Best WordPress Plugins 2012

February 11, 2012 | Posted in Wordpress | By

Last year I have posted my “List of Best WordPress Plugins 2011” and this time I am presenting you my list of Best WordPress Plugins 2012. Hope this will help many new bloggers to choose the best plugins for their wordpress blogs. These are the plugins that I use in my own blogs and feels that these are the best plugins available for wordpress and should be used by every new bloggers. This year I have given more importance to page loading speed and light weighted plugins, to make the blog light, clean and fast. As our blog is growing day by day, we need to be lite on server resources, so this time we need to optimize the blog without compromising the features.

  1. Akismet : Akismet is still one of the most downloaded wordpress plugin and the plugin is improving day by day. Akismet checks your comments against the Akismet web service to see if they look like spam or not and lets you review the spam it catches under your blog’s “Comments” admin screen.
  2. Author hReview: This is the latest plugin that I have installed in my blog. This plugin is quite cool. It add support for hReview and AggregateRating based on schema.org. You can read more about this plugin at their official site.
  3. Broken Link Checker : Checks your blog for broken links and missing images and notifies you on the dashboard if any are found.
  4. Facebook Like Box : Facebook Like Box Widget is a social plugin that enables Facebook Page owners to attract and gain Likes from their own website. The Like Box enables users to: see how many users already like this page, and which of their friends like it too, read recent posts from the page and Like the page with one click, without needing to visit the page.  I was using this plugin till last year, but  recently I have removed this plugin, as I found that the Facebook box takes a few seconds to load, which increases the load time of entire site.
  5. FeedBurner FeedSmith : Originally authored by Steve Smith, this plugin detects all ways to access your original WordPress feeds and redirects them to your FeedBurner feed so you can track every possible subscriber.
  6. GoCodes : Create shortcut URLs to anywhere on the internet, right from your WordPress Admin.
  7. Google XML Sitemap for Images : This plugin will generate a XML Image Sitemap for your WordPress blog.
  8. Google XML Sitemap for Mobile : This plugin will generate a XML Mobile Sitemap for your WordPress blog.
  9. Google XML Sitemaps : This plugin will generate a special XML sitemap which will help search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing and Ask.com to better index your blog.
  10. ILWP Colored Tag Cloud : Till last year I was using wordpress normal tag cloud widget, but after getting my hands on this plugin, I have started using this plugin in my blogs. Just few code customizations according to your blog theme and you are live with this beautiful tag cloud plugin.
  11. Jetpack by WordPress.com : Earlier I was using Visitor Maps and Who’s Online plugin to track my real time and daily visitors but due to heavy usage of server resources I was forced to remove this plugin and I switched to Jetpack, which has no impact on your server resources as all the data by collected by wordpress on their servers. For tracking real time visitors, now I prefer Google Analytics that give us an option to view the Real Time visitors.
  12. MaxBlogPress Ping Optimizer : Saves your wordpress blog from getting tagged as ping spammer by installing this plugin.
  13. Ninety Modal Contact Form for WordPress : This is a paid codecanyon plugin. This is only the replacement of our contact page. This plugin is easy to handle and looks clean and nice in any blog.
  14. Peter’s Collaboration E-mails : Enhance the “Submit for Review” feature for Contributor users. This plugin enables automatic e-mails to the relevant users when posts are pending, when they are approved, and when their statuses are changed from “pending” back to “draft”.
  15. Popular Posts Bars : Add your most commented (or viewed) posts in your sidebar with colored bars, Engadget-like. I stopped this plugin from few months due to the change in the style of my blog. This is still a good plugin but it may increase the loading time of your page.
  16. Private Messages For WordPress : Allow members of WordPress blog send and receive private messages (PM).
  17. Quick Adsense : Quick Adsense offers a quicker & flexible way to insert Google Adsense or any Ads code into a blog post.
  18. Redirection : Manage all your 301 redirects and monitor 404 errors.
  19. Secure WordPress :  This plugin is necessary for basic wordpress securities.
  20. SEO SearchTerms Tagging 2 : This is my personal best free plugin for wordpress SEO. I can easily see a mass traffic drop when I disable this plugin. It Multiply blog traffic by strengthening on page SEO, increasing the number of indexed pages, auto convert search terms into post tags, and more.
  21. SEO Smart Links Business : SEO Smart Links Business provides automatic SEO benefits for your site in addition to custom keyword lists, nofollow and much more.
  22. Social Metrics : This is again a new addition in our best wordpress plugins list. This plugin track how your blog is doing across the leading social networking websites and services like Twitter, Facebook, Google +1, StumbleUpon, Digg and LinkedIn.
  23. Subscribe to Comments Reloaded : Subscribe to Comments Reloaded is a robust plugin that enables commenters to sign up for e-mail notifications. It includes a full-featured subscription manager that your commenters can use to unsubscribe to certain posts or suspend all notifications.  Stopped using this plugin due to many comment subscribers and increase in server load.
  24. Thesis OpenHook : Use this plugin only if you have Thesis Premium Theme installed. This plugin allows you to insert arbitrary content into the many hooks that the Thesis Theme Framework provides. Never again edit a file!
  25. TimThumb Vulnerability Scanner : This plugin keep your instances of Timthumb up to date and free from vulnerabilities.
  26. Visitor Maps and Who’s Online : Displays Visitor Maps with location pins, city, and country. Includes a Who’s Online Sidebar to show how many users are online. Includes a Who’s Online admin dashboard to view visitor details. The visitor details include: what page the visitor is on, IP address, host lookup, online time, city, state, country, geolocation maps and more. No API key needed. Stopped using this plugin due to extreme load on the server resources.
  27. WordPress Database Backup : On-demand backup of your WordPress database and send the DB file to the specified email address.
  28. WordPress Facebook Fan Box Widget : Display facebook fan box as widget in your WordPress blog. 
  29. WordPress Mobile Pack : The WordPress Mobile Pack is a complete toolkit to help mobilize your WordPress site and blog. Switched to WPTouch Pro, due to more flexible options.
  30. WordPress SEO-Rank : Seo report on your dashboard of all your statistics ranking in web – PageRank Google- Alexa Rank – Backlinks Google – Backlinks Yahoo – Users Registered – FeedBurner Subscribers – Followers Twitter – Youtube Subscribers – Widget.
  31. WP-PageNavi : This plugin Adds a more advanced paging navigation to your WordPress blog.
  32. WP125 : Easily manage 125×125 ads within your WordPress Dashboard.
  33. WP Smush.it : This plugin reduce image file sizes and improve performance using the Smush.it API within WordPress.
  34. WP Hide Dashboard : A simple plugin that removes the Dashboard menu, the Personal Options section and the Help link on the Profile page, hides the Dashboard links in the admin bar menu (if activated), and prevents Dashboard access to users assigned to the Subscriber role. Useful if you allow your subscribers to edit their own profiles, but don’t want them wandering around your WordPress admin section. Note: This version requires a minimum of WordPress 3.1.
  35. WP Super Cache : Very fast caching plugin for WordPress.
  36. WP Syndicator : Automatically syndicate your content, dominate the SERPs and explode your traffic.
  37. Yet Another Related Posts Plugin : Returns a list of related entries based on a unique algorithm for display on your blog and RSS feeds. A templating feature allows customization of the display.
  38. YouTube Embed : Embed YouTube Videos in WordPress. Switched to Artiss YouTube Embed.

