Category Archives: Plugins

Essential WordPress Social Media Tools

Converting users is as important as ever before. With millions of websites being created every day, how can you compete? Here’s how: convert your readers like a pro with these essential tools.

Meebo Toolbar

Meebo Toolbar for WordPressA sweet little bar that hangs out at the bottom of all your pages. It is available as a WordPress plugin or standalone code. You can customize the bar with anything you might need to convert users like RSS links, and integration with your Facebook page.

Wibiya Toolbar
Wibiya Toolbar for WordPressAnother handy toolbar with some different content and style options. Both tools can help convert users, it’s up to you to decide which one is best for you.

WP Greet Box

WP greetbox plugin for WordPress This handy plugin will insert a discrete box below the heading but above the content with dynamically generated message to readers based on their referral source. See it in action here: 43 Ways to Promote your content like a pro.

Smart Sharing Plugin

Easy Share Plugin for WordPressThis plugin creates a box that can be aligned to the left or right of your site with important sharing links.  It scrolls with the user, meaning they are always reminded to switch from “casual visitor” to “avid follower”.

Top choices for WordPress shopping carts

WordPress is quickly becoming a fully-featured, powerful and dynamic content management system and not just a blogging tool.  The geniuses over at WordPress.org are continually improving and expanding the codex while miraculously protecting the speed, simplicity and ease of WordPress.

In tandem with the developers, theme creators are continually pushing the limits of WordPress to new heights.  As we move into this new era of WordPress uses, the idea of creating e-commerce applications in WordPress is expanding rapidly.  We looked at the current options and selected our top choices when selecting a WordPress shopping cart.

WordPress Shopping Cart

Key Features:

  • A full shopping cart (not just a payment processor), allowing users to add and remove products from their cart and then “checkout”.
  • Integrates with WordPress Affiliate Software
  • Integrates with Paypal and 2Checkout
  • Integrates with Nexgen gallery

Check out the forum for some insight into user experiences with this plugin.

ShopperPress Theme/Plugin

Key Features

  • Affiliate support
  • Support for drop shipping products
  • Software or product download support
  • Free trial version

Check out the forum for some insight into user experiences with this plugin.

Zack Design WordPress Shopping Cart

There hasn’t been an update on this page since 2007 but we thought we’d let you make your own decision.

WordPress E-Commerce Plugin

Key Features

  • Boasting 500,000 downloads
  • Integrates with Social Networking services
  • In addition to Paypal, offers Google Checkout, Payment Express and Authorize.net as payment gateway options
  • Single page checkout designed to help distractable customers

Check out the forum for some insight into user experiences with this plugin.

eShop Shopping Cart Plugin

Key Features

  • Uses the existing WordPress framework (products are posts or pages)
  • Downloadable products and download statistics
  • Stock control
  • Works with WPMU
  • Supports Authorize.net, Paypal, Payson, eProcessingNetwork, Webtopay, iDEAL and Cash/Cheque

Check out the forum for some insight into user experiences with this plugin.

YAK for WordPress

Key Features

  • Also turns posts into products
  • Product categories (using post categories)
  • Order sorting
  • Promotion support
  • SSL Support

Check out the forum for some insight into user experiences with this plugin.

Wibiya has opened its doors to WordPress users

We recently reported on Wibiya, an exceptional tool for WordPress blogs (and other sites but we don’t care about them).  At the time, Wibiya was in beta mode, asking you to request an invitation to use the plugin.  Just recently, Wibiya took two pretty big steps.

First, Wibiya is now open to the public.  Simply click “Get it now!” to sign up.  You will select a few settings like applications to include on your toolbar, then download a plugin zip file.  Previously you were given a raw PHP file that required manual upload (instead of the handy “upload new plugin” option in your WordPress Dashboard.

Second, Wibiya updated the toolbar altogether.  If you already had the Wibiya toolbar, you need to reinstall it.  The toolbar now includes a couple more applications and a better interface for adding/removing them.

So what does the Wibiya toolbar do?

  • Integrates Facebook into your blog
  • Integrates Twitter, allowing users to tweet about you right from your blog!
  • Offers easy navigation of random and previous/next posts – increasing pageviews and retaining visitors.
  • Lets readers chat with other visitors
  • Lets you communicate with visitors by setting up announcements (popup or not)
  • Decrease reasons for visitors to leave by allowing social networking right on your site (instead of leaving to do so)
  • And tons more applications (translations, real time users and more added all the time)

Like we said, we don’t care about anything that doesn’t involve WordPress, but Wibiya also works with Blogger, Drupal, Ning, Joomla and more.  Check out the new Wibiya toolbar here.

Mini-tutorial: How to add noindex to category pages

This question was asked in the WordPress forum here.  Since nobody had answered Michael at press time, I thought it might be helpful to find the answer and publish it here.

Solution:

Option 1) Use robots.txt to prohibit search engines form indexing a page.  Simply add this to your robots.txt file.  If you don’t have a robots.txt file, simply create one in your go-to text editor.

User-agent: *
Disallow: /category/page-title

These two lines will a) let search engines know this rule applies to all robots and b) tell them they cannot index the page located at “category/page-title”.

Option 2) Use this handy plugin.  The Ultimate Noindex Nofollow Plugin by Jonathan Kemp.  With this plugin you can choose pages that the plugin will identifying as non-indexable in the robots.txt file.  There are many other options with this plugin including adding the rel=”nofollow” tag to various places in your WordPress code.

Option 3) Use a meta tag to order search engines to not index a particular page. The meta tag looks like this:

<META NAME=”ROBOTS” CONTENT=”NOINDEX, NOFOLLOW”>

10 Must Have WordPress Plugins

We have built a ton of WordPress sites. Seriously, hundreds. Maybe thousands. Over time, we have developed a short list of go-to plugins. No matter what kind of WordPress site we’re making (a blog, a community, etc.) we start by downloading the latest version of these plugins. In our humble opinion, their features should be built into the WordPress Core.

Here is our list of must-have WordPress plugins:

  1. Alex King’s 404 Notifier. Ever wonder how many visitors are lost to a 404 page?  Let’s face it, your site URL’s change from time to time, and people incorrectly link to you.  Have the chance to fix that by being notified when a 404 error is received.
  2. Fix Database Plugin. Database errors happen, and they slow down your website’s load time.  This plugin identifies errors and attempts to fix them.
  3. Auto-Hyperlink URLs. This can be a real time saver.  This plugin automatically generates hyperlinks of the URL’s you place in posts.
  4. Google (XML) Sitemaps. What good is your exceptionally informative blog if nobody finds it?  Step one to SEO is making sure the search engines are indexing your content regularly.  Just make sure your robots.txt file is updated accordingly, this plugin does not address this.
  5. Sexy Bookmarks. This is the same plugin we use below our posts. (And they happen to be using the same theme as us).  Super easy to setup with a handy AJAX settings page.
  6. Advanced Exerpt. This is the simplest way to modify what the “get_the_excerpt” template tag generates.  You can change word count and even what html tags are dropped from the excerpt.
  7. Contact Form 7. The most versatile and easy to setup contact form plugin.  It’s a little tricky to figure out the first few times, but once that time has passed, it is super easy to use.
  8. Akismet. Comes pre-installed in WordPress – but you have to set it up before it works.  Saves loads of time by auto-identifying SPAM comments.
  9. Twitter Tools.  The easiest (and most comprehensive) way to integrate your Twitter account and your WordPress blog.
  10. Wibiya.  Read this post about why we love the Wibiya plugin/toolbar.