WordPress MeetUp Toolbox Session
At last night’s WordPress MeetUp (NERD Center, Cambridge), Kurt Eng presented the “Toolbox” session.
Growing up from WordPress.com to WordPress.org” by myself (Kurt). Here, we will go though a brand new installation on a new host (we’ll cover 2 hosts), setting up, getting plugins in order and finding a starter base theme.”
One of the most interesting parts of the session for me was Kurt’s Top 6 Plugins:
- WP Super Cache — a static caching plugin that enhances the speed of your site (http://ocaoimh.ie/wp-super-cache/).
- Google Analyticator — integrated with Google Analytics, which provides comprehensive information about your visitors. This tool sits on the WP dashboard, where you can access your stats directly without having to open a new browser page.
- Disqus/Intense Debate — encourages and enhances discussions by enabling users to comment via their accounts on FaceBook, Twitter, Open ID, etc. It allows comment moderation.
- TweetMeme/Like/Share This — places a button at the bottom of a post, which helps readers share your content on a number of sites, such as Digg, Delicious, FaceBook, LinkedIn, MySpace, RSS, Twitter, email, etc. The tool I use is Addtoany.
- All-in-one SEO — one of the most popular WP plugins for Search Engine Optimization (http://wpplugins.com/plugin/50/all-in-one-seo-pack-pro-version). An attendee mentioned Sexybookmarks as another very good SEO plugin.
- Akismet — a powerful SPAM filter built into WordPress. In order to activate it on a WordPress.org site, you need to create a WordPress.com account and get an API key. It’s a very simple process, so don’t be deterred, as it’s well worth the effort.
Finding and Installing Plugins
Finding and installing plugins on WordPress is pretty easy. Go to the Plugins area of your site admin, click on “Add New” to reveal the search options. If a keyword search doesn’t provide you with what you’re looking for, try the “Featured” or “Popular” plugins. The search results will show the name, version number, ratings, and description. I pay attention to those ratings, and always look for compatibility with the current WordPress version.
I usually opt for the automatic installation. But if I encounter any snafus, I’ll do the manual install via my ftp site. Before I do any installation, though, I back-up my WordPress site, because plugins can cause things to go awry and you want to be safe rather than sorry!