For Beginners: Implementing The Perfect Blog

Executable PHP Widget is a handy plugin that allows you to place a text widget containing PHP code in your sidebar. Since I planned on implementing some pretty comprehensive social networking integration, the RSS links in the standard Meta widget were redundant. This widget let me implement my own Meta item in the sidebar.

HTML In Author Bio is a plugin that does exactly what its name suggests.

Now Reading Reloaded lets you manage a book library inside your blog. Since one of my goals is to write reviews for the many books I read, this plugin made it easy to retrieve author and cover info from Amazon. Not only does the Suffusion theme have built-in support for customizing Now Reading, the plugin has support for the Amazon Associates program. Who knows? Maybe I’ll make a dollar or two off my blog.

As its name suggests, Share And Follow is one of the many plugins that lets you enable sharing and following for your posts and pages. What distinguishes Share And Follow from many of the other plugins is that the follow bar remains visible at a fixed location as my readers scroll through my longer posts such as the one you’re reading now.

Smart Sharing is similar to Share And Follow. Smart Sharing has support for Google+ whereas Share And Follow does not. While Share And Follow fixes the follow bar, Smart Sharing fixes the share bar, allowing readers to share the current post without having to scroll to the bottom of the page.

Twitter Tools is WordPress/Twitter integration on steroids. I used it to implement a Twitter feed in my sidebar, automatically push my posts and pages to my Twitter stream and import my tweets into my blog. I wasn’t satisfied with the way the imports looked, so I did a simple tweak tweaks to make it work nicely with Blackbird Pie.

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