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Broken Link Checker and other great WordPress Plugins


Actually, I just wanted to write a short post about my newly discovered WordPress Plugin: Broken Link Checker. It allows you to scan through and test all links on your site. It will then list all links that don’t work anymore or are now being redirected to a different address. Since the Internet is a really lively medium, not every link will remain forever, so this is a highly recommendable plugin for anyone who hates dead links as much as I do.

Well, but as I wrote this post, it occurred to me that I could just list all my plugins for anyone who’s interested. When choosing my plugins, I follow two basic rules that apply in many other areas of my life as well:

  1. “The more specialized the better.” – A plugin should only exactly fill the gap that I install it for. It should not have any extra features that I never use. That would be – albeit very slightly – a waste of resources.
  2. “The less the better.” – Besides a generally better overview, less plugins mean less possible sources of errors (or, in case of an error, less places where you have to search).

I’ve seen quite small and “unprofessional” blogs that use 50 to 60 plugins, often for things as meaningless as displaying the weather in your hometown. Sure, blogs are also self-display to some extent – but let’s face it: Who cares if it’s raining at my place right now? (On the other hand, when reading my list, one might object: “Who cares what you read?” ;) But you know what I mean.) These are my plugins:

  • Akismet – comes with WordPress by default; filters out spam comments quite effectively.
  • All in One SEO Pack – fulfills many tedious tasks for search engine optimization
  • Archives for a category – shows the archive for only one category; I need needed it for my WoW category
  • AWStats Script – allows the integration of AWStats
  • Follow-URL (adapted by Elias Schwerdtfeger) – removes the nofollow attribute that WordPress appends to links in comments
  • Get Recent Comments – displays the latest comments and/or trackbacks
  • Google XML Sitemaps – automatically generates an XML sitemap and notifes the major search engines when publishing a new post
  • HTML Purified – increased control over permitted and prohibited HTML tags in comments; also allows posting of code snippets between `backticks` in comments
  • I am reading – shows what book you are currently reading; this plugin was once repaired by me when it was broken, which eventually gave rise to a full resurrection.
  • Lightbox 2 – adds the Lightbox script to the blog and automatically groups all images in a post to a slideshow
  • Linknotes – a very old plugin that still works excellently and lets you include “link-footnotes”, for example to add links as references below the post; here’s an article in which I used it
  • NextGEN Gallery – simple creation and management of entire image galleries
  • No Widget Category Cloud – I need it to create the cute and well configurable category cloud that can be seen in the archive
  • o42-clean-umlauts – also a very old plugin that still works perfectly and replaces umlauts in permalinks by their correct German equivalents. Example: WordPress converts “Schöner Titel” to “schoner-titel” in the URL; with this plugin, it becomes: “schoener-titel”
  • qTranslate – an incredibly good (and, as I see it, also very elaborate system) plugin for which I am extremely grateful to the author! It lets you translate your blog into as many languages as you wish.
  • WoW Armory (modified) – a version of the plugin “WoW Armory“, modified by me for a private server, which comes to use in my WoW category. (The original is unfortunately not being developed anymore and therefore displays all characters naked in the model viewer. On the other hand, it is now obsolete anyway, since the Blizzard Armory now offers such a feature itself.)
  • Smilies Themer – If you do not like the default WordPress Smileys, or they simply do not fit your theme, they can be replaced by pre‑ or self-made smiley sets with this plugin. :) ;) :D
  • Text Control – a plugin that probably only advanced users will need; it lets you change or disable the way WordPress formats texts. An example (and one of the reasons why I installed it): even the HTML editor, WordPress automatically converts any line break or blank line into a paragraph (<p>...</p>). Turning off the wpautop filter using this plugin prevents this.
  • Typographical Improvements – important, if you value good typography and readability; converts many characters into their typographically correct equivalents, e.g. “quotation marks” instead of "quotation marks", long dashes: – instead of minus signs: –
    Since the homepage and thus the development of the plugin has apparently been discontinued, the download link points to my version here on the server.
  • Stats – a plugin issued by the WordPress developers themselves to display in the admin area the most widely read posts, where visitors came and which links they click when leaving the site again
  • WordPress Related Posts – displays links to relevant similar posts below each post
  • wordTube – from the same author as “NextGEN Gallery”; serves the insertion of music, videos, flash or entire playlists into a post
  • WP-SpamFree – one of my most important plugins ever! Akismet alone still lets masses of spam pass and puts them into a spam folder that you then have go through again by hand in order to not delete any “false positives“. This plugin, however, already prevents spambots from posting. Thus I now get less than 1 spam comment per month instead of over 1000.
  • WP-Syntax – allows you to post nicely formatted source codes with syntax highlighting; supports plenty of programming languages

Here are two more plugins which I don’t use on this page, but came very useful to me on some other sites:

  • Contact Form 7 – allows the creation of any number of contact forms, very well adaptable to any design, custom input fields possible
  • TinyMCE Advanced – I don’t need this myself, because I work in the HTML editor exclusively, but for all those who don’t know HTML, it’s almost indispensable! The plugin extends the visual editor by some features that otherwise would be denied to a a layman (e.g. tables).


  1. 9th August 2012
    11:13 am

    Kathryn flag

    Wow, das sind ja eine ganze Menge Plugins. Mit dem Broken Link Checker hatte ich leider kein Glück bis jetzt, jedesmal ist meine Webseite danach down.

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