Plugins For The New Year

Welcome to 2012! We figured, what’s a better way to kick off the New Year than with a list of some great plugins we’ve discovered this past year? Some of these will simply help with maintenance; others will go so far as to help out with topical focus and function of the site. But they all share one thing in common: awesomeness. So without further delay, here are five plugins to help you out in 2012!

Predictive 404

I found this plugin when it was mentioned in a post at SEOmoz by Russ Jones.

Don’t you wish there was a plugin that would automatically redirect 404 pages? Yeah, me too. Still waiting on that one, but in the meantime this plugin actually redirects misspelled URLs to the correct URL. I can’t say how many times someone may or may not misspell a URL when typing it in, but I can imagine it’s a lot – and when it happens, why not make sure they get to the right page instead of meeting a 404?

Broken Link Checker

I love this plugin, love love love. Not only will this plugin give you an alert message when you login to WordPress if a link is broken, but it will email you when a link is broken. How awesome is that? The plugin uses a variety of API and can check for links on pages/posts that have already been posted or have been scheduled. In addition to text links it also checks for links in images and videos.

After I installed this gem it found some broken links on old posts in addition to some in the comments. We either redirected them to a new part of the sites in question, or with the links left in the comments, we simply unlinked them.

Flexo Archives

I recommended another archiving plugin in a previous post, but I’ve grown to like Flexo a lot more. Mostly because its code isn’t as bulky and we all know that less code is always better. While it doesn’t have as many of the same options, it gets the job done. In short, this plugin keeps it simple…seriously.

Redirection

This is another plugin that I’ve come across (thanks Samir Balwani for the tip) that I like better than an old redirect plugin I recommended. One of the things I really like is this plugin not only lets you enter the entire URL of what you’re wanting to redirect instead of just the section after the .com/, but also keeps track of the hits each redirect is getting and tracks the date of the last access to that URL. In addition you’re given a variety of options, groups and modules to use. This plugins still keeps the redirects simple when you need them to be and also allows you to get more complex if that’s what you need.

Widget Context

If you’ve got a site with a variety of stuff in the sidebar you’d only have show up on certain pages, this plugin will help you out. Another plus of this tool is that it can help with the subject focus of each page. If you don’t want to get rid of it completely you can use this plugin to help keep the topical focus on that page and keep the information in the sidebar visible on other pages.

That’s all folks!

The links to try out these plugins are below; if you’ve used these plugins we’d love to hear what experience you’ve had with them. Or, if you know of any plugins we should check out feel free to mention it in the comments. As always, thanks for reading!

Download Links:

Predictive 404
*Install: Copy and paste the text on the page the link takes you to. Open up a file editor. Copy the text, then under the Author URI add the following line, “Text Domain: magic-404-fixer-upper” (Thanks John Doherty for finding that). Save as a php file. Move the new php file into a folder (name it whatever you want) then you can drag and drop it the folder into the plugin folder of your site via ftp (you’ll have to login to WordPress to activate it). Or if you’d rather upload it directly in WordPress, right click on the folder and send it to a compressed folder that can be uploaded and then activated.

Broken Link Checker

Flexo Archives

Redirection

Widget Context
[Image Credit Immortal Penguin]

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