When I started researching and planning this month long series on WordPress Plugins over six months ago, I had a very specific list of 30 different categories of WordPress Plugins to bring to you such as WordPress Plugins for comment spam, feeds, subscriptions, statistics, layout and formating, multimedia and images, comments, multiple bloggers, polls and surveys, blog navigation, and so on. I knew I would run into some fun and interesting WordPress Plugins along the way, but I never expected the wonderful range of WordPress Plugins I stumbled across.
There are a lot of WordPress Plugins that serve a very specific purpose not covered by my sweeping categories. And others just didn’t quite fit into any category other than fun and novelty. These Plugins and their authors, though, are worthy of praise as their WordPress Plugins show the range and possibilities, as well as the creativity, of what is possible to create with a WordPress Plugin.
These WordPress Plugins which I’ve categorized as “odds and ends” are actually a celebration of the amazing diversity and determination of WordPress fans. They saw a need for themselves that was solved with a WordPress Plugin and shared it with others.
Some of these Plugins are very specialized. As they are so unique in the solution they offer, many authors don’t get the attention they probably deserve, thus, they often lose interest and don’t put much more effort into supporting them. Still, I believe that the following Plugins are fantastic examples of what is possible with WordPress. Even if you aren’t going to use these Plugins, check them out and leave a note thanking the author for their amazing talents, and for being a part of the altruistic community that makes WordPress so special.
Wild, Crazy, and Yet Useful WordPress Plugins
One of my favorite rants is the misspelling of WordPress. I’m not alone. W-P is a WordPress Plugin that goes through your post content and fixes typical mistypes, such as “wordpress”, “worpdress”, or the hard to spot “WordPres”, turning each mangled spelling into the proper “WordPress”. As silly as this Plugin may seem, it can also be incredibly valuable to you if you tend to misspell words not caught by a spell checker. You can add your own most commonly “mizzpelled” words or use it to change abbreviations to full terms. Just make sure you leave the instructions to change worldpress to WordPress, just in case. ;-)
A game of chess, anyone? ChessNotator WordPress Plugin allows you to paste a pure PGN text file between
<chess> tags to create a table with chess players names and the moves of their game.
Like gambling or card tricks? Card Converter and Playing Card Hands WordPress Plugin for Displaying Cards allows you to display playing cards on your blog, a very useful WordPress Plugin for bloggers offering tips and techniques on playing poker, spades, solitaire, bridge, and more. Want more colorful cards to show off on your blog, try WRP-Cards WordPress Plugin, for War Room Poker Cards.
Thinking of participating in the next Talk Like a Pirate Day? Or want to offer your users a novel way of reading your WordPress posts? Text Filter Suite WordPress Plugin will filter and convert your posts into “pirate talk”. Dougal Campbell also offers a Fun Filters hack which you can modify to filter posts and comments to translate into Pig Latin, Elmer Fudd, or any other silly speaking stuff.
If there were to be a “talk like a nerd” day, the 1337 Leetspeak WordPress Plugin would come in handy. It makes adding Leetspeak to your WordPress blog very easy. Just wrap a Leetspeak “tag” around the word you want converted and it will automatically convert it. It is a swell \/\/0RDPR355 pLU91|\|.
Along with other “special days” on the web, CSS Naked Day WordPress Plugin is for April 5th, the annual CSS Naked Day where bloggers are encouraged to kill their CSS stylesheets and web designs for the day. This is an interesting and novel way to give credit where credit is due to all the hard work done by web designers to make our web pages pretty. Without them, every day would be a naked CSS day.
Want to proudly display your Tivo info on your blog? Tivo Status WordPress Plugin helps you add a Plugin template tag to your WordPress Theme to display the status of your Tivo sessions.
Netflix WordPress Plugin allows you to add your Netflix information to your blog’s sidebar, letting everyone know what movie will be sitting in your mailbox within the next day or two.
While showing off silly stats, why not keep your readers up to date with your exercise program statistics with the Nike+ iPod Stats WordPress Plugin, tracking what song you are listening to as you run, walk, and burn categories.
The US Department of Homeland Insecurity Idiocy Level WordPress Plugin displays the “current” condition of the terrorist threat level in the US. The conditions are Duh, Fretful, Worried, Scared, Afraid, and Panic, if you want to give people a heads up on the national “threat”.
Useful and Usable WordPress Plugins
I found some useful WordPress Plugins which can help bloggers and their readers, even though they haven’t received much attention or ended up on people’s favorite WordPress Plugins List.
The TimeZoneCalculator WordPress Plugin calculates and displays times and dates across different time zones. That could be useful to the traveling blogger. But why stop there?
CA-Weekday WordPress Plugin allows you to change boring week day names like Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday to Rest Day, Back to Work Day, Still Back to Work Day, and so on.
Who cares about traditional dates? Why not change your dates to Star Trek Star Dates with the CA-StarDate WordPress Plugin, one I’ve used for years in the footer of Taking Your Camera on the Road, my little hint to the world that I’m a fan.
While I did write a lot about writing codes in your blog posts with WordPress Plugins, I also found Chemical Formula Formatter WordPress Plugin. It automatically format chemical notations and references such as turning H2O into H2O.
Do a lot of coding and design work on your blog? Why not make the process of checking your web design’s code with WordPress XHTML Validator Plugin. Working from within the Administration Panels, you can analyze and validate your entire WordPress blog. It returns a list of invalid entries, explaining why each one is invalid and offering valid replacements.
Valid Elements Fixer WordPress Plugin helps if you are annoyed by WordPress using
<strong> instead of
<em> instead of
<i>, allowing you to continue to use the older, but still valid HTML codes.
The Tidy Up Plugin runs HTML Tidy through all your posts, pages, and comments, generating a report on just how “dirty” your code is. Basically, it streamlines and standardizes the code within your blog posts, helping you to fix invalid XHTML tags and elements. It provides a list of the code that needs fixing. Should you want to, the plugin can also automatically update your database with the cleansed data.
Movable Anything WordPress Plugin turns anything that you specify into something movable. It creates a separate window of sorts so you can click and drag it all around the page, much like the AJAX “boxes” on the Write Post panel. Didn’t you know you could click and drag and rearrange those? This adds that ability to just about anything on your WordPress blog. Not sure if it works in the latest version, though.
A more functional odds and ends Plugin is the Post editor enhancer for WordPress which adds a button to your Write Post panel to enlarge the editing area to your full screen width. You can do that with the new Rich Text Editor, but why not use a button?
Show Off Your Favorite WordPress Plugins
Don’t forget to hug your favorite WordPress Plugin author! One way you can do that is to promote which WordPress Plugins are invaluable to helping your blog run. You can write a review of the WordPress Plugins you use, or you can take advantage of some WordPress Plugins to showcase the Plugins activated on your WordPress blog.
Are you using a funky, and odd WordPress Plugin on your blog? One that isn’t getting the attention it deserves? Share it with us and tell us why you can’t live without it.
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