This week I am finally getting to start building a website for my day job – yay!!!1 I’m using WordPress because it’s something that I know2, it’s free, and I know the backend is easy to use for myself and others who may need to update the content for the site. My favourite part about setting up WordPress is installing various plugins that add different bits of functionality and tweak the site in small ways. As I was setting it up, Melina Kantor asked for some of my recommendations and I thought it would make a good 5 for Friday post, so here we go.3
- Ozh’ Admin Drop Down Menu (Visit Plugin Site) This is one of the very first steps of any WordPress installation for me. It takes all the menu items that normally take up a bunch of space on the left of your screen and puts them in a small menu across the top of your page. I love it because it means that I can always see the full range of menu options without having to scroll down. It also gives me more screen real estate. Anyone whose seen my desktops will be able to tell that I like to tweak my user interface a bit so this one is a definite must for me!
- WP-Footnotes (Visit Plugin Site) This is the one responsible for all these neat little footnotes that I put into the post. So long as I get the formating right, it takes care of the numbering and links so you can jump back and forth if you want to. If I had to put in all these footnotes by hand each time, it would seriously suck!4
- Admin Renamer Extended (Visit Plugin Site)5 This is one of the easier security plugins to deploy that will also give you a bit more personality to your blog. Basically, it allows you to change the username of the admin account. Why is this important when you can just go ahead and create a personalized account with whatever name you want and just leave the admin account dormant? Well, it’s because hackers will often use brute force login software that will repeatedly and systematically try to login to a site until it gets lucky with your password. Most of these will use admin as the username since every account will get set up with an admin username. But, if you’ve changed the admin username to something else, then you’ve added one simple layer of protection for yourself.
- TweetMeme Retweet Button (Visit Plugin Site) Haven’t set this one up on this blog yet, but I really should. It sets up one of those boxes at the top of the post giving people the option to tweet this post and showing how many tweets it’s gotten. Very cool to see how many people are sharing your blog posts.6
- Maintenance Mode (Visit Plugin Site) This plugin is particularly great for when you’re setting up your website, and don’t want people to stumble across the site while you’re making all sorts of major changes. It’ll put up a splash screen letting people know that the site is in Maintenance Mode and give a countdown for when you estimate it’ll be back up and running. It’s great for helping me set up the site for my company and letting people know that we’re there, and will be ‘open for business’ soon.7
And, as a bonus, here are 5 more plugins that I think are also kind of cool, that I’ll leave you to explore on your own.
Did I miss some cool ones? Got any favourite plugins that I should check out? Let me know in the comments!
- Though it does mean I’ve also been writing copy for our company, which I hate doing! [↩]
- though this didn’t stop me from an EPIC blonde moment during the installation where I put all the files in the very root directory instead of in the www directory [↩]
- Though Melina will have to wait until she gets back from the Romance Writers Association national conference at Disney World to check them out. Yes, I am jealous a bit, how could you tell? [↩]
- And in case you hadn’t noticed, I do like adding little footnotes to my blog. [↩]
- Unfortunately, the plugin site is not in English [↩]
- Maybe I haven’t put it up yet because no one else really tweets my blog posts except me? [↩]
- Special thanks to Tanya Lisle for showing me this when she was setting up our VancoWriMo site last year. [↩]
- Haven’t actually gotten this one working properly anywhere yet. [↩]