Are You Plugged In?

What do you know about WordPress plug ins?  Do you have favourites?  I guess we all do have our favourites.  We have probably all had plug ins that simply haven’t benefited us in any way too.  I activated one on my blog once that stopped me being able to reply to comments in the dashboard.  I could only reply as a new visitor.  Now that is not good!  I soon discovered the plug in that was causing the problem, and as soon as I deactivated it the problem was solved.  Pity, as I thought the plug in was a good addition to my blog.

There are some great guides out about which plug ins will benefit you and your blog.  The first guide I ever read was Sally Neill’s Essential WordPress Plug Ins.  Although it’s been out for some time now it still is a very good starting point.

Of course one of the disadvantages of having a vast number of plug ins running on your blog is it can slow the blog loading down considerably.  I read a great post about this over on Barry Wells’ blog.  You can see the post by clicking here.

One plug in that can save that from happening so much is the Commentluv Premium plug in.  Now you may already know that you can get the Commentluv plug in for free, and you can also get the G.A.S.P. plug in for free, but Andy Bailey, the developer of these two great plug ins has developed Commentluv Premium, a plug in that  combines the features of 8 different plug ins, therefore reducing the number you need to run on your site.  It also has additional features not available in the free versions.  You can check out Commentluv Premium, that is currently on offer at a very low price, by clicking here.

Many people who create plug ins spend a lot of time and effort on their production so it’s always great to be able to give them something in return.  Look for the ‘cup of coffee’ button on their site and make a small donation if you have used a free plug in that has been a great help to you.  The developer will be really pleased with anything you can send.  Just think how well they would do if everyone who downloaded a free plug in sent just $1 to the creator!

25 Comments

  • Kim Stanbrook
    Twitter:

    Reply Reply August 28, 2012

    Hi Mandy, great information and links – really helpful to understand more about plugins as I am keeping mine to a mimimum now as concerned over loading time of pages – as caught out on an earlier site.
    Kim Stanbrook recently posted..What is Your Network Marketing Vision?My Profile

    • mandyallen.com

      Reply Reply August 28, 2012

      Hi Kim, thanks for visiting. Plug ins are great additions to your blog, Kim, but can really slow things down if you have a lot, and some mess things up completely, as I explained in the post. Just have the ones you need and use and switch all the others off or delete them.

      Enjoy the journey.

      Mandy

  • Jon Barry
    Twitter:

    Reply Reply August 28, 2012

    Hi Mandy,

    Plugins are an area i am very interested in, mainly due to the hosting I am on, at the moment…..

    I have been advised that is is good practice to keep the amount below twenty,

    Now, twenty sounds a lot, but there are SO MANY out there, how can you keep it that low?

    as Kim points out, you have to, so your page load is not terrible, or you over resource your server, which can often mean they switch off your whole account!

    not cool, not cool at all!

    One thing we have to remember is that not every plugin uses the same resources as others. and some are just terrible. I have had a single plugin using half of the resources available, and that was just on one site. way too heavy.

    The ideas of combining multiple ones into one, as Comment LUV does is great, as long as the resource usage is ok, and, unlike JetPAck, you can switch off and on parts you need inside. When I last looked at JetPack it was all on or all off, and I think one thing in there was a little heavy on the resources.

    Likewise, I had a plugin that stopped myself being able to comment reply, but on the outside, and I had to use the dashboard….. (from a tablet interface outside was easier, but changed things and now are dashboard bound to work now!

    When I first moved to my new host, each site had a lot of security plugins running, (part of why I moved hosts, think we had some contamination from cross server issue….) and again one of those was very heavy on resources.

    I was on phone to tech support, (proper techies, several layers beyond normal phone operators) and we dug until we found it, and it was one of the WP security or similar ones, was sending the server into spirals…. so not good (good for security, nothing was allowed to happen!)

    Thanks Mandy for reminding us about the most important thing.

    We moan about plugins that do not work right, or as we would want, forgetting the vast majority is free, written by some guy, or a small team, with no reward. Inf act the exact opposite…. they get, yeah it’s free, but work harder and fix this and add that…. NOW

    I think buying the odd one or two a coffee sounds very reasonable!

    Posted By Jon Barry @ http://JonBarry.co.uk

    ,
    Jon Barry recently posted..Blog-Cycling … A How To Guide For Making Your Words Travel Further!My Profile

    • mandyallen.com

      Reply Reply August 28, 2012

      Hi Jon, thanks for visiting. I feel another blog post is in here somewhere…

      I don’t run too many plug ins on my blog, less than 20 for sure, but more than 10, I know. Combination plug ins are a great idea, as long as they work properly!

      And I am so glad that you picked on on my closing statement about buying a cup of coffee. I always do that if someone has helped me in some way. If it were a person offline we’d do the same, wouldn’t we.

      Enjoy the journey.

