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Which WordPress plugins do I use?

I've had the opportunity to work with WP plugin creation quite a bit at work. We've been able to enforce a strict policy on our WP blog of not allowing *any* core WP code to be modified. The main reason for this is that it will make it much easier to upgrade and not break functionality later on.

Due to that, I've wound up creating or hacking up a bunch of custom plugins for work. One includes a complete authentication system override. Basically it traps all login, logout and registration requests and pushes them to custom URLs, and I trap all requests and process user information from cookies our external authentication system has defined. Then I take that information and force-feed it into the WP system, essentually telling it to emulate who I want it to.

That's not a very general-purpose one for any WP installations outside of my company though. However, I have created one that so far seems to be quite useful, and depending on responses, I may package/fix up more.

As of right now, I wind up customizing almost every plugin I use. Currently, all but the Akismet one is either completely written by me, or was taken from another one and hacked up with extra features.

My current plugin list includes:

  • Akismet - because spam sucks.
  • Comment Cleaner - based off "Chunk Urls" I've combined the URL chunking with word wrapping that behaves properly.
  • "Misc Fixes" - a dummy plugin where I dump some personal tweaks like removing all the wptexturize() calls. Possibly some other good stuff, and maybe a testing ground before pulling code into a seperate official plugin.
  • Remove Dashboard Feeds - my first official "public" plugin, a simple and effective way to disable the feeds from loading in the WP admin dashboard. Especially useful for when your server is behind firewalls, but also great if you don't really care about that information 🙂
  • WP Mail Replacement - PHP's mail() function doesn't work as good as I'd like. I created one that uses popen() directly to the sendmail binary, and allows me to do anything I want - custom headers, attachments, etc. However, now that WP 2.2 is bundling phpMailer, this might not be an issue.

It seems like I use a lot more. I guess I felt cool having a handful of custom plugins, but I really only run a couple on my personal site for now. As I mess around with more, I'll be sure to post.

One thing I would like to see is the database functions put into the pluggable functions. Then I could create a MySQLi plugin that could override the core MySQL calls. That'd be a pretty easy way to allow for custom backends; in the meantime, it looks like I am stuck putting in a wp-content/db.php file (I believe that is the way to do it.)

While we're on the subject of plugins, I think I should be clear here. A "plugin" should not require the stock WP code to be altered. That is a patch or a hack. A plugin is something that can be plugged in without any modification of the core code.

Categories: WordPress
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