17 Most Popular WordPress Plugins As Of 2015

wordpress-plugins-popular-2015As March approaches we thought it would be fun to share a list of the most popular WordPress plugins as of 2015.  The download counts you’ll see below are the historical downloads of the plugins, not just for the year or previous year. But rather all years the plugins have been available.

We’re happy to see NextGEN Gallery among the list!

After going through the list, comment with what your favorite WordPress plugins are and why.

Now onto the list…

Now that you’ve seen the most popular free WordPress plugins of 2015, comment with what your favorite plugins are and why.

Photocrati Instagram Weekly Round 22

I can't wait for the melt ... #WE35 #Hoboken #exploringthefrontier #Photocrati
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I can’t wait for the melt …

I took the new Sony a6000 out tonight for some test shooting and can say that I'm very impressed #pnw #olympia #beautiful #otown #pugetsound #oly #olywa #southsound #ExploringTheFrontier #Olympia #Washington #ScottWoodPhotography #Olympiagram #photocrati #night #city #architecture #building
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I took the new Sony a6000 out tonight for some test shooting and can say that I’m very impressed
I almost can't feel my nose ... But it was a pleasant walk... #we35 #exploringthefrontier #winter #Millburn #NJ #Photocrati #IAmNextContest #ShutterBugPix
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I almost can’t feel my nose … But it was a pleasant walk…

Brooklyn is the other way #darkroomapp #wonderful_places #featuremeinstagood #photocrati #exploringthefrontier #brooklyn #brooklynbridge
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Brooklyn is the other way

Seemed appropriate to share an image of George for Presidents' Day. This is from a recent #we35 research expedition. #Olympia #Washington #ScottWoodPhotography #ExploringTheFrontier #photocrati #pnw #washingtonstate #washington
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Seemed appropriate to share an image of George for Presidents’ Day. This is from a recent research expedition.

The untouched snow looked so nice this afternoon but I'm pretty much over it now. #winterincincy #snowscene #AmeliaOH #ClermontCounty #BataviaTownship #plmneighborhood #photocrati #grandinspirationsphoto
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The untouched snow looked so nice this afternoon but I’m pretty much over it now.

Boost Google Plus Engagement With This Method

Boost Google Plus Engagement With This Method

So I have discovered the secret to reaching a wider audience on Google Plus.

Ok, so It’s not a secret really, but I never actually tried this because I thought it was spammy.

However, as long as you structure the posts specific to each community then it’s quite alright.

Here is the not so magic bullet.

  1. Post an image with whatever text content on your personal profile. Link back to your own website for added traffic!
  2. Post the same image with same text (without re-uploading, but actually grabbing from an already uploaded albums) in every related community.
  3. Make sure you tweak the text content to match the community you’re posting in.
  4. Watch the circles and +1 and shares and comments pour in.

Rinse, repeat, enjoy.

Photocrati Instagram Weekly Round 21

Held prisoner at home drinking.... #Tea.... #ugh #sickday #WE35 #Photocrati
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Held prisoner at home drinking…. #Tea….

Ka-boom
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Ka-boom
Driftwood at Jordan Pond #acadianationalpark #photocrati #exploringthefrontier #longexposure #acadia #maine #wonderful_places #featuremeinstagood
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Driftwood at Jordan Pond
Gator in b&w #gator #alligator #swamp #blackandwhite #bnw #monochrome #instablackandwhite #monoart #insta_bw #bnw_society #bw_lover #bw_photooftheday #photooftheday #bw #instagood #bw_society #bw_crew #bwwednesday #insta_pick_bw #bwstyles_gf #irox_bw #igersbnw #bwstyleoftheday #monotone #monochromatic #noir #fineart_photobw #photocrati
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Gator in b&w

