WordPress plugin of the week – Sociable

Update: I don’t recommend this plugin anymore due to the poor customer service outlined here.

Here are three alternatives for your WordPress social sharing plugin needs that are free and work well.

Original article follows:

This week’s WP Plugin spotlight belongs to Sociable. It’s an amazing way to allow your visitors to publicize or bookmark page(s) on your site using Facebook, Twitter, Delicious, etc. The installation is no brainer from the WP self hosted admin panel, just go to Plugins and Search for “Sociable” and select the “Sociable for WP 3.0”. Note there are several choices, but this is the one that works best for me.

Once it’s activated, all your pages and posts will have a bunch of little social network app icons at the bottom (like this post) where visitors can recommend or bookmark your pages easily. Sociable is another “must have” WordPress plugin in my book.


Why I adore WordPress

With tons of Content Management Systems (CMS) and blogging platforms, you’d be hard pressed to get a better deal or bang for the buck than using WordPress. I heart WordPress because…

1.) WP is free! The only catch is that if you want to host your own custom domain, you’d have to pay for web hosting. WordPress is open source, so you can install it many times over. But if you want to just use it for your own blog, grab a free WordPress site to try out at WordPress.com!

2.) WP is extensible! While WordPress has grown into a mature product it still lacks some basic functionality. Luckily the developers thought of this and added a flexible plugin system to do almost anything you can imagine! You can even get plugins for Firefox to allow copy/paste while you’re browsing other webites and post them into your WP site almost auto-magically.

3.) WP is easy to use! I’ve built over a dozen WordPress sites for clients and most of them are blown away when they see how easy it is to add or edit content. The fact that the presentation (theme/look & feel) are separate from the content makes a world of difference for my clients who want to edit their own site and not accidentally damage anything in the process.

WordPress is not a 100% perfect product but it’s getting there every major release!

Top 3 WordPress plugins

So, where do I start in my new  WPVerse site? How about professing my deep admiration for the WordPress platform and it’s developers? Ok, now that’s done, how about a list of my top 3 plugins for WordPress? These are absolute must haves if you’re serious about working with WordPress as either a blog or content management system

Enable Media Replace
This one is a no-brainer to install. Ever want to overwrite an image in the Media Library? Believe it or not, the standard WordPress installation won’t let you do that easily. You have to delete the image and re-upload the image! The Enable Media Replace plugin gives you a simple text link to overwrite the existing file in the Edit view.

Google Analyticator
How would I know if anyone is actually visiting my site? Well thanks to Google’s free Analytics web application I can tell exactly how many visitors I have and where they are coming from. Simply signup for Google Analytics account, then grab the assigned ID code, and paste it into the Google Analyticator plugin. You’ll also get a WP admin dashboard widget to get a quick overview of traffic coming to your site!

Contact Form 7
The difference a “pro” webmaster and….ehrem amateur, is if you publish your email address for the contact page on your WordPress site. Don’t do it! You’ll soon get added to a spam list. Instead use Contact Form 7 plugin to create a quick and easy to use Contact Form to your WP site. You can customize the fields, direct it to email address(es), and even add a file attachment upload form! Cool huh?

Note that many of these plugins are donation-ware, so please donate if you use it! Even a few $ goes a long way!

Get it: Enable Media Replace plugin | Google Analyticator plugin | Contact Form 7 plugin