271 PlugInPalooza – Backup Buddy – Lead Player Plugin – Pretty Link – And 13 Other Plugins That I Use & Highly Recommend

by Cliff Ravenscraft on August 2, 2012

WordPress Plugins

What Plugins Do I Use And Recommend Today?
I typically receive between 40 to 100+ emails each day. There are a number of questions that I get over and over again and one of the more popular questions is “What plugins are your currently using for WordPress?” I’ve answered this question on previous episodes of Podcast Answer Man. However, as time goes on, I either find new “must have” plugins or find better plugins to replace older ones.

In this episode, I give you my up-to-date list of plugins that I am now using on my site and I share a little bit about why I am using each of them.

Note: Before trying any of these plugins on your site, I highly recommend that you have a good backup of your WordPress database and all the files that exist on your website’s server. (BackupBuddy is perfect for this)

My Can’t Live Without Plugins!
If you were to ask me rank my plugins in order of importance to me, I have five plugins that would tie for first place. I’ll list each of these essential plugins here. To learn the reason why I find them to be so essential, please listen to this episode. Again, please note that these first five plugins are of equal value to me.

BackupBuddy (Affiliate Link) – Good intentions are not enough when it comes to having a full backup of everything that resides on your web hosting server. BackupBuddy is a MUST HAVE plugin if you have a self-hosted WordPress website and want to have the best protection again losing data should your site get hacked or your server’s hardware fails.

I am so incredibly thankful to Darryl Tott and the other members of The Podcast Mastermind that brought this plugin to my attention. Special thanks goes out to Cory Miller for coming on to the show to discuss BackupBuddy.

Lead Player (Affiliate Link) – I am using more and more video on my site. My dream plugin would be a plugin that allowed me to embed an “unlisted” YouTube videos onto my website and that would allow me to keep those viewing the video on my site from being able to click through to YouTube to see the unique URL of that unlisted video.

I’m happy to say that the Lead Player Plugin is my dream come true plugin. In fact, the creators of the plugin are actually working on (not in the current version as I write this) another dream feature of mine, which is to allow me to actually control the thumbnail image for each of these unlisted YouTube videos that I would embed on my site.

Lead Player actually works with regular YouTube videos as well, not just unlisted ones. While the items written here are the reasons that I chose to purchase this plugin, there are a lot other features that I am certain will appeal to other members of the Podcast Answer Man community. You can learn about all these features by listening to this episode or by checking out the sales page for Lead Player.

Pretty Link Lite (Link) – Being able to create my own custom branded short urls has been a major blessing. I have been using the Pretty Link plugin since it was first introduced. I just checked and I show that I’ve created 1,357 pretty links so far. The best part is that I’ve never had a need for anything more than what the Lite/Free version offers.

PowerPress (Link) – I’m a huge fan of the folks over at Blubrry and I’m incredibly thankful for the time, effort, and energy they have put into creating, maintaining, and supporting the PowerPress plugin.

This plugin does way more than I personally use it for. I simply use it for it’s included 1 Pixel Out audio player and the ability to easily create media enclosures. With PowerPress, I can configure a WordPress installation for podcasting within ten minutes. I have a tutorial called WordPress For Podcasters that shows my step by step process how I configure PowerPress to work in my preferred method of setting up a podcast. You can get that tutorial by clicking here.

LiveFyre (Link) – LiveFyre is a commenting system that replaces the built-in commenting system that comes with WordPress. When I saw LiveFyre in action for the first time, it was love at first site. In fact, if you want to hear me fall in love with this commenting system, I encourage you to listen to episode 116 of Social Media Serenity where we first tested it out live, during one of our live shows.

The Other Plugins That I am Using:
As I shared above, the previously mentioned plugins all tied for first place. I list the following plugins in their order of importance to me.

Shareaholic (Link) – Shareaholic adds an attractive social bookmarking menu, and optional related content widget, to your posts, pages, index, or any combination of the three. To see this one in action, scroll to the bottom of this post and see where it says “Share And Enjoy!”

Audio Player (Link) – Please note that this plugin has not been update in over 2 years. It is NOT a plugin that I think 99.9% of my clients or students would ever need. However, I do still use it to place audio players on pages where I am not interested in creating a media enclosure. You can see this audio player in action my Podcast Answer Man Testimonial Page and my gspn.tv Plus Membership Page.

