Useful WordPress Plugins You May Have Overlooked

There are thousands upon thousands of WordPress plugins with more cropping up every day.  Every once in a while something from the “Why Didn’t I Think of That” category pops up and I would like to share some of those with you.

Ever feel like you have a great idea for a blog but you either don’t have the time to develop it into a full post, or just haven’t formulated the full concept?  Rather than create a bunch of drafts, you can now sketch out a quick list of to-do posts and Aha! moments with Post Ideas by developer Aaron Robbins.

Where Post Ideas goes beyond the old method of saving drafts is that it allows you to track keywords and research URLS, and perhaps more importantly, sort your sketches by name, date or priority.  Love it.

How about batch processing for your blog?  Any photographer or music producer knows how important batch processing can be to both save time and keep consistency between a large number of files.  Well, here are again in the “Why Didn’t I Think of That” department because a blog, with its ever-growing number of posts develops in voice and direction over the course of its life and eventually you may want to go back and adjust a lof older articles to better reflect the direction in which your site is headed.

Enter Mass Post Manager for WordPress which enables you to delete all posts and comments in a category and / or reassign all posts from one category to another.  This is especially useful if you find that in the early days of your blog, when you were still working things out, you created too many categories or eventually found more concise categories with which to organize your content.

If you have ever been a fan of the Yet Another Related Post Plugin (YARPP), a tool that searches your database by categories, keywords, titles and other criteria and then outputs a list of suggestions to older posts at the end of your article, then you may have found that it can stress your shared server out if not handled with care.  Another solution is to create an effective and powerfully visual callback to a related post by placing  graphic sticky or Post-it note on top of your article.

Vishal Monpara’s awesome WordPress Sticky Post Plugin shows the designated post on top every post on your blog.  It isn’t really a substitute or replacement for YARRP, but, it is a very cool way of drawing attention to another article by working over top of your existing theme.  It currently supports both WordPress 2.1 and greater and WordPress MU 1.1.   Check it out and see if you like it.

Speaking of WordPress MU (Multi-user) – an announcement came from San Francisco this week that WordPress MU will soon be merged into WordPress itself.  This is very exciting indeed as MU allows a standard WP blog to be transformed into a full-fledged social networking portal.  Tighter integration between the two will mean a lot of optimization and ideally, improved ease of use, adding to the eisting power of WordPress significantly.

Have you ever suffered from long URL-itis in your comments section?  Now that everyone seems to have wised up to good SEO practices, we are seeing URLs that can run the length of a long-winded sentence.  You know the kind I mean: http://whatever.org/this-post-is-about-the-time-I-went-to-Mount-Rushmore-and-took-a-picture-with-my wifes-family.html

WP-Chunk to the rescue! This plugin gracefully shortens URLs within submitted comments.

A final plugin to strongly consider for any blog is Secure Files

The Name of the Rose

by Trevor Turk.  This definitely falls into the category we discussed earlier about things that should have come pre-installed with WordPress, in that it allows you to upload and download files from outside of your web document root for security purposes.

This is especially important for blogs that have multiple authors – since the nature of image and CSS that can be uploaded from a post-creation backend are not protected in the same way that your database is protected by being restricted only to registered users with sufficient access.

Placing the uploads directory outside of your install’s root directory can save you from malicious or to be euphemistic “accidentally uploaded” files that can damage or harm your site or server.

Have you ever tried any of the plugins on this list?  What has been your experience with them?
About the Author:
Keram (follow him on twitter @ConstantChange

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) is a new media consultant, music producer, actor and writer who opines on SEO at blogging-fool.com and society at theculturepin.com. Listen to his podcast at KeramCast.com