As I was upgrading my blogs from 2.3.2 to 2.6, I started collecting a list of plugins that I wanted to test before upgrading. Over time this became a convenient way to keep track of all the plugins I’ve been evaluating and to provide a short summary of my experiences with them. Of course, I don’t claim to have tested any of these plugins thoroughly or with all configuration. I host WordPress with MySQL v5.0.45-community-nt, PHP 5.2.4, IIS 6 on Windows Server 2003..
|Name||Version||Min WP Version||WP Version||State||Evaluation|
|404 Notifier||1.2a||1.5||2.6||Testing||I haven’t seen any notifications produced by this plugin yet. I suspect this doesn’t work with IIS, only with Apache. Bummer.|
|SmartLinks Widget by Adaptive Blue||1.0||2.3.2||Evaluating||This plugin is intended for sites that have links to books, music, movies, etc. My blogs don’t have very many, if any, references like these, so this may not be a good plugin for me.|
|@Reply \w comment preview||0.2||2.3|
|admin-only-categories||1.0||2.6||Allows you to display certain categories only to admins.|
|Admin Color: Fresh Plus Visited *||1.0||2.6.2||In Use||Simply colors visited links differently than unvisited. I’m not sure why this isn’t the default.
NOTE: This plugin doesn’t work on WP 2.7.
|Admin Menu *||4.2||2.0||2.5.1||Works||Works fine, but I don’t like the fact that it always shows up, even if you aren’t logged in. You also can’t modify the colors to better fit your theme without modifying the style sheet – not a good solution if multiple sites are hosted out of the same WordPress installation.|
|AJAX Calendar||2.4.9||2.0||2.7||In Use||Allows visitors to navigate the archive calendar without refreshing the page. It probably means they are querying for and downloading more info, but hopefully the functionality will outweigh the perf hit.|
|AJAXed WordPress||1.23.5||2.1||2.6.2||Testing||Adds AJAX features to WordPress in a modular format where each module is like a plugin similar to WordPress plugins.
I’ve tried out a few features that seem to work (rich text comment editor) and others that don’t (reCAPTCHA).
|Akismet||2.2.3||2.7||In Use||Essential tool for catching spam comments.|
|Author Highlight eXtended Version *||1.5|
|AutoCompletion Searches *||1.00||2.7||In Use||Displays a drop-down of terms it finds on your blog, just like on Windows Explorer (probably others as well, but I’ve only used Windows).|
|Backlinks||0.8||2.3||Adds backlinks to your posts similar to Google backlinks.|
|Baltic Amber Admin Themes and Schemes||1.43||2.5|
|Batch Categories *||1.4||2.5.1||Testing|
|bbPress Live||0.1||2.6.1||Allows the display of information from a bbPress 1.0 forum.|
|Berri Technorati Reactions on Dashboard||2.0||2.5||2.6||Broken||Worked fine up to 2.5.1 but is broken in 2.6. Author has been notified.|
|Better Tags Manager *||0.1||2.5||2.5.1||In Use|
|Branded Admin *||0.1|
|Branded Login Screen *||1.0|
|Breadcrumb Titles For Pages||1.1.0||2.0.11|
|Broken Link Checker||0.4.10||2.0.2||2.3.2, 2.6||In Use||Very nice. It hasn’t found any broken links on my site yet, though, so I don’t know how that part works.|
|Broken Links Remover||1.1||2.3|
|Categories Autolink *||2.0||2.3|
|Category Cloud Widget||1.7||2.0||2.3.2|
|cformsII – contact form||10.2||2.0.2||2.7||Testing||Very complete forms package. Requires you to modify a file if you use virtual directories, which is not good if multiple sites use the same WordPress folder. I’m working with the author to come up with a solution to this one. Also, all the styles are fixed-width styles, most of which are quite narrow. The nice thing about this is that the styles are fully customizable.|
|Clker.com *||1.1||2.5||Allows you to search for clip art images while you are writing your posts on clker.com.|
|Collapsible Elements||2.1||2.2||2.5.1||In Use|
|Comment Info Tip *||1.6||2.6||Evaluating||Haven’t been able to get this to work reliably.|
|Configurable Tag Cloud||4.5|
|Configure SMTP *||2.0||2.7||In Use||Finally! A plugin that allows me to use all those email plugins. Unfortunately there are all too many plugins that call mail() directly instead of wp_mail().|
|Cronjob Control *||0.4.1||In Use||Shows all active WP cronjobs in the "Site Admin" area. Very nicely done. It took me a minute to find where the page was. I finally found it under Manage.
