Blogging has become a nearly universal endeavor — but not necessarily
a profitable one. Technorati’s State of the Blogosphere (released
in mid-October, 2009) revealed that a full 72 percent of the blogosphere
are hobbyists and don’t make any money from their efforts.
If that sounds like you, now is the time to turn the tide.
WordPress is often the platform of choice for those
brave enough to venture away from a hosted solution. And
one of the main reasons for its popularity is the platform’s
extensibility through widgets and plugins that can transform
a boring blog into a little Las Vegas.
Let’s look at a few of the more unique plugins available
and how they might make you’re your blog the talk of
WP-Cumulus: When I first encountered WP-Cumulus,
it didn’t actually register that it was a plugin — it felt more
like a custom developed widget. And that’s precisely why
you might want to take a look. It allows you to display your
site’s tags, categories or both using a Flash movie that rotates
them in 3D. Although it works just like a regular tag
cloud, the effect is far more visually stimulating and will be
mesmerizing to users.
Sexy Bookmarks: Never has there been a more appropriately-
named plugin. Sexy Bookmarks is a plugin that
offers blog visitors the ability to syndicate your content to
over 50 different portals (including sharing via e-mail and
RSS) and does so in a rather elegant way without consuming
much page real estate. If you’re familiar with the Sociable
plugin for WordPress, you’re going to fall in love
with this one, thanks to an immense amount of customization
Explanatory Dictionary: For a while it seemed that every
blogger on the Web thought it was a good idea to use inline
text ads (underlined key words and phrases) on their
sites to either educate visitors or profit from their clicks.
The Explanatory Dictionary plugin can be used when there
are words, expressions or phrases that need to be explained
in the posts or pages of your weblog. Presented via a
“tooltip,” this could be a great way to provide users with
additional information without overwhelming
Custom Login Page: It’s every partygoers
worst nightmare: What if someone
shows up wearing the same outfit as you?
WordPress bloggers do it everyday when
they don’t use a login screen that matches
their themes or design elements. The Custom
Login Page plugin enables you to
change the background image of your
login page, the background image and
color of your login form, the main image
of your login page and even add custom
CSS. No need to be a developer to make
adjustments here as all changes are done
through a simple interface.
SI CAPTCHA Anti-Spam: No one likes
a party crasher. Spammers have been
known to ruin even top-tier sites through
rogue comment blasts. This plugin adds
CAPTCHA anti-spam methods to Word-
Press on any comment form, registration
form, login, or all of them. Configurable
from the admin panel, perhaps the best feature
is that it still allows for pingbacks and
trackbacks and can be hidden from logged-in users and administrators.
If you find your blog is becoming a bit of a downer, go
ahead and explore some of these options. Your readers will
thank you. After all, who doesn’t like a good party?
BONUS PLUGIN FOR THE MOBILE SAVVY WEBMASTER!
iPhone Theme: How does your weblog look on
mobile devices such as the
iPhone, Droid or Blackberry?
Chances are, not so great.
that’s the case, consider using
the WPtouch iPhone theme
It transforms your
WordPress blog’s theme to an
impressive iPhone-style theme
(complete with AJAX loading
articles and effects) without
modifying a single bit of code.
The theme also includes the
ability for visitors to switch
between WPtouch and your
site’s regular theme.