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There’s always something to howl about

WordPress Plugins- Like Shopping at WalMart

Have you ever gone to the store and found odds and ends of things that you just can’t live without?  How about a tape measure for $2, set of plates for $10, etc.-and then get home and wonder where the heck you are going to put all of it?

That is kind of where I am while looking through WordPress Plugins.  I feel like I have found the Mother Load of Clearance racks.

Here are the ones that are grabbing my attention with a big red tag on them.  Are you using any of these?  What’s your opinion on them and are some of them a waste of space?

  • Events Calendar- This would be pretty neat for Open Houses, Conferences, Local Happenings on a local blog
  • Subscribe2- Since not everyone is techie enough to read through a feeder, being able to subscribe through email
  • SMS Text Message- Allows people to subscribe via SMS TXT
  • Better Blogroll- The theme I chose does not have a blogroll that you can add links to..and I want one
  • HB Social Bookmarks-  I like the top of mind approach
  • All in One SEO-  Yeah, well…

By now you know that with Project Bloodhound II one of the goals is to keep my site clean and crisp, so I am wondering exactly which Plugins to use and not clutter up my ‘cabinet space’.  I want to be conservative now because as the site continues to grow, there will always be more.  If you have found a kickin’ Plugin that is not in my shopping cart, I’d love to hear about it!

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  • 42 comments

    42 Comments so far

    1. jay June 29th, 2008 3:03 pm

      I’m oblivious to WP, but I’m sure they have a plugin for tags at the end of your blogs. It’s a great way for readers to read more posts on any given subject about which you write. The interlinking is probably also good.

      And from a RE consultant’s perspective, it’s pretty convenient being able to send prospects to an URL that is tagged for a specific subject about which you want them to become educated. An example is are my posts that are tagged with 1800 Wilson (a condo): http://www.justnewlistings.com/arlington-virginia-blog/tags/1800-wilson-condo/ Or a page tagged for buyers that I direct any prospects to:
      http://www.justnewlistings.com/arlington-virginia-blog/tags/buyers/

      You can have a tag for sellers for example when you cross paths with potential sellers and want them to read your posts all from one page.

      Makes good impression in terms of your authority on the issue/building/community.

      j

    2. Stephanie Edwards-Musa June 29th, 2008 3:13 pm

      Hi Jay,

      Thanks for the input. I believe that it will work out that each category like that will be on the sidebar with its URL and the Category at the end of the post.

      I tried with tags on my existing site but it got way out of hand…so I went with categories instead. Maybe someone else will hop in give us their take.

      Also, WordPress is not near as hard as I have heard people talk about. Actually, when I look at the whole picture, it’s easier than GoDaddy Quickblog that I currently use for it. Very glad that I chose wp right now.

      Totally agree with having a link to send people to. Thanks for reminding me about it.

    3. Ryan Hartman June 29th, 2008 3:47 pm

      Stephanie: Thanks for inviting this discussion! I’m as addicted to firing up (and firing down) new wp plugins as my wife is to spending my commissions at her favorite online stores.

      Here are a few that really make PhiladelphiaRealEstateHub.Com Tick.

      NextGen Photo Gallery
      (http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/nextgen-gallery/) When we’re not enjoying engenu for single property pages, this great photo uploader / gallery manager makes creating single property pages with tons of photos quick and easy.

      Exec-Php
      http://bluesome.net/post/2005/08/18/50/
      This one lets us use php directly inside posts and pages.

      Headspace2
      http://urbangiraffe.com/plugins/headspace2/
      Does A Lot of The Same Stuff that AllInOneSeO does with a little extra functionality that makes managing wordpress’s duplicate content issues a little easier. Plus, following Joost’s (the plugin developer’s) SEO advice seems to have helped us a great deal in recent months.

      Multi-Level Navigation Plugin
      http://pixopoint.com/multi-level-navigation/
      The abilility to add a dropdown vertical nav to our template has made it a lot easier to give visitors access to all the great features we have buried in 1000+ pages of content (without creating a mile long sidebar that makes company agents wonder why their stuff doesn’t get to be near the top.)

      Similar Posts Plugin
      http://rmarsh.com/plugins/similar-posts/
      This one adds a quick list of related posts to the bottom of each page/post. Seems to have gone a long way toward increasing our averages pages/visitor (as well as our search engine rankings.)

