One of the best things about WordPress is that you can easily customize it and there are loads of added bits that you can do to extend how your site works. Tweaking under the hood of a site can be daunting though especially for novices. Thankfully, WordPress has a really great community and there are really awesome choices when it comes to plugins to extend functionality.
Using shortcodes is one of my favorite ways to spice up a website. It a fabulous way to make how you display your content unique. I’m always with the thought that why use an ordinary pickup when you can use dually pickups. The same analogy applies to how I build websites. Here’s a list of some of my favorite Shortcodes Plugins available for WordPress users.
Shortcodes Ultimate – easy to use, clean interface that easily integrates on your writing toolbars and quite extensive help and documentation.
Easy Bootstrap Shortcode – comprehensive, easy and I love the ‘look’ of these shortcodes.
Easy Responsive Shortcodes – lightweight and uncomplicated. I like the integration to the toolbars so its easy to access.
Shortcoder – Custom shortcodes. a bit for intermediate user but novices can easily get the hang of it after going through documentation.
Simple Shortcodes – like the names implies, this one is easily used and works for any theme.
WP Canvas Shortcodes – extensive shortcodes collection with a very minimalist look and feel to it.
WP Shortcode by MyThemeShop – boasting over 24 shortcodes, this is easily useable and doesnt require much technical knowledge to implement.
WordPress Shortcodes – quite beautiful set of add ons to your website.
After managing blogs for awhile now, one of the things I realized is that images make a really nice complement to content/text. It helps break the content, the post becomes more visually stimulating and interesting and it does help tell the story more eloquently. BUT images can also weigh down the blog. Can you imagine if you’re running a blog for years already and uploading images for every post.
That’s bound to slow down your site in time. I’ve discovered two solutions.
- Use third-party image hosting service like Photobucket etc. and embed the images. My favorite is Imagebam.com, visit website and check them out if you’re looking for image hosting and embedding free service. . There are pros and cons of course to this, of course. Pro is that you won’t be using your host space and a big con is that you don’t have full control over its availability. Remember when Imageshack was always down? So there are chances your images might not be available 100% of the time.
- Upload to your own server and optimize. This is what I’ve been doing for some of my not too heavy ‘imaged’ sites. Always remember to upload optimized images though so it won’t use up too much space on server.
Here’s some of my favorite image optimizer WordPress plugins you can check out. Also read on this excellent article – A Guide to Optimal Image Compression in WordPress.
Time for some more blogging talk? Oh yes. And today I’m blogging what’s my list of basic wordpress plugin to install for every one of my blog sites.
You see, I run dozens of blogs, most of them running on the WordPress platform. And after installing and building up sites I have it now down pat, in fact, I think I could do it with one of my eyes closed. Hahaha. It also helps to have a list of basic plugins in I need to install. The other plugins I just add depending on the site’s needs, eg, some sites need Google maps integration, some don’t. So it really varies if I’m setting up a site for cd duplication services at disc2day, a photo blog, or a simple personal blog.
But these are the very basic must haves for me.
- Akismet – for spam
- Bad Behavior – also for spam too.
- Better WP Security – my favorite wordpress security plugin. Easy to use and effective.
- Proper Contact Form – easy to set up and use, and nice looking contact form plugin. This is for single contact form only, but for other complicated forms, you can check out other form builders.
- Feedburner Feedsmith – I used Feedburner for my feeds, so I need this to redirect my feeds.
- Google Analyticator – I use Google Analytics a lot to track my website, so this is handy.
- WordPress SEO by Yoast – comprehensive, easy to use and quite effective. This one also offer a xml sitemap.
- Quick Adsense – easily inserts ads on any part of the post or widgets. Easy to use too.
- WP Super Cache -cache plugin, easy to set up and makes the site faster and less strain on the servers too.
- Broken Link Checker – a must to check broken links.
- WP Touch – for a responsive mobile version of your site.