15 Useful Tools for WordPress Bloggers

Dec 28 2008 by Jacob Gube | 69 Comments

If you use WordPress as your publishing platform, you’ll find a ton of useful tools you can grab off the web that’ll help you improve your productivity and make sure your WordPress site is running smoothly.

In this collection, you’ll find a few convenient applications, plugins, and browser extensions that will help you accomplish a variety of blogging tasks that range from easier screen captures to making sure your WordPress site is secure.

1. ScribeFire turns Firefox into a fully-featured blog editor.

ScribeFire screenshot.

ScribeFire is a Firefox plugin that gives you an array of useful features and options for writing posts. You can drag and drop content from a variety of sources (which the WordPress Visual Editor currently doesn’t fully support), manage and leave notes on your posts, upload files via the built-in FTP, create timestamps, and manage uploaded images. ScribeFire is the tool of choice for bloggers that need moar cowbell than what the WordPress built-in editor affords them.

2. WordPress Helper gives you useful tips and features in Firefox.

WordPress Helper - screen shot.

Whether you’re new to WordPress or an experienced veteran blogger, you’ll find WordPress Helper to be a much-welcomed addition to your blogging arsenal. WordPress Helper notifies you of new WordPress versions, gives you the ability to set custom keyboard shortcuts, and places useful help files, accessible by right-clicking on the page on a PC, at your finger tips.

3. Screen grab to WordPress! makes taking screenshots a breeze.

Screen grab to WordPress! - screen shot.

If you include a lot of screenshots in your posts, you should check out the free Firefox add-on, Screen grab to WordPress!. You can save a web page as an image, and then use the tool to automatically upload it to your WordPress site with a click of a button.

4. WordPress Scanner makes securing your blog a hassle-free affair.

WordPress Scanner  - screen shot.

With WordPress Scanner, you can sleep easier at night knowing that your blog is safe from known and potential security vulnerabilities. WordPress Scanner is available as a web-based application, or as a WordPress plugin.

5. Broken Link Checker ensures you don’t have dead links.

Broken Link Checker - screen shot.

Broken Link Checker is a WordPress plugin that essentially checks your hyperlinks to see if they’re still active. It scans your posts and pages to check for broken links and then notifies you via the WordPress Dashboard if there are any broken links found. You can set specific times for when the link-scanning occurs and it’s recommended you pick a low-traffic time of the day to do so.

6. Google Syntax Highlighter lets you easily insert code in posts.

Google Syntax Highlighter - screen shot.

If you’ve ever tried including code snipplets in your WordPress posts through the WordPress Visual Editor, only to find out how it mangles your prettily-formatted code, you’ll love Google Syntax Highlighter, a WordPress plugin that handles preformatted code in your WordPress posts and pages. Google Syntax Highlighter makes it much easier to display code on your posts and colors ("highlights") the syntax for better readability. If Google Syntax Highlighter isn’t for you, check out WP-Syntax, WP-Chili, or SyntaxHighlighter Plus.

7. Insights boosts your information searches.

Insights - screen shot.

Insights is a WordPress plugin that assists you in finding and gathering information and media for your blog posts. Insights gives you the ability to search existing blog posts for specific information and an intuitive interface for searching external websites and services such as Flickr, Youtube, Wikipedia, and Google Blog search – all from within the WordPress interface.

8. Windows Live Writer allows you to blog offline.

Windows Live Writer - screen shot;.

There are but a handful of notable Microsoft applications – Windows Live Writer is one of them. Windows Live Writer is a free desktop application that’s compatible with WordPress (along with other popular publishing platforms like Blogger and Typepad). You can write posts offline and upload them whenever you’re ready to publish.

If you’re a Mac user, check out ecto or Thingamablog (a cross-platform desktop app for Linux, Mac, and Windows users).

9. Revision Control is perfect for multiple authors.

Revision Control - screen shot.