Along with these plugins you will need to have Thesis Premium Theme, the combination of both these plugins and theme will be a perfect traffic gainer. This is only the list of wordpress plugins that I think are effective for every blogger, if you think there are many more then please don’t shy to share.

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Black Friday Deal in ThesisAwesome

November 23, 2011 | Posted in Themes | By

Black Friday is coming with loads of discounts and offers all over the net, and here we are sharing with you how to get 50% discount on all the thesis themes available on thesisawesome.com. ThesisAwesome provides one of the best premium thesis child themes for bloggers and marketers. So this is a great opportunity for all the people who wants to buy theses thesis child themes at an unbelievable discount of 50%.

According to ThesisAwesome, Black Friday Deal goes as below:

  • The discount code is “266E
  • The code will apply a 50% discount
  • The code will expire Monday midnight, November 28, 2011

Thesis Skins Gallery

So don’t dare to miss this awesome discount offer by ThesisAwesome.com. The discount coupon code is “266E”. Click the banner below to go to ThesisAwesome site and use the coupon code 266E to get 50% discount on evrery theme.

Thesis Theme BlogSkin

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Create An Author Box In Thesis Theme Like Ours

September 5, 2011 | Posted in Themes | By

Most of you must be liking our new Author Box, and like to have the same in your blog too. So I will help you to create the Author Box in two simple steps. Thanks to BloggerFolder for this tutorial. I just have customized it a bit to my need.

Author Box

[sws_blue_box box_size="615"] First Step [/sws_blue_box]

Go to Thesis > Custom File Editor, and add the below CSS code at the end of custom.css.

[sws_code language="css"] [/sws_code]

Click “Save” button to save the changes.

