wordpress plugin


One of the plugins I use on every WordPress site I have (ironically, with the exception of this one) is WP-UserOnline. I’m not sure why I haven’t installed it here on OpenSourceHack yet, but when the traffic numbers increase, this WP-UserOnline is definitely getting installed. I love being able to see live traffic on the site and this is the primary focus of this plugin. The only alternative I had before finding this Lester Chan plugin was to log in to my hosting control panel and view the raw logs. However, both options have their advantages as well as disadvantages.

When viewing the raw log files, I can view which bots have visited my site over a longer period of time. This helps me figure out which search engines are indexing my site regularly and which ones need a little more help finding it. This is actually how I figured out I was not being visited by Bing as I posted yesterday.

With the WP-UserOnline plugin, I can see the visitors and bots on my site NOW. Not only can you tell how many visitors you currently have live on your site, but you can view what page of your site each visitor is on and what referring page they came from. How cool is that? This is up to the minute analytics right there in front of you. This is a great way to tell which posts or pages are the most popular at that particular moment.

I’d recommend taking a peek over at Lester Chan’s site to check out his other plugins as well. Anything I’ve ever used from this site has been top notch and it’s obvious he takes pride in what he does. Go download his plugins now before he realizes they’re good enough to become premium plugins and starts charging for them.


Glossary Plugin

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I wanted to add a glossary to one of my other sites but I was having a really hard time finding a glossary plugin for WordPress. I stumbled across a few posts about using a plugin that arranges posts in alphabetical order, but in that scenario you have a post for each term and that seemed a little over kill to me. Eventually I came across the Instant Glossary plugin from BoomerCo that seemed perfect, and after a few pre-sales questions, I made the decision to give it a try. The plugin was only $25 so I figured that even if it ended up surprising me and being a total bust, it wouldn’t be a big hit to my wallet.

I already had a thirty day trial installed and I was never able to use all the functionality. I thought it was because of certain limitations of the trial, but after my purchase of the pro version, I realized that it was not. I could not seem to link my newly created glossary terms to the associated tags. I reached out to the owner of the site with my troubles and within a couple of days my issue was not only acknowledged, but completely fixed.

This turned out to be exactly what I needed in a glossary script. I began adding new glossary items and definitions and linking them to posts with the corresponding tags that match the term itself. Everything was working great. There was even a check box in the settings to not display the “powered by” link which I checked. One of my pre-sales questions was about removing the “powered by” links. When I purchase something, I want to be able to brand it and make it a cohesive part of my site so it doesn’t appear to be a hodgepodge of various bits and pieces.

I had received the okay that purchasing the pro version allowed me to remove the links, but to my dismay only one of them is removable via the plugin settings. Being the natural hack I am, I decided to just open up the file and remove the second link myself. Unfortunately, the script files are encoded so I was unable to remove the bottom link back to the owners site.

I reached out to the site owner again who explained to me that the bottom link is not removable. He said he offers the script at such a low price that he’s basically paying for the back links from the use of the plugin. This is actually a great idea for him, but it doesn’t really help me much. I know it’s not a big deal, but I never liked the idea of paying someone money to then advertise for them no matter how unobtrusive the link.

Even though I did specifically ask about the links removal prior to purchasing the plugin, I couldn’t in good conscience complain since the time spent fixing my problem was worth much more than the cost of the plugin itself. What I did do was express my hope that there would be a version without any links sometime in the future.

Right now I have the plugin disabled and I have not made a decision on whether or not to use it yet. The links are my personal hang ups but that does not take away from this fantastic glossary plugin. If you don’t mind the mandatory link and the locked down code, I would highly recommend this plugin for creating your very own custom site glossary.