|Cross-references||1.4.03||2.5||2.7||In Use||Fantastic improvements in the plugin from 1.2 to 1.3. You can now specify slugs instead of IDs, and if you switch between the two the plugin will do the dirty work of modifying all your posts. It now also has an option to add a Related Posts section to your posts. I’ve added this section to several themes. I can now remove that. Yippee!|
|Custom Admin Post Listing *||1.1||2.5.1||Testing|
|Custom Function Widgets *||0.2|
|Custom Permalinks||0.3.1||2.6||Busted on IIS||Set the URL of any post, tag, or category to anything you want.
Looks like it doesn’t work on IIS. It’s possible that the Ionics Isapi Rewriter is getting in the way or just simply that it doesn’t work for IIS.
|Customizable Post Listings||3.0.1||2.5.1||Testing|
|Customizable Search Widget *||1.2||2.2|
|Dagon Design Form Mailer *||5.6||2.6.2||In Use||Works nice, even on IIS, after modifying it to use the wp_mail() function instead of the PHP mail() function. Extremely customizable. Allows you to create multiple forms as well.
One caveat I found. It is currently including the email header info in the message. I haven’t been able to figure out how to fix this.
With all it’s flexibility, I haven’t been able to spend enough time with it to make the resulting page look good. Right now it centers all the controls. I would prefer that the form is more left-justified instead. I’m sure it’s possible, though.
NOTE: Version 5.6 doesn’t appear to work in WP 2.7 – not sure why yet – investigating.
|Dagon Design Sitemap Generator||3.15||2.1||2.6.2||In Use|
|Dashboard Widget Manager||1.3.1||2.6.2||In Use||Allows you to organize your dashboard. Not sure if it’s per-user but I suspect not. Note that v1.3.0 doesn’t work with WP 2.6, but v1.3.1 does.
Deprecated for WP 2.7.
|Digg This *||1.02|
|Direct Image URLs For Galleries||1.0.0||2.5|
|Disable Theme Preview||1.0.0||2.6|
|Drop Caps||2.1||2.3||2.6.2||Tested, no longer in use.||Very cool effect on the site. Gives posts a book or magazine feel. Found one problem with the Dagon Design Sitemap Generator – the text at the bottom of the sitemap is right-justified, but the first character is displayed at the beginning of the line instead of next to the next letter in the line.
Unfortunately the effect doesn’t always format properly. As a result I’ve since deactivated this plugin.
|DRP-Multi-Blog Keywords||1.1||2.6.2||In Use||Displays information about blogs hosted in the same directory. Good for a root blog.|
|DualFeeds *||1.11||2.6.2||Not in use due to failure to validate||Adds a summary feed in addition to the full feed. Also allows you to add RSS links to each post/page if desired.
Note: Produces code that doesn’t validate.