      These are the favorites right now. As always we’re also testing some others out, such as “TubePress” which will allow us to dynamically show all the new youtube videos that are posted to the company account.

      Please feel free to hit me up with any questions or recomendations you might have about other plugins and thanks again for inviting this discussion!

    4. Cheryl Johnson June 29th, 2008 4:54 pm

      Stephanie,

      There are a lot of plugins that help with administrative behind-the-scenes work, visitors to your scene never see them, so you don’t need to worry about clutter.

      Personally, I think this one is super useful: Theme Test Drive http://www.prelovac.com/vladimir/wordpress-plugins/theme-test-drive

      You can test new themes and customizations out without your tests being visible to anyone visiting your site while you’re testing.

    5. Greg Swann June 29th, 2008 5:51 pm

      Here are the plugins currently in use at BloodhoundBlog (and on all the blogs we host). I’m very conservative about this stuff, slow to add anything new, quick to eliminate anything that’s causing problems.

      Akismet
      Akismet checks your comments against the Akismet web service to see if they look like spam or not. You need a WordPress.com API key to use it. You can review the spam it catches under “Comments.” To show off your Akismet stats just put < ?php akismet_counter(); ?> in your template. See also: WP Stats plugin. By Matt Mullenweg.

      Angsuman’s Feed Copyrighter
      Inserts copyright message in Feeds. The message is of the standard format (can be customized): Copyright © 2005 YOUR BLOG NAME. This Feed is for personal non-commercial use only. If you are not reading this material in your news aggregator, the site you are looking at is guilty of copyright infringement. Please contact legal@BLOG_ADDRESS so we can take legal action immediately. By Angsuman Chakraborty.

      Customizable Post Listings
      Display Recent Posts, Recently Commented Posts, Recently Modified Posts, Random Posts, and other post listings using the post information of your choosing in an easily customizable manner. You can narrow post searches by specifying categories and/or authors, among other things. By Scott Reilly.

      DoFollow
      Selectively disable the “nofollow” tagging for comments. Configuration: Options » DoFollow. By Kimmo Suominen.

      Enforce www. Preference
      Provides 301 redirects to queries with /index.php and enforces your use or non-use of www. By Mark Jaquith.

      Filosofo Comments Preview
      Filosofo Comments Preview lets you preview WordPress comments before you submit them. By Austin Matzko.

      Google XML Sitemaps
      This plugin will generate a sitemaps.org compatible sitemap of your WordPress blog which is supported by Ask.com, Google, MSN Search and YAHOO. Configuration Page By Arne Brachhold.

      No Flash Uploader
      Disables the Flash Uploader of 2.5 By Dion Hulse.

      Photo Dropper
      Lets you add Creative commons licensed Photos to Your Posts from Flickr. By activating this plugin you agree to be fully responsbile for adhering to Creative Commons licenses for all photos you post to your blog. By Photodropper.

      podPress
      The podPress pluggin gives you everything you need in one easy plugin to use WordPress for Podcasting. Set it up in ‘podPress’->Feed/iTunes Settings. If you this plugin works for you, send us a comment. By Dan Kuykendall (Seek3r).

      Related Posts
      Returns a list of the related entries based on active/passive keyword matches. By Alexander Malov, Mike Lu & Jon Bourne.

      runPHP
      Allows you to put PHP code into a post and have it eval()’d. By James Van Lommel.

      Social Bookmark Creator
      Add social bookmark links to your blog. Config Instructions By Thomas McMahon.

      SRG Clean Archives
      This plugin is designed to display your archive listings in a clean, uniform, single-query fashion that’s Search Engine friendly on a dedicated page or in your sidebar. By Sean R..

      Subscribe2
      Notifies an email list when new entries are posted. By Matthew Robinson.

      Subscribe To Comments
      Allows readers to receive notifications of new comments that are posted to an entry. Based on version 1 from Scriptygoddess By Mark Jaquith.

      WordPress Database Backup
      On-demand backup of your WordPress database. Navigate to Manage → Backup to get started. By Austin Matzko.

