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Monthly Archives: September 2015

Creating a conversation around your WordPress website is one of the best ways to generate a supportive community that does your marketing for you. While there are a number of ways to successfully market your WordPress website and build a community, there are some plugins that can add that extra customizability to truly make your website feel special. More often then not, people are turning to Avatar plugins to provide the unique look they are searching for. With that in mind, lets review some of the best WordPress avatars out there including:

1. WP User Avatars

WP User Avatars

WP User Avatars brings a straightforward premise to WordPress websites. Through the use of its plugin, you can create an avatar out of any photo in your media library. So, if you want to create a specific theme for avatars or simply have your avatar scroll through your available photos, then WP User Avatars is perfect for you. Additional features of WP User Avatars include the ability to disable Gravitar Avatars, use the avatar short code in your posts, and limit upload sizes from contributors. With more then 100,000+ active users and an overwhelmingly positive rating, WP User Avatars is sure to meet your needs.

2. Simple Local Avatars

Simple Local Avatars

Simple Local Avatars is the less complicated version of WP User Avatars directed towards those with specific needs and who do not like clutter. Simple Local Avatars attempts to recreate a lot of the success of Gravitars by enabling ratings of local avatars, letting you place privileges with users, generates a requested avatar size on demand, and fully supports Gravitars and default avatars. With over 80,000+ active users, Simple Local Avatars is another favorite in the community.

3. Author Avatars

Author Avatars

Author Avatars makes listing the images of your user avatars on your blog simple and straightforward. A great way to show contributors, support, and awesome pictures, Author Avatars serves a specific niche incredibly well. While still small, Author Avatars has a strong community, has great support, and can provide you with a question to your answer in case you have one.

4. Local Avatar

Local Avatar

Local Avatar allows you to set private and public avatars for users of your WordPress website. This makes it easier for you to help others set their avatars and have localized avatars that give them the freedom to create a photo that matches the particular atmosphere set up by your WordPress website. A solid plugin with a great deal of versatility, Local Avatar can be used for a wide range of problems.

Growth of WordPress

Any WordPress website not incorporating free news plugins is missing a golden opportunity to display and share information that is up to date, informative, and important. Along with not having to generate this news yourself, the best free WordPress plugins out there come with a number of advantages that you can incorporate into your WordPress website. Some of the best news plugins for WordPress to include the following.

1. Better WordPress Google XML Sitemaps

Better WordPress Google XML Sitemaps

Better WordPress Google XML Sitemaps does a wide range of services for your WordPress website. In particular, one of its features is a popular Google News Sitemap Support. In addition to making your site map indexing easier, the plugin will also ping search engines individually or all at once with an update regarding your current content.

The better WordPress Google XML Sitemaps plugin is excellent if you also are managing a wide range of news related WordPress websites and want a single plugin that can effectively work with all of them. Performing operations on a significantly larger scale, this plugin is perfect for large and small-scale operations alike. With over 100,000+ active WordPress sites using this plugin, it is easy to just how popular this plugin is.

2. XML Sitemap and Google News Feeds

XML Sitemap and Google News Feeds

If you are looking for a plugin that has similar functionality to Better WordPress Google XML Sitemaps but provides an easier to understand interface and usability, then consider XML Sitemap and Google News Feeds. Designed to make your content perfectly match what aggregate news sources like Google News is looking for, XML Sitemap and Google News Feeds will make your WordPress more visible and increase the chances that people doing specific searches in their own news feeds will find you.

XML Sitemap and Google News Feeds sets itself apart from the competition by stating that it is simpler and easier to use then other similar plugins. Striving towards simplicity, the plugin gets rid of the user’s usual tasks of worrying about changing file and folder permissions. Instead, the plugin comes ready to tweak once you install it from the WordPress plugins files. Frequently updated, the XML Sitemap and Google News Feeds has just over 80,000 active users.

3. News Manager

News Manager

The two plugins listed above are both directed towards making published content more visible to the algorithms that search through the Internet to pick up on sources for aggregate news websites like Google News. Though less popular, there is an entire range of news plugins that work in the opposite direction. With News Manager, you can add, manage, and display news on your WordPress website from a myriad of sources.

