Favorite WordPress Plugins (Part II)

Give me strength — today I officially start Week 1 of the Healthy Spirit Wellness Detox. As promised, it’s going to be relatively gentle — for me, more of a reset than a detox. Some of the things I’d like to get back on track with:

  • Reliance on caffeine (I’d successfully gotten down to 3/4 cup of coffee a day, but am now up to 1 1/2 cups with a ton of creamer and crap)
  • Mindless noshing (I’m shooting for breakfast, lunch, snack, dinner and small dessert)
  • Processed foods (I’d been great until Triscuits and pretzels started creeping back into the diet and they make me feel yucky!)
  • Sugar and artificial sweetener intake (I’d been at zero artificial sweeteners but have been drinking quite a bit of soda)
  • “White” foods (Because Lucas eats some of it, I’ve been eating some non-whole grain foods, which I don’t even like)

This first week may be the hardest of all, because it requires me to give up (or most likely give up) sugar, caffeine and alcohol. My three vices!

I’ll be taking pictures and journaling my food, just for my own records — but may try and do a weekly wrap-up as I go through the Detox challenge.

Several months ago, I shared a list of my favorite plugins…and y’all LOVED it! It’s still one of the most-read posts on this site.

Favorite WordPress Plugins

So I thought it was time to add to that list and give you a few more options for customizing your site (and making it easier to blog!)

(Note: you DO need to have WordPress and you DO need to be self-hosted to use these. Want to see why I think it’s worth it to make the change? See this post: Self-Hosting Resources Galore)

Follow Me

I like to make it REALLY easy to find me. So I have a supa dupa contact page, feature my social networks in my header AND I use the Follow Me widget to offer the same networks in a handy dandy sidebar thing. See on the left side of the page, where it says “Follow Me”? (Edited: I have since changed my blog layout and don’t use this plugin anymore) If you click it, the graphic expands and you can find me in all the above places.

Hello Bar

LOVE this! It’s fairly advanced to integrate and customize, but it’s a great way of featuring your latest RSS feeds, news or pointing people to a specific page. I use it to send readers to my Welcome page, where I feature my favorite and most popular posts.

Link Within


It pulls other posts — sometimes related, sometimes not — and features them at the bottom of each post. I LOVE this because it exposes readers to some of the hundreds of posts that they might otherwise miss!

Admin Drop Down Menu

This one is more for personal preferences — it moves the WordPress menu to the top of the page rather than the left side. If you don’t log into your WordPress dashboard for posts (I do, but I’m in the minority) this may be useless to you, but if you have a lot of sub-menus, I think it’s less cluttered and easier to manage with this plugin.

Category Specific RSS Feed

I recently installed this and I LOVE it. Because I blog about such a wide range of topics — from fitness to social media and everything in between — I like offering readers the option to subscribe to their choice of categories. Each link is its own feed, which I’ve set up using Feedburner (so I can get statistics on what people are subscribing to!)

Google Sitemaps Generator

This is a tool that won’t make a noticeable difference in the layout or functionality of your site but SHOULD help with SEO (search engine optimization) and other cool analytics.

No Self Pings

Because I share the most recent comments on the sidebar of my site, I want to keep my own comments/replies out of it. If I were to comment or reply to, let’s say, 10 comments in a row — only MY comments would show up in the sidebar. And that would look lame.

So, what plugins am I missing? Share your favorites and I’ll check them out!

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Comments

  1. says

    I would like to get on track with all of those things too. It’s the same way in my house with the white flours – Jason likes them so I buy them and end up eating them myself even though I really prefer whole grain or whole wheat.

  2. says

    These are AWESOME plug-ins — thanks Katy! I’ve already downloaded Follow Me and I’m grabbing the Hello Bar right now. I checked out your older plug-in post too and snagged the Flickr photo plug-in. That’s how I host my pics too, but normally I just grab the HTML code from the “Share This” or whatever link on Flickr itself (and write all my posts in HTML-editor instead of Rich Text.) It’ll be sweet to try out something new and potentially easier/faster!

  3. says

    It’s such a cheesy one, and it’s for the backend only, but I like “Hello Dolly.” It puts a random Dolly Parton lyric in your dashboard. I also like CommentLuv, @reply and Pick Giveaway Winner.

    And, of course, the backup one I downloaded because you recommended it :)

  4. says

    Thank you for the great Plugin recommendations! :-) I went to your first list on your 12/9/10 blog and downloaded Flickr Photo Album but it won’t activate. I noticed on their support site this is a common issue for most and that it stopped working for others since WP 3.0.2. Does it still work for you? If not, have you found an equally as good alternative?

  5. says

    Katy, good luck on your cleanse!! I’ve been detoxing this week.. and all I have to say is – Be EXTRA sweet to yourself. Sleep as much as you can, and drink lots of water. Good luck :))))

  6. says

    ah – the no self pings is a special thing! nice! also, how did you get your link within to show more than 3 posts?

    I’m doing a redo and the learning curve is steep! what I do know is that really good sharing is soooooooo important – I know that I want to share other people’s stuff and credit them – its so frustrating to have an @addtoany showing up in the tw menu – sigh…

    TY!

    • says

      Kris,

      I know it can be tough — believe me, everything is know is a result of trial and error (sometimes a lot of the latter!)

      I customized Link Within when I set it up (it’s an option on the widget to allow more than 3 entries to show up).

  7. says

    Katy

    Thanks for these. In light of your earlier post I use Blackbird Pie to embed tweets occasionally. Do you know if there’s something similar for Facebook? (To insert a status update or similar?)

    Deb

    • says

      Deb,

      I doubt it, because Facebook bans screengrabs and keeps a very tight leash when it comes to logos and other branding. :( I’ve never seen anything other than the Facebook-built widgets that allow you to embed some content — you can find them on the developers page.

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