
Far too often I hear about people complaining about how their web site got hacked and lost everything. This is because WordPress is not super secure out of the box, but with the help of a couple security plugins, we can add some extra armor.
Both of these plugins are made by the same company and work well together. It won’t solve all hacker issues, but it will make you feel safer having it installed. The best defense? BACKUPS! (Coming soon in part 3 of this series!)
This is a plugin created by WordPress themselves and it’s actually a collection of plugins.
My personal favorites are the WordPress Stats and Gravatar Hovercards. WordPress Stats will give you a “more-live” version of traffic (which I use to complement Google Analytics).
Gravatar Hovercards will show more detail about commenter when the mouse goes over the avatar image.
The first time I saw this was on the New York Times’s web site. It was such a good idea that most blogs have borrowed it.
This plugin will have a box appear with info when the viewer scrolls down towards the comment of a blog posting. You can customize what goes in the box as well!
WordPress Editorial Calendar
Depending on how much you blog, organizing posts can be challenging. I try to space my posts appropriately and sometimes I’ll end up swapping a topic with another one.
The Editorial Calendar plugin makes it as easy as dragging and dropping to schedule your posts.
Category Icons & Category Order
By default, WordPress categories are in alphabetical order. They’re also kinda boring looking.
Public Post Preview
In order to view postings in are still have the “Draft” status, you need to be a valid user on the site. What if you just want to send it to someone really quick to proofread or view for comments?
This plugin will give you a URL to copy to anyone without having the post “live” on your site.
Yet Another Related Posts Plugin (YARPP)
A funny name for a plugin, but it seems to be the most popular for what it does; which is simply find posts related to the current post.
It can be tweaked somewhat to show more or less related posts and can be implemented at the bottom of a post and/or as a widget.
What plugins do you use that I missed here? Many of these plugins include widgets to complement them as well so you can include them in your sidebars.
Thanks again for reading and come back in 2 weeks to see part 2 where I talk about how to use version control with your WordPress site.