Tag-Archive for ◊ plugins ◊

Which Blog Plugins?
Saturday, November 01st, 2014 | Author:

There is an old post where I listed the plugins that we use on our school blog to keep it ticking over and after a few emails with different people recently, and considering it has been three years since that post, I thought I should update it.

At school, our blog site is www.ridersblogs.co.uk and we use WordPress Multisite and this post goes into a bit more detail, but it means that I can install small pieces of code, known as plugins, that will help my site to run in a different way. Some of these are vital, some are cosmetic, some are free and others are paid-for.

If you have any questions about blogging, or if you think I have missed something obvious, please let me know. I am always trying new plugins to see how they work and how they can improve our blogging experience.

Akismet – This should, in theory, catch all of the spam and prevent it from reaching your comment page. Some does occasionally get through but it does a good job of stopping most of it.

Custom Meta – Very simple but on the normal WordPress page there is a small menu giving 5 options such as log in and the RSS feeds. With this plugin, I can choose which of those 5 to show and for most of the time, it’s just log-in so that teachers and children can easily get to the sign-in page.

Diamond Multisite Widget – A huge discovery. So much so that I blogged about this plugin when I found it. When you have 20+ blogs as we do, it can be hard to curate a menu of the links to them all. What if someone accidentally find a a Year 6 blog, you’d like a link on there to other blogs in your school, right? This plugin does that. It puts links to all of your blogs on the side of each blog ensuring that there is always a list of the blogs that are active across the whole school. Before this plugin, I had to manually edit a list of links on each blog. Urgh.

User Role Editor – Another favourite. With WordPress you can different levels of user e.g. administrator but there are times when you only want children (or staff) to be able to do limited things such as write and edit their own blog posts. This plugin lets you create a role for the children and assign different capabilities to that role.

Unfiltered MU – Occasionally when a user wants to embed a video from a site such as Animoto or some sound from Soundcloud, WordPress was removing the HTML embed code. This plugin helps to prevent the code being removed.

Feedjit – This is a simple display of the last 10 or so people to visit your blog. This is great when showing it to a class as more often than not, at least one will be a non-UK based visitor leading to a discussion about where in the world that city or country might be.

WPMU Dev Dashboard (Paid for) – I have subscribed to the WPMU Dev package as it provides me with a range of plugins and themes that I have setup on different blogs within the school. I have also made a few blogs for other schools too so having extra, high-quality themes is very useful.

Easy Blogging (Paid for) – This is an amazing plugin. It is part of the WPMU DEV package but you can also buy it separately. What does it do? To put it simply, it can be set so that users of a certain level e.g. children, only see certain options when they sign in. So I have this set to allow children to only see “New Post” and “My Posts” and that’s it. They won’t get to see the comments or any of the other options that are potentially available to them. When combined with the User Role Editor, this becomes a very useful plugin. There is also the option to turn this on when logged in as a teacher meaning that the less-confident teachers can log-in, click “Enable” and be presented with a cut-down screen with just the things they need. Awesome.

 

Adding Links in WordPress
Saturday, November 03rd, 2012 | Author:

This term we have really been going for it with our blogs and one comment that kept coming up was that it was hard to find the “log-in” link on the site. We have our school blog (www.stjohnsblogs.co.uk) and we also have a number of class blogs too. Each teacher has a login for their class blog and the children have various logins too. We have a number of widgets and menus such as visitor maps or links to our class blogs etc, so the ‘boring’ log-in link got shunted down further and further down the page. One way would be to put it right at the top of the widgets, but that tends to be where the tags or search bit goes. These are the widgets used by visitors, rather than staff and children.

So I had a thought and decided to put the link on the navigation bar along the top where the Pages go. This could be a page called “log-in” and on that page there would be the link. But that requires two clicks. A quick Google search found a plugin called “Page Links to” and like all good plugins, it was simple. Install it and you’re away.

Create a page called “Log-in”. Don’t bother adding text, scroll to the bottom and there is an option for an external link – the log-in page is always www.whateveryourblogiscalled.co.uk/wp-admin. Add this link and Publish. That’s it. We have 15 blogs so it took ten minutes to do this on every one, but now we have a simple, easy-to-find log-in link on every blog.

For more plugins that we use in our school, visit: http://stjohnsblogs.co.uk/which-plugins/

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Which Blog Plugins?
Friday, September 02nd, 2011 | Author:

Just a short post today. I am often asked which plugins we have on our school blog to help it run and to manage it so I have made a list. Now I know there are people out there who have more knowledge and expertise than I do and I’d love them to correct me or provide new plugins too, but here is our list: http://stjohnsblogs.co.uk/which-plugins/

Hopefully you can find them useful too.

Bear in mind you will probably need a self-hosted blog for these to work rather than one from wordpress.com

Category: Blogging, blogposts  | Tags: , , ,  | One Comment