Looking Under the Hood of this WordPress Blog Website – What’s that Widget/Theme/Plug-IN?

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I’ve been on WordPress for over two years and I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE WordPress. Did I mention I LOVE it?

  • The platform is free.
  • They’ll even host it for you for free if you don’t mind having a .wordpress.com in your URL.
    • If you want your own URL, there are many website hosts that are affordable and many have a WordPress install/hosting plan. Cheap, and affordable.
  • Most of the plug-ins are free, and they are FANTASTIC. If you don’t know what a plug-in is, it’s something that extends the reach/functionallity of your website – without YOU having to do any programming. You just install, you might have some minor settings to set, and VOILA. It’s working.
  • There are many free themes.
  • You can shape it and mold it whatever way you want with little programming knowledge needed.
  • So many choices!
Did you often wonder – I wonder what plug-in THAT is? Or I wonder what wordpress theme that is? Or how do they do that? I’m going to attempt to map out all of the different bells and whistles that I’ve added to my own blog, and hopefully if it’s something you like, you now know where to find it. So let’s begin:
  1. THEME: I have used the free themes, and they work OK. But then, I found themes that you can pay for that work GREAT. The theme that I use is designed by Studiopress, and it is called Genesis with the Prose Childtheme.
    1. I chose a clean, simple design, as I didn’t want too many distractions. I wanted it to be easy to read, and not hard on the eyes. With the theme I selected, you can chose a background and do whatever you want with the header/logo. I chose to keep it simple and concentrate on writing.
  2. I host my website with Dreamhost. Back when I signed up with them, they were one of the few web hosts that had a 1-click WordPress install. Now almost every web host has a WordPress install or a WordPress hosting package. If you plan on having more than one website hosted, Dreamhost is great, as I can host unlimited number of websites with them for $10/month. HOWEVER, I have to install all the WordPress updates manually, and most times it is easy, and ONE time it was a hassle. I know that Godaddy has WordPress hosting plans, and it is my understanding they perform the WordPress updates – so you don’t have to even worry about it.
  3. Now for the fun stuff: PLUG-INS!
    1. Akismet – yes, you NEED this. This stops 99% of spam comments that are left on your blog. Unless you like having links to viagra and vagina’s and such in your blog comments, you NEED this.
    2. AddToAny: Share/Bookmark/Email Buttons – those buttons at the top/beginning of each of my blog posts. These allow your readers to easily share your blog with their network. After all, if they find something good, they’ll want to share it. Make it easy for them to do so!
    3. CommentLuv: I <3 this plug-in! At the end of this post, where people can leave comments? At the same time they leave their comments, they can leave their website address and pick their latest blog post. Most of your commenters are your loyal readers, and might have their own blogs. This is a community of readers and writers – let them promote themselves, and in turn, you’ll find some GREAT blogs too!
    4. FollowMe: The little twitter guy on the right side of the screen? Takes users automatically to my twitter page where they can follow me! I love that even if you scroll on a long page or blog, he’s always there.
    5. Get Recent Comments: On the right side of my blog, under “Recent LOVE notes” – these are recent comments that users have left on my blog. This plug-in pulls the most recent comments and puts them here.
    6. JetPack – this is a whole set of pre-installed plug-ins that come with the new WordPress 3.X versions. Within the plug-in, there are several things that you can activate as you wish, including a stats plug-in. HOWEVER, for stats, I use another plug-in, as I have found that Jetpack stats is touchy and sometimes does’t count all the traffic I receive. I have not yet figured out why – if you know, please leave a comment so that we all can learn!
    7. KK Youtube Video – this lets you insert a youtube video right in your post.
    8. Piwik Analytics – this is my stat plug-i of choice. It not only lets you know how many visitors you get each day, and over time, but it tells you which pages are getting the most traffic, what browser, what resolution, what OS, etc. GREAT if you want to know exactly how you should design your website so that it is viewed correctly for the majority of your visitors.
    9. WordPress Facebook Like Buttom – Even though the “share” button is already in the first Plug-in shown here, the “like” button is just a quick, easy, FAMILIAR way for your readers to share YOUR content.
    10. Wp-Piwik – this works in conjunction with Plug-in#8 above. This installs the stats to your dashboard for easy access and a quick, easy peek – which I LOVE LOVE LOVE.
    11. Wp-Thumbie – You see the 3 related posts at the bottom of each of my blog posts? This plug-in does that – automatically.
That’s it for this wordpress blog! What are YOUR favorite themes, widgets & plug-ins?
-because sharing is caring.

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Comments

  1. Jamie says:

    You are the greatest! Just added a couple of those already! I can’t get my profile pic to show up under admin and I may jump off a cliff if it doesn’t work soon. Also can’t get facebook to work…

    Lots of wine will help me through! And you!
    Jamie recently posted..follow me, everything is all rightMy Profile

  2. jamie: where exactly do you want your profile pic to show up? when you comment on another blog? Or on a page somewhere? Let me know what you’re talking about > be as specific as you can and I will let you know what I do.

    If it’s the picture that shows up when you comment on someone else’s blog > I do that through gravatar. http://en.gravatar.com – this places your pic in most sites as long as you use the same info that you did to set-up your gravatar.
    NINJA (bitch),CEO recently posted..Looking Under the Hood of this WordPress Blog Website – What’s that Widget/Theme/Plug-IN?My Profile

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