WordPress Plugin Roundup

Over the past few weeks I’ve had a few people ask me about the plugins I’m using on various WordPress sites. I thought it would be a good idea to write a summary of some of my favorites and some that do a lot of work. You can find these plugins under extend on WordPress.org.

Jetpack

Jetpack is best described as a bundle of plugins used on WordPress.com. released about six months ago Jetpack brought together all the individual plugins released by Automatic including WP Stats, Twitter, Shortlinks, etc. Currently there are 8 features in Jetpack.

One that I’m using for the first time on the PodCamp Pittsburgh site is Sharedaddy. A basic share button tool that adds your social media share buttons to posts and pages. The Stats feature is how I have been primarily using Jetpack, because it is a nice complement to Google Analytics.

One last note, Jetpack has its own website.

Blackbird Pie

The next two are Twitter related and help make integrating Twitter into posts just that much easier. Blackbird Pie is cool because it easily lets you embed tweets without a lot of copy paste or screen cap upload. Once activated the plugin puts an icon of a blackbird in your editor toolbar. Simply find a tweet you like and copy the tweet id or url, click the blackbird and voilĂ .

Twitter Links Plus+

Next is a very simple plugin that does all the work for you. Simply put an [at] sign in front of any Twitter username and Twitter Links Plus+ will automatically make that text an active link to that user’s twitter page.

Lets say I wanted you to all follow @TableforOne because he’s my roommate and sometimes writes “punny” restaurant reviews. Or that you should follow the @PCPGH twitter account so you are always up-to-date on this great event.

Fast Secure Contact Form

Hands down the best contact form plugin I’ve used, because of its ability to add custom fields to the form. From extra phone number fields, to radio or check boxes this plugin can do it all. You can add prefilled information as examples or instructions, add extra html before or after a field, make a field required or not, rename everything, and insert them into any post or page with a simple short code. The plugin checks with Akismit to keep spammers out of your form and if that isn’t enough you can easily add a CAPTCHA. Additional features includes silent remote sending, data export, styling (css), tool tips, custom error messages, and backup.

I would say this plugin is for intermediate to advanced users simply by the fact it has so much going on. However, if you need a simple form with CAPTCHA enabled don’t be intimidated, because this plugin is awesome. If you want to see an example of the plugin in action visit the PodCamp Pittsburgh site and look at the Session Submission or the Volunteer Signup pages.

Edit Flow

Finally, a plugin I haven’t used but looks interesting. I don’t have much to say about Edit Flow other than it’s meant for sites that want to work like newspapers and magazines with editors and multiple contributors. A short list of features include custom statuses, editorial comments, email notifications and user groups. I don’t have a project that would take advantage of this type of feature but it looks solid. Edit Flow also has its own website.

Well that is the roundup. Of course I’m using many more plugins but we’ll save some for another post.

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