Plugins used on Blogrodent

Updated: See, instead, a live list of plugins, here.

For any who care, here are the plugins currently in use here on BlogRodent. I turned off BAStats for a while to improve performance, but then installed WP-Cache and performance improved so dramatically I’ve turned it back on for a test. However, if you use BA-Stats, yourself, you should know that there are serious performance hits as your database grows larger and larger. I may still have to turn it off as traffic here grows. We’ll see.

Akismet 1.12
“Akismet checks your comments against the Akismet web service to see if they look like spam or not. You need a WordPress.com API key to use this service.” (This has caught a ton of comment-spam since I installed it, however, there have been some concerns raised lately that spammers could be using Akismet themselves to “game” the system. Some bloggers are reporting untoward amounts of false positives lately.)

Archivist 0.1
“Selects a defined number of (random) posts from the archive and shows them on the front page.” (You’ll see the results from this plugin as item number three on the blog’s homepage. It should change every time you load the page.)

BAStats 1.0ß build 8
“This plugin calculates statistics for a WordPress weblog.” (This is the best at-a-glance stat reporting tool I’ve found. I’ve used StatTraq, but found it to be too resource-intensive—no better than BAStats. However, Owen has discontinued developing this plugin. Use at your own risk.)

BDP RSS Aggregator 0.2.0 (pre-release 3)
“RSS Aggregator — collate RSS feeds and summarize to a page.” (This is what drives the PneumaBlogs page.)

Comment Quicktags + 1.1
“Inserts a quicktag toolbar on the blog comment form.”

Exec-PHP 2.0
“Allows or [?php ?] tags inside of your posts to execute PHP code.” (Without this, I couldn’t do anything with BDP RSS, or a few other plugins.)

Favatars 2
“A system to show favicon.ico files as avatars: ‘Favatars’.” (You can see these little icons in the comments section. Cute.)

Flash Filter Plus 1.0
“A filter for easily inserting Flash applets and AsySound into posts.” (There are other ways to do this, but Owen’s applet here suited me best.)

Follow URL 1.0
“This plugin strips nofollow tags from your comments and comment author URL, which are inserted by default in WordPress.” (I moderate my comments, so I see no reason to deprive my commenters from good Googlejuice.)

Google Sitemaps 2.7.1
“This generator will create a Google compliant sitemap of your WordPress blog.” (Keeps Google coming back time, and time, again. Since Google searches are a primary driver for traffic here, it makes good sense to keep my Google listings up-to-date.)

Identify External Links 1.2
“Searches the text for links outside of the domain of the blog. To these, it adds class=’extlink’ and target=’_blank’.” (This allows me to put the little arrows beside external links—in case you hadn’t noticed.)

Obfuscate E-mail 0.9
“Obfuscate e-mail addresses in text and links via hex and ASCII code substitution while retaining the appearance and functionality of hyperlinks.” (Just in case somebody gets crazy and posts an email address in a comment.)

Post Updated R1
“Display notice/date/time of when a post was last updated.” (Just more good metadata.)

Recent Comments 1.18
“Retrieves a list of the most recent comments.” (See it in action in my sidebar at the right.)

Recent Posts 1.07
“Returns a list of the most recent posts.” (See it in action in my sidebar at the right.)

Redirect Old Slugs 0.3
“Allows you to change your post slugs without breaking the old ones (which will redirect to the new one!)” (Useful, because I sometimes need to shorten my post URLs.)

Related Posts 1.3.3
“Returns a list of the related entries based on keyword matches.” (See it in action at the bottom of any post.)

Scripturizer 1.5 fork
“Changes Bible references to hyperlinks.” (This is handy because then I don’t have to hard-code my BibleGateway references. Keeps my scripture cites honest and accurate.)

Search Meter 1.1
“After you have activated this plugin, you can check the Search Meter Statistics page to see what your visitors are searching for on your blog.” (Just in case you’re really, really interested in something I haven’t blogged on, I can satisfy your searching needs. Big Rodent is watching!)

SimpleTags 1.1
“Allows you to create a list of Technorati tags at the bottom of your post by providing a comma separated list of tags between the tags. … Supports multiple words within tags. Also allows in-post tagging of words by enclosing them in tags.” (Also makes my blog much more visible to Technorati. See it in action at the bottom of most of my newer posts.)

Smart Archives 1.01
“A simple, clean, and future-proof way to present your archives.” (Does just what it says. Nice.)

Subscribe To Comments 2.0.2
“Allows readers to receive notifications of new comments that are posted to an entry.” (I like this because it allows you to participate in a dialog without having to set up a feed entry for every post you comment on.)

