5 Excellent ShortCode Plugins To Improve Your WordPress Website

It doesn’t matter how new you are to WordPress, there is a good chance that you have run across shortcodes, even if you didn’t know what they were. Essentially, shortcodes are exactly what they sound like – a short code. Normally, they are used to help you insert something into your content, theme, or widgets. While these shortcodes can be used pretty much anywhere on your site, it can sometimes take a little work to everything set up correctly. Fortunately, there are a handful of very effective plugins that make this simple.

1. WP Utility Short Codes
This plugin was designed primarily to let you insert utility boxes and buttons. It includes 6 custom icons to help your content stand out. This plugin offers a wide variety of options and provides you with more than 1,000 possible display configurations.

2. Shortcode Exec PHP
This plugin was created so that you can use shortcodes to execute PHP coding. It uses EditArea and the jQuery JavaScript Library. It allows you to insert shortcodes in your widgets, excerpts, comments, and RSS feeds. It is a great way to keep all of your PHP code in one place and also allows you to test PHP code before actually using it.

3. ShortCoder
This plugin is great for people who like to create and manage their own custom shortcodes. You can use the AW Quick Tag Toolbar to edit your code through the admin area. Along with adding your own shortcodes, there are also a number of them built into the plugin such as: embed RSS reader, display related posts, PayPal donation link, Obfuscate Email, and several others. The best part is once you create your own custom shortcodes, they can still be easily changed, managed, and renamed from within the admin area.

4. Shortcodes Ultimate
If you are looking for a plugin that has a large number of inbuilt shortcodes, then this is the one for you. It includes more shortcodes than any other plugin that is still regularly updated. It is very simple to install and is the perfect solution for people who don’t want to create any shortcodes of their own.

5. Hide Broken Shortcodes
If you do create your own shortcodes or manually insert shortcodes in all of your posts, then this plugin is an excellent failsafe. It does only one thing, but it does it well. This plugin prevents your visitors from seeing any broken shortcodes in your pages or posts.

Shortcodes are an extremely powerful feature of WordPress that is considered to be underutilized by most webmasters. It doesn’t matter if you are just learning about shortcodes or consistently create custom shortcodes of your own, there is a plugin in this list that will provide you with exactly what you need.

2 Elite Social Networking WordPress Plugins That Are Free

When most people talk about WordPress plugins and social media, they tend to focus almost entirely on getting people to bookmark their content. But what if you want them to follow your social media profile? If you are only interested in Facebook and Twitter, then you are in luck, because there are a lot to choose from. But what if you want to include broader range of options for your visitors? Here is a quick look at two of the most elite social networking WordPress plugins that are readily available for free.

1. Follow Me Social Media WordPress Plugin
This plugin is now in it’s 3rd version and is more powerful than ever, plus it looks fantastic. The setup process is extraordinarily simple. All you need to do is activate the plugin, insert the URL of your profile pages, and that’s it. From there, all you need to do is add a widget to your sidebar and customize the look and feel to fit your needs. It includes all of the most popular social sites as well as some unique additions as well, such as Flickr, SlideShare, Skype, GoodReads, Tagged, and others.

2. SocialGrid
SocialGrid is another excellent option that will help people connect with your social media profiles. It is a very lightweight plugin. It was first created for the Tasty Theme, but has since evolved into a completely independent plugin that anyone can use. One of the unique aspects to this plugin is that setting up your profile links is simple. All you have to do is add your profile name and let the plugin do the rest. It currently supports nearly 30 social sites including your standard options like Digg, Twitter, StumbleUpon, and YouTube. It also has some lesser seen options such as Posterous, Qik, FriendFeed, BrightKite, and deviantART.

Bonus:

If you want to a little more personal flare, then check out the About ME 3000 Widget. It is a mix between a e-business card and a social profile plugin. You can add your email, short description, and even your own gravatar. Plus, you can link it to a variety of social profiles such as Facebook, FriendFeed, Twitter, Delicious, YouTube, Tumblr, and several others.

Getting people to bookmark your content is great, but getting them to connect with you outside your website can be even more beneficial. Not only does it give you a way to contact them whenever you add new content to your blog, but you can also interact with them in a much more personal setting. The two most advanced free plugins are the Follow Me Social Media WordPress Plugin and SocialGrid, however if you want to add a little more personal information then About ME 3000 is another option that is worth a look.

