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Why Do Teachers Quit?

Why Do Teachers Quit?

Author:
Posted: June 6, 2009
Category: Blogging & Technology




I have gotten questions from time to time about what plugins I use on my blog. I’ve posted some plugin lists in the past, but sometimes plugins are no longer supported by their author or else the functionality is duplicated in later WordPress versions. So here are 20 WordPress 2.7 Plugins You Can’t Live Without.

  1. Advanced Excerpt
    Excerpts allow more articles to show up on the home page, while still not allowing too many links (Search Engines don’t like more than 100 links on a page) or too much clutter. Advanced Excerpt lets me customize how many words or characters appear before the cut as well as letting me choose which HTML elements to strip from the code entirely. Since I use thumbnails instead of full images on some pages, I can cut the img tag and still include the thumbnail.
  2. Akismet
    Indluced with WordPress, there’s no telling much more spam I would get if I didn’t have Akismet installed. It doesn’t stop everything, but I combine it with three other plugins and some sleek .htaccess editing to prevent the majority of spam from ever getting through.
  3. All in One SEO Pack
    Search Engine Optimization is a big deal if you want visitors to come to your blog. The All in One SEO Pack does a handful of things to help make pages more Google friendly. With the launch of Bing, I have found that some of my articles come out high on the results there as well. I think a lot of it has to do with this plugin.
  4. Bad Behavior
    Another anti-spam plugin. While Akisment filters spamn, Bad Behavior prevents most spam comments from even being posted.
  5. Bookmark Me
    Do you like this article? Would you like to share it with a friend? The Bookmark Me plugin allows me to add the bookmark strip at the bottom of each article. It doesn’t include the Facebook link, I just added that and stylized it to match.
  6. Broken Link Checker
    As the blog gets older, some of the old links get outdated. Enter Broken Link Checker. As it searches the database, any old, outdated links that it finds will still work, but it will flag them on the WordPress Dashboard, and it draws a line through the original link in the original post. You have the option of either deleting the link entirely, unlinking the text, or editing the post yourself.
  7. Contact Form ][
    I know that there are a handful of more current contact forms available, but I have been using Contact Form ][ since I started the blog and just never bothered to change it. It serves its purposes, and I continue getting emails from new readers through it. If your blog doesn’t have a contact form, get one.
  8. Dean’s Permalinks Migration
    Over the life of this blog, I have held it on a variety of servers. Sometime in late 2007, I realized that the original permalink structure of WordPress was not ideal for search engines. So I changed it to/%postname%/. When I did that, some of the older posts that had the/%year%/%monthnum%/%day%/%postname%/ didn’t work. Also, other blogs linked to the old structure before I transitioned. Dean’s Permalinks Migration is a plugin that takes care of that.
  9. Enforcewww.Preference
    Most stats tracking suites do not interpret visits to soyouwanttoteach.com the same as ones to www.soyouwanttoteach.com.Enforce www.Preference provides a 301 redirect anytime someone goes to soyouwanttoteach.com and sends them instead to www.soyouwanttoteach.com. More accurate statistics!
  10. FeedBurner FeedSmith
    I like tracking the stats of my subscirbers, and FeedBurner is great for that. When I use the FeedBurner FeedSmith plugin, I just put the URL for my FeedBurner feed, and it does all the rest. If I decide to change it for any reason, I don’t have to lose all 900 subscribers, I just change it here and it’s taken care of. If I change my theme, it requires no editing of the header or footer.
  11. Google Analytics
    Google Analytics is by far the most thorough stats tracking package I have found. It’s not the one I use most regularly, but it provides a depth of stats that none of the other ones I’ve used do. Just like the FeedBurner plugin, when I change the blog’s theme, this plugin keeps me from having to edit any other files. It’s simply plug in and go.
  12. No Self Pings
    I don’t even know if WordPress still pings other posts on my own blog when I post them, but it did that back when I started blogging. When I discovered No Self Pings, I no longer had to delete every ping to my own posts. In the early days, I linked to my posts a whole lot, so this was a real annoyance!
  13. Peter’s Math Anti-Spam Image
    The third in my anti-spam arsenal. Peter’s Math Anti-Spam Image adds a graphical math problem requirement before someone can post a comment. Akismet loves Peter. Can you tell from the picture when in the last three months I found this plugin?
    math-anti-spam
  14. Revision Control
    One of the annoying things about WordPress 2.6+ is that it saves an inordinate amount of post revisions. This can fill up the database and slow everything down. Revision Control helps me to combat that, and allows me to limit the number of revisions that each post has. I don’t see a need for more than 2 revisions of each post. This plugin lets me do that.
  15. Similar Posts
    One of my favorite plugins since the early day of my blog, Similar Posts throws in some (mostly) related articles at the bottom of each post. It helps readers find other stuff that might interest them.
  16. WordPress.com Stats
    My daily stats tracking site of choice is the WordPress.com Stats. It has a cool graphic display of popular posts as well as visits. It’s not as thorough as Google Analytics, but it definitely does a nice job.
  17. WordPress Database Backup
    You never know when your database will freak out. WordPress Database Backup regularly sends a backup of your database to the email address of your choice. Just in case…
  18. WP-Optimize
    If you’re going to be emailing your Database to yourself every week (or even every hour) with WordPress Database Backup, you might as well optimize your database and clear out empty space. WP-Optimize does just that.
  19. WP-PostViews
    The Top Posts list I have on the left side of my blog is the result of this plugin. WP-PostViews was added in March when my site redesign happened, and since then, has been tracking the number of hits each post gets. A lot of readers tell me that this is one of their favorite features of my blog. If you don’t have a “Best of” list for your blog, I recommend getting one somewhere.
  20. Yawasp – Yet Another WordPress Anti Spam Plugin
    The final of my four spam blocking plugins. YAWASP – Yet Another WordPress Anti Spam Plugin is just that. It adds to the defenses against spam attacks that constantly come at my blog. They probably come at your blog as well, you just may not be aware of them.

