Print Friendly, Events and Editorial Calendar WordPress Plugins

A couple of plugins that are not new, but that I just love are Editorial Calendar, Print Friendly, and Events Calendar.  I haven’t blogged about them but I thought I really should share just how useful and inventive they are.

Editorial Calendar is one that people have been talking about for a long time.  I was a little late to the party and I’ve only been using it for a couple of months, but I have to say it has made a world of difference.  I know, at a glance, what drafts I’ve got that need to be finished, what’s scheduled, and what’s due.  If things change, the drag and drop ability to reschedule makes things incredibly easy.  This plug-in keeps me accountable and when I see a week’s worth of blank boxes, I know it’s time to get to work!

Print Friendly – I have been trying to find a solution to the problem of people who want to print my recipes, but don’t necessarily want my header, footer and sidebars and maybe don’t even want the photographs in order to save on ink.  I’ve had a lot of different things set up for this, but nothing seemed to work for everyone, or in every browser, and one just didn’t work at all. You have the choice of sending to the printer, PDF file or email and you can delete images one at a time, and even whole paragraphs. The post URL is in small print under the post title, making it easy for the user to remember where the information came from.  This one seems to be working in all circumstances and it’s an elegant, easy solution.

Events Calendar – This one is indispensable!  I maintain a few websites for musicians and listing their gigs and venues was quite a challenge at first.  I tried many, many, many different plug-ins and services and this one is by far, the easiest, nicest user interface.  Easy peasy and it produces a lovely calendar for the site visitor.  You have the option to add notes about the venue, performance, recurring events and even google map to the venue.  Really cool.

It is OK to use my photos or content provided a link back and proper crediting is given

Three New (to Me) Plugins for WordPress

I just finished up a client’s site and did some reorganization of some of my own sites.  Along the way, I discovered some really cool plugins and I thought I’d share some of them with you.

Popularity Contest – This is a really intricate plugin. What I love about it is that you have all the collected information in the dashboard, but it also comes with all the code that you need in order to display this information on your blog if you choose to.  By post, category, archive, etc.  You can put the code outside the loop in the sidebar, or footer, or wherever and you don’t have to be really code savvy to do it.  Keep track of the popularity of your posts, and/or show it off! Very well done.

No Self Pings – Some people really like that internal links show up in your pings, and some people don’t.  I’m of the don’t variety.  Sometimes I might link to something strategically for search engine optimization, or whatever and I don’t always want that displayed.  Also, if no one else is linking to the post it sort of looks sad to me.  I turn ping notifications off because of it.  With this plug-in, you don’t have to worry about it.  I like that a lot.  I just turned ping notifications back on and I’ll keep you posted.

Widget Context – This one is my favorite right now. It allows you to choose what pages certain widgets show up on.  I don’t have a lot of use for it on ColorMePink, but I’ve already used it on a couple of client sites and I know that there’s a certain advertising program that won’t allow you to have their add content on your review pages, this makes it super easy to just remove it.  You can control widget appearance by URL, category, page, word count, archive, etc.  Sometimes something comes along that is so perfect, so useful and so simple that you have to marvel that it was never thought of before.

It is OK to use my photos or content provided a link back and proper crediting is given

Six of My Favorite WordPress Plugins

Every so often I go through my plugins, upgrading, activating, deactiving, deleting. . . While I was doing it today, I thought I’d share with you some of my favorites. Most of them are pretty well known, but I thought I’d share anyway, just in case you might have missed one.  I have to tell you it took me forever to narrow it down this far and as always, I do reserve the right to change my mind.

I tried to skip the really obvious ones, but I couldn’t completely as you’ll see below.  So, here they are in no particular order, my current favorite WordPress Plug Ins.

  1. Send It Really easy, yet robust newsletter subscription plug in.  Yes, it’s in Italian, but there are English instructions too.  I love this one!
  2. WP Greet Box – Let’s you show a different welcome message to your visitor, depending upon the referring URL.  Very Cusomizable.  Change multiple messages, placement, etc.  Very easy to use.
  3. Post Ideas – Some people keep them as drafts, but that seems messy to me some how, I much prefer this plug in that lets you jot down any ideas, relevant links, keywords, etc., till you’re ready.  Ranks by priority too.
  4. Blog Icons – Makes it ridiculously easy to add favicon and icons for Ipod/Itouch icons to your blog
  5. Follow My Links –  Prevents WordPress from automatically adding a “rel=nofollow” attribute.  Show your commenters Linky Love, which leads us to:  Edit! The gracious author of this plugin was kind enough to stop by and explain that this does not pertain to comments left by readers, only the “authorial comments (i.e., comments made by the post author)”. I took it to mean the author of the comments, because I don’t actually read documentation, I skim it and then just keep pressing buttons till it either works, or I break it completely.  You can see his whole comment below.
  6. Comment Luv – Everyone is already using this right?  It goes without saying, right?