Tanner in Fes, Morocco #morocco #fed #photocrati #VTDM #travel #nofilter
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Tanner in Fes, Morocco
CUT looks gorgeous any time of day. I've missed seeing her in my feed so I'll be posting my photos of her every Tuesday for #TerminalTuesday. #Cincinnati #winterincincy #cincymuseum #cincylove #cincygram #cincyicons #cincygems #trainstation #depot #cincitecture #artdeco #lovecincy #cincyrefined #exploreohio #ohiogram #photocrati #heyfred_lookatthis #grandinspirationsphoto #insta_america #queencity #queencityscenes #yelpcincy #365cincinnati #cincyusa #UnionTerminal #CincinnatiUnionTerminal #UnionTerminalTuesday
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CUT looks gorgeous any time of day. I’ve missed seeing her in my feed so I’ll be posting my photos of her every Tuesday for #TerminalTuesday.
The Mist in Acadia #acadia #trees #path #woods #fog #wonderful_places #featuremeinstagood #photocrati #exploringthefrontier
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The Mist in Acadia
NJ Haute Couture #WE35 #exploringthefrontier #Photocrati #IsaiahHemmingway
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NJ Haute Couture

New Look New Logo

new-logo

The Photocrati website went under the knife and came out with a brand new look and logo.

Why? NextGEN Gallery and the Photocrati Theme are getting closer to a tight integration. So we wanted the two products to have consistency. That way when customers are going between the documentation for either product, it’s more obvious that it’s the same company.

That, and we also wanted a prettier logo.

We went with 99Designs for crowdsourced logo ideas. We then came up with our favorites and internally (and partially externally) voted for the ones we want to narrow it down to.

Once we picked the winner, we worked with the designer to make some final adjustments to the logo.

photocrati logo

The icon is the most important part of the logo. Because that is consistent between the 2 products.

In addition, the icon can be used without text, and also says some things about the company.

Step back from the icon a bit and you will notice that it is actually the letter p.  Cool, right?

But on top of that, it’s also a play on the standard aperture blade logo that many photographers use. Except it’s broken up, with multiple shades of green.

So with that all, said, we hope you enjoy the new logo as much as we do.

Thanks for taking the time to read this!

Photocrati Instagram Weekly Round 20

Sharing an IR captured image of the grist mill in southwest Washington State today. This image was from June 2014 - #ExploringTheFrontier #Washington #ScottWoodPhotography #beautiful #summer #nature #water #tree #river #leaves #summertime #landscape_lovers #photooftheday #picoftheday #bestoftheday #photo #photocrati
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Sharing an IR captured image of the grist mill in southwest Washington State today. This image was from June 2014 –

push/pull #WE35 #exploringthefrontier #Photocrati #NYC
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push/pull

Crossing to Cambridge #longexposure #photocrati #exploringthefrontier #boston
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Crossing to Cambridge

#Architecture theme for #picoftheday and #photocrati
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theme for and
Freezing me down ... #WE35 #exploringthefrontier #Photocrati
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Freezing me down …

What day is it? What.day.is.it? Why it's #RoeblingWednesday again ! #Cincinnati #Ohio #CincyUSA #cincygram #cincyicons #cincyimages #cincylove #thisiscincy #makecincyyours #cincy #explorecincy #photocrati #queencity #grandinspirationsphoto #nky #mynky #heyfred_lookatthis #midwestmoment #365cincinnati #TheAmericanCollective #queencityscenes #ohiogram #beohioproud #exploreohio #lovethecov #CovingtonKY #Kentucky #ky
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What day is it? What.day.is.it? Why it’s again !
The view from Tower A never gets old, especially for a 4 year old. #UnionTerminal #TowerA #cincymuseum #railroad #rsa_theyards #railbarons #heyfred_lookatthis #photocrati #daily_crossing #railstagram #instalogistics #tv_transport #trainlovers #trainphotography #railroadphotography #artofrailroad #train_pics_nation #cincinnati #cincygram #CincyUSA #plmfamily #railfan_in_training #grandinspirationsphoto
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The view from Tower A never gets old, especially for a 4 year old.

Get Things Done – How To Stay Organized

get-things-done-working-home

Photocrati is a distributed company, which means our employees are not all in one office. We all work out of our homes, which can be overwhelming at times.  It is easy to get distracted.  So I wrote up a blog article recently which talks about my ways to stay organized and get things done.

