This is the second part of review about the WordPress plugins that we use and recommend. You can find first part of this article here. In this part of review we consider user friendly plugins that improve your WordPress blog.
Good usability and user friendly interface is very important for your site. Good-looking and handy site navigation is one of the things which improve it. Default WordPress navigation offers just a previous/next paging. When your blog is full of posts that makes listing.. well.. tiresome, which may end up losing possible readers. WP Page Navi provides a more competitive and good-looking page navigation for a better usability. And, if you installed everything correctly, you may reach the needed post/image in a second just choosing the number of the page and avoiding the endless listing.
Yet Another Related Posts Plugin
An occasional visitor of your site who does NOT know exactly what he wants to find there, most likely will leave the page after viewing a couple posts. Of course you are interested in viewing otherwise why would you post? A plugin presenting tags so that everyone could see them is really useful here. The older plugins like for example Simple Tags do not satisfy the needs completely as they mostly don't choose the articles as per their real relativity but rather by common tags. The more up-to-date Yet Another Related Posts Plugin presents the list of the posts/pages really related to the viewed topic.
Thanks to the flexible algorithm not only tags are taken into account but also the titles and categories of the posts. What is more you can regulate how really close the content of the posts is and therefore the quantity of the related posts displayed. With the templating system which makes the display of your related posts optional you can choose how exactly you want them to be displayed. It also concerns displaying in RSS or Atom fields.
Apart from posting comments after your posts you often need to collect information of different sorts depending upon the topic and aim of your site And of course upon your needs. With the highly customizable contact forms of all kinds which are available with the Gravity Forms plugin for WordPress you can easily make the collection of info much easier and structural. The most popular and widely used forms are of course contact and support forms. Also polling and surveys forms and guest posting forms, which are a very good thing if you want to widen your audience.
Simple Lightbox is a simple but useful and very popular plugin for viewing images above your current page. The user just clicks the image and the modal window with the image in its actual size pops up above your page. And together with the dimmed background Lightbox2 adds an elegant and professional look to your site. Coming back to your current page is also very simple – just close the modal window with the image and you are where you were. One of the Simple Lightbox features is that download time is not significantly longer.
Disqus Comment System
Comment and discussion management is a huge part of blogging. Timely notifications and replies, comment moderation. Disqus comment platform is a good substitution for your WordPress comment system. It makes the whole process easier and faster. Disqus has some additional features like profile database of the registered users and a better management and connection with of the users.
With this comment system the commenting becomes much more interactive. And you can manage the comments in your blog without WP admin panel, through your e-mail. And as it is compatible with mobile services you can manage your comments from anywhere. Wider possibilities of comments due to this plugin's full integration with media services, such as YouTube. You can post videos, images within comments. Compatible with SEO services. After installation does not delete the older comments but restructures them for a more convenient usage. Auto back up of your WP comments database etc. In short, Disqus comment system is a much more usable and beneficial than default WP comment system.
First part of this review:
Part1. Performance & Security plugins
Third part of this review:
Part3. Social & SEO WordPress Plugins
We hope you'll find this article useful.
Remember that it's only our opinion/choice and we would be pleased to know yours! So feel free to comment.