Features supported by News Manager includes the fact that it is easy to configure, that is smoothly integrates into a myriad of themes, provides archives based on time, provides room for new categories and tags, provides 5 news widget types, compatible with SEO plugins, has a customizable permalink structure, and comes with custom permissions for news. With these features and more, you can display the aggregated news you want your views to see the most. In addition to having a good development team, updates are frequently released. As of now there are around 3,000+ individuals using News Manager in their WordPress websites.

4. News Announcement Scroll

News Announcement Scroll

While news Manager looks to create a multipurpose tool that attempts to fit every need, News Announcement Scroll is straightforward. It provides a widget that you can place on your WordPress website that allows the news to slowly scroll by for people visiting to read.

Features that come with the news Announcement Scroll include widgets that can be added pretty much anywhere, expiration date setup, the ability to arrange the scrolling news order to fit your needs, a support for localization of news sources to better target your immediate community, short code available for pages and posts, and ADMIN only access just to name a few. All of these features in the larger News Announcement Scroll program are occasionally updated to stay consistent and there is solid support. With 10,000+ active users, the News Announcement Scroll has found a solid user base and will most likely be one of the best news scrolling plugins for some time.

5. Family Law Express

Family Law Express

A small plugin, Family Law Express has found its way onto this list because it represents a growing interest in localized and specialized WordPress news plugins. While this one focuses on the needs of those involved with family law in Australia, there are a host of other plugins out there that offer similar levels of support depending on what your needs currently are. Though it may take some searching, you may be able to find the right plugin for you. If not, you can always adapt one of the larger multiuse plugins listed above and specifically target it towards certain phrases and localized news aggregation.

Top Content Managemnt Systems

One of the greatest aspects of WordPress is its customizability. A website can be as diverse as the content it covers, reflecting and bending itself to the needs of the admin and readers. This becomes especially true when you consider the specialty uses of WordPress, including among other things its use in display, recording, and archiving courses. Whether this is course work offered by an institution, grade management by teachers or better coursework description, there are some amazing course plugins for WordPress including the following top plugins.

1. Course Press

Course Press

The Course Press plugin is a substantial over hall of what your WordPress website can do in regards to posting courses. Features that come with the Course Press plugin include the ability to grade, mark, assess, and report grades, the ability to charge free or cost courses with tools for automated credit card payments, seamless integration with the majority of themes out there, and a pay option that provides even more support and versatility to the free content. A powerful tool, Course Press helps to fill a specific niche for plugins that is rarely given the time and attention it requires. That being said, there is room for improvement and it may take some time for you to figure out how to utilize this plugin effectively.

2. Course


Where as course press looks to be an all in one plugin with a wide range of versatility, the Course plugin is the exact opposite, offering a clear, minimalistic, course posting tool. Created as a post type, Course comes with a range of custom field meta boxes. Once set up by the admin, this form can be used by any user wishing to offer a course. The benefit of this process is that every course offered follows the same format and provides the same boxes for answers, making it much easier later on to search through and find the necessary and relevant content.

3. AN Gradebook

AN Gradebook

AN Gradebook takes courses on WordPress to the next level by providing Admin support for managing students, courses, assignments, and grades. A simple tool that provides a straightforward setup and easy install, AN Gradebook is a popular plugin that works well with other similar plugins or by itself. AN Gradebook also provides student level support, providing them the ability to see their grades as well as information displayed in graphs about how they are doing.

Wordpress Security Infographic

A powerful tool for the promotion of your ideas and content, WordPress works best when linked to other social media platforms. This allows for people to flow from one platform to another, following their own interests and discovering you in the process. You can help facilitate this process by making the exchange of information between social media platforms both ways. In particular, by focusing on say Facebook and importing comments from their to your website and back, you can strengthen your social media ties. Some of the best WordPress Facebook comments plugins include the following.

1. Facebook Comments

Facebook Comments

The Facebook Comments plugin helps turn your WordPress website into a place where you can setup, administer, and customize Facebook comments. Understanding that this can be a complicated process to start, Facebook Comments designed its plugin to be as user friendly as possible, bringing the support you need in order to utilize the plugin fully. In addition, you can use shortcode to insert the comment box wherever you like on your WordPress website. With more then 90,000+ active installs and a high number of ratings, the Facebook Comments plugin is worth sharing with your friends.

