WordPress and other Content Management Systems (CMS) allow designers to create dynamic, professional-grade blogs without dealing with the hassles of web programming and database management. With these plugins, designers can cover the difficult tasks bloggers demand and focus on clean, effective design. Here are four CMS plugins that can make life a lot easier for web designers:
Many bloggers choose to display ads on their blogs to help defray the cost of writing and hosting their sites. Ad Injector automates the process of inserting ads into WordPress posts, pages, archives and search interfaces. After signing up with Google AdSense or other advertising providers and inserting a few values, the plugin automatically inserts ads about the best best credit card offers or other topics.
W3 Total Cache
Each time a user loads a WordPress page, WordPress loads information from its database and generates the layout before sending the page to the visitor. Even though it is relatively quick in doing so, this puts considerable demand on the server’s processor, requires RAM usage and introduces a noticeable lag for the visitor. W3 Total Cache periodically updates the information on the blog, allowing the server to simply send a static page to visitors. WordPress blogs load noticeably quicker when this plugin is enabled, and if the blog sees sudden surge in traffic, its server will be more capable of handling the unexpected extra demand.
Google Analytics for WordPress
Google Analytics provides valuable analytical tools for bloggers. Google Analytics, the leading analytics platform, compiles information about visitors’ locations, browsing habits and finds out which pages they are spending their time on. This plugin automatically inserts the necessary Google Analytics code into each of the pages and posts, allowing bloggers to benefit from this free service without having to manually insert code.
Akismet checks all comments to blogs against its own servers to determine whether or not they are spam. Spamming tools allow spammers to send off tens or hundreds of thousands of spam messages each hour, and even the smallest of blogs will be victimized on occasion. By automatically weeding out a high percentage of this spam, bloggers can spend less time manually erasing spam comments and more time browsing a modern art museum for design ideas.
Even without plugins, designers can utilize WordPress as a powerful platform suitable for blogs of any size. But by leveraging the inexpensive features of these plugins, designers can glean valuable insight from their quick, spam-free blogs with just a few minutes of setup work. The extensions listed above assist with RAM, ad generation, analytics, and spam filtering, all of which can greatly improve a site’s overall performance and functionality.