I’m going to summarize the items here, but I’d love for you to visit my original blog article to read the details about each point.

  1. Create a daily to do list
  2. Start early in the morning
  3. Give yourself a creative space
  4. Clear your desk
  5. Sit and stand
  6. Start with the essentials
  7. Use email organization software
  8. Give yourself regular breaks
  9. Schedule social media time
  10. Drink a lot of water
  11. Distraction free writing with ia Writer or equivalent
  12. Organize your thoughts with Evernote equivalent

If you’d like to read more about each of these points, in detail, please head over to my website.

Photocrati Instagram Weekly Round 19

I have a love/hate relationship with this image #365cincinnati #queencityimages #queencityscenes #train #railroad #LatoniaKY #abandoned #rust #roamky #grandinspirationsphoto #rail_barons #railmarkable #railstagram #rsa_theyards #train_nerds #trainlovers #mynky #trains_of_instagram #photocrati #theamericancollective #heyfred_lookatthis #SeedsColor
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I have a love/hate relationship with this image

Another afternoon at work.... #WE35 #exploringthefrontier #Photocrati from #Hoboken
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Another afternoon at work…. from
#Yellow building near #londonbridge #bluesky #favourite #colours #lookup_ldn #lookingup #architecture #art_chitecture_ #architecture_london #arkiromantix_london #vscocam #iphone6plus #jj_architecture #jj_mobilephotography #vscocam #igerslondon #insta_crew #ig_photooftheday #photocrati #potd #icu_architecture #thisislondon #ilovelondon #london #Sky_High_Architecture
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building near

At my newish desk it has been hinted that I'm a bit quiet and people don't know when I'm there or not. So to let people know I'm in I started putting up a toy a day. A little light hearted fun. This is today's toy. #WE35 #toytography #Photocrati
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At my newish desk it has been hinted that I’m a bit quiet and people don’t know when I’m there or not. So to let people know I’m in I started putting up a toy a day. A little light hearted fun. This is today’s toy.
Can't wait for the return of rainy summer days
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Can’t wait for the return of rainy summer days
street level Snowy frozen winter smeg #WE35 #snowday #Photocrati #exploringthefrontier
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street level Snowy frozen winter smeg

Out & about #WE35 #exploringthefrontier #Photocrati #SightsFromNJT
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Out & about

Gotta go home ... (An image from Monday ) #vscocam #WE35 #exploringthefrontier #Photocrati
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Gotta go home … (An image from Monday )

The Importance Of Keeping WordPress Sites Up To Date

staying-up-to-dateWordPress is software.  WordPress is also software that is exposed to the Internet.

That means that your website is vulnerable to malicious attacks which could utilize software based hacks.

That doesn’t mean WordPress is a bad choice for a site’s infrastructure.  Quite the opposite.

WordPress is still the best website platform available as it makes your life easy as an end user.

There are things you can do, simple things, to protect your website against attacks.

We’ve talked about backups and security in the past, but we feel it’s important enough to bring up again.

First and foremost, you can keep your sites updated.  There are multiple updatable items within WordPress that should definitely stay updated.

Let’s discuss those.

  • WordPress – The core system behind your website.  Up until 2014, WordPress was updated maybe once or twice a year with major updates, and a few minor updates in-between.  As of 2014, WordPress is update much more often with both minor and major updates.  Many of which include security fixes for things you would never expect to be vulnerable.
  • Themes – Just like the WordPress core, most themes get updated with new features, bug fixes and security patches.  You should see more updates with premium themes than free themes, however.  Premium theme developers are typically more proactive when it comes to addressing security issues, and because you are paying, are more likely to add features.
  • Plugins – Like themes, plugins are often updated with new features, bug fixes and security patches.  So keeping up to date means you’re keeping your website as safe as you can.

There are, of course, additional layers of protection you can add to your site.  Let’s go over some of those, starting with security plugins.