Google Analyticator (Link) – There are a lot of plugins that allow you to connect your WordPress site to your Google Analytics account. I can’t remember how I came about using this particular one. However, I can tell you that I do enjoy the stats overview that it puts in my WordPress Dashboard. It’s cool to be able to see a quick snapshot of how my traffic is growing each time I log into my site.

Lightbox 2 (Link) – In the episode, you’ll hear me mention that I’ve not been happy with how this plugin has been behaving for quite some time. It turns out that that the developer discontinued this plugin back on April 13th, 2011. I’m still in search of a lightbox replacement. If you have a suggestion, please post it in the comments section below. – See Notes On Next Plugin

Fancybox for WordPress (Link) – As I mentioned in this podcast episode, I knew that my Lightbox 2 plugin was quite outdated. I am now using Fancybox for WordPress instead. If you want to see an example of what this Lightbox plugin does, scroll down and click on the image of the Podcast Mastermind Logo found later in this post.

Gravity Forms (Affiliate Link) – As I shared in this podcast episode, I’ve had so many issues with the free contact form plugins that attempt to you your server’s send mail functionality.

Nearly 400,000 WordPress site are actively running Gravity Forms, which tells me that I’m not the only person who found the free plugins leaving much to be desired. I don’t have any examples of forms to show you on any of my sites, at this time. However, I have used Gravity Forms on my site in the past and it works flawlessly.

Webinar Bridge (Link) – I shared my full thoughts on Webinar Bridge back in episode 224 of Podcast Answer Man. This plugin allowed me to create a page on my site were people could enter their name one time and I was able to both sign them up for my mailing list and register them for a GoToWebinar session at the same time. If you do webinars as much as I do, this is an amazing tool to have.

Use Google Libraries (Link) – This plugin allows your site to use common javascript libraries from Google’s AJAX Libraries CDN, rather than from WordPress’s own copies.

A number of the javascript libraries distributed with WordPress are also hosted on Google’s AJAX Libraries API. This plugin allows your WordPress site to use the content distribution network side of Google’s AJAX Library API, rather than serving these files from your WordPress install directly. I’m told that this plugin helps take the load off of my server.

W3 Total Cache (Link) – W3 Total Cache improves the user experience of your site by improving your server performance, caching every aspect of your site, reducing the download times and providing transparent content delivery network (CDN) integration.

WARNING: W3 Total Cache is a pain to configure. I only suggest that use use it if you either know what you are doing or have someone else who knows what they are doing to set it up for you. Thankfully, the folks at ServInt offered to set this up and configure it for me. Last year, John over at TentBlogger.com did a lengthy blog post about setting up WP Total Cashe.

WP Smush.it (Link) – To find out what this plugin does and how it works, I simply invite you to read the details at it’s WordPress plugin page. I’m told by people I trust that this plugin is helping my site run faster by reducing the file size of all my images on my site without reducing the quality of any of my images. Sounds like a bit of magic to me. ūüôā

WPtouch (Link) – One of my favorite things about modern day smart phones is that they have mobile web browsers that make it possible to see full websites the way that they were designed to be seen on the web.

For some reason, many people believe that we should all optimize the layout of our site to fit within a little five inch screen. To that, I say WHATEVER!!! Thankfully, this plugin gives me the ability to offer a mobile browser optimized version of my site if my vistors scroll to the footer of my site if they are viewing it from a mobile device.

Note: It is configured, by default, to automatically show the mobile optimized version of your site when displayed on mobile devices. Thankfully,they included an option where I could set my full web design view as my default view for all browsers. ūüėČ

Akismet (Link) – Ah, the old days of comment spam. These days, if you launch a WordPress website and leave it online for 30 dyas without running either a spam filter plugin or a full comment system replacement, like LiveFyre, you are likely to receive thousands of spam comments per month, if not per day.

If you are using the WordPress comments system, The Akismet plugin checks your comments against the Akismet web service to see if they look like spam or not and lets you review the spam it catches under your blog’s “Comments” admin screen.

