11 Useful WordPress plugins we use & like

Admin Management Xtended: When you want to edit properties of posts/pages, you’ll have to open the edit page, set the new options and save the post/page… which obviously takes time. For those who are using WordPress as a CMS, it’s important to be able to manage contents easily and quickly. That’s what this plugin helps to do.

Colorful Tag Cloud: Designed to render a colorful tag cloud.

Contact Form 7: If you value simplicity and flexibility, Contact Form 7 is a great choice. It allows you to flexibly design the form and mail. You can manage multiple contact forms as well. In addition, it supports many features including AJAX submitting, CAPTCHA, Akismet spam filtering, file uploading, etc.

NextGEN Gallery: An excellent photo Gallery plugin.

Page links To: Make a WordPress page or post link to a URL of your choosing.

Picasa Express x2: Browse, search and select photos from any Picasa Web album and add them to your post/pages.

Shutter Reloaded: An image viewer for your website that works similarly to Lightbox, Thickbox, etc. but is lean and mean at only 10KB size. It does not require any external libraries.

TiniMCE Advanced: This plugin adds 16 plugins to TinyMCE, WordPress’ wysiwyg editor.

Viper’s Video Quick Tags: Yes, WordPress 2.9 and WordPress 3.0 feature native easy embeds. However this plugin offers more customization than allowed without the plugin (player colors, etc.). It will work fine side by side with the new code and you can opt to use either embed method.

WordPress Database Backup: Creates backups of your core WordPress tables as well as other tables of your choice in the same database.

And one of the ones I like best:

Ozh’ Admin Drop Down Menu: (This one should be built in!) Uses a horizontal menu that gives the admin area more of a “desktop application” feel, and I think it’s superior to a vertical menu. Many neat customizable features.

SEO tips from Google (How to get your website high in the search listings)

I recently came across two nice articles from google that will help webmasters practice good techniques to help their websites get higher listings on search engine result pages. Here ya go:

Google’s Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide

Google’s SEO Report Card

Google says “These optimizations are intended to not only help search engines understand the content of our pages better, but also to improve our users’ experience when visiting our sites. Simple steps such as fixing 404s and broken links, simplifying URL choice, and providing easier-to-understand titles and snippets for our pages can benefit both users and search engines.”

Here is a free tool to check your site’s SEO: SEOrush – give it a whirl.

Warning: Domain Name Registration Scams

The domain name registration business is loaded with scammers and at best dishonest “legal” companies. Often at the office I get a letter on a domain name I have registered that is going to expire with 6 months or so asking me to renew the domain. Of course this company is not the one I currently have the domain registered with. The letter has 6 paragraphs of “fine print” on the back. The prices they are charging and several time higher than from my regular reliable registrars (I use www.godaddy.com and www.namecheap.com and I am very happy with both companies.) The most recent letter wanted $30 per year for the renewal. It would only cost me $10.33 from godaddy.

Worse yet is companies like traderdomains.com. I have registered www.frankbroughton.us for some time now. Of course I would like to have www.frankbroughton.com but it was taken by another person. Recently that person let it expire and it became available for registration. I received the following email from traderdomains.com:

Our company specializes in acquiring expired domain names to help individuals and businesses protect their brand online. The domain name FRANKBROUGHTON.COM expired recently and we were able to secure it. We noticed that you own FRANKBROUGHTON.US and felt that you may be interested in acquiring the .COM version of your existing domain name. It is available for a one-time fee of only $49.00 USD.

I went to godaddy and registered it myself for $10.33.  A week before I received the same letter from another company that offered me frankbroughton.com for $97. Ya right!

If you have domain names registered be careful of these attempts to scam money out of you.