      Mandy

  • Miriam
    Twitter:

    Reply Reply August 28, 2012

    Mandy,
    I use the commentluv plugin on my blog and have found it to offer the people who comment on my blog an extra thank you for taking the time to post his/her thoughts and knowledge with me and my readers. Thank you for sharing this new resource of a combo plugin… good stuff.
    ~Miriam
    Miriam recently posted..Massive Newsletter Subscriptions: How To Self-Sabotage Your Ability To Create A Profitable Business?My Profile

    • mandyallen.com

      Reply Reply August 28, 2012

      Hi Miriam, thanks for visiting. I think Andy has done a brilliant job with this Premium version. So many great options in it.

      Enjoy the journey.

      Mandy

  • Adrienne
    Twitter:

    Reply Reply August 28, 2012

    Don’t you hate that Mandy when you set up a plug-in you want really bad and it messes everything else up? I’ve only had that happen once and I was so disappointed. Oh well a lesson learned but like you said, CommentLuv Premium is one of those plug-ins that I believe every blogger should have.

    Andy is a genius in my book adding all these other plug-ins into this one. What a great idea and boy does that save having to load them all up separately.

    Great explanation and I hope those that don’t have it yet will jump on the train and grab it while the price is still somewhat low. It’s going up every single day.

    ~Adrienne
    Adrienne recently posted..How To Find Great Blogs To Comment OnMy Profile

    • mandyallen.com

      Reply Reply August 28, 2012

      Hi Adrienne, thanks for visiting. I bought this on your recommendation and I have loved every bit of it.

      The plug in I had trouble with was one that allowed video comments to be made. It really messed the blog up. I have noticed a lot of bloggers do allow video comments on their blogs, which I still think is a lovely idea, such a shame it didn’t work for me. It may have been clashing with something in the theme I use. I know that can happen sometimes.

      Enjoy the journey.

      Mandy

  • Beth Hewitt
    Twitter:

    Reply Reply August 29, 2012

    Hi Mandy,

    There are pros and cons with plugins. It is important to keep an eye on them, even those that seem to be working can be seriously out of date and no longer compatible and causing all kinds of problems.

    I once updated a plugin and it stopped me from accessing my c-panel lol…white screen of death for me, had to practically hack my way in and extract the little bleeder lol.

    Thanks for the great post,

    Beth 🙂
    Beth Hewitt recently posted..Why failure is good for usMy Profile

    • mandyallen.com

      Reply Reply August 29, 2012

      Hi Beth, thanks for visiting. Yes, you do need to keep an eye on them, you are right. One of the things I think people overlook too is when they install a new plug in that may have a function included that they have another plug in for, so then they duplicate the feature and should really delete the older plug in. A bit like Commentluv premium, the plug ins that hold the same features should be deleted wne it’s installed.

      Enjoy the journey.

      Mandy

  • Terry Conti
    Twitter:

    Reply Reply August 30, 2012

    Hi there Mandy,

    How you been? I hope all is well. Good post you have here about plug ins.

    As you demonstrate in your post, plug-ins can be good or bad. Following Sally Niell’s guide is very valuable. So is Barry Well’s blog post on the subject. I love his video. It’s funny but it also gives you great insight.

    Comment luv is also a great plug-in to have. I love it because it let’s you see other people’s interesting blog posts right from where you are instead of wasting time going around.

    Like anything else plug-ins should be used wisely. Done right they will make your blog very powerful. Done wrong they will make your blog very weak. Catch you later Mandy,

    Terry Conti
    Terry Conti recently posted..How to Keep Your Computer Running SmoothlyMy Profile

    • mandyallen.com

      Reply Reply August 30, 2012

      Hi Terry, thanks for visiting. You are right, Terry, if you get your plug ins wrong it can make your blog very weak. And I too love Commentluv’s links straight to blog posts, brilliant idea!

      Enjoy the journey.

      Mandy

  • anshul

    Reply Reply August 30, 2012

    Hi Mandy!
    Good post. you mentioned about plugins very well.i always love commentluv plugins because i use this and interesting to read the blog of the bloggers.
    thanks to for joining this blog…………….

    • mandyallen.com

      Reply Reply August 30, 2012

      Hi Anshul, thanks for visiting. Yes, the Commentluv plug in is one of the most useful plug ins I have on my blog.

      Enjoy the journey.

      Mandy

  • Dawn Kay
    Twitter:

    Reply Reply August 30, 2012

    Hi Mandy

    It’s a bummer when you add a fab plugin and you can’t use it because it’s interfered with another plugin.

    You’d think with technology nowadays they’d make them so they can work with anything but I suppose that would put the price up (lol)

    My plugin that I can’t live without is the Comment Luv Premium plugin because I can find more targetted blogs to comment on and it gives me more pages aswell.