Choosing the Best Plugin to Make Your Website Mobile

Make Your Website Mobile

Mobile internet access has risen exponentially over the last few years and there is sign that it will be letting up. It is no surprise that there now a ton of WordPress plugins that you can choose from to make your WordPress website more mobile friendly. Unfortunately, some of them simply don’t measure up. Here is a quick look at some of the best plugins (free and commercial) that can quickly offer you a solution.

1. WordPress Mobile Pack
This plugin is definitely the most comprehensive of the free plugins available for WordPress websites. It really is a complete toolkit, rather than just a simple plugin. For some people, it might be a little excessive, although you will definitely have a chance to modify pretty much everything. It starts with the mobile switcher, which is what will determine which visitors are using mobile phones and ensure that they see your mobile site rather than your normal one. The next piece is the mobile theme. It includes both the basic mobile theme as well as an extension pack. The basic theme supports all of the standard content on your website and the extended theme offers more dynamic options. It also includes a mobile ad widget and bar code widget as well.

2. Mobile Smart
Mobile Smart is a very simple yet effective way to make sure that your theme is switched whenever your website is viewed from a phone. It includes a very basic mobile theme, but it will require some hands-on modifications to make it unique to your website.

3. WPTouch
WPTouch is another very strong mobile plugin that has both a free and pro version. The free version can handle the task, but the options are fairly limited and no template is included. The pro version includes a wide variety of additional features including: support, skeleton template, a whole lot of admin features (custom icon sets, drag and drop menu, and multiple themes), and much more. If you get the developer pro version, even more is included.

4. Mobify
Mobify is another plugin that has a free, pro, and publisher version. In general, the free plugin can do pretty much everything that you need and is supported by more than 5000 devices. The main reason that most people upgrade is because they want to add custom JavaScript, additional tools, or white label branding. The publisher version is only needed by the largest publishing groups such as Glam Media.

With any of these WordPress plugins, getting a mobile version of your website setup is fairly simple. The more unique and customized you want your website to be, the more powerful your plugin will need to be. If you only want a free option, then the WordPress Mobile Pack offers the greatest versatility, however both the commercial plugins are exceptionally powerful.

Selling Ad Space On Your Blog the Right Way

Once you have decided to sell ad space on your blog, there is one main factor that you need to consider. Will you sell your ads directly or through an ad network. There are arguments both ways as to which method is the best, however in most cases, combining the two will actually be your best bet. If you are selling both types of ads on your site, then it is easiest to refer to them as premium ads (sold directly) and remnant ads (sold through an ad network). If you are pricing your ads even close to their actual value, then premium ads will generate much more income per ad than remnant ads. Here is a closer look at what these two types of ads are and how to best leverage them for maximum income potential.

Premium Ads

You should also sell premium ads first and fill in the blanks with remnant ads. Aside from getting a higher price per ad, the biggest benefit of selling ads directly is control. This can affect your ad sales in a lot of different ways. First, you have more control over which ads will show up on your website. This is incredibly important, especially if your audience is sensitive to the ads that you display. Additionally, you can always make sure that every potential deal is made. If you only work through an ad network then anytime someone contacts you about buying banner space, you have to direct them to your ad agency (which will take up to 40% of what you could have earned on your own).

You also get more control over when you are paid. When working with an ad agency, it can take several months before you receive payment depending on their procedures. Additionally, because you don’t with buyers on an individual basis, you lose the ability to create connections. Building relationships can be one of the biggest benefits that selling ads directly can create. Not only can you build a list of repeat buyers, but you can also get referrals to boost your ad sales even higher.

Remnant Ads

With all of the benefits that you gain selling premium ads, why would you even consider using remnant ads? In the end, it is all about inventory control. Let’s say you have 10 ad spaces to sell, but you only have 5 people buying ad space directly. You can either let the rest of the space go to waste, or you can use an ad network to fill in the blanks. In short, they help you make the best of an imperfect situation. Plus, it’s takes almost no time to set up your site to receive these ads, so the profit potential compared the time that it takes is fairly good.

There are very few, if any, reasons not to sell ad space on your WordPress blog. With that in mind, it is important that you approach ad sales in the right way. To maximize your potential income, especially over the long term, it is imperative that you sell ads directly first, and fill in the blanks with an ad agency later.