The first times I started my HomeBiz Resource blog, I had been installing WordPress plugins or trying out widgets I considered attractive for the blog. However, after a while, I realized that some plugins and widgets are best fit in certain circumstances and even to certain target readers. It`s completely not the plugin/widget designer`s error, but merely that there`s no tool is the ace of all trades.
My blog talks about blogging information, tips, GPT (Get Paid To) industry and some for that reason, I found these plugins and widgets didn`t fit my blog too much. Therefore, if you feel that your blog has similarities with mine, be it the topic, design, demographics, etc, you won`t need to spend extra time to evaluate these plugins by yourself. You can estimate the result from my experiences instead.
And also I don`t link to the plugins because a function could be served by some plugins. Please use Google search around the plugin names I wrote below.
- Dual Feed: the plugin offers your readers to choose between full and summarized post feed.
- Results after installing: You can read it on the blogosphere that most readers prefer being fed with full feed. When I offered the option, the amount of subscribers was never more than 10. Before I detach the plugins and delete the feed, I actually waited for some time until there was only one subscriber left…myself.
- In what occasion they may be useful: Just a thought, though. If you`re starting a new blog, you can make the summarized feed the main feed of your blog. This way, scrapers will never get your full content and you can offer your readers your full feed. Remember also that if you happen to be a member of a social network or a site that pulls your feeds automatically, it will display your partial feed instead of full. The reason I don`t do this is my blog has been running for a couple of months and switching the main feed will mean changing a lot of things in a lot of profiles.
- Featured Articles: the plugin allows you to group a bunch of articles from various categories and present them in a dedicated section or page of your blog.
- Results after installing: The plugin work well as promised. But then I discovered a pluginless method that serves the exact effect with the plugin. Since I have more than 15 plugins already, I decided to take this one down and use some simple programming instead.
- In what occasion they may be useful: If yo have lots of categories, high update frequency that may sink your older post faster, you can put this plugin into good use…beside that you don`t have too many plugins installed already.
- Mail This Article: it adds a Mail this article link where you can put your friends email you`re going to share the article with.
- Results after installing: Similar to what happens with the Featured Articles above, you can find a lot of plugins which not only deliver the same service, but also have social bookmarking function enabled for further and wider spread of the article`s buzz.
- In what occasion they may be useful: Any suggestions…? 🙂
- Link Snapshot Scripts and Plugins: they preview links when readers hover their mouse cursor, allowing them to have a glimpse look of what site is behind the link.
- Results after installing: Link previewing takes time to load and since most of outgoing links in my blog don`t refer to visual based information (rather to informative articles and writings), I found that it`s more comfortable to preview the link by addressing them with clear description or anchor text.
- In what occasion they may be useful: If you refer to a lot of image or you`re reviewing site designs, CSS styles or pointing out to a lot of image reference, snapshots can be a good alternative to hosting the images in your own server.
- Post Author Link: this is a standard WordPress and most theme set up where a link to the blog`s authors page is given.
- Results after installing: Along with other 15 kinds of links, this link may waste your PageRank juice if your blog is a one man author blog. Readers don`t need to be shown which author write which article because you write them all 🙂 . I took the liberty of deleting all hyperlinks to my author`s page.
- In what occasion they may be useful: Clearly stated, in a multi authored blog.
While you`re at it, selecting which ones to take off and optimizing your blog, here are some other optimization tips you can do on the run.
- adjust your blog`s font size and letter spacing
- create some space between elements (between article and comment, ads and subscription options, etc)
- uninstall more plugins you never use and delete them since even if they`re uninstalled, WP will always check them for updates
- using the method I use to replace the Featured Articles kind of plugins, group your featured article into one category and display them on a prominent spot on your blog using this WP hack.
- mashup scripts for faster load using PHP Speedy
- remove link in single posts titles to avoid PR redundancy