Sharing Content in WordPress Top Plugins

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WordPress Top Plugins

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Find and install the best plugins for generating and sharing content, building communities and generating revenue

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by Brandon Corbin | September 2010 | Open Source WordPress

In this article, by Brandon Corbin, author of WordPress Top Plugins, we'll cover:

  • TweetMeme
  • Wordbook
  • WP Download Manager
  • Twiogle Twitter Commenter
  • ShareThis
  • Wibiya Bar - Beta
  • WP Facebook Connect
  • Twitter Friendly Links

(For more resources on WordPress see here.)

TweetMeme

By Alex King (http://alexking.org/)

  • Why it's awesome: Allows Twitter users to quickly share your blog post, and it tracks how often they do it
  • Why it was picked: Super simple to install; no Twitter account is needed
  • Manual Install URL: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/tweetmeme/
  • Automatic Install search term: TweetMeme
  • Geek level: Webmaster
  • Configuration location: Top Navigation | TweetMeme
  • Used in: Posts, pages

The TweetMeme button is the fastest way to allow your readers to quickly share your blog posts to Twitter with a single click. In addition to offering this awesome sharing tool, you can also sign up for TweetMeme's analytic services to track the effectiveness of each of your posts.

Setting up TweetMeme

You can access TweetMeme's settings from the Top Level Navigation and then TweetMeme Settings|. The following is a list of the most important settings to focus on and what they do.

  • Display: Choose this if you want to display the TweetMeme button on pages, on the home page, and within your feed
  • Position: TweetMeme allows you to display the TweetMeme button in various positions around your blog posts—before, after, both before and after, shortcode, or manually
  • Type: TweetMeme offers two types of buttons—normal and compact. By default, the normal button is displayed
  • Source: Supply your Twitter username here, if you have one
  • URL Shortener: Often, WordPress blog post URLs are rather lengthy and can eat up to many of the 140 characters Twitter allows. It recommends using Bit.ly for your URL shortening—Bit.ly has proven to be a resilient company that won't be disappearing any time soon.
  • TweetMeme API App ID & TweetMeme API App Key: TweetMeme offers detailed analytics when people re-tweet your blog posts. This service is not free, but they do offer a free trial to get your hands dirty. To leverage TweetMeme analytics, you will need to create an account at http://my.tweetmeme.com, after which you will be able to find your API App ID and API App key from http://my.tweetmeme.com/profile

Wordbook

By Robert Tsai (http://www.tsaiberspace.net/)

  • Why it's awesome: You can share your posts to a user's Facebook wall
  • Why it was picked: Ease of setup, integration level with Facebook
  • Manual Install URL: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/wordbook/
  • Automatic Install search term: Wordbook
  • Geek level: Webmaster
  • Configuration location: Settings|Wordbook
  • Used in: Posts

Robert Tsai's Wordbook is an awesome way to get your blog posts listed on your Facebook profile or your Facebook pages. WordPress will post to Facebook a snippet of your post and a thumbnail of any images that might be in your post.

Once installed, you will see a red bar across your WordPress administrator section stating Wordbook needs to be setup—click the Wordbook link to start the configuration. In order to publish your posts to Facebook, you will need to connect your blog to Facebook—to start this process, click the blue Facebook button. Once you start the process, you will be redirected to Facebook to authorize WordPress to communicate with your Facebook account. Now, each time you create a blog post, WordPress will create a new shared item in your Facebook newsfeed.

WP Download Manager

By Lester Chan (http://lesterchan.net/)

  • Why it's awesome: Quickly add downloadable files and media to your blog
  • Why it was picked: Lester's plugins are legendary, they offer download tracking

  • Manual Install URL: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/nextgen-gallery/
  • Automatic Install search term: WP Download Manager
  • Geek level: Webmaster
  • Configuration location: Top Navigation | Downloads
  • Used in: Posts, pages

It offers your readers the ability to download content. It is one sure fire way of increasing your blog traffic and the happiness of your readers. WP Download Manager makes managing and tracking downloaded files from your blog a snap.

