We have had a couple of people asking us about which plugins we use to help us run our blog so we thought it might be helpful to make a list of them for you. In case you don’t know, widgets and plugins are small bits of software that do different jobs on the blog. Please note, you will need to have a self-hosted WordPress blog rather than the wordpress.com blog. Email me if you want some help. If you find a widget that you think we’re missing, please let us know! My email is firstname.lastname@example.org
Akismet – The most important plugin!! This catches all of the spam and junk that will come in to your blog as it grows in popularity. It keeps it away from children’s eyes too. Very useful.
Firestats – We use this to track the number of page views and unique views on our blog site. It can also tell you which posts are more popular and which country your visitors come from.
Peter’s Collaboration E-mails – As the children have the ability to write blog posts but not publish them, this plugin emails me when there is a pending post.
Allow Word/Powerpoint/Excel Uploads – Err…does what it says!
CSV User Import – Allows me to import users to a blog via CSV so that I can add them a year group or class at a time rather than one-by-one. Unfortunately, if you add child A to class 3’s blog via CSV, you can’t also add them to CSV to the whole school blog. You have to do that manually.
Custom Meta – The ‘meta’ menu has the login link and the comments RSS feed. The customa meta plugin lets me decide which of these links I want to publish and which I can hide.
Diamond Multisite Widget – For me, my favourite plugin. This collates the list of blogs throughout the school and publishes them in one list. It does this on every blog too meaning I don’t have to do it manually.
Feedburner Email – Allows users to subscribe to updates via email.
Student Contributor Dashboard – A great plugin as it hides the comments from the view of the children. A blog post explaining it is here: http://fordlog.com/2011/02/student-contributor-plugin/
swfObject Reloaded – Allows flash objects (such as 2DIY games) to be uploaded easily.
Unfiltered MU – This gives the children the ability to embed HTML content such as Animoto or Photopeach into their posts.
User Role Editor – This plugin means I can tweak the different levels of user so that some children have more power than others.
WP Twitter Timeline – This pushes our tweets out onto our blog.
Feedjit Live Traffic Feed – Provides a live list of users visiting our blog and also shows where they came from.
Front Page Exclude from Date – This plugin is great for class blogs. We had the question of removing or backing up all of last year’s blog posts. If you remove them, then the links we have shared wouldn’t work but if you leave them then this year’s class will see last year’s work. The Front Page plugin excludes all blog posts from previous years. Very simple to use. More info here: http://www.systemed.co.uk/how_to/wordpress/archiving-a-blog/
Page Links To – This plugin lets you add an external link in the ‘pages’ area of your site. So for our site, we have the pages links along the top but I wanted a link to the log-in page (www.stjohnsblogs.co.uk/wp-admin) and this plug-in does just that. Install it, add a page called “Blog Log-in” and then add the URL at the bottom.