10 WordPress Plugins for Photography Blogs

App Reviews June 1st 2010 10:11 PM 12 Comments

WordPress is our recommended blogging platform for a variety of reasons, one of which is its extensive library of 3rd party plugins. These plugins make life easier for us bloggers, with functionality ranging from aesthetics to SEO. You can link to your Twitter and Facebook accounts, include “sexy bookmarks,” flash headers, and add other great, useful, and good looking features to your site.

However, the problems with any extensive library are saturation and convolution. For example, there are 18 Twitter-related plugins, 19 Facebook plugins, and dozens of SEO-related plugins. So this article is intended to serve as a guide through the jungle. A few of these, such as Akismet, All in one SEO, and Broken Links Checker are considered must-haves, while others like Gravity Forms, Flash Fader, and Facebook Like Button should be used when appropriate. If you feel that I’ve left out some important ones, feel free to comment with recommendations in the comment section of this article.

Aksimet

The Akismet WordPress plugin ships with WordPress 2.0 and later by default, but make sure you activate it and input your API Key. If you’re tired of all of that comment and trackback spam, Automattic Kismet (Akismet for short), is your no-brainer solution. If, for some reason, you don’t have the plugin, you can download it here

All in One Seo

This plugin is another must-have for anyone running a WordPress blog. You can download it here and check out its extensive full list of features. The most notable features are 1) Automatic optimization titles for search engines, 2) automatic generation of META tags, and 3) inclusion/exclusion of categories, archives and other pages to avoid duplicate content.

Broken Link Checker

Broken Links, links that lead to an error or unavailable content, hurt you in two ways. First off, they reflect poorly on the content of your site, as it makes the information you present seem outdated and/or inaccurate. Secondly, it hurts your SEO, as you get dinged by search engines for every broken link on your site. The hard part about managing broken links is that the process of the link becoming broken is not controlled by you. If the webmaster or the site owner decides to change the URL or remove a page, a broken link is generated. With Broken Links Checker, you can avoid these problems, as it warns you in the dashboard of your WordPress site when your site contains a broken link.

Status Updater

There are dozens of Facebook and Twitter plugins, but Status Updater is my favorite. As of the time of this article, it’s the only one I found that allows you to automatically publish directly to a Facebook Fan Page. Others allow you to publish to your own status, but I prefer to only update those who have joined our fan page and not all of my Facebook friends. In addition to your Facebook status and your Facebook Page, you can include your Twitter account and (for those of you who still happen to use it) your Myspace profile as well.

Facebook Like Button

The Facebook Like Button is a great way to increase awareness of your site. See the Facebook like buttons at the beginning and end of this article for an example. When your reader clicks the “like” button in your article, it appears in their Facebook profile. Talk about an easy way to advertise! This plugin gives you the option to include the button at the beginning of the article, the end of the article, both, or by an article by article basis.

Gravity Forms

This is actually a paid plugin, but Gravity Forms provides a look and feel that the other free form plugins just won’t provide. If you have any kind of form on your site, whether it be a contact form, an album order form, or any other form, Gravity Forms will give it sleek functionality and aesthetics. With conditional fields (fields that appear only when a certain other value in the form is selected) and validation (functionality that does not allow the form to be submitted unless certain forms are filled out correctly) these forms are worth the small price.

Flashfader

Create a Flash slideshow with Flashfader. There are drawbacks to this plugin, specifically the relative difficulty (in comparison with other WordPress plugins) to set up, but once you have it up and running, it creates a reliable, good-looking slideshow for your header, sidebar, or any other location on your site.

SEO Friendly Images

Image Searches can lead to a lot of traffic for your site, but in order for Google to find your images, they need to be optimized. The difficulty is the time it takes to create titles and alt tags for all of your images. With the help of SEO Friends Images you don’t have to spend hours on each post making sure each image is optimized. The plugin automatically creates titles and alt tags for your images. Now all you need to do is make sure you’re naming your images right and surrounding it with relevant, contextual content.

XML Sitemap Generator

XML Sitemap Generator helps search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo index your blog and makes it easier for the crawlers to see and retrieve the complete structure of your site. I know we’ve beaten the topic of SEO to death in this article, but this one is just as important as the others in this article for getting you more readers and more clients.