    6. Stephanie Edwards-Musa June 29th, 2008 6:08 pm

      Ryan, the photo gallery one sounds great! So does the vertical drop down bar. I’ll have to go check out your site to see it all in action. Thanks for the heads up on them. I’d like to know about the You Tube one too..

      Cheryl, Thanks for that link. It will come in handy and sounds super useful!

      Greg, Wow! I was hoping to narrow down the list. You just added a bunch to it, but a lot sounds like they won’t clog up the sidebar. Thanks for all of that!

      The dofollow, is that to create a backlink to those that comment, or to remove it? Or is it just to have a choice with each one. Didn’t really get that one.

    7. Greg Swann June 29th, 2008 7:08 pm

      > The dofollow, is that to create a backlink to those that comment, or to remove it? Or is it just to have a choice with each one. Didn’t really get that one.

      dofollow eliminates the nofollow that WordPress normally puts on blog comments. In other words, our 25,000+ comments give juice back to the commenters. Your mileage may vary, but it seems to me like a decent thing to do.

      Here’s how to get a blogroll in your existing sidebar:

      Paste this wherver you want it to go in sidebar.php:

      <h2><?php _e('Blogroll'); ?></h2>
      <ul><?php get_links(-1, '<li>', '</li>', 
      FALSE, FALSE, 'name', FALSE); ?></ul>

      The word ‘Blogroll’ is your headline text, so you can change it to what you want. get_links is deprecated, so you can rewrite this in wp_list_bookmarks instead. Everything in every one of your theme files is documented in the Codex, and many things that are not there now can be added if you want them.

    8. Greg Swann June 29th, 2008 7:14 pm

      Oh, forget that, this does it all:

      <?php wp_list_bookmarks(); ?>

      Totally easy.

    9. Stephanie Edwards-Musa June 29th, 2008 7:20 pm

      Ok, got it. It already has links in it, how could I add links to it? Also, something in the second one gave it a bullet and it’s not aligned.

      Is all of that in one of the links in the first comment? I can figure it out…probably. :) Won’t promise.

      You can see what I’m talking about.

      http://69.89.31.248/~turningh/

    10. Erion Shehaj June 29th, 2008 7:26 pm

      Stephanie

      You might also consider the:

      ShareThis Plugin. It;s similar to HB Social Bookmarks but in my opinion, cleaner.

    11. Greg Swann June 29th, 2008 7:28 pm

      Show me the code you have for Categories.

      Copy it from sidebar.php, then go here:

      http://www.bloodhoundrealty.com/BloodhoundBlog/SlashProc.php

      Paste your code in the box you see there, hit Submit, then copy the output at the top of the window and paste that into your reply. SlashProc.php is a way of getting readable HTML or PHP into a WP post or comment without WP trying to parse it.

    12. Stephanie Edwards-Musa June 29th, 2008 7:32 pm

      Here is what it gave me.

      <?php wp_list_cats(‘sort_column=name&optioncount=1&hierarchical=0′); ?>

    13. Stephanie Edwards-Musa June 29th, 2008 7:33 pm

      Hey Erion!

      That’s pretty cool. What I’m trying to do is get a blogroll to share other sites for information. Not really social media sites, but say other EcoBrokers, builders, whatever, webpages.

      The plugin sounds pretty neat though. May use it. :)

    14. Greg Swann June 29th, 2008 7:42 pm

      wp_list_cats is deprecated, too, but we’ll worry about that another day.

      For now, let’s try something simple. Replace what you pasted in with this:

      <UL><?php wp_list_bookmarks(); ?></UL>

      It’s posible we’ll have to talk about building everything by hand, but it’s also possible we’re just one nest out of the list structure in sidebar.php.

    15. Stephanie Edwards-Musa June 29th, 2008 7:48 pm

      That got it in line with everything else. Yeah! Now, how would I go about adding links to it? Or can I?

      I tried adding links the normal way for linking <a href=..etc. Didn’t work. Gave me an error code and wiped out my sidebar.

    16. Greg Swann June 29th, 2008 7:49 pm

      Yep. Between meta and the blogroll you have a /UL and an UL, both in angle brackets. Omit both and that extra space between meta and the blogroll will go away. The sidebar is normally written in nested UL’s. You put the code I gave you outside the nest, so that’s why it acted up.