Adding a new download

Start off by clicking Add File from the Downloads menu and follow these steps:

  1. File: Select how you want to add a file:
    1. Browse File will show you a drop-down menu containing any files in the wp-content/files directory on your web server.
    2. Upload File allows you to select any file from your computer to upload. The majority of the time, this is the method you will be using.
    3. Remote File allows you to grab a file from any web server using a URL.
  2. File Name: Give your download a human-readable name.
  3. File Description: Supply a little information that will help your readers know what the file is about.
  4. File Category: Select the category for this file. You can create new categories from the Download | Download Options menu.
  5. File Size: Unless you are using the Remote File method, leave this field blank. WP Download Manager offers automatic detection of file size, but sometimes it will not work properly on Remote Files.
  6. File Date: If you need to back-date your file, you can use this field to do so. However, the majority of the time you will leave this field alone.
  7. Starting File Hits: If you want to make your download look more popular, you can pad the number of downloads.
  8. Allowed to Download: If you want to limit downloads only to readers who are subscribed and logged in, use this drop-down menu to control who can download. Your options are Everyone, Registered Users Only, Contributors, Authors, Editors, or Administrators.
  9. Click Add File.

Inserting a download into a post

Now that we have a new file uploaded to the Download Manager, we need to make it accessible to our readers. The WP Download plugin will add a new button to your WYSIWYG menu on posts and pages.

One downside to WP Download is that you have to know the ID of the file you want to include in your post or page. Once you click the Download button, provide the download id in the pop-up window. You can find the ID of your file by clicking Download | Manage Downloads; the first column will contain the ID of the download.

Twiogle Twitter Commenter

By Twiogle (http://twiogle.com/)

  • Why it's awesome: Quickly fills your blog's comments with somewhat relevant content
  • Why it was picked: Easy to set up, works exactly as advertised
  • Manual Install URL: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/twiogle-search/
  • Automatic Install search term: Twiogle Commenter
  • Geek level: Newbie
  • Configuration location: Settings | Twiogle Twitter Commenter
  • Used in: Posts, pages, widgets

Twiogle Twitter Commenter has a horrible name, but an awesome result. If your blog is lacking in comments and chatter, this plugin will automatically add new ones from recent tweets. It works its magic by taking the tags from your blog post and searches Twitter for tweets that use the same tags. To really take advantage of this plugin, you need to make sure you add tags to your blog posts; the more specific your tags are, the more relevant the comments that will be imported.

With any service that automatically adds content to your blog, you need to keep an eye on it. It is very much possible for your comments to get overrun with pointless Twitter chatter if you run this plugin for too long.

WordPress Top Plugins Find and install the best plugins for generating and sharing content, building communities and generating revenue
Published: September 2010
eBook Price: $23.99
Book Price: $39.99
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(For more resources on WordPress see here.)

ShareThis

By Sharethis (http://sharethis.com)

  • Why it's awesome: Gives visitors the ability to share your blog posts using virtually every type of service they might already use
  • Why it was picked: Dead simple to install, longevity of the product

  • Manual Install URL: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/share-this
  • Automatic Install search term: Sharethis
  • Geek level: Newbie
  • Configuration location: Settings | ShareThis
  • Used in: Posts, pages

ShareThis is one of the most popular sharing widgets available online today. While this service is not specifically built for WordPress, it does offer a plugin for easily adding this sharing service to your blog.

Setting up ShareThis

To get ShareThis working properly on your blog, you will first need to register a free account with ShareThis at http://sharethis.com/publishers/register

Once you have created an account, copy the code from the Your Code textbox.

Once you have copied the ShareThis code, you will need to paste it into the ShareThis code within the ShareThis plugin.

Wibiya Bar - Beta

By Wibiya (http://wibiya.com/)

  • Why it's awesome: Add tons of functionality to your blog using a toolbar at the bottom of the users screen
  • Why it was picked: Easy to setup, lots of plugins and customizations available
  • Manual Install URL: http://wibiya.com
  • Automatic Install search term: Not Available
  • Geek level: Webmaster
  • Configuration location: Appearance | Wibiya Configuration
  • Used in: Site-wide

Wibiya is a free service that allows you to include a toolbar at the bottom of your website or blog. Even though Wibiya is still in the beta stage, this killer toolbar can be customized to include a slew of applications that can make your blog truly unique. By default, the Wibiya bar includes a site-search that is powered by Google, a site-wide chat room powered by TinyChat.com, live webstats, a sharing button for pushing to all of your social media sites, and much more.