|Easy Gravatars||1.2.1||2.6.2||Works very well. Some themes in 2.5 have support for gravatars by calling the built-in method, but WordPress doesn’t provide any mechanism for customizing how they are displayed. The bummer here is that for those themes (e.g. the Default theme) activating this plugin provides a lousy user experience.|
|Easy Post-to-Post Links *||2.0|
|Email Spam Protection||1.2||2.6|
|Enhanced Recent Posts||1.1.0||2.5|
|Epic Theme Viewer *||0.1|
|eShop||2.9.3||2.5||Shopping cart plugin that integrates into WordPress and uses PayPal.|
|Event Calendar *||3.1.1._rc3||2.6.2||In Use||Uses posts as events on a schedule. Fairly robust, but doesn’t provide a month-at-a-glance calendar with event titles in each day box.|
|Exec-PHP||4.9||2.0||2.7||In Use||Allows you to write PHP code in a post or page. The visual editor built-in to WordPress doesn’t handle pages with PHP on them very well, but sometimes the only way to add some types of content is by using PHP, so this is a terrific plugin. As I have time I am modifying plugins to use shortcodes instead so that I can avoid using PHP and can revert to using the visual editor again.|
|Extended Category Widget||1.4.1||2.3|
|External Links *||2.12|
|Extra Feed Links||1.1.1||2.5|
|Facebook Dashboard Widget||0.9|
|FeedBurner FeedSmith *||2.3.1||1.5|
|First Timer *||1.0|
|Flash Video Player||2.1|
|Fluency Admin *||1.2|
|G-Lock Double Opt-in Manager||1.2.2||2.5||Allows visitors to subscribe to your mailing list using a double opt-in method.|
|G4B Photo Gallery||1.0||2.2|
|GD LinkedIn Badge||1.3.0||2.0|
|GD Pages Navigator||3.5.0||2.5|
|GD Plugin Core||1.0.3||2.5|
|GD Star Rating||1.0.5||2.5|
|Google Maps for WordPress||1.0.2|
|Google XML Sitemaps||184.108.40.206|
|HeadSpace2||3.6.13||2.0||2.7||Testing||Gives you a lot of control over meta tags as well as a bunch of other functionality in WordPress.|
|Highlight Author Comments||1.0.2||1.5||2.6.2||In Use||Nice solution for themes that don’t have built-in support for highlighting author comments. v1.0.2 fixes a bug where the opening paragraph tag wasn’t being included.
My only beef is that it doesn’t do a case-insensitive comparison on the email address, which means I have to edit the file every time I upgrade. Hopefully the author will add that in a future version.
|Homepage Excerpts *||1.0|
|Impress *||0.01 (beta)|
|Improved Include Page||0.4.5||1.5.3|
|Inline Posts *||2.1.2.g|
|inlineRSS||1.1||It appears that the author has removed the link to this plugin.|
|In-Series||3.0.12||1.5.2||2.7||In Use||Provides a way to associate posts into a series, including a table of contents on each post.|
|Internal Link Building *||1.1|
|jQuery Lightbox For Native Galleries||1.1.0||2.6|
|jQuery Reply to Comment||1.11||2.6|
|Lameda (List Attachment MEtaDAta)||0.1.5||Allows shortcodes to be used to display metadata present in images.|
|Landing Sites||1.4||2.0.2||2.7||Testing||Cool idea. I’ve got it displaying something on my site, but it doesn’t find any matches.|
|Lighter Menus||2.7.5||2.6.2||In Use||I love this one. It makes it so much easier to navigate the WordPress admin menus. I like this better than the others because of the appearance and the look-and-feel.
Deprecated for WP 2.7.
|Lijit Search||1.01||2.3||2.6||No longer in use due to validation failure||Fabulous extension to search which logs searches and allows you to modify the search feature to search across multiple sites.
Note that this plugin causes your pages to fail the XHTML validator.
|linkle||0.7||2.3.2||Allows you to easily insert a wide variety of links into your posts/pages.|
|List category posts||0.3||2.0|
|List Pages Plus||1.1||2.5|
|Lock Out||1.1||2.3||2.7||Testing||Allows you to put your web site into Lock Out mode to prevent access while you perform upgrades or maintenance.|
|Log Deprecated Calls *||0.1|
|Login-box||2.0.2||2.2||2.6||Doesn’t work for blogs hosted on IIS.|
|Magic Keywords *||2.00|
|MD5 Password Hashes||1.0.1||2.7||In Use|
|MailPress||1.9.3 / 2.0.1||2.6 / 2.7||2.6.2 / 2.7||In Use||Allows you to send beautiful and styled html and plain text mails based on dedicated themes and templates.
Really nicely put-together plugin to give you more control over emails from your site.
|Members Only||0.6.7||2.1||2.6.2||In Use||Allows you to require visitors to log in before being able to see the content.|
|Menu Creator *|
|MiniMeta Widget||4.0.2||2.5||2.6.2||In Use (Testing in WP 2.7)||Gives you a meta widget that gives you more control over what gets displayed. I especially like being able to exclude WordPress.org and RSS links and to include direct links to various pages in the admin interface.
