How the Heck Did You Do That?!? Tips & Tricks #17- Plugins

kimbacaffeinate Blogger Tips & Tricks 66 Comments

22nd Mar

How the Heck Did You Do That?!?

 “Plugins” I’ve Discovered

The following plugins are ones that I utilize and found to be time saving and beneficial:

VaultPressVaultPress
I was using a free back-up plugin for WordPress and it’s no longer supported which made me feel vulnerable. While my host does back-ups, they might be days old which wasn’t acceptable to me. We all have hectic lives, and don’t always remember to back-up our sites. It is very important to back-up your site.  Our sites are vulnerable on all platforms from hackers, TOS, corrupt plugins, viruses and numerous other things that can wipe out blogs history. *shivers* So I began the search for a back-up system that would allow me to make manual back-ups but would also automatically back up my blog into a cloud vault..thus my discovery of VaultPress. The service charges 5.00 a month or you can pay yearly and reduce the fee a little. They offer three tiers of service, but for me the lite was sufficient. What does it do?

  • automatically backs up blog daily and includes theme, plugins, uploads and database
  • provides stats regarding most popular post, time of day website receives the most traffic etc.
  • keeps 30 days of backup
  • with the click of a button you can go back in time and restore site (this was the selling point for me, I love to click buttons and have things magically fixed)
  • support to assist with restore and any additional issues.

You can learn more about this service at the VaultPress official site.  For those on Blogger or other free sites, I recommend you make back-ups of your website. While a manual one that you download is good, I also recommend you keep one in the clouds as well.( since your computer could crash.) You can use Dropbox to store back-up.

Comments Not Replied To

As you know I reply to all comments made on the blog. I truly believe that the amount of comments and traffic Caffeinated sees is directly related to the interaction I have with followers. Plus I am a chatty Cathy and love talking to ya all. I was relying on getting email notifications of comments, but for some reason even after fiddling around with how those notifications were sent and received by my host..some comments were slipping through. So peeps were stopping by and commenting on a post from say last week and I was unaware. This sent me into complete panic mode. *flailing hands* While researching the problem I stumbled across a blog sharing similar concerns and she recommended this plugin. (cannot locate post otherwise I would have given her props) What does it do?

  • introduces a new area in the administrative dashboard that allows you to see what comments you  “as the site author” have not replied to. Located in “comments” right after trash and is titled “missing reply”.

comments not replied to

By adding another tab to the comments dashboard I am able to see at a glance what comments have yet to be replied too. Once I comment it marks them. I can comment and approve right from this page. The only downside to this tool is that presently you are not able to remove a comment from Missing Reply. Say for example, I comment and the person replies with a simple, “thanks”. A reply comment isn’t necessary and I am unable to remove it from this folder. The creators of this plugin are aware and are working to incorporate some kind of delete option. Until then if you get a reply comment to your reply with a :) I am sorry I am anal. (he-he) You can learn more about this plugin here

CommentLuv Premium Plugin
CommentLuv

I had the free version of CommentLuv and used/use Askmit for dealing with spam. It was wonderful, until I found myself getting hit with 1,500 spam comments a day.(thank you Beijing!)  I get a lot of comments and sifting through the spam folder to find  actual comments from peeps I adore was mind-boggling. Thanks to bloggers like Felecia @ Geeky Blogger I discovered that the premium version of CommentLuv offers GASP. That cute little check box confirming you aren’t a spammer. I went from 1500 spam comments a day to one maybe two a week. This is a premium service and you pay a one time fee of 67.00. However, Andy runs sales and I was able to snag my plugin for significantly less. It includes a lot of other services for free, like Reply Me, Dofollow, and Stats. I loath Jetpack and its inconsistency so anything to rely less on their services makes me very happy. You can learn more about here.

WordPress Editorial Calendar
I have previously shared my calendar method for keeping track of important dates, reviews, arcs etc and this little tool allows me to see my scheduled posts and drafts in calendar form right from my dashboard. It opens under Posts and with just the drag of a mouse I can move posts around and see my month at a glance. It even has a space to hold unscheduled drafts. This is a free plugin and you can learn more at WordPress.org- Editorial Calender

 

Editorial Calendar

What plugins have you discovered?

66 Responses to “How the Heck Did You Do That?!? Tips & Tricks #17- Plugins”

  1. Carmel
    Twitter:

    I used to have CommentLuv, and like you, got TONS of span, so I removed it. I didn’t know that one of the advantages of the premium version is that nifty little checkbox. I’ll have to keep my eyes open for these sales you speak of…

    I also use the Editorial Calendar plugin. It’s good for seeing the “big picture” of your scheduled posts.

    A few others that I use include Better Delete Revision and Ultimate Book Blogger. The first is handy for keeping your database clean by getting rid of those annoying (and resource sucking) WP auto-revision saves. The latter is a life saver, especially the review template. My associate reviewers can now format their own posts because it’s so user-friendly which in itself, makes it worth the price IMO.
    Carmel recently posted…Review: Caged by J.A. BelfieldMy Profile

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I have both of those as well Carmel and use them daily :)

  2. Jeann
    Twitter:

    Awesome plugins that are all new to me, thanks for sharing! I think that Comments not Replied To plugin will be perfect for me, I’ve been using a method of going through my old posts and my email notifications to try and keep on top of them.

    Worth mentioning, you can actually get GASP, CommentLuv and ReplyMe for free which are all included in the premium version of WP.