Security Plugins

There are many security plugins available for WordPress.  Generally we do not recommend plugins that hard-code changes to your filesystem.  While in theory it could add a higher level of security than the other options, it has a tendency to break themes and plugins.

So instead we recommend using lighter, but effective security plugins that will monitor your site for odd behavior.  For example, Limit Login Attempts will monitor the login for hack attempts, and will block the IP based on the severity you designate.

WordFence is a very popular solution.  It does not hard-code changes, but does have the ability to monitor your site in realtime or on a schedule.  The plugin is free and also have premium features.  But even the free version can serve you very well.

Sucuri is a WordPress security company who also provides a free plugin which can scan your site and log changes.  They also have a premium service which adds automated scheduling and additional vulnerability scanning.  Sucuri services also come with hack response, to fix your site just in case the worst case happens.

Services

I have already mentioned Sucuri’s premium service.  But we thought we’d share another options as well.

VaultPress is a plugin and service made by Automattic, the company responsible for WordPress.com.  They have plans which can backup your site to their system and also scan your site for hacks.

There are a variety of similar services, but not all come with security scanning like VaultPress.

Hosting

Last, but definitely not least, another layer of protection is a good hosting company.  Many shared hosting providers offer security scanning, like SiteGround.  But there are also WordPress Managed Hosts that work with 3rd party security companies to do regular scanning, like WP Engine and Synthesis.

The key to host security is to make sure you understand exactly what security is being done and how it’s handled. For example:

  • Are they just scanning for hacks?
  • Are they proactively protecting against hacks?
  • Are they responding toe hacks by restoring to the latest backup?
  • Are they using the latest MySQL and PHP versions?

Questions like that can help guide you in the right host direction. You can read more about hosting with WordPress here.

Conclusion

Even with keeping everything up to date, using security plugins and proper hosting, there is still no 100% guarantee against your site being hacked.  It’s impossible to guarantee protection.  However, by doing everything you can to protect yourself, you’re bringing the hack possibility down drastically.

As always, if you have questions please comment or send us an email.  We are happy to help.

Photocrati Instagram Weekly Round 18

An old favorite from the archives #Cincinnati #sign #RT52Drivein #drivein #JacksAutoParts #cincygram #queencity #queencityscenes #exploreohio #explorecincy #exploreamerica #our_ohio #beohioproud #photocrati
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An old favorite from the archives

Engine 4 - Los Angeles, Ca.
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Engine 4 – Los Angeles, Ca.
Something for my office! #instasize #instaprint #filmphoto #inkprint
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Something for my office!
Birdie Trailer
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Birdie Trailer
#FlatWhite break #WE35 #Photocrati #sonyartisan #exploringthefrontier #NYC #coffee
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break
Out in the city .... #WE35 #NYC #exploringthefrontier #Photocrati #PhotoWandering
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Out in the city ….
Live baking in #NYC #WE35 #PhotoWandering #Photocrati #exploringthefrontier
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Live baking in
Cheers #WE35
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Cheers
It was a good day in the city today.... #WE35 #sonyartisan #exploringthefrontier #nyc #Photocrati #PhotoWandering
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It was a good day in the city today….
ECHO PARK
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ECHO PARK

L.A. Owl
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L.A. Owl
Sitting in my frame #WE35 #exploringthefrontier #PhotoWandering #Photocrati
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Sitting in my frame
FWY Signs of The Times
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FWY Signs of The TimesMy favourite department store #spiral #staircase!! It's at #Heals, opposite #GoodgeStreet tube station. #jj_architecture #jj_architecture_042 #vscocam #snapseed #lookingup #jj_mobilephotography #iphoneonly #iphone6plus #ilovelondon #london #igers #igerslondon #ig_photooftheday #insta_crew #instadaily #photooftheday #photo_features #photocrati #lights #architecture #architecture_london #art_chitecture_ #arkiromantix_london #olloclip #wideangle

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My favourite department store #staircase!! It’s at #Heals, opposite tube station.
The handball season just started again.
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The handball season just started again.
Check out my website. AstrikPhotography.com
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Check out my website. AstrikPhotography.com