Featured Plugins For August



iLast.Fm provides a complete integration between your blog and your Last.fm account. It allows you to show what music you are listening to, your top albums, top artists, loved tracks, etc. on your blog.


WP-Cumulus allows you to display your site’s tags, categories, even or both using a Flash movie, rotating them in a 3D configuration. It works just like a regular tags cloud, but is more visually appealing. Clicking the tags can be a little hard (depending on your speed setting) but does take you to the appropriate page.


Actionable allows the creation of a categorized list of action items for users to check off and track. It was originally developed for Share 350.0 – a plan for regional sustainability to help people track their actions and efforts to create a sustainable community.

Random Redirect

Allows you to create a link to domain.com/?random which will redirect users to a random post on your blog, in a StumbleUpon-like fashion. You can also specific in the URL random_post_type or random_cat_id. Created by Matt Mullenweg, himself.

Scheduled Post Shift

This plugin automatically takes your oldest post, and updates its time stamp so that it appears as the latest post on your WordPress site. It does this by utilizing the cron feature built into WordPress 2.1 (and newer). It can rotate all the posts on your site, or just ones in a specific category. You can currently schedule it by setting the number of hours between shifts. For example, set it to 24 hours and it will shift the oldest post every day, at the time that you enabled it.

FLIR – Facelift Image Replacement

FLIR is similar to sIFR, but it uses images instead of Flash. Sure enough, someone has created a plugin to use FLIR with WordPress.

Do you have any cool plugins that you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments.

10 Impressive Tumblelog WordPress Themes Reviewed


Tumblelogs are a popular form of blogging, whether they take the traditional minimalistic form or not. When the amount of information is available the way it is online via blogs, strong and simple messages are all the more valuable. The popularity of Jason Kottke’s kottke.org and John Gruber’s Daring Fireball are two examples of this trend in action, despite the fact that their sites don’t fit the new accepted tumblelog design format.

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6 Plugins for Branding the WordPress Admin


As a freelance web developer and owner of WPCustomization, I’ve used WordPress with many clients – and they love it. WordPress is easy to learn and its back-end is easy enough to customize for certain situations. Not many visitors ever see the back-end of a WordPress-powered site, but it’s always nice to brand the admin a bit – whether it’s a structural overhaul or simple color changes. With that said, we’ve decided to collect six plugins that are quite useful when branding the WordPress administrator area. Check it out. Continue reading

Four Alternative WordPress 2.5 Admin Themes


The late March 2008 release of WordPress 2.5 brought along an administrator area design overhaul by Happy Cog. They took feedback from the entire WordPress community and set out to create a better user experience. Overall, it was a much-needed overhaul and Happy Cog did an amazing job. So this post isn’t about plugins to change or improve the admin or fix broken features. Here are four alternative WordPress admin themes that are compatible with version 2.5. Continue reading

10 Plugins to Improve the WordPress Admin


For an open-source blogging CMS, WordPress’s admin interface is pretty dang good. With the release of version 2.5, the revamped administrator area has been re-organized and cleaned up to make it easier for users to write and edit posts, change settings, manage site content, and more. However, some sites require a bit more functionality than others. In this case, WordPress plugins come to the rescue. Here are ten plugins that expand the functionality of the admin area. Continue reading

Plugins We Use


WPCandy packs a ton of features and content into its single-installation site. Naturally, we’ve had to rely on a large set of plugins to give the site its fluid functionality. Here’s what’s currently helping to power our site. Continue reading

Premium, News, & Magazine WordPress Themes


With the recent explosion of WordPress News Themes around the blogosphere, I’ve decided to wrap up the ones that are actually worth looking at and even buying/downloading.

First of all, what the heck are Premium WordPress themes? Summed up, they’re pretty much regular WordPress themes with “extra bonus features” and a price tag. Although some premium themes aren’t worth ditching out the cash for, some definitely are.

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The Best of Theme Viewer: 2 Cute Themes


Maybe girly isn’t politically correct, but both of these thems at the very least have a cute theme going for them.