If your blog posts involve numerous authors and editors, or if you frequently write long, thorough posts that take hours (or even days) to finish, you might find the WordPress plugin – Revision Control – a useful tool. Revision Control easily manages different versions of a post or a page so you can back up and revert to different versions.

10. Organize Series takes care of posts series.

Organize Series - screen shot.

Sometimes it’s useful to write posts in parts that are published at different dates especially if the subject is too big to cover in just one post. Organize Series is a useful WordPress plugin that gives you a ton of options for post series/groups of related posts such as being able to list links to the other parts of the series (in a table of contents-like fashion) and adding a series-specific icon to make it easy to identify the group of posts.

11. WordPress Comment Moderation Notifier speeds up comment moderation.

WordPress Comment Moderation Notifier - screen shot.

A major part of blogging involves managing the readers’ comments and responding to them in a timely fashion. WordPress Comment Moderation Notifier sits on your system’s tray and notifies you whenever a new comment is posted. Depending on how you set it up (it checks new comments at set intervals), you can moderate and respond to comments much quicker – something your readers will appreciate.

12. WordPress Comment Ninja extends comment moderation options.

WordPress Comment Ninja - screen shot.

With the recent release of WordPress 2.7, the WordPress team has significantly improved comment moderation and management. But if the improvements aren’t enough for you, check out WordPress Comment Ninja, a free Greasemonkey script that extends your comment moderation and response options. You can, for example, respond to comment via email, or even email the comment verbatim to someone. You’ll need Firefox and the Greasemonkey add-on to use WordPress Comment Ninja.

13. AdServe manages your ads in WordPress.

AdServe - screen shot.

Bloggers will often advertise banners from site sponsors for profit or to help out in server costs. AdServe is a WordPress plugin that gives you the ability to manage directly-sponsored advertisements from within WordPress without having to use third-party scripts or web services. AddServe is highly-configurable and helps you manage your ads even if it’s impression-based. It also tracks and displays relevant statistics about your ads including page impressions and click-through ratios.

14. Simple Tags makes tagging posts better.

Simple Tags - screen shot.

If you tag your posts regularly, you may want to use Simple Tags, a WordPress plugin that extends post tagging features in WordPress. It helps you organize keywords, gives you hints on relevant keywords based on your post’s content (using free web services such as the Yahoo Term Extractions API), and allows you to batch-edit and batch-replace existing tags.

15. Twitme automatically tweets about new posts.

Twitme - screen shot.

Twitter is fast becoming a staple web application that bloggers use. If you want to automatically notify your Twitter followers about new posts on your WordPress site, check out Twitme, a WordPress plugin that instantly sends a tweet whenever you publish a new post. If Twitme is interesting to you, you should also check out the Twitter for WordPress, Twitter Tools, Twitpress, and SimpleTwitter plugins to see which one works best for you.

Further reading

What about you?

There are plenty of WordPress tools out there. If your favorite tool isn’t on the list, tell us all about it in the comments. If you frequently use one or more of the above tools, share your experiences with us as well!

Related content

69 Comments

pelf

December 29th, 2008

Thanks for sharing this great list of resources with bloggers who aren’t as tech savvy as I am :D

Zach Dunn

December 29th, 2008

The direct screenshots will be incredibly useful. Thanks for the other syntax highlighter links.

Google Syntax doesn’t work with Actionscript or Flex’s MXML currently so I’ve been trying to hunt down a good replacement. Any suggestions if these don’t work out?

Pavan Kumar

December 29th, 2008

Really a good effort of listing very useful tools. Heads up..

insic

December 29th, 2008

excellent list. Thanks, Happy Holidays!

Accidental Sexiness

December 29th, 2008

Great list! I just to self hosted wordpress and needed help with plug-ins. Thank you!

Stephen

December 29th, 2008

Nice list Jacob, there’s some plugins there that really caught my eye – Twitme and Broken Link Checker especially.

kovshenin

December 29th, 2008

Hey, sweet, thanks! I wrote about offline blogging with Windows Live Writer (http://kovshenin.com/archives/windows-live-writer/). The twitter tools came in handy.