While I still have this plugin installed, and activated, I currently have no use for it at all. I should probably go in and turn it off. Follow my advice and just use LiveFyre!

Taking My Public Speaking To The Next Level!
I signed up for Kent Julian’s Speak It Forward Bootcamp that will take place in Georgia on October 25-27, 2012. I’ve been doing a lot of public speaking over the past few years and I’m going to be delivering my first Keynote speech at the end of this month. I’ll do a decent job with my talk. However, I’m ready to take my public speaking to the NEXT LEVEL! Maybe you will consider joining me.

I’m Coming To Dallas/Fort Worth
I’m so excited to announce that I am going to be speaking at the Catholic New Media Conference. The conference is going to be held in the Dallas/Fort Worth Texas area on August 29th-31st. I’m very honored to be the Keynote speaker that will open up the event on the 29th. I’ll be talking about “How To Market Your Message To The World.” If you are in the area, or willing to travel there, I would love to meet you in Dallas next month. I’ll be there for the whole conference.

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    • Cliff, some great resources in this episode, thank you! Some of the stand outs for me are Pretty Link Lite which I love and the PowerPress plugin for podcasters. There are many plugins you’ve listed that I’ve not even tried so I look forward to having a play with them. I’m curious – is there a reason you decided on Livefyre over DISQUS?

    • Great List Cliff,
      I do recommend that you keep Akismet running on your site. Even though livefyre will handle spam protection for your comments, Akismet will keep spammers from injecting spam directly into your WordPress database. 
      I interview someone from livefyre on one of my episode of Your Website Engineer Podcast (http://yourwebsiteengineer.com/079-increase-your-community-interaction-with-livefyre/) and that’s what Jeremy recommend that I do ūüôā

    • [email protected] for the feedback. ¬†I’ll keep it turned on. ūüôā

    • [email protected] real-time functionality, the fact that I can reply and moderate from my own site instead of their clunky system, etc, etc etc. ¬† I happen to know that DisQus has improved since I switched away from them. ¬†However, I’m so happy with LifeFyre, I can’t see myself going back ūüėČ

    • DanielJLewis

      [email protected] Ravenscraft¬†LiveFyre has also greatly improved, but it looks like you’re running the older version. The new version offers text formatting, like bold, italics, and links.

    • DanielJLewis

      Thanks for sharing your list! I’ll explain a few things that you weren’t sure of.
      Use Google Libraries‚ÄĒThe reason this helps website load is that most browsers are configured to request only a few items at a time from a single domain. These are called “requests.” The number of requests affects your site load speed more than the size of the requests.
      This plugin will make your site load jQuery (a Javascript framework that adds nice interactivity to your site, and many plugins use it, too) from Google.com instead of from PodcastAnswerMan.com. So this means fewer requests on your site, and it’s spreading out the requests across multiple domains. The best thing is really to consolidate instead of spreading out, but this is a handy compromise.
      One other handy thing Use Google Libraries does is benefits from other sites having loaded jQuery from Google, too. So if someone visited one such site before coming to your site, their browser wouldn’t have to redownload jQuery, since the other site made them download. (This is all assuming that everyone is using the same version on their sites.)
      Pretty Link Pro (http://ndl.mx/prettylinkpro)‚ÄĒmakes Pretty Link so much more convenient and adds nice features. For example, I create short URLs for each of my posts, but I never have to leave the post/page editing window to do this because Pretty Link Pro adds a new widget that lets me set the Pretty Link before I publish.
      Additionally, Pretty Link Pro lets me add keywords to certain pretty links so anytime I use that keyword in a post/page, Pretty Link Pro will automatically add my link. Imagine how this could be for you to add the keyword “Heil PR40,” so in every post you write “Heil PR40,” it will be automatically linked. The quantity (how many different keywords will be linked) and frequency (you wouldn’t want a review of the Heil PR40 to link all 100 times you mention it)¬†are adjustable.
      WP-SmushIt‚ÄĒThis optimizes your image compression to get better file sizes. For example, 100 KB is quite large for a 640 x 480 px JPEG. WP-SmushIt will recompress the image (and its WordPress-created resizes) so that it still looks great, but may use only 20 KB.
      Gravity Forms‚ÄĒI found that making a simple, easy-to-use feedback page on my podcast sites has greatly improved my accessibility to visitors and I get more feedback this way.
      Lightbox‚ÄĒAnother option you could look at is jQuery Colorbox.

