Up until 25/08/13, I used the Gleam theme from Elegant Themes, well worth the money if you ask me, but this theme does use a lot of AJAX, whatever that is. All I know is that the Hashbang you sometimes see in the URL (#!) can be a source of great sadness when it comes to WordPress Plugins.
To that end, here is a list of all the plugins I use that either work well with AJAX, or work well with AJAX after a bit of tweaking.
I had loads of trouble getting a half decent social sharing plugin to work with the AJAX in this theme. Originally I wanted to use something like AddThis or ShareThis because of their design, and they did work, but only half-so. Their buttons would only show on the pages that didn’t contain the Hashbang in the URL, which rendered them unusable. Apparently they have workarounds, but I couldn’t get any of them to work, and the support forums for both companies leave a lot to be desired. Instead I use 1-click and that works brilliantly with and without the Hashbang.
Because “pages” on my site aren’t typically representative of the rest of the internet, getting things into them other than basic text and images is a little harder. iframe allows me to easily place, for example an iframe into one of my pages (it does do other things). My Instagram page uses iframe code from SnapWidget.com to display this content within the constraints of the irregular page.
I didn’t pick this one specifically because it works with AJAX, I use it because it’s super useful. This plugin allows you to block access to your site for entire countries. This is especially useful when you are getting a lot of spam from the Ukraine, for example.
I have WordPress installed on a private server, i.e. not at WordPress.com. This means that I don’t get access to all the useful stuff WordPress.com users have unless I use the Jetpack. It’s free, and offers all of the same, if not more stuff so. . . great!
Another one picked for its usefulness over anything else. People, or Bots, or maybe both, like to try to guess the admin password to my site. Without this plugin people would have infinite attempts to guess my password. Limit Login Attempts allows you to set the number of times someone can attempt to login, and what happens when they fail. IMPORTANT Once I had installed this plugin I wanted to test that it was working so, on another computer, I tried to login using credentials that I knew wouldn’t work. It did indeed lock me out, however, it locks you by IP, so even though I had done this on another computer, I was still locked out when I went to my regular computer.
This plugin is great, although I am far from mastering the art of Search Engine Optimisation. You can edit the Title Tags and Meta Descriptions for each individual post or page you create. In a world where Google rankings really do matter, can you really afford to skip SEO?
For some reason my theme didn’t come with comment CAPTCHAs. I don’t know if that was an oversight, or if I have somehow managed to turn them off, and if so, I couldn’t find how to turn them back on, so I had to search for a CAPTCHA plugin. Due to AJAX, this was a painful process, but I got there in the end.
I would agree with people who say that CAPTCHAs are unsightly and put people off commenting, but when you have a theme that isn’t using a CAPTCHA, then you end with 100 spam comments every 10-12 hours.
Eventually I found SI CAPTCHA Anti-Spam and found that it worked wonderfully with AJAX. So if you use AJAX, try this plugin.
WassUp is great! Much better than the Stats pack in the Jetpack. It allows you to view individual visitors page views, IP addresses (useful for blocking people who should’t be trying to login) and their geographical locations.
My site is very, very heavy. Lots of pictures = slow load times. WP Super Cache keeps a static cache of each page on the server, and serves that cached file to each user (except logged in users) meaning that typical readers and viewers get the fastest load times. On a site like mine, this is super useful.
And finally, because my theme isn’t “Widget Aware”, there is no way to use the Jetpack Subscribe Widget out of the box, so to speak. This means that there is no way for people to subscribe to my blog. In order to get around this, I have utilised this hack/workaround from Konstantin Kovshenin. I haven’t been able to get it working to quite the same degree as he has, not sure why, but it does still work, and my utilisation of it can be found here.
If there are any super useful AJAX compatible Plugins you are aware of, please let me know below.
Image Credit: Marjan Krebelj