2. SEO Facebook Comments

SEO Facebook Comments

Where in Facebook Comments brings comment support to WordPress, SEO Facebook Comments brings back end support for those looking to utilize Facebook comments for SEO results. The SEO Facebook Comments plugin includes a Facebook comment form, open graph tags, and it will automatically insert Facebook comments into your WordPress website and database to increase SEO results. As Facebook comments are normally saved in an iframe format that cannot be read by most search engines, the SEO Facebook Comments plugin makes it possible for all comments to be in a new format that is saved to your WordPress database directly. With low server resources required, it does not impact performance. With some room to improve, the SEO Facebook Comments has generally favorable reviews, 20,000+ active installs, and a whole lot going for it.

3. Facebook Comments By Vivacity

Facebook Comments By Vivacity

Facebook Comments By Vivacity is a simple plugin that allows people on Facebook to comment on your blog. Supporting a range of languages and features regarding what you want to be shared and not shared regarding your WordPress Website, Facebook Comments By Vivacity makes it easier for people on Facebook to talk about and share content from your website. With 10,000+ active installs and a very high reviews, Facebook Comments By Vivacity is worth checking out if you want to make your WordPress content easier to share.

Wordpress and Media Industry

Where would WordPress be without the incredibly customizability that can make every website unique? From the all-important themes to minor changes and tweaks to coding, WordPress allows for people to express their artistic and creative sides. One minor aspect of this artistic tweaking is the WordPress Logo. Greeting you every time you login as well as being able to be placed within your WordPress website, your logo can be the first thing people see. Some of the best WordPress logo plugins out there include the following.

1. Uber Login Logo

Uber Login Logo

Everytime you log into your WordPress account, you see the WordPress logo. Uber Login Logo helps you change that to display your logo while logging in. Utilizing the WordPress Media Uploader and built-in WordPress functionality, Uber Login Logo advertises itself as providing a minimum amount of bloat and instead focusing on direct and purposeful code. While there may not be many fancy things about this plugin, it does what it is meant to do quite well. With over 40,000+ active users and a high number of positive rankings, Uber Login Logo is the most popular logo plugin and the most highly regarded.

2. Add Logo To Admin

Add Logo To Admin

If for whatever reason Uber Login Logo is not working for you or you want something with a bit more versatility, then consider Add Logo To Admin. Like Uber Login Logo, this plugin is designed to change the logo you see when you log into your WordPress account. In addition, it can also allow you to add the same logo as a header on your front page. Tested on a number of platforms and with over 20,000+ active installs and near equally good reviews to Uber Login Logo, either of these will get the job done well.

3. Kiwi Logo Carousel

Kiwi Logo Carousel

Kiwi Logo Carousel is designed to show off people or companies that are engaged with you. Whether this be sponsors of your WordPress website, clients, authors, or even partners, the Kiwi Loo Carousel shows their logos one at a time. Additional features of the Kiwi Logo Carousel include support for more then one carousel per page, a responsive design, an easy to utilize layout, clickable logos, and custom logo creator through drag and drop interface. Providing great support and backed by a strong user base, Kiwi Logo Carousel is your top choice for showing off logos. Additional support can be found through their support tab.

Why Use WordPress

The average WordPress admin ends up typing a lot. With tens of thousands of words, hundreds of paragraphs, dozens of posts, a dozen or more pages, and limitless categories/tags, all of this information can quickly become confusing. To help others more easily navigate your information (as well as yourself) you may want to think about investing some of your time into finding a better archives plugin for your WordPress website or blog. Some of the best archive plugins for WordPress include the following top plugins.

1. Compact Archives

Compact Archives

While the Archives plugin looks to create more space for archive related materials, Compact Archives looks to reduce how much space the archives take up wherever they are displayed. Fitting well into a sidebar widget, Compact Archives brings a simple solution to a problem that some WordPress users are bound to have. That being said, Compact Archives looks much better on older WordPress websites and may not look good on blogs like WPBeginner.

2. Clean My Archives

Clean My Archives

Clean My Archives is a straightforward plugin that performs one task with a minimal amount of code. By adding a little bit of shortcode to every page you want archived, all content on those pages will be archived by month and year. The Clean My Archives also works with WordPress caching plugins, adding a bit more versatility if required.