Tony

December 29th, 2008

Very useful tools. I will be checking these out as I work on setting up my new blog.

kristarella

December 29th, 2008

Nice! Hadn’t heard of a lot of those.

I think a lot of Simple Tags function has been fulfilled in 2.7 as well.

Vedran

December 29th, 2008

Thank you! This kind of posts are the most useful!

p@r@noid

December 29th, 2008

Half of these are completely new to me. ScribeFire looks like a good wp editor and organize series is just what I’ve been looking for! I’d also like to suggest Twitpress to people looking into wordpresstwitter integration.

FirstDayBlack

December 29th, 2008

Very interesting list. There are some Plugins listed I wasn’t aware of. But WordPress Scanner is a web-based application, not a WordPress plugin. The PlugIn only injects the activation code into your header, but you can do this manually too. Revision Control ist part of WordPress since, hm, 2.5? or 2.6?

Xander

December 29th, 2008

Nice article. :] Some really good links, especially the series plugin. Like it a lot! Cheers.

David

December 29th, 2008

gotta try some of those out. thanks!

Jim Gaudet

December 29th, 2008

Nice list. Looks like I have a few more things to read today.. I like the ScribeFire, I will have to test that. And the Google Syntax Highlighter

Jacob Gube

December 29th, 2008

@Zach Dunn: Try Google Code Prettify. It’s not exactly for Flex/AS, but it is for C-like languages (which at least for AS, I know is the case since it’s similar to EcmaScript). It won’t be perfect, of course, but it’s worth a shot. I couldn’t find a WordPress plugin for it, but seeing that you know Flex/AS – I’m sure you’ll figure out how to install it by playing around with your WP theme templates. Let us know how it goes Zach!

@kovshenin: Awesome resource on LiveWriter, I bookmarked it for reference. Thanks for sharing.

@FirstDayBlack: Oops, you’re right. Let me fix that soon. Thanks. Revision Control works for at least 2.6.3.

@Xander: Yeah, I’m liking that plugin – I’m gonna try it out for the CSS Tips series here on Six Revisions.

Hendrik

December 29th, 2008

Thanks for the awesome list. Trying out the live writer right now.

Ariyo

December 29th, 2008

Good stuff in here, gotta try them. Thanks!

Dawn Baird

December 29th, 2008

Can’t wait to get started on the screenshots one!

Yasser

December 29th, 2008

I thought WordPress already had version control of editing posts and what not?

dean

December 29th, 2008

Good list ok gonna try them out, another great plugin is wassup it’s a fantastic analytics plugin that I could just not live without.

Dean
http://www.ireviewiphoneapps.com

Clara

December 29th, 2008

Wow, this is the most helpful list of addons and plugins I’ve seen to date. Thanks!

feir

December 30th, 2008

Thanks for the collection. Great work.

Patrick

December 30th, 2008

Ah! Organize Series is worth an install, thanks!

Mark

December 30th, 2008

cool list. do you have any recommendation for posting to wordpress blogs directly from a smart phone?

Philip Armis

December 30th, 2008

A helpful overview; thanks. Here’s a quick guide to change adsense positioning in WP posts that can compliment the adserve plugin.

ethnicomm

December 30th, 2008

Always learn something new every day. Thanks for taking the time to collate this great list.

Jacob Gube

December 30th, 2008

@Mark: You can try out Jot and see if that does the trick.

GRL

December 30th, 2008

Great suggestions. I found a couple of useful plugins from your article. Thanks.

Chris Wallace

December 30th, 2008

Yeah, I use the built-in WordPress version control. It seems to work just fine.

tuzruhu

January 2nd, 2009

thanks for those usefull tools bro

geekTips

January 4th, 2009

Wow, huge and really helpful list. WordPress Scanner is surely one of the plugin that I will use after reading this post.