    • DanMattson

      Cliff I listened to episode 271 today. Thanks for the great information. I have two questions about back up buddy: first question I am unclear on how much back up buddy cost after the first year. Second question: is back up buddy a software that you purchase and you still have to buy a backup source or an online source for backing up your data to? Thanks Cliff for all you do. wooden boat Dan over and out

    • Cliff – Nice show
      FYI –
      LEAD PLAYER is illegal according to the terms of service in Youtube.¬† Here’s the link: http://bit.ly/O0Echn.¬† READ #4.¬†
      There is no question that once Youtube figures out this little plugin, it will be shut down and your audience will be out the cash paid for the plugin.  
      http://wistia.com/ Is a superior choice. 

    • [email protected] Of Podcasting¬†I’m looking into this and now contacting the developer. ¬†Thanks for the heads up and I’ll be making an update to the notes based upon what I find.

    • [email protected] Of Podcasting¬†As soon as I read this, I’ve contacted the developers of Lead Player with the following message:
      This morning, when checking my email, I found that someone had left the following comment on my site regarding my promotion of LeadPlayer.
      Cliff – Nice show
      FYI – ¬†LEAD PLAYER is illegal according to the terms of service in Youtube.¬† Here’s the link:¬†http://www.youtube.com/t/terms¬† READ #4.¬†There is no question that once Youtube figures out this little plugin, it will be shut down and your audience will be out the cash paid for the plugin.¬†
      Here’s the thing. ¬†My core values include,¬†Transparency, Honesty, Integrity, and Trustfulness. ¬†I take this sort of feedback ultra seriously and I immediately looked up the terms of service. ¬†
      I looked at Item #4 and I’ve quoted the highly serious issues that I’m now facing regarding my promotion of LeadPlayer.
      4. General Use of the Service‚ÄĒPermissions and Restrictions
      YouTube hereby grants you permission to access and use the Service as set forth in these Terms of Service, provided that:
      B) You agree not to alter or modify any part of the Service.
      C) You agree not to access Content through any technology or means other than the video playback pages of the Service itself, the Embeddable Player, or other explicitly authorized means YouTube may designate.
      F) If you use the Embeddable Player on your website, you may not modify, build upon, or block any portion or functionality of the Embeddable Player, including but not limited to links back to the YouTube website.
      Unless you can give me some amazing response to the above issue that has been brought to my attention, I’m afraid that I going to be forced to add an updated audio message at the front of Podcast Episode 271 that states that I cannot recommend LeadPlayer and that I have listed full details as to why in the shownotes. ¬†That way, anyone in the future who downloads that episode will know about this issue. ¬†
      I would also have to mention it in Episode 272 for all those who heard about this in 271 before I had put the updated message in.
      So before I do anything rash, and spend an extra hour or two doing the work that needs to be done to fix episode 271, do you have any sort response that can put mine and my audience’s mind at ease about using Lead Player and the YouTube TOS highlighted above?
      Very Sincerely, Cliff
      I will tell you that I’ve already got a response and that they are going to spend some time giving me their response to these concerns. ¬†Once I hear their response, I will determine whether or not I need to change this episode.
      Thanks again for bringing this up.

    • Clay_Collins

      @Art Of Podcasting Hi Art of Podcasting. We are not in violation.  
      I went to the Google developer conference and talked to them about this. The folks from YouTube even went through our code.
      Please give me about an hour or two to thoroughly respond before you post anything.
      Warm regards,

    • [email protected][email protected] Of Podcasting¬†Clay, I do recall you mentioning your trip to the developer’s conference. ¬† I’ll hold off from doing anything until I hear your response.
      Thanks so much!