3. Post Type Archive Link

Recent Posts Widget Extended is designed to enhance the default widgets found in most WordPress themes. The plugin allows for custom advanced posts that can be displayed in any number of ways. Features of the Recent Posts Widget Extended include support for WordPress 4.0.1, shortcode features, taxonomy support, post status options, custom title url, display by any number of features, read more options, and multiple widget format support. With 80,000+ active users and few if any less then stellar stars, Recent Posts Widget Extended is a popular choice for making your recent posts more varied.

4. Archives

Archives creates an entire page on your WordPress website where archived material will be stored and presented. Coming in both jQuery and HTML formats, the Archives plugin can display information based on Archives page lists tag cloud, latest posts, categories, and monthly archives. With this plugin, you can create a center for all archived content, making it easier for people reading your WordPress website to find what they are looking for and discover what they weren’t expecting.

Safety and Security of WordPress

What do you think about my content? Have you read it yet? Well, once you have, be sure to rate me, review me, and share with others. The world of review plugins is centered on giving those who experience your products or services a chance to speak out. From a star or symbol rating to in-depth writing to help others make up their minds regarding whether or not they should use your service, having a review plugin can be excellent for your business. Some of the best WordPress review plugins include the following.

1. WP Review

WP Review

Every day tens of thousands of WordPress users rely on WP Review to provide plugin services not normally found in WordPress. WP Review is an easy to use, powerful tool that allows you to add stars, percentages, or points for review scores. With unlimited color schemes supported and easily blending into the majority of themes out there, WP Review provides a lot of content without a lot of additional bulk coding.

With generally favorable reviews and an active support community, WP Review includes features like fastest review plugin, support for Google Rich Snippet, 100% fluid response, translation ready, design as you want operation, minimalist and lightweight design, custom field support, easy modding through CSS, and much, much more. With additional mod support, you may be able to find specialty mods that increase the functionality of WP Review even beyond this.

2. WP Customer Reviews

WP Customer Reviews

While WP Review allows people versatility in how they leave feedback, WP Customer Reviews is designed to allow customers to leave testimonials regarding your service. A large plugin with a lot of content, the main features of WP Custom Reviews include WP Multisite and Multiuser compatibility, multiple anti-spam measures, completely customizable, editing tools for reviews, custom field support, easy to learn, straightforward plugin installation, and a lot more.

WP Customer Reviews is a solid review plugin with 50,000+ active users and frequent updates. Along with offering plenty of information through the FAQ, there are also tutorials in case you are looking for more assistance.

3. WP Product Review

WP Product Review

While WP Customer Reviews and WP Review are about people leaving you feedback, WP Product Review is all about you leaving feedback based on your own review of products and services offered by other people. Whether you are looking at the newest iPhone or looking at different kinds of used lug nuts through Ebay, the WP Product Review plugin is designed to make your reviews look smart, professional, and to the point. The WP Product Review can make your post more interesting to read with ratings, pros and cons, affiliate links, user reviews, and rich snippets. Now your posts can be a place where people have a conversation relating to the product, allowing each review to take on a life of its own.

Along with a free version of the software, there is also a paid version that you may want to utilize if you are looking for review plugins. Along with increased reviews on the same page, buying the pro version will allow for the shortcode to be attached anywhere, making WP Product Review even more versatile. Whether or not people have purchased WP Product Review, the vast majority of people rate this plugin very favorably. With easy customization and seamless integration into existing themes, it is no wonder that WP Product Review has a base of 30,000 active users and is growing.

4. Rich Reviews

Rich Reviews

Rich Reviews is the first plugin we’ve covered that takes reviews beyond the WordPress website. With Rich Reviews, you can embed user reviews and Google Rich Snippet Ratings anywhere on your website. By capturing these reviews already recorded by people on other social media platforms and review websites, you can populate a new WordPress website with them, adding legitimacy and experience behind the services or products you offer.

Features supported by Rich Reviews include 3 types of reviews with full customization for your needs, moderated submissions, the ability to choose which submissions are added to your website, includes externalized style sheets, a simple design, and compatibility across multiple WordPress themes.