Mark

January 5th, 2009

Great article. Very useful for a new blogger.

keithics

January 19th, 2009

great post!

but I prefer blogdesk rather than livewriter for WordPress.

Geoserv

January 30th, 2009

Wow, I haven’t heard of most of these, the WordPress Scanner sounds very promising.

Thanks for the list.

B@D

March 17th, 2009

I am using Windows Live Writer for quite a while and its great tool.

kpss tarih

March 19th, 2009

very good, thanks

seger bagio

April 19th, 2009

is there a better alternative for wlw?

Harsh Agrawal

May 5th, 2009

I use Revision control plugin and I think it should be in the must have wordpress plugin. Though post revision is a great feature of wordpress but I feel annoyed when I see more then 4 post revision. They kill my storage and database. Its better to shut them down using revision control plugin.

Ravi Ahuja

May 8th, 2009

Great list of WordPress tools. Some of them are new to me. Thanks

Stas

May 11th, 2009

I recommend everyone to try free new PHP IDE – Codelobster with WordPress plug-in.

Thuviengiadinh.com

June 8th, 2009

Thank you post is very useful

Rohit

June 19th, 2009

Nice list, Broken Link Checker is of great use!

laf

June 19th, 2009

Nice collection of tools. Thanks.

Revision control is inbuilt into wordpress blogs isn’t it ? You don’t have to download it separately.

rap dinle

July 22nd, 2009

I use the built-in WordPress version control. It seems to work just fine

Honey Singh

September 8th, 2009

Thanks for the suggestions and information’s.
I used custom hacks for many of the features but the list is still awesome in itself.

daghan kulegec

October 27th, 2009

Thanks bro. Super!

Lucien Beauley

November 22nd, 2009

Very informative and useful article since I use Firefox browser and recently joined WordPress. Thank you.

simyo

December 19th, 2009

Waw, impressive resource. Thank you!

Source

February 5th, 2010

excellent thanks

Deepak Jain

February 24th, 2010

That’s an excellent list Jacob.

Thanks much! :)

Dayton Wilks

March 6th, 2010

Just found this article and bookmarked it as there are several tools I plan to use on my blog.

hayhay

March 20th, 2010

thank you, very good

adone

March 25th, 2010

Very good list. More top wp plugins posts please.

Janey

March 28th, 2010

Great article and some plugins I have not seen before, thankyou.

HoverC

June 5th, 2010

I’m waiting for WordPress 3.0 to be finalized but then I plan on starting a project which will utilize a lot of the information in this post. Thanks!

fareed

June 25th, 2010

its very very great articles, thank you for great sharing

Mukundan Srinivasan

June 28th, 2010

I didn’t know about most of the tools. I like the Revision control tool and screen grab. I read the post all these tools look really useful. Highly informative post.

emir

August 12th, 2010

I recommend everyone to try free new PHP IDE – Codelobster with WordPress plug-in.

robert

December 22nd, 2010

another great list of things to consider as i step boldly into…2009 =] i’m new to wordpress, and wonder with it’s current version if there are better alternatives you’ve found since this post was created almost 2 years ago. Thanks so much for the great work!

Justin Lewis

January 16th, 2011

Dude this is some really great stuff.

I’m definitely going to use the “Screen Grab to WordPress” plugin. It’s bomb!

Harsh Agrawal

January 21st, 2011

Broken link check is a very useful WordPress plugin though it has many issues ..Specially when you have a site with lots of posts…It will hang your server :|

Rosadtea

March 27th, 2011

very usefull, thanks

jessi

April 21st, 2011

useful list i think these are also worth to add and must for every wordpress blogger..

seo smart links
kb robots
platinum SEO
w3c total cache
strictly sitemaps
dashboard notepad..

saard

June 30th, 2011

Great article. But, if you are using Internet Explorer, you can add atcursor.com for posting blogs to wordpress along with screenshots.

Tommy Saputra

October 20th, 2011

Thanks for the awesome list

Lionel

September 1st, 2012

Thanks for sharing this nice list.

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