Articles on WordPress Plugins

The articles listed below cover reviews of various WordPress plugins, how to make the best use of them and why you should not use too many. Click the headline to read the full article.

If you’ve been running a website for any length of time you’ve probably had occasion to become dissatisfied with your hosting provider and thought about moving to another. That’s happened to me 3 times in the past 10 years. In the first case it was because the hosting provider I used did not support SFTP… . . . Read more

Summary (full details below): Product name:WPML WordPress Multilingual Plugin What it does:Enables you to create a professional multilingual WordPress website. Best quality translations, it brings probably the highest level of efficiency to managing multilingual WordPress websites – full details below Rating:4.90/5.00 Where to buy:WPML Price:From USD29.00, with other options DisclosurePlease assume any links on this… . . . Read more

I wrote about how to create a dual language static HTML website earlier. This time I’ll go through the process if you’re building your site on WordPress. Multi-Lingual Websites on WordPress With WordPress you have 3 options for creating a dual- or multi-language website: 1. First option – two languages on the same page The… . . . Read more

I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve seen threads asking which are the best WordPress plugins. The responses inevitably list lots of them, covering the widest range of functionality you can imagine. One of the benefits of using WordPress is the range of plugins that extend its functionality into pretty much any area… . . . Read more

My Google Analytics keywords report is telling me that one of the more searched for items on this site is ‘how to set up W3-Total-Cache’ – so here goes. Before starting, though, a word of caution: server configurations vary between hosting providers, so your first step should be to ask your hosting provider for their… . . . Read more

As I mentioned back here the Thesis theme applies a date stamp to CSS files when they’re updated. It does (did) this in order to ensure the latest version of your site is always displaid to visitors. Unfortunately that process confused the life out of the W3-Total-Cache plugin (because it had the effect of creating… . . . Read more

One of the WordPress plugins I use and really like is WP-DBManager. For some reason, though, when you activate it for the first time you will see a red warning across the top of all your WordPress admin screens that tells you your backup folder might be visible to the public. This can be a… . . . Read more

Every WordPress upgrade brings howls of anguish on Twitter and other forums as installations that were working perfectly well prior to the upgrade suddenly crash. Some people ignore WordPress upgrades in order to avoid the problems – if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. But that’s not smart because many of the upgrades are designed… . . . Read more

I moved this site from the /blog folder to the root folder recently. The main reason was to tidy up this domain and, in the process, improve its focus. That, I hope, will improve the effectiveness of its SEO. I’ve had this domain for 5 years and during that time I’ve had different folders and… . . . Read more

Here’s something to try if you have an article that’s being spammed with pingbacks. I woke up yesterday morning to find more than 600 pingback spams on a single article. I emptied the spam folder and half an hour later there were 22 more! Luckily Akismet was doing its stuff and sending these pingbacks to… . . . Read more

Here’s a question I saw today: how do I move my WordPress site to a new server? This can be a fiddly exercise with a number of steps to go through, and you should avoid it if you possibly can. However, on the basis that you can’t avoid it, here’s the answer. Note that the… . . . Read more

Interesting question on Twitter today: “Can someone clue me in to backing up my files on WordPress” As the hackers get better and more numerous, it only makes sense to have full backups of your WordPress sites. Once your site has been compromised it will quickly be removed from the search engines’ indices and your… . . . Read more

When Thesis 1.7 was released I reviewed it and bemoaned the fact that I couldn’t make use of its SEO features and drop the All-in-One-SEO plugin. The reason was because removing the All-in-One results in all the META tags on all the articles on the blog being removed as well. That would mean I’d have… . . . Read more

A couple of weeks ago I told you about my content marketing experiment and, although it’s extremely early days yet, I thought a quick update would be good. Remember, the experiment was to see whether I could start earning affiliate commissions off a travel site on which I did no paid promotions of any kind… . . . Read more

Back here I wrote about the benefits of using as few plugins as possible on your site. As is typically me, this has turned into a bit of a crusade (removing plugins from my site, that is). Here, again, are the reasons for my crusade: Plugins can slow down site load times, they may fall… . . . Read more

If you read (and remember) any of my articles from a few years back you can take me to task now. Because back then I raved about plugins and added them to my WordPress sites at will. But I’ve changed my mind. Don’t get me wrong. There are some excellent plugins that do great jobs… . . . Read more

Many thanks to Jake Hyten for asking this question: how to set up the Google XML Sitemap Generator Plugin. Thanks for your question, Jake – and the steps follow with the greatest of pleasure :) Firstly, why would you want to install the Google XML Sitemap Generator Plugin? Because it creates a sitemap for the… . . . Read more

Here’s a question I see over and over again in different forums: ‘Why does WordPress attract so much spam? I didn’t get any on my Blogger blog’. There are a couple of reasons for this: firstly WordPress is targetted because it’s such a popular platform. Secondly, if you don’t activate Akismet, the anti spam plugin… . . . Read more

I saw a question from someone this week asking about plugins and whether they slow down site load times. The answer is yes – they can. And there are other things to remember too: they can clash with other plugins, your theme or even WordPress itself. So what’s the best number of plugins to have… . . . Read more

Well – I have to eat my own words. Back here I wrote a post about how I improved the search functionality on this blog by searching for and adding a new plugin. In that post I was critical of Google Custom Search. Recently that plugin that I eventually installed was updated, a move which… . . . Read more

This is just a ranting article… I use the automatic plugin-upgrade function on WordPress because I’m short of time. But the benefits of doing that are completely wiped out when the upgrade has the effect of erasing all your plugin settings and disabling it. There were two plugin upgrades yesterday on which that happened.   … . . . Read more

Back here and here I listed some plugins that I generally use on new blogs. Since then I’ve come across some more. However, as I’ve mentioned previously, you should be thoughtful about the plugins you install. Not all of them are faultlessly coded and those that rely on external sites for data (e.g. related sites… . . . Read more

Update 21 May 2012: This article has been updated with a newer one covering WordPress backups in more detail. You can find the newer article here. Original article starts here: Here’s a question I saw today: can someone explain how to back up my WordPress blog? Backing up your blog is an essential housekeeping task… . . . Read more

WordPress always used to frustrate the life out of me when I tried to use the HTML view to write posts. I like writing in HTML. It’s a precise language and you’re able to control exactly how you want your page to look, especially when you combine it with CSS. But WordPress has always had… . . . Read more

Important: Which version of WordPress do you want to install plugins in? WordPress versions before 2.8: click here. WordPress version 2.8 or later: click here. Installing and managing plugins in WordPress versions before 2.8 I quite often see questions from people asking how to install new plugins on WordPress. There are now more than 4,000… . . . Read more

Update – 19th July, 2012. This article and the one linked to below are pretty dated now, so you may want to take a look at my most recent article on plugins: Core plugins for any WordPress site. Original article starts here: A while ago I put up a list of recommended Wordpress plugins, that… . . . Read more

I stumbled across a great way to naturally increase high quality back links to my blog yesterday: the Related Websites Plugin from Blog Traffic Exchange. Increasing back links has always been labour intensive, even when using those commenting tools that search out related blogs based on keywords you put in. You still have to check… . . . Read more

Update – 19th July, 2012. This article is pretty dated now, so you may want to take a look at my most recent article on plugins: Core plugins for any WordPress site. Original article starts here: I follow questions about Wordpress on Twitter, and one of the questions that keeps coming up is for recommendations… . . . Read more