Unlike the other plugins discussed in this book, Wibiya is not specific to WordPress. In fact, Wibiya can be included in any website. However, the team at Wibiya did make a tiny WordPress plugin that makes getting the bar on your WordPress blog very easy.

Installing the Wibiya bar

  1. Visit http://wibiya.com, and click Get it Now.
  2. Create an account.
  3. Pick the color for your bar.
  4. Pick the apps for your bar.

    Note that some of the apps require usernames; if you do not want to promote your Facebook or Twitter profiles, you will need to deselect these applications by simply clicking on the apps icon:

    1. Supply your social media usernames.
    2. Select the WordPress icon (the big W in a circle).
    3. Download, install, and activate the plugin.

Caution
Try to control the urge to install every application they offer. The more apps you add, the slower your website will load. Each of these applications are JavaScript-based and can quickly add significantly more code than what needs to be loaded by each visitor.

WP Facebook Connect

By Adam Hupp (http://hupp.org/adam/)

  • Why it's awesome: Makes integrating your blog with WordPress super easy
  • Why it was picked: Depth of integration, no coding required

  • Manual Install URL: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/wp-facebookconnect
  • Automatic Install search term: WP FacebookConnect
  • Geek level: WP-Ninja
  • Configuration location: Settings | Facebook Connect
  • Used in: Posts, pages, widgets, comments

WP Facebook does require a little coding within your blog's theme. However, the coding is minimal and will help expose you to very basic PHP, if you are not already familiar with it.

Create an app ID for your blog

Facebook Connect requires you to set up a Facebook application to communicate between Facebook and your blog.

  1. Visit http://www.facebook.com/developers/createapp.php
  2. For the sake of organization, give your application the name of your blog or something similar.
  3. Facebook will automatically generate an API Key and Secret—each of these keys will be required to complete the setup of the WP-FacebookConnect plugin.
  4. In the Settings | Facebook Connect, provide your API Key and Secret.
  5. Click Update Options.

Once you have set up your plugin, your website will automatically include a Facebook badge in the upper-right-hand corner of your website. If a user is logged into Facebook, they will see their name and their avatar.

Adding the connect button to your comments

In most cases, a user will want to connect their Facebook account to leave a comment on your website. To have a 'connect to Facebook' button on your comments page, you will need to edit your themes in the comments.php file.

Locate the comments.php in Appearance | Themes | Editor. Select the comments.php and insert the following code to add the Facebook Connect button at the end of the file:

<?php do_action('fbc_display_login_button'); ?>

Twitter Friendly Links

By Konstantin Kovshenin (http://kovshenin.com/)

  • Why it's awesome: Creates very short URLs for you blog
  • Why it was picked: Easy to install, nice widget
  • Manual Install URL: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/twitter-friendly-links/
  • Automatic Install search term: Twitter Friendly Links
  • Geek level: Webmaster
  • Configuration location: Settings | Twitter Friendly Links
  • Used in: Posts, pages

Thanks to Twitter's 140 character limit, an entirely new marketplace bubbled up—insanely short URLs. Companies like Bit.ly, TinyUrl.com, and is.gd offer to shrink your huge URLs in return for super tiny ones.

One problem with these types of URL shrinkers is that you ultimately lose control of your URLs. If any of those services went out of business, so would all of those links you plastered over Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

Twitter Friendly Links helps you regain that control over your links in a very simple and brilliant way—by transforming your long URL like http://domain.com/2010/10/my-blog-post-title to http://domain.com/a1234

Summary

In the above article we have covered:

  • TweetMeme
  • Wordbook
  • WP Download Manager
  • Twiogle Twitter Commenter
  • ShareThis
  • Wibiya Bar - Beta
  • WP Facebook Connect
  • Twitter Friendly Links

Further resources on this subject:


WordPress Top Plugins Find and install the best plugins for generating and sharing content, building communities and generating revenue
Published: September 2010
eBook Price: $23.99
Book Price: $39.99
See more
Select your format and quantity:

About the Author :


Brandon Corbin

Brandon Corbin has been building online products for more than a decade. He has applied his passions to several industries, including radio, real estate, pharmaceuticals, recruiting and eCommerce – with an obsessive attention to creating a smooth user experience.
An accomplished web entrepreneur with a background in advertising, Brandon Corbin has used his knowledge of design and marketing to create websites for many of the Fortune 500. Currently Brandon offers coaching and support in the way of online branding, blogging, product development and usability

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