There are many thousands of WordPress plugins you can use for free, and there are also more you can buy for different purposes. According to WP Beginner, as of September 2012 there were more than 21,000 free plugins in the WordPress plugins repository! The question is; do you have to use all of them? You have probably seen a sidebar of a blog with a mile long list of awards and a multitude of links to other pages. Some people go as far as including hundreds of flashy widgets. If you are thinking of using several plugins, you should first learn why using too many of them will impact negatively on your readership.
They May Slow Down Your Website
This is, perhaps, the most annoying feature of using too many WordPress plugins. This slow down occurs because every plugin you use sends a server request when each of your readers loads the site. Imagine the effect of having fifty plugins when ten users are on your site. What about a hundred plugins with a thousand users? Do you really want your site to be that slow?
Some WordPress Plugins are not Secure
Just because a plugin works well does not mean that it is secure. Some plugins, especially the free ones, can be exploited by hackers who can then hack into your site. For example, users of some plugins such as WP Total Cache and WPTouch have been asked in the past to update their passwords after it was realized they were not secure. Since it is not always easy to know upfront which plugin is safe and which one is not, you will be doing a great deal of service to your site by installing only the minimum number necessary.
In today’s world, many people make use of WordPress for hosting a successful and useful site. However, depending on WordPress is just the beginning. You need to build a site that will actually work for readers or you will not keep those readers for very long. One of the mistakes that many people make is creating a site that has low or poor performance. This happens simply because they are making wrong choices when they build their site. Have you noticed that your own WordPress site seems to be slow to load, frustrating, and just plain hard to use? If so, then you need to go through a few steps to improve the performance of it.
Limit the Plugins
It may be your first reaction to choose a wide variety of plugins to a site simply because they can be useful, eye catching, and fun. However, as with anything else, too much of a good thing can be bad. When you use too many plugins, then you can actually slow your site down to the point that it can be slow loading and difficult to load. In order to improve the performance of your WordPress site, be sure that you are limiting your plugins on each of the pages. Some of the plugin options that can be major culprits in a slow site would include the following:
- Requiring HTML to resize images instead of resizing them by hand
Choose the Right Theme
One of the best ways to build a WordPress site that is high performing, fast loading, and easy to use is to choose from Premium WordPress templates that are designed to be streamlined. These themes are designed specifically for both performance and attractiveness of the site. Choose a theme that will help you limit the chances for performance busting features from the very beginning.
Google offers a content delivery network that can work with the JQuery library. This means that if users find your site through Google, their computer will most likely already have that JQuery information on their computer. This leads to a faster loading site. If you want your site to be high performance, then choose to use JQuery that comes from the Google content library.
WordPress is a very handy tool for website creation when you use it wisely. By taking the right steps and avoiding the right things, then you will be able to build a site that is higher in performance.
This article was provided by Olga Ionel, a writer at ThemeFuse.com, who is a leader in the Premium WordPress templates industry. Olga is fond of sharing SEO and blogging ideas.
Thanks to the huge success of the iPhone/iPod Touch, Android, and other mobile devices, Apps have become all the rage. The problem for many webmasters and WordPress users is that most smaller WordPress websites/blogs can’t afford to have a custom app developed for their WordPress site.
Of course, thanks to beauty of the open source nature of WordPress, WordPress users have access to all sorts of great WordPress plugins. I recently found myself debating whether or not to develop an app for WordPress Hacks and decided that first I would look into what free WordPress plugins were available. My goal was simply to find one which would display a WordPress blog to mobile browsers in a mobile friendly format.
Based upon roughly 2 million downloads plus great reviews, far and away the best plugin I’ve found to accomplish this is one called WP Touch. For those that haven’t heard of WP Touch, this WordPress plugin automatically transforms your WordPress blog into an iPhone application-style theme, complete with ajax loading articles and effects, and will display this theme when your WordPress blog is viewed from an iPhone/iPod Touch, Android, Palm Pre, Samsung and BlackBerry Storm/Torch mobile device!
The admin panel allows you to customize many aspects of its appearance and deliver a fast, user-friendly and stylish version of your WordPress website to mobile visitors, all without modifying a single bit of code or making any changes to your standard WordPress theme. The mobile theme also includes the ability for visitors to switch between WP Touch view and your site’s regular theme if that is what they prefer.
If you are looking for a more feature-rich product, I discovered that users can also purchase a Pro version of WP Touch which includes a slew of new features like more style, color and branding customizations, themes, 10 languages, more advertising options, web-app mode, and even iPad support.
Ever notice how many features the standard installation of WordPress lacks? YouTube embedding, stats, and even a specialized Twitter widget? Well, if you have a self hosted blog at WordPress.com, these features are all given to you. In fact, many of these features are forced upon you by the sponsoring company, Automattic. Wanna learn how to get all of that “cloud-power” for your WordPress site?
If you are one of the people who would love to have these features at your disposal and already has a WordPress.com account, keep reading. Otherwise, you’re losing out on a great plugin for self-hosted WordPress sites!
With the recent release of WordPress 2.8 this past week, there has been a number of complications and/or frustrations from the WordPress community, leading to a lot of discussion about how long you should wait to upgrade WordPress when a new branch is released. Historically the WordPress team has always done a great job of testing their releases, which I think lead to a strong confidence from the WordPress community when it was time to upgrade. Combine that with the one-click upgrade option that is now built into WordPress and the annoying tag reminding you to upgrade, and you’ve got a huge number of people who upgraded to WordPress 2.8 immediately upon its release.