However, I’m moving away from offering meta on my sidebars and instead embedding a couple links on the theme near the top or bottom.
NOTE: This plugin has gotten WAY more complicated in WP 2.7 – to the point of being unusable. Too bad. It was a nice plugin.
|myTreasures||1.0.7||2.0||Helps you to show collection on a WordPress blog.|
|NextGEN Gallery||1.1.0||2.1.3||2.7||In Use||Outstanding plugin for managing image galleries that can be used across all posts and pages.|
|NextGEN Gallery Widget||1.22||2.6.2|
|New User Approve||1.0||2.5||Allows the administrator to approve new users on a blog.|
|No Self Pings||0.2||2.3.2||Prevents posts/pages referring to the same site from creating pings/trackbacks. I now use the WordPress Tweaks plugin instead.|
|Notifixio.us||0.8||2.5||2.6.2||Testing||Plugin for managing notifications, allowing users to be notified via IM, email, or SMS.
Causes your pages to fail the XHTML validator.
|Open Picture Window||1.3|
|Ozh’ Absolute Comments||2.2.2|
|Ozh’ Admin Drop Down Menu||220.127.116.11||2.5||2.5.1||Works||Better than the standard menus but not as nice as the Lighter Menus plugin.|
|Page Category Plus *||2.2|
|Paginated Comments||1.0.3||2.3.x||Breaks comments into a number of search engine-optimized pages.|
|Permalinks Moved Permanently||1.3|
|Platinum SEO Pack||1.2||1.5|
|Pods||1.0.6||2.7||A CMS plugin. Allows users to add content types, associate content types with posts, and form relationships among blog posts.
NOTE: May not work with IIS since the installation instructions mention a .htaccess file.
|Post-Plugin Library||18.104.22.168||1.5||Library of functions used by Rob Marsh’s plugins (Similar Posts, Recent Posts, Random Posts, Popular Posts, and Recent Comments).|
|Post/Page Update Notification *||2.5|
|Register Plus||3.5.1||2.5||2.7||Testing||Allows you complete control over registration, including allowing you to approve registration, require users to specify more info when they register, modify the registration email, and more.|
|Remote Database Backup||1.00.0||2.5||Based on the WordPress Database Backup plugin by Il Filosofo. Adds automation.|
|Remove Max Width||1.3|
|Results-Count||0.4.2||2.0||2.7||In Use||Shows the count of posts that match the search, category, or tag request.
Fantastic plugin. Adds a sense of professionalism to archive and search pages. Very, very nice.
One issue I fixed on my sites – it displays the author’s nickname instead of display name on author archive pages.
|Reveal IDs for WP Admin 2.5||1.0.6||2.5||2.7||In Use||Required if you want to specify page exclusion lists for the Pages widget or if you use plugins (like the cross-references plugin) that use page/post IDs.|
|Role Manager *||2.2.3||2.0.x||2.7||Testing||Allows you to define and manage roles and their capabilities. Used by other plugins, such as WordPress Tweaks.|
|RSS Cake *||0.1 Beta|
|Search Engine Keywords||v1.0||2.0|
|Search Pages *||2.3|
|Section Specific Text Widget *||1.0|
|Semisecure Login for WordPress 2.5||1.1||2.6||Testing||Incompatibility found with this plugin, the MD5 hash plugin, and WP 2.6. Not sure yet what causes the problem, but disabling this plugin (by renaming the directory) allows me to log in again.|
|SEO Smart Links||1.6.2||2.3|
|Shantz WordPress Prefix Suffix||1.0.5||1.5||Adds text/HTML/CSS code to posts and/or pages as a prefix and/or a postfix.|
|ShareThis||2.3||1.5||2.6.2||In Use||Provides a nice interface for sharing posts/pages with others. Much less intrusive visually than Sociable.
