I had posted here a few days back that I had tried a large number of WordPress plugins, after moving my site to my own domain. I had also promised to post about the plugins I liked the most. Today, I am going to blog about them.
- The first plugin that I want to discuss here is the Admin Drop Down Menu by Ozh. If you are using the default admin theme, then this plugin is a must use for you. The default theme WordPress admin theme allows you to visit a sub menu link only after visiting the corresponding top page. This plugin allows you to see and visit sub menus under a main menu item from anywhere in the admin section. By pointing the cursor over a menu item, the corresponding sub menu is shown below it horizontally. I had a little problem with the menu in Opera. I didn’t try it in other browsers. But this is not the plugin I am using right now. I will reveal the plugin I’m using later.
- Another plugin I can’t live without is Pluginstaller by Henning Shaefer. The continuous installation and removal of plugins almost made me go crazy. That was when I found this excellent plugin. Pluginstaller makes plugin management really easy by replacing the default plugin manager of WordPress. Pluginstaller displays active and inactive plugins separately. It also hides the extra details about a plugin under a collapsible box, thus reducing the need for using the scrollbar. But, the biggest attraction I found in Pluginstaller was the ability to check and install updates to installed plugins and the facility to install plugins directly from the web or from your computer without using any FTP client. If you are a person like me, who loves to test different plugins, then this is a must use plugin for you.
- I believe every website needs a contact form. Because, it is much better than directly displaying your email id. A blog is also a website and needs a contact form. I tried two contact form plugins. The first one was cforms, which did not work for me due to some reason. Hence, I searched for another one and found the Enhanced WP-ContactForm by Joost de Valk. It provides a basic contact form with built-in spam protection. It was more than enough for my purpose.
- Another plugin used in this blog is No Self Pings by Michael D. Adams. This plugin prevents WordPress from sending pings to your own site. It thus helps reduce the time required for saving / publishing a post.
- Now I am going to reveal the two WordPress addons that I like the most. The first one is an admin theme called SpotMilk by Sunghwa Park. From the very first day I started using WordPress, I didn’t like the default admin theme. But I didn’t know that it could be changed like the user end. The first theme I used was WP Tiger Administration by Steve Smith. It was much better than the default theme, but I removed it since it had some problem with the Admin Drop Down Menu. It was then I discovered the SpotMilk theme, inspired by the SpotLight of Mac OS X and Milk theme by Max Rudberg. I am using the black version of the theme included within the same archive, which can be activated by uncommenting a single line in the theme file. I also wanted an admin drop down menu that blended and worked with the new theme. After reading through the hundreds of comments in the themes page, I found out SpotMilk Admin Drop Menus by Andy Staines.
You can find more admin themes at WordPress.
There are many more plugins that I use. I will post about them later. In the mean time, I hope you will try these excellent plugins and themes. Other posts in this series are
NB: Before you try any of these, please backup your wordpress database. If you are not sure how to do that, then it is better not to try these. Do it at your own risk.