5. Google Places Reviews

Google Places Reviews

Google Places Reviews is a simple tool that takes reviews from Google Places and loads them onto your WordPress website. Utilizing a powerful and intuitive widget, Google Places Reviews stresses the importance of user reviews in whether or not people purchase from you. With it being a challenge to generate user reviews on your own website (especially if it is new) many people use Google Places Reviews to bring over reviews from a place that people felt free to review from. Because they are coming from Google Places Reviews, they are trusted more because they are seen as impartial. Google Places Reviews may have a small following of 2,000+, but if you are interested in shipping over the reviews you need, then this is the Review Plugin you need.

Wordpress Site Performance

Few WordPress users can function without the incredible advantages jQuery brings to website design. A small, fast, and feature rich library in JavaScript, jQuery is responsible for making event handling, animations, document manipulation and traversal, and HTML document manipulation far easier and more straightforward. Working across multiple browsers, the power of jQuery is in the forms and applications it can take across WordPress websites. With that in mind, lets take a moment to review some of the best JQuery WordPress plugins you should be using for your own WordPress website or blog. Some of these plugins include the following.

1. WP jQuery Lightbox

WP jQuery Lightbox

A powerful tool, Lightbox has been used by thousands for its ability to handle the jQuery Javascript library effectively. Along with bring up videos and displaying images, the original lightbox as well as subsequent updates made it so that the rest of the webpage would be dimmed out while you watch a video. While Lightbox in its own right is excellent, many people have struggled with its bulk and general unwieldiness. This is where WP jQuery Lightbox comes into play.

WP jQuery Lightbox has a staggering 100,000+ active installations across WordPress websites. The role of WP jQuery Lightbox is to simulate all of the features that people know and love about the original while shedding the bulk and unused aspects of the jQuery library. Features include being able to make live adjustments to browser windows, improve scaling maximizing for screen space, and the support of swipe gestures for moving between images. However, this just scratches the surface of everything that WP jQuery Lightbox provides. The best way to learn about it for yourself is to dive in and start playing around with it. There is an excellent community as well as frequent updates.

2. jQuery Archive List Widget

jQuery Archive List Widget

Providing a specific function, the jQuery Archive List Widget is designed to display an archive list with some effects as a widget on your WordPress website. Features include displaying a collapsed list of your archives in order to save space on your Website, using jQuery to add web browser effects that can help to customize the experience people have with your WordPress website, support for archive filters, multiple instances support, multiple language support, and it generates valid HTML5 code. jQuery Arhive List Widget currently has 8,000+ active users and is frequently being added to. Check the support forum to see what future updates will be added to this plugin.

3. jQuery Response Select Menu

jQuery Response Select Menu

The ability for your WordPress Website to be flexible across viewing platform means that more people will be able to access your information. jQuery Response Select Menu looks to correct a problem inherent in WordPress, which is one of scalability in menus. With jQuery Response Select Menu, you can turn the standard WordPress navigation menus into responsive select drop down menus when the WordPress menu is shrunk below a certain size. Never again have your WordPress website be unfriendly to portable electronic devices.

4. jQuery Vertical Scroller

jQuery Vertical Scroller

The jQuery Vertical Scroller displays your posts as a vertical scroll in a widget that you can place anywhere on your post or page. Easy to install and configure, the jQuery Vertical Scroller provides a simple feature with a minimum of hassle. Along with supporting a series of features tied into the vertical scroller, the jQuery Vertical Scroller plugin is well supported and has a small community of 3,000+ passionate users.

5. jQuery Updater

Having jQuery running on your WordPress website will give you improved functionality, choice, and design when planning how your site will look. However, unless it stays up to date with both WordPress and the most recent version of jQuery, you are looking at incompatibility problems. That is where the jQuery Updater comes in. Designed to help keep you up to date, this simple plugin will make sure that you have the most recent version of jQuery, and notify you if you do not. In addition, it makes installing the newest version of jQuery easy and simple. With over 60,000+ active users, many people find this basic plugin perfect for their jQuery website. If you are using jQuery, then jQuery Updater is a must.

6. jQuery UI Widgets

While jQuery Updater and WP jQuery Lightbox both work to bring you jQuery and keep it up to date, the jQuery UI Widgets get to the more practical application of jQuery JavaScript library to your WordPress website. The jQuery UI Widgets add flexible, simple, and powerful widgets to your posts and pages. Working right out of the box, this plugin can easily override the existing CSS code, making changes straightforward and satisfyingly easy.

