My Favorite WordPress Plugins and Themes 2015

English: Spark plugs
English: Spark plugs (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’ve been using self-hosted WordPress for 6 years now, and I’ve experimented with several site plugins to add different features to my sites. This is a short list of the plugins and themes I keep coming back to year after year.

Here on Ted Curran.net, the focus is on reading and sharing, while my design alter-ego TrueSchool Creative needs more multimedia focused tools.

Plugins

All In One WP Security & Firewall This is an incredibly robust, feature complete site security plugin for

Akismet: Comment spam prevention for your blog Spam blocking from the WordPress people. It blocks the spams.

Internet Defense League Cat Signal Plugin Whenever the Internet is threatened, this plugin springs to life, alerting your viewers to the direct actions they can take to save it! SOPA, PIPA, and anti-Net Neutrality measures are no match for the IDL community!

Clean My Archives Plugin A simple, straightforward shortcode for creating a clean, organized archive page — see mine here. Incidentally, I really trust and respect the creator of this plugin, Justin Tadlock, creator of the HybridCore theme framework and several smart plugins. Please support him and try out his stuff.

Iframely Responsive Embeds Plugin This plugin is amazing! Just drop a URL from any site into your blog post and iFramely will create a rich-media preview of it on your page — very similar to the way Facebook expands links you share into a visual preview.

Jarvis Quicklauncher for WordPress I am absolutely in love with Alfred QuickLauncher for Mac OS X. It lets you navigate your computer and your online accounts as fast as you can think (and type), and it lets me keep my hands on the keyboard and stop mousing everywhere.

Jarvis is a similar tool for your WordPress admin panel — just press the / key, and it brings up a simple search field that can locate any page, post, or admin screen within your WordPress install.

Jarvis in action

Jetpack by WordPress.com Though it’s apparently controversial, I find Jetpack to have a great collection of useful features that add a lot of value to my blogging life. The site stats, post by email, custom CSS, markdown support, social-friendly commenting, and photon CDN are all indispensable tools.

WordPress SEO by Yoast The best in the business — just do what it says and you’ll be SEO savvy in no time!

Instagrate to WordPress Snazzy tool I use to auto-post my Instagram photos to TrueSchool Creative.

SubToMe Simple RSS Subscriptions Why is subscribing to RSS so confusing nowadays? Most people don’t know what RSS is, but they do know which app they use to get to it. This plugin presents the user with a list of common RSS readers (Feedly, Innoreader, Player.FM, Digg) and then subscribes them to your blog in that reader. Such a smooth process, it might just even stop people from pronouncing The death of RSS!

WordPress WP Smush The mighty people at WPMU rescued the venerable Yahoo tool Smush.it (for automatically optimizing photos for web delivery) from the dustbin of history. Just hook this plugin up to your site and it’ll reduce the file size of your photos without altering the image quality — great for speeding up your site.

Themes

Right now, TedCurran.net is wearing the Engross theme now, though it has been known to rock Hueman, Flat, MesoColumn, JustWrite, and Path.

TrueSchool.me is wearing Pictorico Theme.

Also, I love using ShoeStrap theme by PressCodes for custom design projects like Dana Lawton Dances.org and Troy Macklin | Facebook. It’s an open source Twitter Bootstrap-powered WordPress theme with tons of great features to design any site you can imagine. The devs are responsive and friendly. Great stuff.

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One Comment

  1. Michael Amaral

    Hi,
    Great Collection of plugins here. Looks Awesome
    I would like to share one plugin for Security which is User Blocker WordPress plugin.

    This security plugin provides the ability to block or unblock user accounts quickly and effortlessly.

    It has various features such as block user, unblock user, counter, role based block user etc.

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