Posts Tagged ‘wordpress plugins’

Why You Shouldn’t Use Facebook Comments… Yet

17 Mar

Earlier this month, Facebook announced some significant upgrades to its commenting system for bloggers and other website owners.

The system is designed to compete with services like Disqus and Intense Debate by adding a Facebook-hosted commenting system to your site, one that can either replace or supplement your existing comment system.

To their credit, Facebook has given a lot of reasons to like the system. It’s clean, easy to look at, has good moderation tools, great stat reporting and is virtually spam-free since users have to have a Facebook account to comment.

Because of this, many sites, including TechCrunch, have begun either using or experimenting with Facebook comments.

However, this system is far from a match made in heaven and you won’t see it on my site, at least not in its current incarnation. Where it might be for some, it isn’t for mine and I will do my best to explain exactly why.

Problem 1: Out of Sync

With Disqus, which is what I currently use, and Intense Debate comments posted to your blog get put both in their database and yours. This means that, should you decide Disqus/ID is no longer right for you or if the company closes for some reason, you still have your comments.

With Facebook, the comments are simply stored in Facebook’s database and are served via an embed. If you ditch Facebook, you lose your comments, that simple.

Problem 2: JavaScript and SEO

For many sites, the comments is a significant percentage of the content on their page. However, Facebook displays that content in an embedded JavaScript that is not readable or indexable by search engines. This means you get no SEO benefit from your community.

Facebook comments is not SEO friendly and this is a problem both Disuqus and ID deal with gracefully, but putting the comments in your site in cleartext.

Problem 3: Limited Audience

It may be a surprise, but not everyone has a Facebook account and, those who do, not everyone is comfortable using their account to post comments on random sites. In short, you’re limiting your potential commenting pool to only those with Facebook accounts that trust you enough to use it on your site.

TechCrunch noted that, while Facebook Comments did help keep the trolls at bay and raise the level of discourse, the number of comments has fallen and this is on a very tech-savvy site where nearly every visitor will have a Facebook account.

Problem 4: Technical Difficulties

I attempted to set up Facebook Comments on my site temporarily to see it in action but failed completely. Even using a WordPress Plugin dedicated to the cause, I had no luck in getting it to work, even after disabling every other Facebook-related thing on my site.

Facebook Comments simply doesn’t play nice with a lot of other features and it seems others have had struggles with it as well.

Problem 5: Lack of Customization

Don’t like the way Disqus looks? Customize it. Don’t like the way Facebook Comments look? Tough.

Though the Facebook commenting system is far from ugly, if it doesn’t fit your theme you’re pretty much out of luck. You get what Facebook gives you and, apart from a few subtle changes you can make, there isn’t much anyone can do with it.

Bottom Line

To be clear, there is a lot that I do like about Facebook Comments and I have a lot of reason to want to play with it. But, right now, there are simply too many problems with it for me to consider using it, at least as my exclusive commenting system.

Obviously, I don’t need all of these above problems fixed (customization is not a major issue for me) but I would like to see better SEO handling and synchronization with my local database. Without those two things, Facebook and Facebook alone reaps the benefit of my comments section, leaving me with nothing.

It seems, however, that much of this comes from Facbeook’s tight control over everything that passes through it Facebook doesn’t like to share the information it gets with other domains, even when it comes from another site, and likes to be the sole determiner of how the information it gets is used, often to the chagrin of its members.

In short, until Facebook’s approach to commenting is a little more balanced. I don’t think I’ll be using it on my site, at least not as my main comment form.

Copyright © 2011 Blogging Tips. This Feed is for personal non-commercial use only. If you are not reading this material in your news aggregator, the site you are looking at is guilty of copyright infringement. Please contact us so we can take legal action immediately.


Blogging Tips Books
A selection of e-books to help you improve as a blogger. Find out more at


Essential Plugins for Every WordPress Installation

05 Mar

One of the reasons why people gravitate toward WordPress is the seemingly unlimited numbers of open source plugins available. Today, I’d like to go over a few plugins that I think absolutely warrant your attention. I’m sure I’ve missed some, though, so make sure to chime in within the comments! Hopefully, this article will morph into an absolute monster of a list that can act as a reference for fellow WordPress developers.

Jump to a Category



Tutorial Image

Akismet is quite possibly the perfect spam management solution. It’s unobstrusive, manages to catch 99% of spam and is quite easy to get started. An absolute must have!.

Disqus Comments

Tutorial Image

Disqus makes commenting easier and more interactive, while connecting websites and commenters across a thriving discussion community. It features the niceties you’d expect like Gravatars, feeds, rating and threading.


All in One SEO Pack

Tutorial Image

An exceedingly powerful solution to optimize your website for search engines. It automatically generates meta tags, lets you override a page’s title and description among a slew of other features. More importantly, you can pretty much make it work out of the box with minimal tweaking.

SEO Smart Links

Tutorial Image

Interlinking within your site is one of the most basic tenets of SEO. SEO Smart Links can automatically link keywords and phrases in your posts and comments with corresponding posts, pages, categories and tags on your blog. Further SEO Smart links allows you to set up your own keywords and set of matching URLs.

HeadSpace2 SEO

Tutorial Image

HeadSpace2 is an all-in-one meta-data manager that allows you to fine-tune the SEO potential of your site. It lets you control almost every aspect of your site’s meta-data, including advanced tagging and analytics.

