This is the start of a blog post I never finished before I joined Bournemouth University in January. Publishing it here as it was anyway, since whatever is there might still be of use. Comments on each plugin are from official descriptions. If you want details about how specific plugins were implemented, please get in touch.
For the past year I have been involved in developing a student news website called Tside, written by journalism and media students at Teesside University.
The site is powered by WordPress, hosted internally on university servers, and uses a custom theme designed by the Centre for Design in the Digital Economy, d|lab. Most of the advanced functionality that allows us to utilise a blogging platform as a fully fledged news content management system comes from a wide range of plugins. Taking a cue from Paul Bradshaw’s blog post about which WordPress plugins he has trialled for blogging journalists over at the Online Journalism Blog, I thought it would be useful to detail some of the plugins we’ve evaluated as part of this process, for the benefit of anyone considering using WordPress to power their news websites.
Active Directory Authentication
“Allows WordPress to authenticate users through Active Directory”
“Contextual spelling, style, and grammar check for WordPress. Write better and spend less time editing.”
“Akismet checks your comments against the Akismet web service to see if they look like spam or not.”
“Apture makes it easy to add contextual images, videos, reference guides, links, maps, music, news, documents and books to your blog to create a connected media experience that keeps readers engaged on your site.”
“The Category Order plugin allows you to easily reorder your categories the way you want via drag and drop.”
“Allows multiple authors to be assigned to a post. Co-authored posts appear on a co-author’s posts page and feed. New template tags allow listing of co-authors. Editors may assign co-authors to a post via the ‘Post Author’ box.”
“Allows you to brand your wordpress install for clients. Display custom images for the login screen, admin header and footer”
“Allows the site editors to send an e-mail to the blog users”
“Enhance the “Submit for Review” feature for Contributor users. This plugin enables automatic e-mails to the relevant users when posts are pending, when they are approved, and when their statuses are changed from “pending” back to “draft”.”
“Add notes on the “edit post” and “edit page” screens’ sidebars, as well as general notes on the dashboard, in WordPress 2.7 and up. When used with Peter’s Collaboration E-mails 1.2 and up, the notes are sent along with the e-mails in the collaboration workflow.”
“Podcasting enhances WordPress’ existing podcast support by adding multiple iTunes-compatible feeds, media players, and an easy to use interface.”
“A plugin that allows you to create post templates in order to save time writing posts having the same structure.”
“Allows visitors to notify the administrator about inappropriate comments.”
“Role Management for WordPress”
“Adds search functionality without modifying any template pages: Activate, Configure and Search. Options Include: search highlight, search pages, excerpts, attachments, drafts, comments, tags and custom fields (metadata). Also offers the ability to exclude specific pages and posts. Does not search password-protected content.”
“Automatically add links on your posts, pages and RSS feed to your favorite social bookmarking sites.”
“A widget that displays an archive for the current selected category. On non-category pages a standard archive is displayed.”
“Place widgets into tabbed and accordion type interface blocks.”
“Enables advanced features and plugins in TinyMCE.”
“Allows users to associate photos with their accounts by accessing their “Your Profile” page.”
“Generate a related posts list via tags of WordPress”
“Allows users to dynamically change the font size.”
“Post Control hides unwanted items on the write page and write post pages, and other post related controls.”
“Adds an AJAX poll system to your WordPress blog.”
“Add Report Post to End of Contents. useful when you want user to Report Broken Links on your Posts!”
“Contextual suggestions of links, pictures, related content and SEO tags that makes your blogging fun and efficient.”
Note: I have listed both active and inactive plugins that I felt might be of interest. I am no longer an active part of the project, so can not vouch for the site in its current form.
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