The Recommended Tags Plugin

Since I upgraded to WordPress 2.3, The biggest thing I missed about my old Simple Tags Plugin was the auto-completion that happened for tags when I started typing them in on a post. I started missing that so much that I began to think of writing a new plugin. Before beginning on such a task however, I wouldn’t even think of not searching Google. Well, I came up with the Recommended Tags Plugin. I can’t say enough how this is exactly what I was looking for.

From their description:

This is a plugin for WordPress 2.3+ that utilizes the built-in tag system for recommending and displaying a list of your current tags. It avoids the troubling issue of creating duplicate tag names that are nearly identical, such as “download” and “downloads.”

All I was looking for was auto-completion, to help me avoid typing in different spellings or slightly different tags that have the same meaning. This plugin goes way beyond that by listing your available tags and recommending tags based on the content that you’ve written for your post. It’s a must install in my opinion.

WordPress and Caching

I just installed the plugin wp-cache. I’m not sure why more WordPress users don’t enable this. From the Wp-Cache description:

WP-Cache is an extremely efficient WordPress page caching system to make you site much faster and responsive. It works by caching Worpress pages and storing them in a static file for serving future requests directly from the file rather than loading and compiling the whole PHP code and the building the page from the database. WP-Cache allows to serve hundred of times more pages per second, and to reduce the response time from several tenths of seconds to less than a millisecond.

I don’t know how many times I’ve gone to a link on Digg.com and found an unusable site with mysql database connect errors, or simply a crashed web server. The comments always say “Another WordPress Blog”.

The problem isn’t WordPress specifically. Any site with a database backend for storage could have the same issues. The problem is that WordPress doesn’t cache pages by default. Any site serving static content with Apache as a front end should be able to handle digg traffic for a while assuming that they enough memory, bandwidth, and the apache directive “MaxClients” set high enough. Well, WP-Cache turns your dynamic WordPress installation into static pages and only regenerates them when they change.

We were marveling at the efficiency of this all when Scott’s Site was dugg twice on the same day.

Categories vs Tags

I found a couple plugins that make the tag and category features function the way I’d like.

  • Simple Tagging
    This plugin allows each post to have an associated set of tags. This enables a clean category system while still being able to show the subjects that each post talks about.
  • Simple Tagging Widget
    This widget Enables a cloud view of the tags in the sidebar.

Choosing a bookmarking plugin

Well, after evaluating a lot of templates, I’ve realized I’ll need a bookmarking plugin. There aren’t very many templates that contain the bookmarking widgets already.

Here are the ones I’ve tried:

  • Social Bookmark Plugin
    This one is OK. I like how you can dynamically choose which sites you’d like included in the list of links. It doesn’t have any graphics though and I like that.
  • Social Bookmarking
    This one caused a fatal error when I tried to activate it. I don’t feel like finding out why.
  • ObSocialBookmarker
    Ok, this one seems to do the trick.