One downside is that it depends on the ShareThis servers to act as an intermediary, but that could also be seen as an upside as that means less code needs to run on the server hosting the WordPress code.
|Show Me Options||0.1|
|SimplePie Core||1.1.1||2.0||Loads the core SimplePie library so that other plugins that use SimplePie can all share the same up-to-date version.|
|Simple:Press Forum *||4.0.1||2.04||2.7||In Use||A very nice, very complete forum plugin. Highly recommended.|
|Slayer’s Custom Widgets *||1.0||Allows you to specify which pages a sidebar item shows up on.|
|Smart 404||0.3||2.6||Busted on IIS||Performs a search of your posts, pages, tags, and categories, using keywords from the requested URL.
This plugin appears to be busted on IIS. For some reason pages that are not found don’t cause a 404 error.
|Smart Archives Reloaded||1.1.1||2.3|
|Smart Link *||3.1.2|
|Smilies Themer||0.5.3||2.7||In Use||Let’s you select a different set of smilies than the set built-in to WordPress. I think the MSN set looks very slick, much more so than the built-in set.|
|Snazzy Archives||0.5.2||2.3||Very cool presentation of archives. Doesn’t work 100% with IE7.|
|Sociable||2.9.8||2.2||2.6||Evaluating||Encountered a few problems. The list of sites doesn’t show up properly in IE7. Print simply invokes the browser’s print function. WP-Print from GaMerZ is much better for this. Email only emails a link to the page.
The ShareThis plugin provides similar features in a much nicer package that is also less visually intrusive.
|Sub Page Links *||1.0|
|Submit Your Blog *||1.0|
|Subscribe To Comments||2.1.2|
|Tag Managing Thing||1.0.2|
|Tags Autolink *||2.0||2.3|
|TanTanNoodles Version Checker||0.1||Installed as part of WordPress Reports.|
|Theme Authenticity Checker||1.3||2.2|
|Theme Test Drive||2.6.1||2.3|
|Top Level Categories||1.0.1|
|Ultimate Category Excluder *||0.21 Beta|
|Ultimate Google Analytics||1.6.0||2.6.2||In Use|
|User Level Themes||1.03||2.5|
|Velvet Blues Update URLs||1.0||2.5||2.6.2||Broken||Updates all URLs and content links in your web site to reflect a move to a new domain or directory. Won’t activate. Sends me to an HTTP 500 error page.|
|Version Information *||1.1||2.2|
|What Would Seth Godin Do *||1.3|
|Where did they go from here? *||1.4|
|Wikipedia Autolink||1.0.01||2.3.0||2.6.2||In Use||Allows you add links to Wikipedia automatically. Very fast, very easy plugin to use. See this article for my review.|
|WordPress Database Backup||2.2.2||2.0.3||2.6.2||In Use||Backs up the tables for your site which can be imported into phpMyAdmin or another tool. You could just do this in phpMyAdmin directly, but this plugin takes the guesswork out of it.|
|WordPress Database Table Optimizer – Figment Thinking||1.1.1||2.6.2||2.6.2||Testing||Automatically makes sure that your WordPress MySQL database tables are always optimized.
I really like how it shows the tables and the sizes and number of rows. Very convenient.