So tell me, what are your current favorites? Anything you think I absolutely have to know about? I’m all ears eyes. :wassat:

It is OK to use my photos or content provided a link back and proper crediting is given

Some of My (Current) Favorite PlugIns

I’ve been having an awful lot of fun this week setting up a couple of blogs for clients, friends and family. Of course I’m always tweaking this one, as I’m sure you may have noticed, but it’s always interesting to start with a blank canvas and build according to the writer’s unique needs and desires. I thought I’d share with you some of the things that I found, some great old stand-bys, and where and how to implement them.  We’re WordPress Centric ’round here, so if that’s not your flavor, you might want to skip this.

First I thought that I would try the plug in that’s gotten so much buzz lately; the Google Analyticator.  I came to Google Analytics a little late in the game as I’ve been using Sitemeter for so long that I didn’t really see the need to change.  Wrong. Google Analytics is so much more powerful with so many different ways of looking at your traffic and your readers.  The Analyticator makes it very easy to install your code to each page, but there are also some other features making it really useful, like putting the code in your footer with the click of a button for faster load times, tracking your adsense information etc.  Useful stuff!

404 Notifier: A great one for anyone, but especially if you’ve had your site for a long time and there have been several incarnations of it, there are most definitely old links to pages that no longer exist from other blogs, forums, etc. With 404 Notifier, every time someone gets a 404 error from your site, you’re notified (by email or RSS feed) of the page they were looking for and you can then either modify your 404 page to send the visitor elsewhere in your site or simply create another file of that name.  Very cool.

Blog Icons might be my favorite one this week – because I’m insane for customized icons.  This one lets you easily add your customized Apple iPod Touch / iPhone icon,  favicon and  feed image to your blog. Go ahead and look, take your iphone and visit – click on the “+” and choose “Add to Home Screen”.  Now you have my pretty butterfly icon right there, easy access!

Post Ideas: This is great. Instead of the 300 drafts I would sometimes wind up with, Post Ideas keeps your ideas, target tags and links you want to reference.  When you’re ready to write the actual post, click “Write This” and it converts your idea into a New Post and deletes it from Post Ideas.  I added a link to this page of my admin panel on my Iphone as well, so I can jot this information down when I’m out of the house. Note: This is compatible with WP 2.7.1 the link is under “Tools” instead of “Manage”.

The last one I’ll talk about today is Podcasting, another one by the developer behind Google Analyticator. Of course you can use it for podcasting, but I needed a way to take a client’s audio file from their commercial and add it to their website for easy listening.  This was a simple, elegant way to do it.  The best part is, it was so easy to teach the client how to do this for themselves. Yay!

I can’t say enough about WordPress and the community of talented developers working on a never ending stream of great plugins and themes.

It is OK to use my photos or content provided a link back and proper crediting is given

Testing New Plug In

**Update 2:** Looks like it’s all working now.

**Update:**  It seems like the pictures aren’t really loading well from their server.  Maybe it’s just me.  If you would, please leave me a comment and let me know if they’re loading for you.  Thanks!

This morning, I got an email from PicApp announcing their new WP plug in.  Since I love pictures and I love WP plug ins, and I really love using pictures in my blog posts, I was thrilled to play along. I downloaded and installed the plug in, which as with all WP plug ins, was super easy.  After I activated it, I started this post.

Directly below the post text box is another box called picapp images.  You have the option to sign in or register (which is optional) and then there’s a search bar.  Below the search bar are a lot of images already loaded.  All of these images are free to use in your posts. I searched for “wordpress” and got 0 results.  Then I searched for “Ocala” and got 12 results. the first four of the same woman on a horse, obviously in some kind of horse show.  No surprise there.  But then I saw this one:

82nd Airborne Patrols Abu Ghraib

Those are soldiers in an elementary school in Abu Ghraib, handing out school supplies and candy that were donated by people in Las Vegas, NV and Ocala, FL.  Cool.

Then I searched for “Christmas Angel” and hit pay dirt.  Lots of images there!  Like this one:
Girl in angel costume

Not really my idea of a Christmas Angel, but cute.

All in all, I think this is a great idea.  I did have a couple of times that the picapp server wasn’t responding, which is a little annoying, but I can live with it.

Thanks PicApp – cool stuff.

It is OK to use my photos or content provided a link back and proper crediting is given