As I said in my last post, I’ve been doing a lot of WordPress customization with The Dagger. We just launched our 4th site design with usability and readability in mind. The redesign also allowed us to reduce our dependency on some plugins.
Here are five that we installed or continued to use (and modify) for the new design:
Simple Facebook Connect – We have put an emphasis on adding more social features to the site, even going as far as implementing Buddypress. While it has many great features, Buddypress was probably overkill at this point. SFC allows us to let our readers login with their facebook accounts to leave comments and share articles.
WordPress Popular Posts – This was actually our third choice for a popular posts plugin, but it ended up being the most consistent and reliable for what we needed. We are using it to show the most popular posts by pageviews for the current day.
Comment Rating – Some of our articles get a lot of comments and can get a little out of control (see the next plugin). This plugin allows readers to rate each comment. When a comment gets x number of dislikes, it is minimized and not shown without expanding it. Likewise, comments that are positively received get highlighted.
AJAX Report Comments – As I said, things can get out of hand pretty fast. This plugin allows reader to report comments to the site admins. This has taken or readers a little while to get used to, as some have mistakenly used to form to actually leave their own comment.
Recent Comment Without a Plugin – While not truly a plugin, this code snippet allowed us to remove a plugin that we used to power the one of the most important sections of our site.