Any female WordPress bloggers out there to speak up on this one? I’d be curious to know if these themes really are attractive to girls—and if not, who?

Spring 1.0

Spring 1.0 WordPress theme

I do like the airiness of Spring 1.0, as well as the way the clouds are layered with the border on the right and the left of the header.

Honestly I think it was just the bunny that made me call this a girly theme.

PinkCountry 1.0

PinkCountry 1.0 WordPress theme

Pink is a bit of an understatement. How about the graphic in the back, that’s like a girl’s dream, right?

Or maybe I’m clueless. Maybe a little bit of both.

The Best of Theme Viewer: 5 Simple WordPress Themes


I’m a sucker for simplicity. I find it very usable. The nice part about the following WordPress themes, being that they are simple, is that their uses are far more varied than other themes. This makes them very powerful, and in some cases, easy to brand and make your own.

Yourblog 2.0

Yourblog 2.0 WordPress theme

I like the colors on this one. It feels like a business or a young professional’s website.

Note: Be sure to fix the secondary list items if you go with this theme. They jut out to the side, and will need to be tweaked a bit before any serious use. A simple oversight, but an oversight nonetheless.

Amazingblog 1.0

Amazingblog 1.0 WordPress theme

The colors and gradients are very current, but then the simplicity of the content areas make them pop. I’m loving the gray to white gradient lately too.

Pure Minimalism 1.1

Pure Minimalism 1.1 WordPress theme

This one is a style all its own. I love the look and feel, and the almost snobbish simplicity of it. Someone use this and show me, I’d love to see some content in it.

Scooby Snacks 1.2

Scooby Snacks 1.2 WordPress theme

Not exactly sure where the name of this theme came from, but the style is very slick. If the header font works for you, cool, but otherwise you may want to try something that will fit with the simplicity of the rest of the theme.

Arabian Sea 1.0

Arabian Sea 1.0 WordPress theme

The curves in the header of this theme are very clean and it looks nice. The right sidebar is slightly awkward (can’t put my finger on it) but otherwise it’s very clean and simple. Useful indeed.

The Best of Theme Viewer: 5 Beautiful WordPress Themes


I haven’t done a very good job of hiding my opinions about the default WordPress Theme Viewer. I have to say it is a bit frustrating at times. To do my part, I would like to begin featuring some of the best themes each day, to lighten the load on the part of the user: instead of weeding through to find all the good themes, just check here. Believe me, I’m pretty tough on these designs.

Today I believe I’ve chosen 5 beautiful WordPress themes that are also very usable. There’s potential with these themes.

Talian 1.0

Talian 1.0 WordPress Theme

Talian is a beautiful use of the three column layout. I especially love the look of the search bar.

Simplicity 2.0

Simplicity 2.0

Pretty much anything with the word simplicity in the title will interest me. But honestly, I thought twice about this one but ended up choosing it almost entirely because of the blocks on the left. Those are very unique, and could be a great visual marker for someone using this website. A little too colorful for my tastes maybe, but beautiful for the right person.

Genman WordPress Theme 1.1

Genman WordPress Theme 1.1

I love the possibilities of this one. I can see an academic sprucing this up and enjoying the red wine flavor of it, or a working adult choosing it as their sophisticated blog. One of my favorites (preview the test run to see this) is how the archived posts show up under a classic Previously under the main post.

It definitely needs a header though, for sure. But the capability is there, just needs a little artistic work and some know-how.

Santigwar 1.0

Santigwar 1.0 WordPress Theme

Depending on the contrast of your screen, this theme may look really good or really icky. What’s enticing about this one is the possibility. There are a number of creative thoughts that come to mind when I see this theme. Cutting the site in half, doing some sort of paper theme…but even if you use it as-is, the candles are sweet and the layout isn’t half bad.

RedAtom 1.0

RedAtom 1.0 WordPress Theme

The trees did it for me. Be sure to run the test version on this one, just to appreciate the image at full size. It’s very cool. And lately I’m loving that color of red.

Those were some decent themes, one that will be good to know are around. I can think of a couple people who would be interested in each of these. More tomorrow!