New Plugin Updates – Jan. 25, 2013

US Server Net has a collection of plugins that are pre-installed on all of our clients' sites. We continually evaluate new plugins and add the best ones to our list of tools that we recommend and support. These weekly Updates let clients and friends know about new and recently updated plugins, sometimes with suggestions of how they can be used effectively to enhance your site's security or productivity.

We originally wrote about Boom Bar a couple of weeks ago. Now the developer of this premium plugin, iThemes, has released an updated version 1.0.2. The more we work with this great little plugin, the more we like it! Add a one-line "call to action" at the top or bottom of your site, or on any page. Just fill in the text, give it a link, and it's ready to go, directing your site visitors to any page, post or website you'd like to highlight. You can see an example of Boom Bar at the top of our Newsletter page.

If USSN is hosting your site, we are happy to install Boom Bar on your site so you can give it a try. Just email or call to request the new plugin, and we'll set it up for you.

Comment spam is a nuisance for anyone who's blogging on their site. Antispam Bee is the answer. Developer Sergej Müller released Version 2.5.4 on Jan. 19. This plugin is an extremely productive spam-fighting tool that protects against comment and trackback spam.

Contact forms are an important part of every website. We have several great form plugins in our arsenal. One of the most popular is Contact Form 7. It's a simple but flexible form builder that makes it easy to add a contact form to your site. Developer Takayuki Miyoshi's new Version 3.3.3 updates an underlying code library and adds translations for French, German, Russian, and Polish language websites.

On Jan. 22, a new version 2.2.0 of Affiliates was released. This plugin provides the tools to set up and maintain an Affiliate Marketing Program. It features automated affiliate registration, an affiliate management section, and the ability to integrate with e-commerce platforms.

Also updated this week was S2Member Framework by Websharks, who have released Version 130123. This is a powerful tool for those who want to protect/secure members-only content and monetize their site content. It makes it easy to integrate with a PayPal account to set up buttons on your site for either one-time or recurring transactions. If you have content that you'd like to sell, this plugin will let you create pages, posts, and/or downloads that only paid subscribers can access.

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We love plugins, and use lots of them. The benefits of added security and productivity make the small amount of system overhead they add well worth the cost!

There are SO many great plugins that finding the right ones can be a bit daunting. Do you have a favorite plugin that you'd like to share? Feel free to tell us about it.