Google XML Sitemaps

Tutorial Image

This plugin will generate a special XML sitemap which will help search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo and to better index your blog. With such a sitemap, it’s much easier for the crawlers to see the complete structure of your site and retrieve it more efficiently. The plugin supports all kinds of WordPress generated pages as well as custom URLs. Additionally it notifies all major search engines every time you create a post about the new content.


WP Super Cache

Tutorial Image

Once you get beyond a certain size, WordPress can act really slow. Caching your content, as always, is a great solution. This plugin does exactly that. It create static versions of your content which is served instead. Works wonders specially when you’re heavily trafficked.

CDN Sync Tool

Tutorial Image

Uploads/syncs your static files to a Content Deilvery Network (CDN) with push CDNs such as Amazon S3 / CloudFront and CloudFiles aswell as Origin Pull CDNs such as MaxCDN / NetDNA. You can choose files from your media library, theme directory, WordPress’s wp-include directory and plugin directories aswell as new media library uploads.


Tutorial Image

An excellent plugin that automatically processes any image in the blog through the service, without requiring any user intervention reducing file sizes and improving performance.

WP Minify

Tutorial Image

WP Minify grabs JS/CSS files in your generated WordPress page and passes that list to the Minify engine. The Minify engine then returns a consolidated, minified, and compressed script or style for WP Minify to reference in the WordPress header.


Tutorial Image

This simple but effective plugin allows you to clean up your WordPress database and optimize it without phpMyAdmin. Also renames any username.



Tutorial Image

This provides an easy way to selectively add actionable social bookmarks to your posts content or below the post in a ‘Call To Action’ box. You can add bookmarks either inside the content or in a box below the content.


Tutorial Image

This WordPress plugin to help people share, bookmark, and email your posts and pages using any service, such as Facebook, Twitter, Google Buzz, Digg, Delicious, and well over 100 more sharing and social bookmarking sites.


Scissors Continued

Tutorial Image

Scissors Continued adds cropping, resizing, and rotating functionality to WordPress’ image upload and management dialogs. Scissors also allows automatic resizing of images when they are uploaded and supports automatic and manual watermarking of images.

NextGEN Gallery

Tutorial Image

NextGEN Gallery is a full integrated Image Gallery plugin for WordPress with a slideshow option. It is a full integrated Image Gallery plugin for WordPress with dozens of options and features which provides a simple administration system at the back end which can also handle multiple galleries.


Advertising Manager

Tutorial Image

This plugin will manage and rotate your Google Adsense and other ads on your WordPress blog. It automatically recognises many ad networks including Google Adsense, AdBrite, Adify, AdGridWork, Adpinion, Adroll, Chitika, Commission Junction, CrispAds, OpenX, ShoppingAds, Yahoo!PN, and WidgetBucks. Other ad networks can be used as well.

Ad Injection

Tutorial Image

Ad Injection injects any kind of advert (e.g. Google AdSense, Amazon Associates, ClickBank, TradeDoubler, etc) into the existing content of your WordPress posts and pages. You can control the number of adverts based on the post length, and it can restrict who sees adverts by post age, visitor referrer and IP address.



Tutorial Image

WP-DB-Backup allows you easily to backup your core WordPress database tables. You may also backup other tables in the same database.

EZPZ One Click Backup

Tutorial Image

EZPZ One Click Backup is a very easy way to do a complete backup of your entire WordPress site. In fact it’s so easy to use there are no required user settings, everything is automatic. Just one click and presto, you’ll have a complete backup stored on your server. One more click and you can download the entire backup to your own computer.


Google Analyticator

Tutorial Image

Google Analyticator adds the necessary JavaScript code to enable Google Analytics logging on any WordPress blog. This eliminates the need to edit your template code to begin logging. Google Analyticator also includes several widgets for displaying Analytics data in the admin and on your blog.


Tutorial Image

Display your blog’s stats graph plus your blog traffic, social engagement and social influence directly in your dashboard. See how you’re ranking on Alexa, check out your Technorati authority, monitor your ranking across multiple sites and much more.


Yet Another Related Posts Plugin

Tutorial Image

Yet Another Related Posts Plugin (YARPP) gives you a list of posts and/or pages related to the current entry, introducing the reader to other relevant content on your site. Using a customizable algorithm considering post titles, content, tags, and categories, YARPP calculates a “match score” for each pair of posts on your blog. You choose the threshold limit for relevance and you get more related posts if there are more related posts and less if there are less.

Organize Series

Tutorial Image

The Organize Series WordPress Plugin helps with the organization and presentation of articles/posts you write as part of a series. It helps make it easier for readers of your blog to discover all the series you’ve written and also to easily find post that are part of the same series.

Simple URL Shortener

Tutorial Image

Simple URL Shortener is the simplest, yet most powerful URL shortening plugin available, with over 100 shortening services available.

Wrapping Up

As you may have noticed, I’ve chosen to stick to free plugins. There are, however, plenty of killer paid options to consider — CodeCanyon, for instance, is the web’s largest marketplace for premium WordPress plugins, amongst other sorts of scripts and components.

We’ve, of course, only merely scratched the surface here. Chime in below with the plugins you use and love on a daily basis, and I’ll make sure to keep this list updated weekly. Thank you so much for reading!