Most of the house is quite clean and tidy, with small examples of a charming eccentricity that my kids will remember me for when I’m gone:
But then there are pockets of this – I’m not sure what’s going on with this space, or what post-modern, deconstructionist art movement may have inspired it – or better yet, be inspired by it:
Every year, I go through the blog (it’s a great way to avoid cleaning closets) and clear out the plug-ins that are just lying around, eating up the chips, and spilling beer on the floor. I usually discover just as many shiny new ones to play with, in the process, so it’s not like I’m spiffing up the blog and improving efficiency 104% or anything. I have several sitting there that I haven’t even tried, yet. Kind of like some of that yarn, in the picture…
CommentLuv Premium & Anti-Backlinker: Not only do these take care of most of my anti-spam needs, they also offer nice rewards to real readers, bloggers, and commenters by allowing them to leave backlinks once they’ve proven they’re human and can be trusted.
Broken Link Checker: Unless you want to manually test all the links on your blog on a regular basis, this little plug-in can help you keep your links nice and tidy. You know what else helps you keep your links nice and tidy? Not making any links at all. But where’s the fun in that?
Click to Tweet: I really like this one. I only installed it, initially, to be obnoxious and to try to prove to my friend Todd Kruse that there was, in fact, a useful time and place for hashtags, so he’d stop hating on them. Worked, too.
StarBox: That’s the little bio box you see at the bottom of each of my posts. Lot of different display options, but mainly it’s a nice way to keep all my social media links handy. It’s great for multi-author blogs or giving registered guest posters an extra perk, too.
Contact Commenters: A great way to email the readers who leave comments on your blog (be nice, don’t use it to spam people!!). I do wish the developer would add a way to permanently remove addresses on request; right now, that’s not an option. But you can see there are multiple options based on dates, date ranges, specific posts, number of comments, and so on. It’s very flexible and very nice, I think, if you use it sparingly and keep it personal. (On an unrelated note, aren’t all the teeny-tiny live links in this image just adorable?)
Google Fonts for WordPress: Maybe not the most intuitive thing on the planet, but this lets you use over 600 different fonts (you have to download each one separately) in your blog. Maybe not a “must-have,” but still fun to play with.
WP Show IDs: I’m not sure why it’s not just built in with WordPress, but I suppose most bloggers don’t need to know their category and tag IDs all that often. When you do, though, you’ll know it – so remember this plug-in. It doesn’t do anything fun; it just shows you the ID numbers that correspond to your Posts, Pages, Media, Links, Categories, Tags, and Users.
Twitter Highlight: This one’s kind of silly, but lets me quickly add links to people’s Twitter handles just by doing this: @HollyJahangiri (I don’t have to add a link – just the Twitter handle. It’s a nice little shortcut.) I even got credit for helping fix a bug!
WordPress Firewall 2 and ThreeWP Activity Monitor: Only install ThreeWP Activity Monitor if you are not afraid to see just how many attempts are made to hack into your WordPress admin and user accounts. It’s not for the faint of heart, but it can be fairly amusing to see what passwords these folks will try. No, I don’t have an account called “admin” or anything else that’s that obvious or likely to be easily guessed. And why would my password be – oh, you gave up and are just venting your frustrations, now, I see. Well, same to you, hacker wannabe. (Seriously, this is not for the timid. Better you just install WordPress Firewall, get someone to lock down your .htaccess file for you, and not keep yourself up nights worrying over this stuff. I just think it’s kind of funny. It’s also a good lesson in “change your password if you flub it logging into some possibly shady site” – because anyone with this plug-in can see what you unsuccessfully attempted. Here’s a little sample (why do they think I’m into horses and golf and horny goldfish??):
Last, but not least, is RSS Multi Importer. It’s better than the blogroll app on Blogger that grabs little excerpts from your favorite blogs’ most recent posts, and it’s the only thing of its kind I’ve found for WordPress. Setup and configuration are not hard, but step through it carefully – it takes a little time to get aquainted with this plug-in, although recent updates have made it much more intuitive. To see it in action, just click Recommended on my menu bar, and look at the last four items. Each consists of RSS feeds in different pre-defined categories within the plug-in. Adding them, once it’s set up, involves nothing more than a simple shortcode.
Well, that’s it for now. I suppose I should at least consider organizing the photos and the yarn stash I keep shoving into that corner. Enjoy your weekend!
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