With more then 9,000+ active users, jQuery continues to be an exciting plugin for those who want more control and versatility when it comes to utilizing jQuery in their WordPress website design.

The Evolution of WordPress

The core of WordPress functionality centers around pages and posts. Without either of these, think about how limiting WordPress would be. People would be stuck with static pages, robbing WordPress of its dynamic and energetic feel. Enhancing these elements even further are a wide range of plugins specifically designed to make recent posts more recognizable. Whether it is adding a drop down menu or providing a widget that allows for full text, these plugins are crucial to making each individual WordPress website unique. With that in mind, some of the best recent posts plugins include:

1. Recent Posts Widget Extended

Recent Posts Widget Extended

Recent Posts Widget Extended is designed to enhance the default widgets found in most WordPress themes. The plugin allows for custom advanced posts that can be displayed in any number of ways. Features of the Recent Posts Widget Extended include support for WordPress 4.0.1, shortcode features, taxonomy support, post status options, custom title url, display by any number of features, read more options, and multiple widget format support. With 80,000+ active users and few if any less then stellar stars, Recent Posts Widget Extended is a popular choice for making your recent posts more varied.

2. Special Recent Posts

Special Recent Posts

While Recent Posts Widget Extended looks to provide several options, Special Recent Posts looks to provide way more variety for those who want full control over customization. Coming in both free and paid versions, the Special Recent Posts presents a powerful and beautiful way to display WordPress posts through thumbnails. Features of this plugin include a dynamic widget interface, a responsive layout, thumbnail management, custom CSS editor, multiple configurations for the widgets, and more then 40+ customization options. With so much going on it is no wonder that Special Recent Posts has 60,000+ active users as well as a strong support network for those who purchase the full plugin.

3. Recent Posts Slider

Recent Posts Slider is a fantastic plugin that displays recent posts in a slider format. Along with supporting options that allow you to change the width, height, post per slide, number of posts, to display and more, the Recent Posts Slider allows you to either borrow the primary image or insert your own thumbnail for the slider image. There is also a pro version of the Recent Posts Slider which comes with additional support and functionality. If you are looking to have your recent posts in a slider format, then it may be worth going with the premium version.

Security of WordPress Website

Getting your name out there online requires having a social media presence. Even the best and most well written WordPress website will not get far without connections across a variety of social media platforms. Among those that people are most connected to is Facebook. With a reported user base of just over 1 billion people, Facebook is considered the king of social media. Designed to allow for communication and sharing between people, Facebook has a great deal of versatility when it comes to applications in WordPress. With that being said, some of the best Facebook plugins for WordPress include the following.

1. Facebook


Created and supported by Facebook itself, this wildly popular Facebook plugin has over 200,000+ active installs. Created with the same simplicity and common sense design seen throughout Facebook, the Facebook WordPress plugin includes open graph protocol, Facebook insights, the ability to add likes, to send, and to follow through the application of buttons, the ability to embed Facebook Posts, the ability to have a Facebook Comments Box social plugin, a recommendation bar and box, and shortcodes support.

2. Custom Facebook Feed

Custom Facebook Feed

Where as Facebook provides its own Plugin, it is left to the private modding community to create the plugins that allow for even more versatility with this social media platform. Custom Facebook Feed is a popular example. It allows you to display a completely customizable Facebook feed of any public Facebook page or group on my website. In addition, the Custom Facebook Feed allows for content to be crawlable by search engines, responsive to mobile use, useful in events, allows for custom CSS, and it is very simple to set up.

3. Hupso Share Buttons For Twitter, Facebook, and Google

Hupso Share Buttons For Twitter, Facebook, and Google

While most Facebook plugins out there target Facebook only, the Hupso Share Buttons allows you to add share buttons across multiple social media platforms. While providing limited functionality when it comes to Facebook alone, it more then makes up for this by allowing more then a dozen social media buttons to be added. Sporting a slick and minimalistic design, the Hupso Share Buttons are supported by a number of other plugins making them highly versatile.

4. Facebook Like Box Widget

The Facebook Like Box Widget does what its title describes. It allows for Facebook users to increase their likes by allowing people to like content from their own website. Simple and to the point, the Facebook Like Box Widget has over 100,000+ users.

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