WordPress Plugins to Rock the Party
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 the party.
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 options.
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 them. http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/explanatory- dictionary/
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!
WPtouch iPhone Theme: How does your weblog look on mobile devices such as the iPhone, Droid or Blackberry? Chances are, not so great.
If that’s the case, consider using the WPtouch iPhone theme plugin.
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.