    • [email protected] Ravenscraft I hope this didn’t come across the wrong way.¬† I hate to be the guy that rains on someones parade.¬† I just know that plugin is expensive and I didn’t want you, or a member of your audience, to see the legal side of Google.¬†
      I realize Clay is looking into this for you and I hope he comes back with good news. 
      If I were you, I would seek a response from Google or Youtubes’s legal department.¬† After all, the people that engineer the code aren’t the ones that handle the litigation and they’re the ones you’ll be dealing with if this goes south. It’s really the only answer you can trust!
      And, if you get a positive response from Google’s legal department, please let me know.¬† I’ll be the first one to jump on the bandwagon and promote this plugin because it’s a great concept!¬†

    • [email protected]_Collins I hope you’re not.¬† I am sure you do honest business and frankly I like the plugin.¬† However, if you read YouTube’s service agreements, this plugin does not comply with what’s written in section 4. Maybe there are exceptions to the rule…but as it’s written, frankly, I think it’s pretty clear.¬†
      Like I told Cliff – If I see documentation from Google’s legal department that this plugin and it’s functionality are authorized please contact me.¬† I’d be happy do promote it because it does offer a unique and valuable service.¬†¬†
      I’ll keep my fingers crossed that you’ll have good news.¬†
      Keep me posted. 

    • [email protected] Of [email protected]_Collins¬†I’ll certainly keep you posted. ¬† I’ll see what the developers say and then take it from there. ¬†– Thanks

    • Clay_Collins

      [email protected] Of Podcasting¬†Hello. We are in compliance with YouTube terms of service. Please watch this video:¬†http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0RCRRsE0L0g

    • Clay_Collins

      [email protected] [email protected] Of Podcasting¬†Hi Cliff. Here is my response. We do nothing but¬†obsess about our compliance with Google’s terms of service. And LeadPlayer is compliant. ¬†Please see here:¬†http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0RCRRsE0L0g¬†

    • Clay_Collins

      [email protected] [email protected] Of Podcasting¬†Absolutely. Again, here is our response:¬†http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0RCRRsE0L0g

    • Clay_Collins

      [email protected] Of Podcasting¬†Here is a 10 minute video addressing the issue. Please contact me if you have ANY questions:¬†http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0RCRRsE0L0g ; we use the plugin directly on ALL our video sites and have had no problems whatsoever. ¬†We’re going to make a lengthy post about this tomorrow.

    • Clay_Collins

      [email protected]_Collins Update: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0RCRRsE0L0g

    • [email protected][email protected] Of Podcasting¬†I just finished watching the video. ¬†I know that Clay sounded a little winded and slightly on the defensive side. ¬†However, I know, for a fact, that he was rushing to get a response to me before I went an had to do a ton of work to make radical changes to my existing podcast episode ¬†and show notes.
      I know that some may not be fully satisfied with the video response here. ¬†However, I’m confident enough in the response that I don’t feel the need to change my recommendation in this episode.
      My main concerns were…….
      B) You agree not to alter or modify any part of the Service.
      It’s not modifying anything beyond the tools that YouTube offers through it’s API.
      C) You agree not to access Content through any technology or means other than the video playback pages of the Service itself, the Embeddable Player, or other explicitly authorized means YouTube may designate.
      It’s clear that YouTube has encouraged developers to create YouTube players and has¬†authorized¬†them to use the calls to the API.
      F) If you use the Embeddable Player on your website, you may not modify, build upon, or block any portion or functionality of the Embeddable Player, including but not limited to links back to the YouTube website.
      I am totally fine with the explanation of the fact that Lead Player isn’t “BLOCKING” any link back to YouTube as it is never CALLING FOR a link in the place. ¬†
      I’ve actually made use of Modest Branding many times on this site, where the embedded YouTube does not provide a link back to YouTube. ¬†In fact, BOTH of the videos that are “currently” embedded in my sidebar are OFFICIAL YouTube embed codes with OFFICIAL YouTube embed parameters and there are no links to YouTube at all in the video.
      Clay, I want to thank you for such a quick an thorough response. ¬†Honestly, when I sent you the email, I thought for sure that this may have been an issue that would cause me to recall my recommendation. ¬†However, after allowing you to share your response, I’m okay with my recommendation as it stands.
      [email protected] Of Podcasting¬†, If you contact legal department and find anything different, let let me know.
      In the future, when I do recommend this, I will encourage people to read this commmen thread. ¬† I’ll update the post above to mention this conversation as well.
      Thank you both so much!  I hope you have an amazing week!
      Sincerely, Cliff

    • [email protected][email protected] Ravenscraft I’ll let Cliff sort this one out.¬† All I know is when I embed a Youtube video it links back to Youtube.¬† This is how the site works by default.¬† This plugin prevents links from functioning.¬† According to Youtube this is clearly a violation.¬†
      Are there unwritten exceptions to the rule?¬† Maybe so.¬† Does Youtube say one thing and mean another?¬† Possibly.¬† It wouldn’t be the first time.