Unfortunately, with each new WordPress branch comes changes which sometimes break WordPress plugins, create problems with the WordPress theme you are using, and usually includes changes to the code. If you upgrade before the themes or plugins you rely on have been updated, this can cause problems. The iThemes team recently touched on this subject with their post, When Should I Upgrade WordPress? Their post also includes five helpful things that need done BEFORE you do your one-click upgrade:
- Make a backup of all your site data
- Upgrade of all your plugins
- Visit plugin and theme author websites
- Disable all plugins
- Ask yourself if you need to upgrade now
I also recommend waiting a week or so to view feedback before upgrading.
I know several of you haven’t upgraded WordPress to 2.8 yet. How long do you plan on waiting until you upgrade your WordPress installation? Please include which version of WordPress you are currently using with your comment!
Twitter has exploded in popularity over the past year as many mainstream media sources have been using the service to communicate with their readers/viewers, but did you know that bloggers can now use Twitter to promote their content as well?
While searching for a WordPress plugin that could automatically publish my blog posts on Twitter, I was thrilled to discover the WordTwit WordPress plugin. With this plugin, simply upload and activate, then enter the Twitter login information for the account you want the tweets to appear under. Once done, all your WordPress posts will start to appear on your Twitter account (almost instantly from my experience).
When setting up a WordPress blog that allows for multiple authors, it seems many people think all that is involved is to setup additional author profiles and/or start accepting guest posts. Unfortunately, it really isn’t that simple if you want to create a high quality WordPress blog.
Setting up a multi-author WordPress blog may require you to use a number of WordPress plugins to support a variety of functions. Ideally you’ll also want your theme to be hacked to help maximize the exposure your authors get. Examples include creating a “Write for Us” page, creating author profile pages, setting your theme to display the author’s profile below their posts, etc.
Multiple Author WordPress Plugins
Here are a couple WordPress plugins that we’ve covered in the past that are ideal for multi-author WordPress blogs:
- Author Exposed – Adds a full featured display of the authors profile.
- Role Manager Plugin – Allows you to control what the various WordPress user roles can and cannot do.
And here are a few other WordPress plugins that you may also have an interest in (we use a few of these here at WordPress Hacks):
- Author Advertising – Plugin that allows you to share Google AdSense income or other advertising between multiple authors.
- Blog Metrics – Collects blog metrics based upon the author of the posts.
- List Authors Widget – Displays a list of authors in your widgets panel linking to the authors.php page.
- Multiple Authors – Allows multiple authors to be listed for an individual WordPress post, automatically keeping track of who has edited the entry.
Multiple Author WordPress Hacks
Here are a few WordPress Hacks we’ve published in the past to help you hack your WordPress theme to be more multi-author friendly:
- How to Add an Author Page to Your Theme
- How to Change the Author Archives Permalink
- How to Single Out Author Comments
- How to Link Author’s Gravatars to Their Posts
- How to Add Bio Information to Your Posts
- How to Create a Maximum Size for Your Images
- How to Use Multiple Stylesheets
I’m sure there are also some WordPress plugins or WordPress hacks which aren’t listed above. Have any multiple author tools or resources you’d like to add to this list? Let us know in the comments so we can update our post!
If your WordPress blog has been around for awhile, chances are there is some clutter in your MySQL database. For these situations, Joost De Valk of Yoast.com has an easy to use WordPress plugin called Optimize Database.
This free WordPress plugin simply needs activated, then whenever you click Optimize Now, the plugin runs an
optimize table command on your WordPress tables, effectively defragmenting it. This is very useful for tables that are frequently updated. If you’d like to learn more about why this WordPress plugin might be necessary, you can read more information on this post.
Great plugin Joost!
[Download the Optimize Database Plugin]
If you are an affiliate marketer, I’m sure you will be able to see the tremendous value in a new WordPress plugin (which was just released today) known as the LP Jumper WordPress plugin. I’ve been working with the author of the plugin for over a year now on various affiliate campaigns and was thrilled to be able to get a sneak peak at the Landing Page Jumper plugin a day early and try it out.
With the LP Jumper WordPress plugin, the concept is really simple. All you have to do is upload and activate the plugin. Once activated, you can control all the WordPress themes in your theme directory from the settings panel, setting rotation percentages (percentages much total 100% in order for the rotation to work properly). Once done, the theme displayed will change each time the website is refreshed based upon the percentages you set.
Here are some of the features of this premium WordPress plugin, which are any affiliate marketers dream:
- Rotate Multiple Landing Pages from One Traffic Source
- Find Out How Many Times the Specific Landing Page was viewed
- Give Specific Priority to a Landing Page base on its Performance
- Ability to Test your Current Landing Page Layout with Different Color Variations
- Easily Create One Campaign and Utilize One Traffic Source to Test
If you’d like to learn more, you can read about the LP Jumper plugin here.
WordPress’s default comment system isn’t exactly the greatest, and whilst you can improve the comment system manually, not everyone has the time or skill to do so. Thankfully, one of Automattic’s recent acquisitions, IntenseDebate can help.
Before we dive into installing IntenseDebate (which is really easy!), here is why you should use it, according to the IntenseDebate website:
So IntenseDebate is pretty much everything you could want from a comment system, so next we’re going to walk through the installation.
First thing is to go to www.intensedebate.com and signup. Next you’ll be asked to enter the URL of the site you want to install IntenseDebate on. Do so and click next. Assuming you’re running WordPress, you’ll be told you need to install the plugin:
Before you intsall the plugin, make sure you backup your database.
Once you’re backed up, follow the instructions above to step four. Once you’re at the tab, login with the account you just created, and then on the next screen click the big ‘Import Comments’ button. Sit back whilst your comments import themselves. When it is done, this screen will appear:
You’ll find a whole load of options to fiddle around with, so fiddle away, and then you’re done. Told you it way easy!