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Smashing Wordpress

Smashing Wordpress

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Published by Maria Vasii

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Published by: Maria Vasii on Jun 26, 2011
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Tere are literally thousands of plugins to choose from in this category, and while a lot of them
overlap, and quite a few fulfll almost no purpose whatsoever, there are some that don’t ft in any-
where in the preceding sections but are still worth mentioning. Most of those are related to custom
code, or are just small quirky things that can spice up a site by outputting the content diferently. In
other words, this is quite a mix.

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Chapter 11: Essential WordPress Plugins


SyntaxHighlighter Evolved (wordpress.org/extend/plugins/syntaxhighlighter/):

If you ever need to post chunks of programming code in your posts and on your Pages, from simple
HTML to massive chunks of PHP, you know that the built-in parsing will get you in trouble. Sure,
there are pastebins and the like, but why not solve this problem by adding the SyntaxHighlighter
Evolved plugin, which not only takes care of your precious code, but also highlights it accordingly? It
is styleable as well, so you can make the code boxes ft your content. Very neat. Tere are a bunch of
other plugins that do similar things, but this one always performs.
Blog Time (coffee2code.com/wp-plugins/blog-time/): Blog Time outputs the time
of the server in timestamp mode, either via a widget or the custom blog_time() template tag.
It’s not a clock, it’s just the timestamp, which can be pretty handy sometimes.
WP-Cumulus (wordpress.org/extend/plugins/wp-cumulus/): Tired of your slack
2D tag cloud? Get one in 3D with WP-Cumulus and its rotating Flash rendition of the tag cloud.
Flashy and fun, if nothing else, but I wouldn’t recommend using it as the main navigation tool.
wp-Typography (wordpress.org/extend/plugins/wp-typography/): Te wp-
Typography plugin will improve your typography, obviously, which means that it will fx things
such as not line-breaking unit values, give you prettier quote marks, dashes, and things like that.
Widget Logic (wordpress.org/extend/plugins/widget-logic/): Tis plugin is as
simple as it is brilliant. It adds one tiny little feld to every widget, and that feld takes conditional
tags. Tat means that you can add checks like is_single() to any widget, which makes the site
really simple to make dynamic.
WP Super Cache (wordpress.org/extend/plugins/wp-super-cache/): Tis is the must-
have plugin for any WordPress site experiencing a lot of traf c, but not wanting to go all haywire with
the hardware. It lets you set up caching of your site, which means that it will serve static fles rather than
query the database all the time. If you plan on hitting the frontpage on Digg with your techblog and are
on a share-hosting account, WP Super Cache will keep you online. It’s a must-have, and better maintained
than its predecessor, WP-Cache . Te only caveat with WP Super Cache is that it will cache dynamic
output as well, which means that your most recent comments may not actually be the most recent ones
anymore. You can handle that by controlling what should and shouldn’t be cached, but just be wary of it.
Query Posts (wordpress.org/extend/plugins/query-posts/): Query Posts is a
really cool widget that lets you build your very own WordPress loop in the sidebar, without even
having to know any PHP! It can be a very handy way to get custom output in the sidebar, or any
other widgetized area really. It integrates nicely with the Get the Image plugin (wordpress.org/
extend/plugins/get-the-image/), which lets you grab an image from the post’s content,
a custom feld, or even an attachment.

Short and sweet:

WP-DBManager (

wordpress.org/extend/plugins/wp-dbmanager/) helps to keep
your database up to speed, with repairs as well as backing up.
Exec-PHP (

wordpress.org/extend/plugins/exec-php/) lets you execute PHP code
in posts, Pages, and text widgets. Make sure you don’t let anyone who doesn’t know what they’re
doing loose with this!
WP-PageNavi (

wordpress.org/extend/plugins/wp-pagenavi/) enhances the page
navigation feature. Several styling settings are present, but you need to add the plugin’s template
tag to your theme fles for it to work.

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Part IV: Beyond the Blog

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