Along with LaunchMemphis, LunaWeb recently co-hosted TribeCamp, a day-long conference on social media, web topics and professional development. We’ll be posting notes from some TribeCamp sessions over the next couple of weeks. The posts will be on a variety of topics, from social media to production to content.
Joe Spake’s TribeCamp presentation on essential WordPress plug-ins was more like a roundtable discussion and a swap-meet of best tips and practices. Joe demonstrated a few of his favorite plug-ins and then opened up the floor for suggestions from the group. Here’s what came out of that session:
This plug-in facilitates the addition of media to your posts by heading out and finding links, videos and photos for you. You type in search terms, it finds the items and will even plug in the appropriate Creative Commons attribution if necessary.
What Would Seth Godin Do
The consensus among the group on why it’s called what it’s called was “who the heck knows?”, but this plug-in allows you to create customizable text that will automatically appear for a user based on how many times they’ve been to your site. For example, the first time a user visits the site the message might be an initial welcome, whereas the second visit might offer a prompt to leave a comment or simply welcome them back and suggest a new feature on the site they might check out. The text is entirely customizable, so the possibilities are limitless.
Though this might be old news now, the Facebook “Like” button is a simple plug-in, easy to install and allows users to like your posts, thus plugging links to your site into the user’s Facebook newsfeed. All a user has to do is click “like” as Facebook has so conditioned us to do, and your blog is linked in their Facebook profile. If another user clicks to find out more, it will take them to the content on the external site. The plug-in will automatically load this feature on all old posts.
WordPress Database Back-Up
This plug-in automatically backs up your entire WordPress blog to e-mail. The plug-in will e-mail the back-up to you in a .zip file each night. If you create a filter within your e-mail management system, you never even have to see the messages come through. They’ll automatically be dropped into a folder, but they’ll be there when you need them.
Special Text Boxes
Provides an easy way to do pull-quote boxes within a blog post without using any code.
Consolidates your social media all into one place.
One word of caution voiced by several participants in the discussion was to exercise care when installing plug-ins, because you can risk slowing down your load time. They will slow the load speed of your home page, even if you are not actively using all of them. Be sure to go through your site periodically and delete the ones you are not actually using to keep load speed as high as possible – search engines look for a fast load time so you want to keep things as streamlined as possible.