    17. Greg Swann June 29th, 2008 7:51 pm

      > Now, how would I go about adding links to it?

      Here:

      http://69.89.31.248/~turningh/wp-admin/link-manager.php

      You can add and manage links in multiple categories.

    18. Stephanie Edwards-Musa June 29th, 2008 7:57 pm

      Geez. That’s easy. Thanks.

      Looks like I need to cruise around the dashboard some more. I was trying to make it too difficult.

      After hearing for so long how hard WP is to use, I expected this whole deal to be much harder than it really is. Pleasantly surprised. I feel right now that I could have everything switched over within the week.

      We’ll see how this next week goes.

    19. Greg Swann June 29th, 2008 8:02 pm

      Everything gets easier with each release. I sometimes feel like a thumbsucker, because I tend to do everything the hard way, and so I don’t know how to do things the easier way. That’s a good reason to have Cheryl looking over my shoulder.

    20. Todd June 30th, 2008 6:40 am

      Didn’t see any mention of Roger Theriault’s Great Real Estate plugin, that displays your listings, so I will:

      http://www.rogertheriault.com/agents/plugins/great-real-estate-plugin/

      And no conversation about WordPress plugins can occur without including Alex King’s professional grade work, including the requisite Twitter plugin;

      Twitter Tools – This plugin creates an integration between your WordPress blog and your Twitter account. Pull your tweets into your blog and create new tweets on blog posts and from within WordPress.

      Link Harvest – This plugin will go through all of your posts and pages and compile a list of all external links. Then it will create a linkroll for you based on your actual linking activity. You can have a full page display (like I do) or a little sidebar display.

      Share This – This plugin will allow your visitors to share your content via social bookmarking sites and/or e-mailing the post to a friend.

      WordPress Mobile Edition – A PDA friendly interface for your blog. You can see it in action by visiting this site in a mobile browser.

      Popularity Contest – This plugin will help you see which of your posts are most popular. Views, comments, etc. are tracked and given configurable point values to determine popularity.

      All are here:

      http://alexking.org/projects/wordpress

    21. Stephanie Edwards-Musa June 30th, 2008 12:02 pm

      Ok, I’ve added unzipped plugins to the plugin folder on my ftp, but they are not showing up in wp. ???

      Aggravating. Any ideas.

    22. Erion Shehaj June 30th, 2008 12:20 pm

      Hopefully this answers your questions:

      1. Have you transferred the plugin files from your local folder to your WP-Plugins remote folder?

      2. Have you gone to the Plugin Area in your Dashboard and activated the plugins?

    23. Greg Swann June 30th, 2008 12:21 pm
    24. Stephanie Edwards-Musa June 30th, 2008 12:42 pm

      Yes, they don’t show up on the plugin list, and they are in the plugin directory.

      Think I’m going to go to lunch.

    25. Stephanie Edwards-Musa June 30th, 2008 1:13 pm

      Greg,

      Also, in the singlepost page, would something need to go before and after this?

      I know you mentioned that is for sidebar…figured there is something similar in body.

    26. Susan Zanzonico July 1st, 2008 3:34 pm

      Stephanie, great post and thanks for getting this subject going. Greg, thanks for sharing all the BB plug-in information. I just upgraded my WP blog based on Eric Blackwell’s post. I have to spend some time and see if I can figure things out…its a little different. A friend helped me set it up initially. I have askimet and it works great. I am hoping to be able to add a way to use pictures, without making a mess as its hosted on REW, so I may need to be more careful as its part of my site. That’ll be my next very careful experiment. Any words of wisdom or caution around this are appreciated.

    27. Erion Shehaj July 1st, 2008 4:19 pm

      Greg

      The launch of Project Bloodhound happened to coincide with my personal launch of a new WP blog (erionshehaj.com). For three days now, I’ve tried to figure out what the issue is with the headline pics that won’t display. The theme I’m using is using a php script to automatically re size those photos.

      Any advice? It would be greatly appreciated

    28. Stephanie Edwards-Musa July 1st, 2008 4:50 pm

      Hi Susan, good luck with it all. I’m still having issues with plugins.

      As an update, the plugins still won’t show up on the plugin maintenance page. I posted in both the www/wp_content/plugins and public_html/wp_content/plugins..didn’t matter. They appear to mirror each other.

