How to Improve your WordPress Theme with 9 Useful Plugins

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This post presents a roundup of 9 essential and really useful plugins that help you improve your WordPress theme making just some simple changes to the PHP code. For each plugin I’ve provided a description you can follow to quickly implement it on your pages.

I Like This

I Like This is a nice plugin that allows your visitors to like your posts simply with a click of mouse. The style is fully customizable with the layout of your WordPress theme. After activating the plugin you can use default options that display the like button below the body of your posts or customize your theme adding the button wherever you want, using the following code:

<?php if(function_exists(getILikeThis)) getILikeThis('get'); ?>

Feed Subscribers Counter

Feedburner Circulation is a plugin that provides you a valid alternative to Feedburner chicklet to display the number of your RSS feed subscribers in plain text. You can add the counter into header.php, sidebar.php or footer.php using the following code:

<?php feedburner_circulation_text('feed_id');?>

and modifying feed_id with the correct ID of your Feedburner feed.

Advertisements within post body

If you use AdSense or other advertising services to monetize the traffic of your site, a good way to increase your revenues is to insert sponsored links into the body of your posts. Quick Adsense allows you to do that easily, simply copy and paste the code of your Ads into the Administration Panel (Setting > Quick AdSense). So, the only thing you have to do is to add a comment in your post in order to display sponsored links where you want. Here is an example of comment:

<!--Ads1-->

Pagination

WP-PageNavi enables an useful pagination feature on your posts. Here is an example:

pagination

After activating this plugin the only thing you have to do is open index.php (or search.php, archive.php, tag.php) and change the following code:

<div>
    <div><?php next_posts_link('&laquo; Older Entries') ?></div>
    <div><?php previous_posts_link('Newer Entries &raquo;') ?></div>
</div>

with the following one:

<?php if(function_exists('wp_pagenavi')) { wp_pagenavi(); } ?>

Then you can modify the CSS code provided within the folder of this plugin in order to customize the look of pagination with the style of your pages.

Preserve HTML code formatting

If you have a blog about web design you can need to post the source code of tutorials you publish as plain text. Preserve Code Formatting is a very useful plugin that allows you to preserve code formatting by preventing its modification by WordPress and retaining original whitespace and characters. After installing this plugin you can specify a list of tags that will have their contents preserved (for example I used <code> and <pre>) and other options. Here is the result (preserved whitespace and indented code):

#footer{font-size:12px;}
    #footer ul{padding:10px;}
        #footer ul li{float:left;}
            #footer ul li a{display:block;}

Related Posts

WordPress Related Posts is a versatile plugin that displays a list of related posts of a certain article via tags. I tried several similar plugin but this is definitively my favorite. You can customize the maximum number of posts to display, exclude categories, display comments count and excerpt for suggested post directly on your WordPress dashboard from Settings > Related Posts. After activating the plugin, to enable its features on your pages open the single.php file and add the following code after the post content:

<?php wp_related_posts();?>

Comment Rating

If you want to emulate the comment rating feature of digg.com on your WordPress site, you can use Comment Rating a very powerful plugin that allows your visitor to like or dislike comments on your posts. After activating the plugin, it will appears on each comment the following rating feature:

like-dislike

Highly-rated comments can be highlighted and poorly rated comments can be hidden (just like those on digg.com).

Twitter Followers

The TwitterFollowers plugin is a customizable badge that displays on the sidebar of your WordPress theme a list with your Twitter followers or with people that you are following on Twitter.

Twounter simply returns the number of followers for a twitter username in plain text. You can fetch the number of followers adding the following function into your template:

<?php echo twounter('username') ?>

and changing username with your Twitter username.

(Source: workup.com)

About Tuan Do

I am a professional blogger on TechWalls - Technology Blog since 2011. I write about anything related to technology and Internet. Wordpress blogging tips, technology and gadget news are my favorite topics. You can follow TechWalls to get my guide on making money from Wordpress blog.
Read my tips on how to access blocked Facebook.

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