Over the past years, WordPress has been gaining popularity as a blogging platform. With this development, the need to make blogs more social and its content easier for sharing. Beyond commenting, today’s web users are looking out for social networking and interaction on blogs. As such, we have created a list of plugins below to help you improve the social aspect of your website.
Allows you to add a variety of social media buttons – Digg, Facebook, del.icio.us, to name a few – to your posts. Not only simplifies the task of adding social media to your blog, but also adds aesthetic value to your website with pleasing social media buttons.
Enables you to add social bookmarking buttons to every post. Stands out from other plugins of its kind as it allows you to add bookmarks of sites not written in English.
Adds social bookmarking links to your posts to help your readers promote and increase traffic to your site.
One of the more popular plugins. Lets you add the “Share This” button to your articles, allowing your readers to easily share your articles on other social media platforms or via email.
Allows you to spread your blog over 30 social networks via Ping.FM. This WordPress plugin enables you to submit your posts to this service.
Adds user-submission links at the end of each blog post for a range of social bookmarking sites.
Completely open source plugin which allows you to share and spread your articles with great ease and full control.
I Love Social Bookmarking
Uses a clean drop-down list of appealing icons to allow your readers to submit your content to social media services.
Social Bookmarking RELOADED
Adds various graphic links at the end of your articles to help your visitors share them.
Provides you with a range of 50 bookmarking submission icons to add to your blog.
Enables you to display social bookmarking options in a dropdown format to reduce the page space they consume.
Use this to add bookmark links to your WordPress blog. It also allows you to select the services you want to include and specify your icons.
Adds the buttons of various popular bookmarking sites to your site. Unique selling point: big and clean icons.
Allows you to install PunchCards to WordPress with great ease, as well as shrinkage of space taken up by social media on your website.
Enables lifestreaming of your WordPress Site.
Allows you to show all the links to your social media profiles under just one banner.
Displays all your photos, postings and feeds from other social networking sites.
Make your online business card using this WordPress plugin. Also links to your social networking profiles.
WordPress is gaining a lot of popularity as a versatile Content Management System for all kinds of websites. After all the effort in setting up your website, you would of course like to see traffic to your website. One of the best ways of gaining popularity in social media would be through Twitter, one of the fastest growing social media platforms.
After publishing a new blog post, you can update your followers by tweeting about the new content. Or you can increase the number of followers on your Twitter account by directing blog followers to your Twitter account. To help you get the most out of integrating these two platforms, developers have come up with a range of plugins. We have listed some noteworthy ones:
This plugin is a great asset for people who tweet regularly. Whenever you publish a blog post, Twitter Tools lets you send automated tweets to your Twitter account, allowing you to update your followers quickly. Plus, it also works the other way round by allowing you to create a daily/weekly compilation blog post of all your tweets in a day/week.
This plugin stands out by allowing you to share all your posts over a range of social networks such as Twitter, Facebook and StumbleUpon. SexyBookmarks looks great with its funky and contemporary design, but the thing that wins us over are its smoothly animated icons.
Liveblog is the plugin that lets you to live up to the spirit of live blogging through Twitter. While you tweet in rapid succession in real time about an ongoing event, the plugin merges those tweets into a single WordPress theme post. In this way, your Twitter network will not be the only one abuzz with activity, and you can save the trouble of having to manually compose a new post based on your tweets for your blog later.
Let new visitors know what your interests are in just a glance with this new plugin. By picking up key words or phrases, Tweet Cloud shows your thoughts even in your Tag Cloud. Through the Tag Cloud, users are granted direct access to your tweets as well.
WP Greet Box
The plugin allows you to welcome your visitors on your blog with a personalized message. For instance, if a visitor reached your blog via a click through on something cool you tweeted about, s/he is welcomed with a personal message that you personalized for visitors directed from Twitter to your website.
Twitter Friends Widget
Twitter Widget Pro
Another sidebar widget for WordPress, Twitter Tracker allows you to mention a Twitter search and display corresponding search results to help you add related content to your post.
Using your Twitter account, sign up for Twittley, a plugin which allows you to broadcast your message on the Twittley website. Why would you want to do so? Twittley users are able to vote and comment on stories, meaning you receive a larger exposure for your content.
WordPress has always been popular with webmasters due to its easy-to-access plugins and user-friendly website. To date, WordPress offers about 4,000 plugins, each with a unique functionality for your website.
However, there are a few questions that you should consider before installing any of these plugins on your website:
- Does the plugin require updating? (Usually, plugins don’t need to be updated.)
- Does the plugin require accessing external websites during the loading process? (“Related Sites” or “Share This” type of plugins usually do this.)
- Is the plugin author a professional with a dependable experience? Are they here to stay?
By checking against these questions, you will usually be able to tell if a plugin is an asset or a disadvantage to your website. While there are WordPress plugins that work excellently and perform irreplaceable tasks, there are also those that cause problems upon installation. For instance, have you noticed PHP errors on your website or slower website performance than usual? If so, the reason behind these problems could be the installation of too many plugins on your website.
Check the number of WordPress plugins
While most plugins are developed to improve your website, more plugins can sometimes mean more harm than help. Generally, most webmasters will install newly launched plugins due to the attractive features they tout without considering potential problems in future. A good way to gauge if you should install that new shiny plugin is by checking the number of WordPress plugins already installed on your website. If you already own a large collection of plugins, then the biggest mistake you can make is to add some more as they will probably slow down your website or even end up working against each other, producing more errors on your website.
Keep tabs of the functions plugins perform
Apart from the list of plugins installed, you should also keep a tab of the functions they perform. From the list of plugins yo own, you will surely find some that can be deactivated or even deleted from the website without sacrificing much functionality on your website. In order to help you select the most important plugins for your website, here are two most commonly found plugins that can be replaced for better website performance.
Instead of installing a plugin to keep AdSense at work, you can actually embed the AdSense units directly in your article or other specific spots. This is easily achievable by coding the AdSense location in your template.
Google Analytics Plugins
Another unnecessary plugin used extensively in websites. Simply by opening the footer.php and adding the required code just before the end of the body tag, you can activate Google Analytics. All in just a minute, and your website now loads faster.
NOTE: Please be careful when changing your WordPress theme to ensure you embed the required codes in all the necessary areas. It is best to back up your existing theme before you commence coding and removing plugins.