      Have resorted to emailing the guy that designed the theme to see if there have been other issues like it. Long shot, but..no answer on the wp forum or troubleshooting. Bluehost says it is not them. Did find out that the plugins appear to be compatible with 2.5.1 – that’s a start.

    29. Greg Swann July 1st, 2008 5:16 pm

      Stephanie, do you know how to check permissions in our FTP program. I’m thinking you need to be at least 755 for plug-ins. If your FTP program is uploading folders at 744 or lower, WP may not be able to access them.

    30. Greg Swann July 1st, 2008 5:17 pm

      > For three days now, I’ve tried to figure out what the issue is with the headline pics that won’t display. The theme I’m using is using a php script to automatically re size those photos.

      You could email me the PHP if you want and I’ll take a look.

    31. Stephanie Edwards-Musa July 1st, 2008 5:34 pm

      Hey Greg, no clue how to check that but I’ll do some research and find out about it. Thanks for the heads up.

    32. jay July 2nd, 2008 3:06 am

      Just found this application that allows “noobs” to manipulate a theme online and then spits out the code for your would be wordpress blog:
      http://www.yvoschaap.com/wpthemegen/

      Maybe I’ll test it out and get back with people–could be a start for some people.

      j

    33. jay July 2nd, 2008 3:57 am

      What WYSIWYG would you recommend for getting started for those of us that need help building a website? anyone? And what FTP application is easiest/most intuitive?

      j

    34. Stephanie Edwards-Musa July 2nd, 2008 8:07 pm

      Ok, here is another update for anyone that may run in to the same problem. The guy that designed the theme said the same thing as Greg, it’s a permission issue. I couldn’t figure out how to fix that.

      So what I did was go in to the file manager and totally recreate every unzipped file to a T by folder, sub-folder and so forth. The plugins now show up.

      Only one won’t work but since all of the others are I have to ‘assume’ that it is the plugin not compatible or something.

    35. Greg Swann July 2nd, 2008 8:31 pm

      > So what I did was go in to the file manager and totally recreate every unzipped file to a T by folder, sub-folder and so forth.

      Everything in the Windows world is needlessly complicated. I just checked in FileZilla, but, no doubt, you’ll have to work things out differently in a different FTP client.

      For FileZilla, select a folder or file. Right click on the folder’s or file’s icon. From the context-sensitive pop-up menu, select File Attributes. In the text box at the bottom, type 755 then click on OK. You will have just given the Owner, the Group and the Public permission to Read and Execute the file or folder, with Write permission reserved to the Owner.

      I couldn’t find a way to set default upload permissions in FileZilla, but this is worth looking for in other FTP clients.

    36. Stephanie Edwards-Musa July 2nd, 2008 8:33 pm

      Thanks Greg, I’ll check it out in my host ftp. I’m not using FileZilla. But if it will be easier.. :)

    37. Greg Swann July 2nd, 2008 8:40 pm

      > I’m not using FileZilla. But if it will be easier.

      I hate FileZilla, but I do nothing but dread simple FTP from Windows. I use Fetch for the Macintosh for serious FTP.

    38. Stephanie Edwards-Musa July 2nd, 2008 9:06 pm

      Greg,

      If you hear me way I’m going to get another computer and I mention that it is using Windows…please slap me. :)

    39. Susan Zanzonico July 3rd, 2008 6:44 pm

      OK, this is way out of my league, but I keep reading, you never know when something will “click in”. :)

    40. Erion Shehaj July 6th, 2008 7:24 pm

      Greg

      I’ve noticed that with most WP themes, all pages created automatically get a tab in the navigation.

      I was wondering, is there a way to add a tab to the navigation that is simply a link to an exterior site? And if yes, is there a way to do this from the dashboard without touching code?

    41. jaybird July 7th, 2008 12:08 pm

      Anyone want to recommend a superior WYSIWYG tool?

      J

    42. Stephanie Edwards-Musa July 20th, 2008 11:05 am

      Hi all,

      I just added a plugin that I thought I would share. It’s called Comment luv.

      http://www.fiddyp.co.uk/commentluv-wordpress-plugin/

      It parses a commenters most recent blog post to share with readers. Pretty neat.