    • [email protected] Of [email protected]_Collins¬†Here is a link to an official YouTube Site:¬†https://developers.google.com/youtube/player_parameters
      On the page, it states:¬†modestbranding¬†(supported players: AS3, HTML5)This parameter lets you use a YouTube player that does not show a YouTube logo. Set the parameter value to¬†1¬†to prevent the YouTube logo from displaying in the control bar. Note that a small¬†YouTube¬†text label will still display in the upper-right corner of a paused video when the user’s mouse pointer hovers over the player.
      When this parameter is used, there is no link back to YouTube at all. ¬†Nothing to be blocked. ¬†So if you are not “calling” the link you are not “blocking” the link.
      As I said, didn’t think it would be enough to convince you. ¬† I”m sure that it may not convince others. ¬†However, I’ve updated the post above to share that this conversation has taken place.
      Personally, I’m cool with my original recommendation. ¬†At this point, I feel oaky with the¬†compliance.

    • PatFlynn

      [email protected] Ravenscraft¬†I’m still confident in my recommendation as well, probably even more so now since Clay was so quick to respond to this and several other questions I had about the product. I’m using LP as we speak and it IS converting, and I know Clay has done his homework.¬†

    • Clay_Collins

      [email protected] Of [email protected] Ravenscraft¬†Hi Art of Podcasting . . .¬†
      You said this:
      “All I know is when I embed a Youtube video it links back to Youtube.¬† This is how the site works by default.¬† This plugin prevents links from functioning.¬† According to Youtube this is clearly a violation.”
      I’d like to shed some light on this. We are 100% compliant.
      You are right that *by default,* the link to YouTube appears.  However, on the YouTube API blog, YouTube points out that they allow a logoless version of the player:
      Please see here –>
      So YouTube 100% legally and 100% ethically allows you to modify how the YouTube player behaves.  They even posted about this on their own blog:
      So, if I my provide a correction . . .
      LeadPlayer DOES NOT prevent links back to YouTube from displaying.
      But . . . LeadPlayer DOES use a configuration of the YouTube player (that’s provided¬†100% legally by YouTube itself in their API) to configure the player to not display some links.
      We’re using a configuration of the YouTube player that Google has (1) published about, and (2) encouraged others to use.
      Thanks again,

    • Clay_Collins

      [email protected] Ravenscraft¬† Thanks so much, Cliff. I really appreciate this response.

    • Clay_Collins

      [email protected]@Cliff Ravenscraft¬†Pat, thanks your vote of confidence. ¬†Everone at LeadPlayer really appreciates how you’ve given us the opportunity to respond. ¬†We’re actually going to address this issue with even more depth tomorrow via a blog post on the LeadPlayer blog. ¬†We’re¬†obsessive¬†about getting our users results AND keeping them 100% safe and compliant with YouTube.

    • [email protected] [email protected]_Collins I think that a reasonable explanation.¬† Thanks for posting.¬† I’d say it’s good to go.¬†

    • [email protected][email protected] Of Podcasting¬†I’ve responded to this below. ¬†I’m 100% confident in your response. ¬†Thank you!

    • [email protected][email protected] we’re on the same page Pat. ¬†I’ve been thinking about this through the day. I’m actually so satisfied with the response, that I’ve removed the update from the post that even brought this up. ūüėČ

    • [email protected], ¬†Here’s the deal, if you buy backup buddy, the plugin is yours and you have access to any updates to the puling for 12 months. ¬†
      After 12 months, the plugin should continue to operate and function well. ¬† If WordPress does have an update that breaks anything, then you’d have to pay for another year of service to get those an updated versoin.
      As for the backup of your file. ¬†If you want, you can simply have backup buddy just store the backup as a zip file on your web host. ¬†You can then manually download that backup when it’s done.
      Or… You can configure your backup to backup into your DropBox account.
      Or… If you have Amazon S3, you can backup into that. ¬†I’m using the Amazon S3 backup.