Permalinks Migration

If you started using WordPress out of the box, like most of us, you didn’t pay any attention to permalinks. If so, your URL’s look something like this http://example.com/?p=N. Even WordPress calls this “ugly” in their article on using permalinks. The problem is that if you change your permalink structure, you not only create broken links for anyone who has linked to your article, but you also lose all of your SEO page rank for that post. With Permalinks Migration, you automatically generate 301 Redirects that redirect the old URLs to the new URLs and also preserves their page rank.

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Pye

About

Pye (AKA Post Production Pye) is a founder and the Managing Editor for SLR Lounge. Pye is also a Partner of Lin and Jirsa Photography, an Orange County based wedding, engagement and portrait photography studio. Connect with him on Google Plus

12 Comments

  1. Christa Watson

    Most of these are great plugins, not just for photographers, but all around wordpress users. Thanks for the nice summary!

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  2. Marty Thornley

    Great list, but thought I would add my two cents…

    Permalinks migration is cool, but you have some incorrect info in the description. Changing from the default permalinks that look like ‘?p=206′ to the ‘pretty’ permalinks does not throw off WordPress. It is able to find the right post. However, changing from pretty permalinks to another type of permalink, even back to the ?p=206′ type does mes things up.

    Gravity Forms is a paid plugin and probably too heavy for most uses. If you want a great free, easy to use contact form, try MM Forms. It stores all the info in the database and can export to .csv file, making a great backup in case you lose the emailed inquiries.

    I would also like to shamelessly self-promote a couple image plugins of my own, developed for http://photographyblogsites.com…

    SEO Image Galleries
    HTML and javascript image galleries. Packs every image with ALT attributes relevant to your site. Highly customizable with a little CSS knowledge.
    http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/seo-image-galleries/

    PhotoBlog Image Fixer:
    Fixes the squishy image problem when you upload images that don’t quite fit your blog page. Just install and let it do its thing.
    http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/photoblog-image-fixer/

    -Marty

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  3. diana elizabeth

    oh my gosh this was a great post! I am so excited for all these plug ins. Thanks!!

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  4. Jenny

    I love the slr lounge, I am having an issue with my pages. When you choose a page, it says page not found. I am sure it is something simple, but could someone help?

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  5. 10 Wordpress Plugins for Photography Blogs | Photography Tips … | techlife

    [...] link: 10 WordPress Plugins for Photography Blogs | Photography Tips … Related [...]

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  6. Diana Eftaiha

    nice! thank you very much. i have almost all of them except a couple that ill make sure to check out very soon. great read

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  7. kellie mccann

    Any suggestions on a “subscribe” plug in?? I installed Subscribe 2 and can not get it to work…so my subscribers are not being notified when a new post is added….

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  8. Zelda

    I’ve installed the WordPress Stats plugin but it’s not working. Can anyone reccommend a stats plugin that work well with the SLR themes?

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  9. Osama Salti

    hmmmmm… Looks great for me, I’ve already started to upload the SEO plugins to my website!
    Thanks to you, I might have more search engines hits.

    Anyway, since you seem have very good knowledge in WordPress, I would like to ask you something. I am searching for a plugin that has the following:

    1- Slideshow photo gallery (as Lightbox2).
    2- Smooth, fast and easy to view.
    3- Each photo of the slideshow gallery can be commented separately. Comments can be visible automatically or by clicking on the photo itself.
    4- Any rating system or LIKE button (as in Facebook).

    You may check any photo gallery at my website, so that you have an idea of what I have explained.

    Best wishes to you!

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  10. primbonbon

    I want good featured photo plugin for my wp blog
    what should i use ?

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  11. Silverlight Photography

    Great suite of plugins to help any photo-blog – I’ve been using about half of them already and will check out the rest. Any suggestions (maybe this is another post?) for non-flash slideshows and galleries? While the flash stuff is lovely (and used extensively on my website) I like to keep my blog as mobile-friendly as possible, so try to avoid flash plug-ins.

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  12. Yusmi

    Thanks….this is nice information..

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