I think this is a fun and useful style of post that any WordPress blogger can do. It’s always interesting to hear in what ways people are extending what WordPress can do out of the box. I’ll share the ones I’m using here on CSS-Tricks then you can share yours (either in the comments or in a post on your own WordPress site). My list is quite a bit different than the last time I did this in 2008. If you have some better alternatives to the ones I’m using, I’m always interested in that, too.
Allows me to create new buttons in the post editor of my own creation. I have buttons like “jQuery” which allows me to select some code I’m putting in a blog post and it wraps it in the tags I need to make it look like code and be syntax highlighted.
Gives me more control for how I output excerpts of posts. For instance, which tags specifically should be removed and which can stay. Also allows for one-off control with a custom function. e.g.
<?php the_advanced_excerpt("length=40&use_words=1"); ?>
Has blocked 148,338 spam comments at the time of this writing. Invaluable.
Extremely old but still vital for me. Turns new comment notifications from being plain text with big long gnarly URL’s all over them into a simple HTML email with clickable links.
I turned this off recently thinking maybe this has made it into core, but it hasn’t. I think it’s time to make WordPress start sending nicer emails, no?
Also extremely old but still works great. All it does is make sure that I don’t have to escape HTML code myself. If it’s inside
<code> tags it does it automatically.
Makes sure all RSS feed requests get shuttled over to my FeedBurner feed. That’s best because 1) then I can track statistics accurately and 2) it relieves some load from the server.
Gives me the ability to reward good comments and discourage bad comments. All I do is click links in the comment thread to apply class names and I style them. This is just one small tool in curating good comment threads. More on that here.
Speaking of better comment threads, I believe allowing people to see what their comment will look like before posting helps that. Especially on a site where people post code fairly frequently and how easy that is to screw up.
There is a lot of stuff in here, but at the moment I only use one feature: the ability to let users get email notifications of follow up comments or new articles on the blog.
I have it set up so that when Lodge members log in (which is the default WordPress login system), they go straight back to The Lodge.
At the end of each blog posts, lists a couple of other blog posts that people might be interested in reading. The idea is to be helpful to readers with the side bonus of keeping people on your site and engaged.
The heart that makes The Lodge work. Some content just isn’t availble to view on the site unless you’ve logged in and have an active subscription. This makes all that happen. I use the PayPal Pro and CSV user import plugins for it. Plugin plugins!
Does full site and database backups for me. Peace of mind.
Keeps CSS-Tricks speedy. Does the CDN integration with NetDNA automatically.
Allows me to force certain pages on CSS-Tricks to be SSL just by checking a checkbox. For instance, I do this one the Lodge Signup page, because it collects payment information and that really needs to be secure.
It should be noted that in order for this to be useful you need to:
- Have a valid SSL certificate installed on your site
- Have your server set up to mirror your site on the HTTPS side (or otherwise do something smart)
- If you’re using a CDN, make sure it can handle HTTPS too.
- Make sure all resources you use (images, CSS, JS, fonts…) are also HTTPS.
Takes care of all the little best practices stuff that is tedious to deal with otherwise. Things like using ideal page title formats, proper meta tags, canonical URLs, sitemap building, social media data, etc.
Handles the polls around here.
Allows navigation like
← 1 … 2 3 4 … 975 →
instead of just
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What are some of your can’t-live-without plugins?