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Site Maintenance – New WordPress Plugins (Part 1)

Published September 14, 2010 - 7 Comments

I saw a nice re-tweet this week from @123LinkIt for 15 Best Plugins for 2010, and knew that it was time to make some adjustments to how things are done at WhatAboutStephen.  So I’ve been going through each of these plugins, looking to see how best to use them.  Here are my thoughts so far:

WP Super Cache – I don’t really think that my blog drives enough traffic to worry about caching, but it’s probably still a good practice to get into.  Have you noticed a difference in how fast pages load up?  I haven’t.  But then again, I only just installed it.  But maybe as the site continues to grow this will become more important.

HeadSpace 2: WordPress SEO Made Simple – The author of the 15 Best Plugins for 2010 starts by saying “Move over All in One SEO”.  I had not heard of HeadSpace 2 until relatively recently.  SEO hasn’t really been something that I’ve worried too much about on this blog.  Most people come to it directly, and since I don’t sell anything (I give you my time and energy for free!) there wasn’t much of a point.  It’s good to learn, but I’ve had other things on my plate.  Well I installed HeadSpace 2 yesterday, and when I looked at all the different options in the settings, I felt myself start to break into a sweat, and disabled it.  I’ll go back when I have more time.  But for now, it’s on the backburner again.  Oh, and because I’m sure that some people aren’t aware of what SEO is.. Search Engine Optimization.  Essentially making the blog search engine friendly so that it appears higher on the search page for a particular keyword or phrase.  Yeah, fun stuff. Now you know why I haven’t been too excited about it.  Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…

Akismet – This one is already part of my WordPress plugin arsenal.  Even though this blog is tiny compared to many, I still receive a decent amount of spam comments.  Askismet manages to stop 99% of them.  Honestly, I don’t know what the point of comment spam even is!  “Great post! You rawk!”  I mean.. c’mon.. what’s the point???  Anyway, Akismet is definitely a must-have… although I’m pretty sure that you might have to pay for it now.  I added it to a new blog, and it asked for a license… so I just plopped in my old API key, and it seems to be working.  There are other spam catchers, so if you don’t want to pay for Akismet, you can certainly find others.

WPtouch iPhone Theme – This is another one that I had installed already.  With so many people using mobile devices to access the web, it seemed natural to add this plugin.  If the blog detects a mobile browser, it will format the view to make it easier to read.  You can click at the bottom to view naturally.

Backtype Tweetcount – Here is a new one for me.  You may have noticed that there is a little spot beside each post that allows you to retweet the post with one click, and also shows you the number of people who have retweeted it already. Do I really expect people to be retweeting my stuff?  No, not really.  It’s not really that interesting.  But this is a test platform for other things, and who knows.. maybe there will be something sometime that someone finds interesting, and wants to send to their followers.  This little plugin makes that extremely simple!

Nofollow Case by Case – I’m still trying to figure this one out.  As I understand it, this plugin will make links from comments searchable by search engines.  Apparently that doesn’t happen by default?  I was unaware of that.  Not that I see many links within comments anyway, but there have been a few.  This should help with the SEO on the blog.  It’s worth a shot anyway.

WP-DBManager – A database backup manager?  I think after the problems that I had recently, that a backup manager would be a welcome addition to the blog.  Any blog.  All blogs!  I’ve installed it, but I haven’t really had any time to play with it.  Still, having a daily backup probably isn’t such a bad idea.  I used to have a backup sent to me weekly, but things have picked up now, and there are quite a few posts from one week to the next now.  Daily it is!

Thank Me Later – Here’s one that I’m interested in trying out.  I’ve installed it, but haven’t set it up yet.  Thank Me Later will automatically send a “thank you” email after someone leaves a comment.  Not that you’d want to do this every time, but it would be nice for new readers.  Maybe.  Not all the comments are happy ones  🙂

Well that’s all I’m going to go through for now.  That’s half the list.  I will look at the rest of it later.

Thanks for reading!