In our WordPress Customization Series, you’ve learned how to handle the header, make some basic layout changes, and most recently, go from html to a wordpress theme quickly and easily. Now, we want to review some of our favorite plugins which are essential to any WordPress installation.
First and foremost, comment spam has to be stopped in it’s tracks. There are two plugins that combine to do an absolute excellent job at stopping comment spam.
Akismet – An included plugin with WordPress 2.0+, Akismet uses a globally managed blacklist to automatically detect comment spam. Akismet requires an API-Key obtained from WordPress.com, and running it afterwards is effortless.
Spam Karma 2 – Spam Karma 2 is another spam killer. SK2 uses a “karma” system to decide if comments are posting to many links and repeating to many words. SK does a great job at detecting what is and isn’t spam, and you can set various levels of intensity for it’s filters.
Corrector – The most recent spell checker plugin I stumbled upon is by far the best I’ve seen. Corrector uses ajax to check and correct spelling, without even leaving the post. This plugin is quick and is essential in eliminating costly grammar mistakes in posts.
Get Recent Comments – Get recent comments is a comment getter that can pull the x latest amount of comments without any other unnecessary features. Get Recent Comments only takes a line of php code to display comments wherever and however you want to anywhere on your blog.
Subscribe To Comments
Filosofo Enroll Comments – There are many similar plugins, by my personal favorite is Filosofo’s Enroll Comments. Enroll comments allows someone to automatically become a “subscriber” of a post that they comment on if they check off that they’d like to receive notification of followup posts. When the user is logged in, at the end of each comment form the user is allowed to manage their subscribed comments.
Gravatars – Gravatars allow your users commenting to have an avatar for themselves, as assigned by gravatar.com, which serves avatars all over the place (Globably Recognized Avatar). They are very easy to implant and can be customized using a small amount of css.
Ultimate Tag Warrior – UTC is the best system for tagging posts in wordpress. Tags allow your posts to be found much easily by searching, and it also indexes them on places like Technorati. UTC is a highly adapatable plugin that gives you many options in a simple, drop in plugin.
These are just some of the many WordPress Plugins available today, which allow you to take wordpress to the next level quickly and easily. This is only a short list, because we wanted to focus on plugins you really need to have, not list every great plugin in every category. All these plugins can be obtained from the WP Plugins database.
Coming up next week, the release of our anticipated Prebuilt theme for wordpress, with support for some of the best plugins right out of the box. Stay tuned for more information.