There are lots of posts dedicated to showing you wordpress plugins that enhance your post functionality and add features but not many that focus on helping you clean and maintain a secure and orderly backend. I’ll include a few you may have seen before but also a few new ones to help keep things running smoothly.
(cue dramatic voice over guy)
In a world where blogging has become mainstream now more than ever these are the two plugins you need … if you download only two plugins all year make sure it’s these two …
OK maybe that was a bit overly dramatic but really these two EVERYONE should be using:
WordPress Automatic Upgrade – This one absolutely makes upgrading a breeze. I can’t tell you how many man hours this one has saved me.
WordPress Database Backup – really nothing sucks more than losing a blog because of a catastrophe and this gives you the ability to send a daily backup to an offsite storage location via email (say something like a dedicated gmail account for instance)
Ok now onto the stuff you may not have seen already …
Broken Link Checker – link rot it happens, chances are if you link out a lot or have been blogging for more than a year your blog has some dead links. This plugin will run thru them all identify them and let you fix,update, delete, or unlink them … yea I know cool huh. Warning the first time this thing runs it’s pretty labor intensive, so choose a less busy time like a holiday weekend to first turn it on.
Cross Linker – So lets say you’ve written a great review post of that snazzy new Blackberry Curve you just bought. Your post is so great every time you write the words “blackberry curve” you want it to link to your review post, but you know … you’re lazy or forgetful. Cross linker will do the deed for you. it won’t overwrite where a link already exists, and you can also set it only link the first occurrence of the word so your posts don’t end up looking like intellitext on steroids or something.
Go Codes – Maybe your an affilaite and you’d like redirect all of your affiliate links through a script for tracking purposes or maintenance purposes. use GoCodes to set up a tinyurl like function on your blog so http://example.com/go/blackberry-curve/ sends people to your aff link. Want to change affilaites … easy peezy just update your go code instead of every link … neat huh. if you combine this with Cross linker above it becomes really powerful. You can set up cross linker to link to a gocode page … did we get a lightbulb moment …
Login Lockdown – Hacking wordpress is really becoming an issue lately, and anything you can do to slow people down is a good thing. login lockdown will block IP’s after a specified number of incorrect username/password combinations. You can configure some of the options, not perfect nor fool proof but it’s a start.
Audit Trail – Keep track of who did what and when they did it. Especially helpful when you have multiple admins, editors, or authors around.
Wp Security Scan – Sounds much more impressive than it actually is, but still it does some useful things and makes some good suggestions. Looks like the author also has some good ideas in the pipeline so it’s one to keep an eye on
Redirection – Have a few posts that have gone AWOL or people linking to stuff that doesn’t exist. This post tracks 404’s and lets you set up redirections really easily. Sure there are lots of ways to do this but this one quick easy and integrated into wordpress.
Simple Tags – So maybe you get a little sloppy and tag your posts in an inconsistent manner. You use things like “auto”, “autos”, and “Auto” and now it just looks silly. This plugin allows you to mass edit and neaten things up. It also suggests tags, but be careful if you have 1-2 crazy wild tagging authors it can get out of hand quickly.
Lighter Menus – So maybe you spend a lot of time in your admin panel and are annoyed it takes 2-3 clicks to get anywhere. This plugin shortens the path putting everything in some ajaxy style drop down menus … one click and away you go
WP PhpMyAdmin – maybe you’ve got some things you need to do in your database but don’t want to log in via your control panel. Now you can access your PhpMyAdmin right from wordpress. Use caution I’m sure this opens up some potential do to real harm if you aren’t careful.
WP Dashboard Editor – Annoyed by all the crap wordpress puts in the dashboard? Have a blog where the people logging in aren’t tech savvy and don’t need that info? This plugin lets you remove all that stuff and add your own messages … kewl …
Force User Registration Fields – Maybe you want to know who the people registering for blog are (or at least who they are pretending to be). This lets you decide what information people need to provide when they register for your blog.
New User Email Set Up – want more control over the sign up email new users get … this plugin lets you do it. Helpful if you are using password protected pages as a poor man’s intranet.
Lastly a little tip for you … if you are going to allow guest authors but don’t want them running renegade, and publishing without permission, set their user level to “contributor” not “author”. That way someone who has “editor” or “administrator” privileges has to approve and publish a post before it goes live.