    I’ve been looking for that Editorial Calendar everywhere, thanks for the post!
    Jeann recently posted…Why I’m Picky with Blog Tours & Promo PostsMy Profile

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Yes you can get free versions, but they are not advanced.

  3. Lupdilup
    Twitter:

    Thanks Kimba, I’ve been eying the pro version of comment Luv, but since this year I already paid for Askismet, I’m gonna have to wait until that subscription expires before I can go to the pay version of commentLuv.
    I have nothing new except for new plugin for latest reviews, but you guys already have on UBB.
    Lupdilup recently posted…Cruel Beauty Audiobook by Rosamund HodgeMy Profile

  4. Angie F.

    I don’t know how I lived without the Editorial Calendar before I discovered it! I am constantly moving posts around, and the drag-n-drop feature makes it soooo easy!

    I think I need to check out that Comments Not Replied To. I’ve noticed that some comments don’t make it to my e-mail either, and it’s only been on accident that I even see them. So now I’ll occasionally scan through my approved comments to see if I’ve missed one. A plug-in would be much better. :P

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Exactly. I am still getting comments on last weeks posts and would miss them otherwise.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Get UBB if you get nothing else..you will love the time it saves you :)

  5. Anya
    Twitter:

    I’ve been lucky with spam comments being low so far, but it’s good to know how to get the check box! I also love the Editorial Calendar mode, I live by it!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Yeah I was good till a few months ago then bam. I hope you continue to avoid the issue.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Right, that is one of the reasons I moved. I like all the time saving plugins.

  6. Ginny
    Twitter:

    Love these posts. Thank you so much for sharing them. I am going to add all of these today! Do you have any tips for snagging a deal on the Comment Luv? I bought a plugin called Vision it’s a plugin for shortcodes that display things easier like the slide shows I have on some of my services pages. It does a bunch of other stuff but I haven’t figured those out yet. :)

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I signed up for newsletter which is how I got offer.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I have jetpack, but other then notifications I have disabled most. I don’t trust them to post/send email etc.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Enjoy Stacy yep I love finding new toys to make my blogging easier :)

  7. Zoe

    Wow! Thanks so much for sharing Kimba! So many helpful plugins!

    I’ve had CommentLuv for a little while now, and it’s awesome! I had no idea there was a pro version though…definitely going to have to get on that pronto! :D

    And I just installed the Comments Not Replied To plugin! It is SO helpful, as I try to reply to all my comments as well, and it does get quite overwhelming at times!

    Thanks so much for sharing!
    Zoe recently posted…The Vanishing SeasonMy Profile

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I love the premium version and there are a lot of perks that come with it. So glad you are enjoying Comments Not Replied To. :)

    • kimbacaffeinate

      thanks Angie, I love commenting and relying. I really think peeps enjoy it too :)

  8. Lindy
    Twitter:

    Great Post Kim! I love reading all of your awesome tips and tricks! I’ve noticed some of my comments on your reviews are missing too :( Also, when I use to comment, I would get a drop down menu that would let me check off one of many posts, and now it just shows the most recent post.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      You need to register on my blog for additional posts. For some reason all of your comments go to spam. I think if you register it should solve it.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      You might not need them all, my hope is you find something that makes blogging easier :)

  9. Lark
    Twitter:

    These sound great! I can’t wait to get my blog moved over to my self-hosted WordPress so I can use some of these. But I’m nervous, too. Maybe I should pay someone to help me get the over 550 posts I’ve already got ported to the new site without too many headaches. Any suggestions?
    Lark recently posted…Sunday Post – 3/23/14My Profile

  10. Berls
    Twitter:

    Oh those first two plugins I will most definitely be checking out (I already have the others)! I’ve been doing the email method for keeping up with replies and it seems to be working, but now you have me wondering if I’m actually still missing comments!

    I love commentluv premium, though it hasn’t reduced the number of spam comments I get nearly as much as it has for you. I still get a few hundred a week, but since I was getting a few thousand before, that’s good. Maybe something about my blog title encourages spam? IDK. I also could never get it to setup the way you have yours with that final box for twitter – instead mine seems to have to appear after the comment box. Oh well, I still love it!
    Berls recently posted…Sunday Post | 35th EditionMy Profile

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Do you use Askmit too? I use both. On set up page you choose the order. Ya know a blogger actual made me realize I was missing comments. She told me she didn’t get my replies and I went back and discovered them. I didn’t have an issue before, but get so many comments that suddenly I wasn’t getting all of them.

  11. Jess
    Twitter:

    So glad you figured out a way to get less spam- and TONS less at that! ;) The one time fee doesn’t sound too bad- and getting a deal is even better. Thanks for sharing your finds with us!
    Jess recently posted…The DMS Wants to Know!My Profile

    • kimbacaffeinate

      So glad you enjoy the calendar too, and no spam is a good thing :)

  12. Lauren

    Ooh you are making me nervous (in a totally necessary way) about blog backup! I just rely on my host, but you’re so right, it could be days old and it doesn’t really capture everything, and I’m also a big fan of clicking one button and fixing something. I’m totally getting VaultPress, the Editorial Calendar and the comment reply plugin. These are so freaking awesome, thank you for sharing! :-)
    Lauren recently posted…Book Review: Love Letters to the Dead by Ava DellairaMy Profile

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I would die without my calendar, and that 5.00 a month gives me the biggest piece of mind for back-ups since it does everything :)