    • [email protected]’m running the latest version on my gspn.tv site. ¬†However, there are some major issues that they are working on as it relates to comments on one of my pages here on the site.
      I’ve rolled back to this version based upon the recommendation of LiveFyre support. ¬†
      Once they get the coding in to fix my issue, they are going to notify me so that I can get back into the newer version again.

    • [email protected] Ravenscraft¬†I’m commenting on a totally different topic. ¬†That’s the Livefyre and Disqus commenting systems. ¬†I personally prefer them, but since I’m still building my brand with a smaller audience, I’ve gotten feedback that having to sign up for an account with either Livefyre or Disqus shuts out many who would prefer just to use the WordPress commenting system. ¬†So I’m using the Askimet system with another plugin, conditional Captcha [it only goes on if it suspects spam, then the user needs to enter a Captcha]. ¬†This has eliminated almost all my spam [I was getting up to 400-500 comments per day]. ¬†I know @patlynn¬†is looking at alternatives for comments as well: it’s an interesting topic.

    • [email protected] for the feedback Steve. ¬†Yes, I know that Pat was experiencing issues with false positives on spam on his site recently. ¬†I think he found a workaround for now though. ¬†Sounds similar to what you are doing.

    • DanielJLewis

      [email protected] The main benefit that Disqus, Livefyre, and IntenseDebate offer is social logins and better guest commenting (if the website owner allows these). This means that commenters can do any of the following to comment:
      ‚ÄĘ login with Facebook
      ‚ÄĘ login with Twitter
      ‚ÄĘ login with Google
      ‚ÄĘ login with the commenting system
      ‚ÄĘ post as a guest
      Without the plugin, commenters would have to always enter their information to comment. But with Disqus, IntenseDebate, or Livefyre, commenters are often already authenticated, so it completely removes some of the barrier and inconvenience to leave a comment.

    • [email protected] for updating me on the positives of the login systems you mentioned. ¬†For my blogs, my CommentLuv plugin retains previous commenters’ ¬†information, so that’s not a problem. ¬†But I have to say I like how neat and professional both LiveFyre and Disqus look when I visit other people’s blogs.

    • [email protected]@DanielJLewis¬†Just an FYI, I don’t think that CommentLuv works with LiveFyre. At least it didn’t when I tried it out a few months back.

    • bj_lee_

      Hi Cliff,
      You mentioned in the interview a few online backup services for your computer. What were they again?

    • [email protected]_lee_¬†For my computer, I use my Time Machine backup to an external drive. ¬†I store 80% of all my content inside of DropBox http://gspn.tv/dropbox which backs all that content up, and I also use http://gspn.tv/backblaze to store a full online backup of my computer. ūüėČ

    • [email protected]@SteveBorgman¬†Livefyre also offers guest commenting, so a reader that doesn’t want to create a Livefyre account or use one of their social services to sign-in with can comment with just their name, email, and an optional URL. This feature has to be activated by the site admin, but it’s a great solution for communities that are hesitant to create new accounts.

    • W3 Total Cache plugin use more of your resource it is recommended only for dedicated servers. Hyper cache is good alternative.

    • @Free Man Thanks for your feedback and additional resource. W3 is working great for me, but glad to know there are alternatives that are working for others.

    • Jodey Smith

      Great episode.  I was going to install Google Analyticator today, but it seems to have disappeared from the Plugin Directory.  I did some searching and found it here:  http://wordpress.org/support/plugin/google-analyticator

    • @Jodey Smith¬†Hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

    • Jodey Smith

      @Cliff Ravenscraft Now it is showing up in the Plugin Directory.¬† They must have just added it back minutes ago.¬† I checked at least a dozen times to make sure I wouldn’t be posting a “stupid” comment.¬† Then, what do you know, it starts showing up in the Plugin Directory right after I post.¬† ūüôā

    • @Jodey Smith¬†No worries. It’s a great plugin. I love getting a quick glance at my stats each time I sign in. ūüėČ

    • Awesome list!!! I will purchase your cyber Monday deal.

    • Timoney¬†Thank you!

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