Five WordPress Plugins I Can Not Live Without

On their Wordpress blogs, most people use Akismet, Better WP Security, and some other common plugins.  There are a some more though that I find make maintaining my blog much easier.  Here are five.

January 1, 2014

CKEditor for WordPress

I've never been a fan of TinyMCE (the stock editor) either in WordPress or back when I used Textpattern as a blogging platform.  CKEditor (and FCKEditor before that) has a few more bells and whistles, handles pasted text a little better, and feels more like a word processor to me than TinyMCE.  In addition to the regular section of a blog post, CKEditor can be turned on for the excerpt section.

I also use KCFinder in conjunction with CKEditor, which makes inserting and organizing images WAY easier for me than the "Add Media" button that comes by default in WordPress.  I've got two walkthroughs,  Integrate KCFinder with CKEditor in WordPress and Using KC Finder Once It’s Installed, that you can refer to if you're interested in getting this working on your own blog.  And for those of you REAL adventurous folks, getting KCFinder working in a custom non-Wordpress setting isn't a much different process.  I suspect (but haven't tested anywhere but WP and custom apps) that it works about the same in other blogging platforms that have CKEditor running.


Do Follow

One of the reasons people interact with your blog is "link juice."  If their comment or guest post gives them a link back to their site, and hence a little bit better Google standings for them, they're probably more apt to do it.  But WordPress by default inserts a nofollow attribute into every link you create, which means there are no SEO benefits to those links.  If someone spends the time to comment, guest post, or even provide information for something I'm writing, I want to be able to give them something.  The Do Follow plugin gets rid of this nofollow link attribute, and the links you give to people act like regular links when search engines index them.



Ahhh, search.  What good is a blog if a visitor can't search for things once they've arrived.  For whatever reason, the search functionality in a default WordPress install is just shy of completely awful.  Relevanssi fixes this by showing relevant results based on what people have searched for.



Lots of sites use Captcha, and for the most part it's fine.  But some forms I run into are very hard to read.  I've got to hit the button to get a new code a few times before I get one that's legible.  Clean-Contact uses the Akismet plugin to weed out spammers trying to contact you. 



Just like KCFinder, this plugin allows you to upload, rename, and delete files.  But in addition to images it handles most other file types you can throw at it (like ebooks).  I've yet to find a way to MOVE files, with either this or KCFinder, but the uploading, deleting, and renaming functionality is enough for me to get things done.

A little side note…  When you set this up, you'll want to type ../  (that's two periods and a forward slash) in the Filemanager Default Home location box on the Configuration page.  It means "up one level in the directory tree" and allows the plugin to access ALL of your site from the WordPress admin area.


While I use more plugins than the ones listed here, these are the five that I've used the longest and do the most to make my site better for me, and my visitors, to use.

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