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Friday Five: Absolutely Must-Have WordPress Addons | Kestrel's Aerie

Friday Five: Absolutely Must-Have WordPress Addons | Kestrel's Aerie

Friday Five: Absolutely Must-Have WordPress Addons

Welcome to the third installment of Friday Five! I don’t know about you, but I’m rather impressed with myself for keeping this going for three weeks in a row!

Last week, as you may recall (the link is there in case you don’t), I showcased a handful of addons intended to enhance your interaction with your audience. This week, I want to talk about five more WordPress (WP) plugins I can’t blog without.

Bad Behavior 2.0.28
» Michael Hampton (url)
Deny automated spambots access to your PHP-based Web site. Bad Behavior catches between 600 and 700 spam attacks against my site every week. Together with Akismet (provided with every WP installation), there are probably between 1000 and 1500 spam threats each week. I have to manually delete perhaps one a day from the live comments, and between 10 and 20 from my spam box each week. Those numbers should give you an appreciation for how much work I don’t have to do to keep the Aerie spam-free. The result: I don’t need any pre-publication moderation of comments, whether you’re a first time visitor, or have been coming here for two years!

 One Click Plugin Updater 2.4.13
» Janis Elsts (url)
Upgrade plugins with a single click, install new plugins or themes from an URL or by uploading a file, see which plugins have update notifications enabled, control how often WordPress checks for updates, and more. WordPress has included a lot of the functionality of this plugin in recent updates; however, this add-on is, for me, still a bit more elegant, especially for installing new plugins directly from a hosting website.

Ozh’ Admin Drop Down Menu 3.3.1
» Ozh (url)
All admin links available in a neat horizontal drop down menu. Saves lots of screen real estate! Again, recent versions of WordPress have vastly improved the administration user interface, but I find Ozh’ programs (this one, and the Better Plugin Page listed below) provide enhanced ease-of-use, and they simply look better!

Ozh’ Better Plugin Page 1.4.2
» Ozh (url)
Adds a little sliding plugin list and buttons to toggle display of Active/Inactive/Out-of-date plugins to the “Manage Plugins” page. When I think of "at-a-glance" functionality, this plugin has it, and that’s why I continue to use it, despite the improvements to WordPress’ provided plugin monitor.

 WordPress Automatic Upgrade 1.2.5
» Keith Dsouza (url)
WordPress Automatic Upgrade allows a user to automatically upgrade the wordpress installation to the latest one provided by wordpress.org using the 5 steps provided in the wordpress upgrade instructions. Want to induce a panic attack in a blogger really quickly? Simply leave out a step in the WordPress upgrade/update process…such as backing up the database, or layout (theme) files…then have the upgrade itself choke. Or, you can use this plugin, and as long as you can read simple instructions ("Click Here"), you can blithely upgrade WP in about 5 minutes, instead of taking 5 minutes for each step, checking and double-checking that you are proceeding in the proper order and haven’t skipped anything. While others are still sweating bullets, you can be Tweeting about how you just finished, or you can even write another article for your blog!

 Tomorrow: Remains of the Week

Once again on Saturday, I’ll share with you the cool stuff I found and shared with my Google Reader followers throughout this past week. In the meantime, I’d love to see in the comments the WordPress tools you can’t live without, as well as any suggestions you might have for future Fridays.

 

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2 Responses to Friday Five: Absolutely Must-Have WordPress Addons
  1. Runycat
    August 7, 2009 | 09:24

    So, I’m trying this automatic upgrade plug-in (since I’m woefully behind), but after going through the steps to backup my database (and all that), the downloaded folders contain…nothing. I’m admittedly a little afraid to proceed now.
    .-= Runycat´s latest blog post is Azerothian Idol: 3.2 Edition =-.

    • Kestrel
      August 7, 2009 | 09:35

      Hi Runy! :)

      If you truly are “woefully behind,” there’s a possibility the current version of the upgrader won’t work with your version of WordPress (WP 2.6 or 2.7 introduced some HUGE changes, so a lot of addons had to be redone. You might try checking the plugin’s home page to see if earlier versions are available, and match it to your version of WordPress.

      Alternatively, you could simply go to the WordPress upgrade page and perform the upgrade per their (fairly simple) instructions. (Manually upgrading WordPress really isn’t as frightful as I made it sound; the error I made was one you kinda had to work at. :P )

      And you should upgrade WordPress ASAP! There were some pretty significant security holes in earlier versions.

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