Since I’ve had the good fortune to be a featured site for the incredibly awesome ProPhotoBlogs, I’ve gotten quite a few emails asking me about various things I’ve done on my site which are a little bit out of the box. I imagine the good people over at ProPhoto have gotten their share of my emails as well, so to do my part in “paying it forward”, I will share with you an abbreviated guide to the incredible WordPress plugins that I’ve found to be useful on my site. These are all available for free, but I believe that no one on this list would turn down a donation if you find their plugin to be useful.
First, because I think I’ve favored my girls in pictures over my son (mainly because he is a reluctant photo subject):
Disclaimer: these plugins are ones that I personally have found to be useful. They are all listed in the plugins directory on wordpress.org; or, if you are running WP 2.8.4 or higher (and if you’re not, whyever not?), you can also install them from within WP itself. Please note: I am not an expert and am therefore advising you that you can use and install them at your own risk. Always backup your website before making significant changes in case a new plugin doesn’t play nice with something you’re already using.
General Blog Tools: These are good to have on any blog to help keep you safe, backed up, and search engine friendly:
- Askimet: Every WP blogger should use this plugin. It does an amazing job of weeding out spam comments.
- All in One SEO Pack: for helping make your blog search engine friendly.
- Google XML Sitemaps: more search engine friendliness. If you don’t already use Google’s Webmaster Tools this one won’t mean much to you.
- WordPress Database Backup: If you are not backing up your WP database frequently and often you are just asking for something bad to happen. This plugin backs your database up on any schedule you like.
Image Display: I use these to present my images.
- NextGEN Gallery: I use this plugin to place images in every post. It’s easy to use once you get it set up to your liking (adjusting thumbnail sizes, etc.). One caveat is that it apparently only sends the thumbnail size images to your blog subscribers’ readers and emails, which kind of defeats the point of the whole subscription setup. Erik of Erik Teichmann Design solved this problem for me by adding some code to my blog. I recommend contacting him to ask for his help with that, because it’s certainly beyond me.
- Lightbox2: NextGEN Gallery has a variety of image display options to use, some of which require installing an extra plugin. This is the one I personally chose but there are others listed in the NextGEN resources.
- SlideShowPro: This program is not part of WP at all, but it’s what I use to display my gallery images and I really like it. It does cost money and requires either Flash (not the player) or Lightroom.
- Kimili Flash Embed: I found this plugin and instructions on the SlideShowPro user forums to help me embed my gallery into a blog page. I believe it has other uses as well but that’s what I’ve used it for.
- Sociable: I’ve just started using this to make it easier to share blog posts via email, twitter, and facebook.
For other resources I like, and friends I recommend, and random good people, visit my page about the people I’m glad to know. For those of you who are interested in this list, I hope you’ve found it helpful. And if you’ve been on the fence about buying ProPhoto, using referral code RCORNETT232 (in all caps) will save you $10.