JumbleCat WordPress Plugins: Update 6

[sc:wordpress-category ]This is another post in an ongoing series of articles here at JumbleCat about the plugins I find useful for WordPress.

The first four were:

  1. Happy 1st Birthday JumbleCat! AKA WordPress Plugins!
  2. Total Backup for WordPress
  3. Some More WordPress Plugins
  4. Even More WordPress Plugins
  5. JumbleCat WordPress Plugins Update

It’s hasn’t been long but there have been a few changes worth mentioning.

Plugins Added:

Custom Windows Pinned Tiles

Plugin’s Description: With Custom Windows Pinned Tiles 2, you can set up your site to display beautiful live-updating tiles in a matter of seconds.

Windows 8 brought live tiles to Windows and websites can support them with a bit of HTML.  This plugin adds the required HTML and even supports using your RSS feed to update the status of the live tile on a recurring basis.

Simple Feed Stats

Plugin’s Description: Tracks feeds, displays subscriber counts, custom feed content, and much more.

It’s a little simple and doesn’t exclude robots from the stats, but it does provide some useful view of how many subscribers you have to your blog through RSS.

Simple Local Avatars

Plugin’s Description: Adds an avatar upload field to user profiles. Generates requested sizes on demand, just like Gravatar! Simple and lightweight.

I have been using the “User Avatar” plugin since the start of my blog and it’s a good plugin, however it hasn’t been updated for WordPress 3.8 and it was getting kind of annoying.  The issue is that it uses a floated “div” to display your profile picture in your profile page and with the new admin color scheme’s layout it obscured some of the color schemes.

Simple Local Avatars does everything that User Avatar did but uses the standard WordPress API to add a section to the profile page, avoiding any conflicts in the future as well.

WordPress phpinfo()

Plugin’s Description: This simple plugin adds an option to an adminstrator’s Tools menu which displays standard phpinfo() feedback details to the user.

I had been using a plugin to do this for a while but it added a top level menu item, which as it was only a once in a while thing was a little obtrusive.  This plugin adds it’s menu item under tools, which seems more logical.

Plugins Removed:

User Avatar

Plugin’s Description: Allows users to associate photos with their accounts by accessing their “Your Profile” page.

I removed this plugin and replaced it with Simple Local Avatars as per above.

Ozh’ Admin Drop Down Menu

Plugin’s Description: All admin links available in a neat horizontal drop down menu. Saves lots of screen real estate! For WordPress 3.5+

This has been a staple of my blogging life since I started with WordPress, the old menu system in pre 3.8 WordPress wasn’t very good and took up too much room.  However with 3.8 this plugin doesn’t quite work as it did.  The icons are missing and there doesn’t seem to be an update coming any time soon.

So while it surprised me, I found myself disabling it and finding the new WordPress admin screen much better than before and I didn’t miss it at all.

If your still interested in this kind of horizontal menu, you might want to check out “WP Top Navigation“, which look interesting but I’m not using at the moment.

SI CAPTCHA Anti-Spam

Plugin’s Description: Adds CAPTCHA anti-spam methods to WordPress forms for comments, registration, lost password, login, or all. This prevents spam from automated bots. WP, WPMU, and BuddyPress compatible.

This had been my go to plugin for avoiding spam user registrations, however the CAPTCHA is too simple and the bots have worked out how to get around it now.

Instead I’ve enabled re-CAPTCHA in Pie Register, which has gotten around a lot of the spam.  I also enabled email verification in Pie Register which has caught most of the remaining ones.

Greg

Greg

Greg is the head cat at JumbleCat, with over 20 years of experience in the computer field, he has done everything from programming to hardware solutions. You can contact Greg via the contact form on the main menu above.

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Greg

Greg

Greg is the head cat at JumbleCat, with over 20 years of experience in the computer field, he has done everything from programming to hardware solutions. You can contact Greg via the contact form on the main menu above.