    Sally Neill’s Essential WordPress Plugins video is a MUST for bloggers who want to monetize their blogs and its completely FREE aswell.

    How did you get on with Wishlist???

    All sorted I hope

    Take care

    Dawn
    Dawn Kay recently posted..I paid $200 for it but you can have it for freeMy Profile

    • mandyallen.com

      Reply Reply August 30, 2012

      Hi Dawn, thanks for visiting. Yes, Commentluv is great for finding targetted blogs. I think Sally’s guide is a really good starting point for any new blogger.

      I didn’t sort out Wishlist yet!

      Enjoy the journey.

      Mandy

      • Dawn Kay
        Twitter:

        Reply Reply September 4, 2012

        And why haven’t you done it then???

        Not multi-tasking again are you (lol)

        I’m gonna keep my eye on you misses 🙂
        Dawn Kay recently posted..Blog post ideas for when your mind goes blankMy Profile

        • mandyallen.com

          Reply Reply September 5, 2012

          Hi Dawn, I spoke to David Walker this week and he uses Wishlist. He said it took him a whole day to get to grips with it so I’m trying to find a day, or two half days, as I know if I do an hour I’ll probably have to go back and re-do the stuff again to remind myself how it works! I need to do it all in one go or two goes right next to each other. I’m on it though. Got to find my log in etc first!

          Enjoy the journey.

          Mandy

  • Laura Morris
    Twitter:

    Reply Reply September 4, 2012

    Hi Mandy

    Me thinks our discussion of last week sparked your creative juices for this post! Plugins are really tricky as to keeping updated, and not overloading our blogs. I think we can get too “plugin happy” because there are so many fantastic choices out there, and as you say, it’s just too risky to bog down our speed, and potentially cause other problems and errors like we talked about last week.
    I do want to get Comment Luv premium, and will be back for it.
    Laura Morris recently posted..Play The Prosperity Game to Attract Limitless Abundance!My Profile

    • mandyallen.com

      Reply Reply September 4, 2012

      Hi Laura, thanks for visiting. Funnily enough I wrote this on the train going to a networking lunch in London in June. I just never used it on my blog. I found I was scrabbling around for something to write that would have impact, realised Andy Bailey had relaunched the Commentluv plugin and so the decision was made to get it online! I have stacks of half written or outlined posts, and tons more notes of ideas that I can fall back on when I need them, this one just seemed pertinent right now. It probably was prompted by our conversation last week. That was such a productive hangout, the best one we’ve had so far. You should get the plug in, it’s very good.

      Enjoy the journey.

      Mandy

  • Sergio Felix
    Twitter:

    Reply Reply September 12, 2012

    Hey Mandy, I wrote a detailed CommentLuv review on my site and is definitely one of the most bang for your buck wordpress plugins I have ever bought.

    I have it installed on all of my blogs and I really think that every blog should have it, it’s simply amazing what you can do with it. 😉

    Too bad I believe the dimesale Andy offered is over now, so whoever wants it now, has to pay full prize (which I still think it’s a bargain!).

    Sergio
    Sergio Felix recently posted..Easy Actionable YouTube Vlogging Ideas For MarketersMy Profile

  • Andrew Dean
    Twitter:

    Reply Reply September 14, 2012

    Thank you Mandy for the reminder that too many plugins can really slow your site down. My problem in the past has been that I was a bit of a plugin junkie, I am determined in the future to only install the “essential” ones. As you suggested.
    I checked out Sally Neill’s video, I had never thought of redirecting my comments to sales page, maybe I should do that.
    Andrew Dean recently posted..This is Embarrassing!My Profile

    • mandyallen.com

      Reply Reply September 14, 2012

      Hi Andrew, thanks for visiting. I guess we’ve all tried out all the plugins but there comes a point when you realise you don’t actually use half of them to any great effect, so the fact that they do slow things down significantly means they really must go. That’s why I love Commentluv so much, not only is it 8 plugins in one but I do use it to it’s full effect!

      Enjoy the journey.

      Mandy

  • Joey Xoto
    Twitter:

    Reply Reply September 21, 2012

    Hey Mandy, cool post; I’m checking out references you left in the post for plugins.

    Right now I’m not using too many plugins, main ones I use are:

    SEO All in one pack
    Google XML Sitemaps
    SlideBoss
    OSE Firewall (essential!!!!)
    Jetpack

    My theme integrates a lot of plugins automatically within the theme which saves me a lot of time getting plugins and configuring them, i.e. Google analytics runs through my theme. But I will take a look at the guide to make sure I’m not missing anything sexy ?

    Thanks Mandy.

    • mandyallen.com

      Reply Reply September 21, 2012

      Hi Joey, thanks for visiting. It’s great when themes integrate plug ins, it does save you having to load so many. That’s why I like the Commentluv plug in, it is 8 plug ins in one!

      Enjoy the journey.

      Mandy

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