Introduction

The second article of my WordPress Series will focus on WordPress plugins. There are plenty of great quality ad-ons available, maybe too many (#appstoresyndrom), so the problem is more to find the good stuff and tell it apart from the bad stuff. :/ A good starting point to search for plugins is always the WordPress Plugin Directory (which is also integrated in the admin panel.)

One last important remark, only install plugins from trusted and well-known sources and keep them updated. So,  without further ado I’ll simply list the plug-ins I use (and what for), what they are good for and where you can find them, cool? Here we go…


Links

  • del.icio.us for WordPress Displays your recently listened links from del.icio.us. I use that on my bookmark page. Very simple, but effective if you opt for storing all your links/bookmarks outside of wordpress.
  • Link Indication - Adds CSS class attributes to external links and optionally specific attributes to any other link types such as wikipedia.org, flickr, imdb, file extensions like .pdf or .zip, etc. Thereby you can indicate your links, e.g. by images, for characterizing your types of links. I use that everywhere to have those little icons at the end of all outgoing links. Still have to add some more link types to make it what I have envisioned :)

Graphics & Icons

  • Category IconsEasily assign icons to your categories. (I’m still messing around with this one… not yet publicly visible yet.)
  • Noio Iconized BookmarksPlugin that creates a widget that displays favicon next to links. I’ve used that on the ‘Blogroll’ section on the right bar.
  • WP-CumulusFlash based Tag Cloud for WordPress (I’ve seen that one on fridaymorningreport.tv by @ccmehil the first time.) I use it on the right bar and (in full-screen mode) on the Tag Cloud page.

Mobile

  • Blog Icons - A simple method of adding favicons, RSS Feed Icon and iPod Touch / iPhone icons to your blog. Simple, effective!
  • WPtouch iPhone Theme - A must-have (!!!) plugin, which formats your site with a mobile theme for the Apple iPhone / iPod touch, Google Android, Palm Pre and other touch-based smartphones. That one is my personal favorite for sure… with minimal effort you got a #mobile-friendly version of your blog. If you want to see it in action just check out my site from a mobile device. Feedback welcome!

Photos & Galleries

  • Fancy Gallery - Will bring your galleries as valid XHTML blocks on screen and associate linked images with Fancybox. Very polished looking style for galleries.
  • Instant4wordpress - Integration of Instant.js in a WordPress plugin. In charge of giving photos that polaroid effect! #ilike
  • NextGEN Gallery - A NextGENeration Photo gallery for the Web 2.0 – very, very powerful plugin. Perfectly integrated into WordPress, makes handling galleries a whole lot simpler. Must-try!

Social Media

  • Find Me On - The Find Me On sidebar widget displays icons for all of your social network profiles (as shown on the ‘Find Me On section’ on the right hand bar.)
  • flickrRSS - Allows you to integrate the photos from a flickr rss feed into your site. (Not active yet, probably for TechEd…)
  • Gravatar Widget - Display a Gravatar in the sidebar of your blog. What you do not have one yet? Get one ;)
  • SexyBookmarks - SexyBookmarks adds a (X)HTML compliant list of social bookmarking icons to each of your posts. Very nice – I use it at the bottom of every post.
  • Tweet - Automatically links Twitter.com @usernames and #hashtags in WordPress blog posts.
  • Twitter Widget Pro -A widget that properly handles twitter feeds, including @username, #hashtag, and link parsing. Used in my Twitter.com feed section on the right hand bar.
  • WordTwit - Posts updates to Twitter about entries automatically. Includes many configurable options, statistics and more.
  • WP-DOPPLR - A WordPress plugin that displays your DOPPLR travel information on your blog. (De-activated for now on my site, may go for foursquare in the longrun.)

General

  • Exec-PHP – Executes php code in your posts, pages and text widgets. Handle with care!
  • GD Star Rating – This plugin allows you to set up advanced rating and review system for posts, pages and comments in your blog using single, multi and thumbs ratings. Used at the bottom of every post.
  • RSS in Page – Allows you to use a short code to generate a list of RSS feed items with date, title, link and description.
  • RSS Stream – Displays your social feeds in a lifestream way. I really like this one – used it on the Recent page.
  • Simply RSS Fetcher – Displays the items of a desired RSS feed.  Used to display my SAP SCN blog posts on the right hand side.
  • WP Captcha Free – Block comment spam without CAPTCHA. Since I used it I have one clean-up activity less :)
  • Comment Reply Notification - This plugin allows people who commented to a post to be notified by email in case of further comments being posted. (Link from @saschakiefer .)

Related web tools

  • extplorer - Now, the first thing I do when setting up new website is to install a file manager app very similar to Windows Explorer or Mac Finder etc. The program is called extplorer and is just super convinient and easy to use. You should definitely check it out…