Broken Link Checker

I love this WordPress plugin. I remember the days of old when I was still learning the ins and outs of blogging with WordPress and I did a lot of things the hard way. Way back then (a few years ago) I would find broken links in older blog posts by accident. I would fix the broken link which would then propel me to look over each and every past post for more broken links. Yes, I was truly spinning my tires and wasting time, but unfortunately that’s all I knew. I was more thrilled with the idea of being able to have a working website than to worry about the minor, yet time consuming tasks of link monitoring.

Then I was saved when I found the broken link checker plugin. Sometimes the most helpful plugins are the simplest ones. This checks all your posts for broken links and reports them in the dashboard. How simple is that? No more weeding through post after post. They’re presented right there for you to either fix or discard. This plugin was most helpful on a site I run that has a lot of contest posts because contests expire and those sites update or delete their pages rather frequently. This is just another example of how the best plugins can save you time and makes things easier so you can spend that time more appropriately on other aspects of your site.


Page Links To

So it was a good run for me. I gave it my best on posting regularly to this site. It’s hard posting nearly every day. Real hard. It suddenly donned on me that I hadn’t really had a chance to try any new software recently. The holidays certainly had something to do with that, just as an unexpected tooth ache set me back a few days as well. I figure it’s a perfect time to do a bunch more WordPress plugin favorites I use on this and other blogs.

The one I’m going to highlight today is the “Pages Link To” plugin. The function of it is very simple and self explanatory. If you need one page to link to another, use this plugin. You might be wondering why anyone would need such a thing. Well, you probably don’t need it if would prefer hard coding links, but that might cause problems when you upgrade WordPress. You may have to keep updating your link again and again if you go this route.

But again, why would you even need it? If you create a page, you call it what you want, and the link goes to the content you provided on that page. Same for a post. Seems simple enough. However, there are occasions when this simple plugin will come in handy. Here’s one example of how I use it on a different site.

I have a website where I use Article Friendly for my article section and I use WordPress for news. Naturally I want to include some of my WordPress menu links on my article pages and vice versa. The “Pages Link To” plugin works perfectly from the WordPress side. I had four menu links at the top of my theme; Home, About, Archives, and Contact. I really wanted a link to my articles page in the header to make sure navigation between the two different scripts looked natural. I also wanted it to look exactly the same as the rest of the links. To achieve this, all I had to do was create a new page in WordPress and call it “Articles”, then type the external url into the box and BAM, you have your cohesive menu link that looks like a regular interior blog link.


All in One SEO Pack

I have been alternating posts these past few weeks by doing software related entries one day and general traffic/website building tips on the next. Today I found something that can really be applied to both and it’s called the All In One SEO pack. In case you don’t know, SEO stands for search engine optimization. The more search engine friendly we can make our sites, the better off we will be when it comes to the search engine spiders finding us and indexing all our websites pages so web searchers can locate us.

The best thing about this WordPress plugin is that you can give the title of your post an alternate title for the search engines to pick up additional relevant keywords. What I plan to do is title and write my post the way I would any other, then browse over to the Google Adwords keyword tool and do a search for related keywords to see what is popular for my target audience. I can then find and submit a new, more appropriate title using the All In One SEO Pack for the search engines to find me.

I suppose choosing the most popular keywords may work against you too, so depending on your niche, there might be better keywords to use that are not so saturated with advertisers. I think I would rather find five or six keywords or phrases that are reaching ten or twenty thousand searches a piece instead of a more popular one that is seeing a hundred thousand for one single keyword. I would think there’s a better chance at ranking higher for the less searched for terms that the more popular one.

I don’t see why this keyword strategy wouldn’t work for the general terms within a post as well. I know it might be more time consuming to work in more keywords into an existing post, but if each additional keyword can bring in a few more visitors, just think what this simple action might do for your volumes after a few months, a year, or even after ten years.

Just to give you an idea of how this keyword tool can help, I’ve included a quick screenshot of a comparison of two phrases. I may be using the following terms “open source software” and “free software” to describe the same thing on this site, but there is a vast difference in search volume between the two. Pretty powerful information for a quick five second search.