[sws_yellow_box box_size="615"] Second Step [/sws_yellow_box]

Go to Appearance > Thesis OpenHook. If you don’t have Thesis OpenHook installed, you can install it from here. Go to “After Post” Box and paste the following code there and Tick on “Execute PHP on this hook“.
<div id="author-bio">
<div>
<h3>Author</h3>
<div>
<?php echo get_avatar( get_the_author_id() , 80 ); ?>
</div>
<h4>Article by <?php the_author_posts_link(); ?></h4>
<p><?php the_author_description(); ?></p>
</div>
<div>
<p>We use The Thesis Theme for WordPress, which is the best SEO theme framework around the net. Google will love you for this.</p>
<p><a title="Download Thesis" href="http://www.xinz.org/go/Thesis/" target="_blank">Download Thesis !</a></p>
</div>
</div>

You can change the above code according to your need. After this press “Save” button and voila, you are done. Check your cool Author Box.

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Customize WordPress Admin Interface

August 24, 2011 | Posted in Wordpress | By

Most of us only customize the front end of our WordPress Blog or any other site, but customizing the back-end panel is also a great idea. Here I will show you how to customize your WordPress Admin via a single wordpress plugin.

[box]ScreenShot of our Back End[/box]

Login Screen

Admin Interface

I hope you must be liking our login screen and admin interface. This can easily be done by using a wordpress plugin known as Fluency Admin. There are many features that you can use in this plugin. This is an easy to use plugin with many eye catching customizations.

[box type="red"]Fluency Admin Features[/box]

1. Custom Login Screen : With a simple option you can style the login form to match the rest of the Fluency style.

2. Add your own logo : You can specify your own blog or business logo for both the login page and the top of the admin menu allowing you to quickly and easily brand your blog.

3. Hover Menus : Reducing the number of clicks needed to access menu items, Fluency adds stylish hover menus. Now everything is just one click away.

4. Menu ‘Hot-keys’ : Each of the default top level menus has been assigned a ‘hot key’, represented by the underlined character. Your hands may never need to leave the keyboard.

[box type="green"]Download Fluency Admin Plugin Here[/box]

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How I Reduced The Size Of My Database

August 24, 2011 | Posted in Wordpress | By

Recently I got a mail in my inbox from Hostagator that there has been a temporary block placed on my database. Although I already knew that my wordpress database is growing bigger and bigger but I never gave a look to it, until I got this mail. There may be many reasons for making a database bloat, although I do not have any good knowledge of database, SQL or any other programming languages but I did a quick research over the web and tried to optimize the database and reduces the queries.

The mail from Hostgator goes as follow:

[box type="blue"]

Hello,

This message is to advise you of a temporary block placed on your database. The database was found to be consuming an inordinate amount of processor time, to the point of degrading overall system performance. While we do limit each account to no more than 25% of a system’s CPU in our terms of service, we do not actively disable accounts until they greatly exceed that number, which is what happened in this case. Requests to this database may become degraded by limiting the maximum number of queries or connections for a limited amount of time, or if there are sustained issues, ultimately we may be forced to block access to this database until the issue has been resolved…………..

[/box]

[box type="red"]Steps I Took To Optimize My WordPress Database[/box]

1. First and foremost, you may need to optimize your tables. The frequency depends on the size and usage of the database, but most databases would benefit from doing something like this on a yearly basis: a) Enter your phpMyAdmin/MySQL control panel. Click on the database (not the table, the database name), and on the right hand column your tables should be listed. Scroll down till you see the “Check all”. Click on that link, make sure all database tables are checked and then from the drop-down next to it, and carefully select “Optimize table”. Please make sure to backup your database before taking any steps, so that you may restore your database in case of any problem.

Optimize WP Database

2. Then I logged into my cPanel and checked the size of my database, and it was huge, i.e around 500mb. So I decided to install a plugin known as WP-Optimize. WP-Optimize plugin allows us to remove post revisions, comments in the spam queue, un-approved comments within few clicks. This is the most easy thing that can be done to optimize the wordpress database.

3. Then I removed all the plugins that were inactive and are not in use. These plugins take space in our database and increase the size of our database.

4. I also removed few plugins that I used to track the visitors and the stats, because they consume a lot of server resources when your traffic is quite high. I moved on to a plugin known as Jetpack by WordPress.com. Jetpack is a WordPress plugin that supercharges your self-hosted WordPress site with the awesome cloud power of WordPress.com. Simple, concise stats with no additional load on your server.

These steps helped me to efficiently optimize my wordpress database, without the requirement of any SQL or database knowledge. These steps are easy for newbies too. There might be many more tricks that can optimize the database effectively, so if you any other trick then do not forget to share it with our users.

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