|WordPress Exploit Scanner||0.1||2.5.1|
|WordPress Mobile Edition||2.1a||2.3.2|
|WordPress Refererrers||1.1||2.2||Tracks referrers to your site and allows you to display them on a page or on your sidebar. Caveats – you have to edit your sidebar.php file to add it to your sidebar, and you have to use PHP to add it to a post or apage.|
|WordPress Related Posts||0.9|
|WordPress Reports *||0.87|
|WordPress Reports Most Active Widget *||0.2||Installed as part of WordPress Reports.|
|WordPress Single File PHP Gallery||3.6.0||2.0.2|
|WordPress.com Stats||1.3.6||2.1||2.7||In Use||Uses WordPress.com to collect stats on your site and provides a page to show them all off the Dashboard|
|WordPress Tweaks||1.8||2.7||In Use||Combines features from several plugins (No Self Pings) and adds some of its own.|
|WP Developer Assistant||1.0.3||2.2|
|Wp Dockbar *||1.0||Adds a Mac-like dockbar at the top of your site.|
|WP e-Commerce (WP Shopping Cart)||3.6.9||2.3||2.7||Testing||Fully-featured shopping cart application using Web 2.0.|
|WP Extra Template Tags||0.3||2.5|
|WP-CommentNavi||1.00||2.7.0||Adds more advanced page navigation for comments.|
|WP-DownloadManager||1.40||2.7.0||2.7||In Use||Terrific way to manage downloads.|
|WP-DownloadManager Widget||1.40||2.7.0||2.7||In Use||Installed as part of WP-DownloadManager.|
|WP-EMail||2.40||2.7.0||2.7||In Use||Works great. I like this post emailer better than others because it does a nice job of formatting and provides a lot of flexibility.|
|WP-Email Widget||2.40||2.7.0||Installed as part of WP-EMail|
|WP Forum||2.0||2.0.2||Simple discussion forum plugin.|
|WP-LightForm||0.4||2.5.1||Busted||Doesn’t work on IIS. It uses the PHP mail() function directly instead of the wp_mail() function.
Also, it requires you to edit the source files to set the destination email address or to edit the email form.
|WP-PageNavi||2.40||2.7.0||2.7||In Use||Provides navigation to the pages in the set of pages in the result set (e.g. home page, archive, etc.).|
|WP-PluginsUsed||1.40||2.6.0||2.6.2||In Use||Displays the plugins that are in use and not in use on a page or post.|
|WP-Polls Widget||2.40||2.7.0||Installed as part of WP-Polls.|
|WP-PostRatings Widget||1.40||2.7.0||Installed as part of WP-PostRatings.|
|WP-PostViews||1.40||2.7.0||2.7||In Use||Displays the number of times a post or page has been viewed.|
|WP-PostViews Widget||1.40||2.7.0||2.7||In Use||Installed as part of WP-PostViews.|
|WP-Print||2.40||2.7.0||2.7||In Use||Provides a nice way to print a post or page.|
|WP-RelativeDate||1.40||2.6.0||Adds a relative date to dates displayed on the site.|
|WP-ServerInfo||1.40||2.7.0||2.7||In Use||Displays information about the server hosting the site on the admin panel.|
|WP-Stats||2.40||2.7.0||2.7||In Use||Collects site statistics and displays them on the admin panel.|
|WP-Stats Widget||2.40||2.7.0||Installed as part of WP-Stats.|
|WP-UserOnline Widget||2.40||2.7.0||Installed as part of WP-UserOnline.|
|WP Admin Bar Reloaded *||2.1|
|WP Ajax Edit Comments||22.214.171.124||2.5||2.6||Broken||Adds very cool features for allowing posters to edit their own comments and for admins to manage them.
Note that it doesn’t allow users to edit their own comments on my sites. Ronald spent some time testing it out on my site but I don’t know if he solved it.
|Wp Auto Scroller *||0.3|
|WP Comment Remix||1.4.4||2.5||Adds a bunch of features for commenting, including a reply link, a quote link, an ‘in need of reply’ notifier, and more.|
|WP Limit Posts Automatically||0.7|
|WP Movie Ratings *||1.5|
|WP Page Numbers||0.2|
|WP Shopping Cart (WP e-Commerce)||3.6.8 RC1||2.0.2|
|WP Simple Sitemap||0.2|
|WP Tabs And Slides *||1.2|
|WP Tag Manager||0.1.1|
|WPtouch iPhone Theme||1.3.5||2.1|
|WP User Manager *||0.4|
|WP User Moderation *||0.5|
|WP Vivtiger Image Resizer||v1.21|
|YAK for WordPress||1.1.3||2.5||Simple shopping cart plugin associating products with weblog entries.|
|Yet Another PhotoBlog||1.9.10||2.5|
|Youtube Favorites Plugin/Widget *||1.0|
|ZdStatistics||2.0.1||2.5.0||Provides built-in visitor tracking. Depends on GeoCityLite.dat from MaxMind.com. I wasn’t able to figure out how to download it from there, though.|
* Not hosted at WordPress.org