Do you have any plugins that your blog cannot live without? Do you see any missing that mine needs to have?





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Comments

    1. Jonathan says:

      Now, you are somehow in a different universe, since you don’t have “wordpress” in your url.

      I’ve never quite understood what the difference was, and how it is better (and worse). Can you enlighten me?

    2. Joel says:

      Sure,

      WordPress is a blogging platform/content management system that many people use to run their own blogs. In order to set up WordPress, you go to WordPress.org and download the latest release of the WordPress software. Then you upload it via FTP to a server somewhere. My site is hosted by 1 and 1. I also registered my domain with them.

      Once I upload it to 1 and 1’s servers and do a few things in the setup, anyone who goes to http://www.soyouwanttoteach.com ends up at my site.

      WordPress.com and Edublogs.org are blogging sites that people can sign up for for free. They are built on the WordPress.org framework, but hosted on their own servers so people don’t have to go through all of the extra steps of registering, uploading, setting up, installing, and upgrading.

      The advantages of having a site like you do are that you don’t have to do those things.

      The advantages of having a site like I do include:

      • The ability to add plugins whenever I feel like – WordPress.com and Edublogs.org have some plugins, but don’t let you add any of your own as far as I know
      • I can add any theme I want instead of being limited to what they have on hand
      • I have my own .com domain name, which is a little easier to send people to
      • I own my own domain – and my own content in any copyright disputes
      • There are a few of the differences. Whether you go with WordPress.org or WordPress.com, I am convinced it is superior to any other blogging platform I’ve seen. :)

    3. Jonathan says:

      Is there additional cost involved?

      And wordpress.com provides good support, and introduces new features (some of your plug-ins I have, without asking). With wordpress.org, do updates happen automatically? And if not automatically, do they happen easily?

      I hope you don’t mind keeping this in the comments section… I figure the questions and answers might have value for someone out there…

      Jonathan

    4. Joel says:

      There is a cost involved with getting the domain name and hosting. Each hosting company charges different amounts and has different quality, so it’s something that people really need to shop around for.

      The latest versions of WordPress do a really good job of letting you upgrade to newer versions of plugins or even of WordPress with one or two clicks so you usually don’t have to do any further FTP transfers or anything else like that.

      For most people, WordPress.com is a great option. I am just a little control freak and like the challenge of being able to have my very own .com addresses. :)

    5. waski_the_squirrel says:

      Tonight I finally switched to a WordPress blog. I hope it will make me a more productive blogger. I found this post useful because I'm only beginning to learn about WordPress. I'm really out of touch with this part of technology!

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