Subscribe2 2.2.0
“Notifies an email list when new entries are posted.” (Only a few people have noticed this, perhaps because most of you are subscribing via feed readers, which is good. However, not everybody uses a feed reading client, and it’s nice to have options.)

WP-Amazon 1.3.2
“WP-Amazon adds the ability to search and include items from Amazon to your entries. This plugin adds a button called “Amazon” on the post page.” (Just in case you want to buy the book, I can more easily search for it and link to it on Amazon.)

WP-ContactForm 1.4.2
“WP Contact Form is a drop in form for users to contact you. It can be implemented on a page or a post.” (Without needing a mail client, not like you don’t have one. But then, I don’t have to post my email address here, either!)

WordPress Database Backup 1.7
“On-demand backup of your WordPress database.” (Just. In. Case.)

wp-cache 2.0.17
“Very fast cache module.” (Wow, wow, wow. Boy does it ever work as promised!)

wpPHPMailer 1.6.1
“Enable WordPress to send e-mail via SMTP instead of via PHP’s mail() function (aka sendmail).” (Without this, I couldn’t get email out of my server and into your inbox. Works like a charm.)


[tags]best-plugins, blogging, blogging-tools, BlogRodent, favorite-plugins, plugin, tech, WordPress, WordPress-2, WordPress-plugins[/tags]

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6 Responses to Plugins used on Blogrodent

  1. Thanks for the info…I’m looking forward to trying the Amazon plugin.
    Appreciated your thoughts on church growth versus spiritual growth in the A/G, you graciously highlighted some potentially uncomfortable info in a way that calls us to action instead of complaint.

  2. Rich says:

    Thanks, Lindsey, for your kind words. I worry that I not seem contentious while being critical in the good sense. Unfortunately, I don’t know if I have solutions for my critiques, which puts me in danger of being not much better than the average heckler. Hopefully, though, dialog is a start.

    Rich.
    BlogRodent

  3. Glen Davis says:

    Good list of plugins. You might want to take a look at the current revision of Scripturizer. We’ve upgraded it fairly significantly (as long as you’re using WordPress version 1.5 or above) http://dev.wp-plugins.org/file/scripturizer/trunk/scripturizer.php

  4. Rich says:

    Great! I’ve modified it to version 1.55 and reset my cache. I hope it fixes those odd occassions when it hyperlinks text that doesn’t point to a verse.

    I love scripturizer, though. Good work on it.

    I’d suggest adding an option to define an optional style for the references and to optionally implement target=”_blank” for the references.

    RIch.

  5. Marc V says:

    I’m thinking about taking the plunge to WordPress and actually shelling out $$ for a domain name and hosting service, so I may try to get some free advice from you.

    I’ve noticed lately (last two weeks) that your main page does not show up sometimes. Do you think it is a problem with the hosting service, some glitches in a plug-in or other parts of your web page?

  6. Rich says:

    Hi, Marc,

    I have had very good experiences with my new, current host: midphase.com. I was initially attracted to the new host because they offered “unlimited bandwidth.” (WHich, I’m sure, is conditional upon you not using much!) I had a few overage charges from my old host, and I was fed up with my previous hosts’s lack of support. I did the research and looked at all the current top-recommended hosts, and midphase looked good. Plus, the datacenter is right here in Chicago, and when I call the support line I actually get a live person down by the lake. (The online support, I suspect, is in some european/post-russian country, but it’s still effective.)

    I absolutely love wordpress. I use Sixapart’s Moveable Type at the office (ChristianityToday.com) and I’m frankly not as impressed with it. The biggest complaint about wordpress is “code bloat” and the fact that it’s sluggish at times, but I recently installed a caching plugin for this weblog and it really has sped up quite a bit.

    As for why you’re getting no results on the homepage, I can think of three or four possibilities for that: Prior to my installing the wp-cache plugin last weekend, this site would frequently time-out because it took so long to deliver a page. That could be one reason. Also, twice in the past month, the server I was residing on became the target of a denial-of-service attack. The support techs at midphase just automatically moved me to a new server when that happened. But when they do that, DNS gets messed up, and pages break for a few hours. That happened for the second time this last Monday.

    Also, I recently upgraded to version 2.0 of WordPress, which is the latest-and-greatest upgrade to the blogging software. But the official “stable” release isn’t as stable as we would like. So, I found the nightly build website and installed the latest patches as well.

    As you know, upgrades and patches frequently break stuff. So, that could be causing problems as well.

    However, in my fit of upgrade-mania, I found and got listed on a service to monitor my blog’s web page delivery, and the results were apalling. That’s what led to my installation of the wp-cache plugin. Look at these graphs:

    Hope this helps!

    Rich
    BlogRodent

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