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WordPress vs. Custom Scripting

I run a bunch of sites, as you may have read.  But I often run into the problem of deciding whether to use WordPress or writing my own custom script to create a site on a template.

The Major Tipping Point

So what causes this difference?  Well – I think I would like to use WordPress for every site I create ( at this time ) – however…  I am having trouble locating a plugin or script that will allow me to upload a large database of information into WordPress – AND – allowing me to upload it again and overwriting/updating information.  Some plugins that I have found MAY do the trick, but I am not interested in purchasing a script that will become useless immediately… but perhaps I should.  Suggestions?

So, How do I Choose?

Up to this point I have wasted a lot of time thinking about which way to go.  Until I find a plugin that can handle entering new ‘posts’ and categories – then being able to update those ‘posts’ again just by uploading the database, I am going to do it like this:

1. Is the database big, like 50 or more records?
2. Is the data in this database going to change regularly?
3.  Is this the kind of database that I can ‘drip post’ in over time?

If the answers are yes, yes, no – then I am going to write my own scripts.  If the answers are no, no, yes – it is WordPress all the way.  If the answers are yes, no, maybe – then I am back at the crossroads.

Why Don’t I Write the Plugin Myself?

There is the big problem.  I ‘barely’ know PERL.  I can just scratch an itch of PHP.  WordPress is PHP.  In order to write a plugin, I am going to have to learn PHP.  Right now I am just too busy.  PERL is still very powerful and still widely supported.  PHP is going to overtake PERL if it hasn’t already.

I am sure that someone has already written the perfect CSV or Text file to WordPress plugin.  I have seen a few that I have tried and can’t get to work the way I want them to.  And I am also sure that someone has privately built one and is using it to make a killing.

Drop me a lead and I will follow it to find out how well it works… and promote the plugin if it does what I need.

WP Standard Plugins

Whatdo I consider Standard Plugins?

For me – these standard plugins are the WordPress plugins that I use on almost ALL of the sites that I create.  I can’t say that each one goes on all sites, but you would find the majority there.  Why – because these plugins give ‘something’ that can help me with all the sites that I create, for myself, or for clients.

If you want to know what is driving visitors to your site, or help yourself out with administration, these are great plugins.

NOTE:  Last Updated on September 6th, 2009 – I will re-post an update time when I add/update/remove plugins, although I may not mention what was changed.

By the way – I don’t link to these plugins, because you can install them from your WordPress dashboard and get the most up to date version (plus a little oversight on developers) since it is located in the repository.

WP Plugin [Standard] List

  • Aksimet – from Automattic, the makers of WordPress.  This adequately eliminates spam from my websites.  I have much less to handle.  There is nothing more I can say about spam elimination.  A few comments will slip in that don’t belong in the comments, but since I don’t have to spend hours, the occasional errant comment is no problem.
  • All in One SEO Pack – Out-of-the-box SEO for your WordPress blog.  This plugin is consistently being developed.  It gives you excellent control of keywords, titles, meta-tags and more.
  • Full Comments on Dashboard – simple, it shows the full comment on your WP Dashboard.  I hated having to click through to a comment to read the whole thing, when I have the ability to approve it right there.  Imagine this scenario, a spammer can realize that MOST web administrators approve comments from the dashboard – especially if they are a large blog with many comments.  So, write a good comment – until you hit the character count, then add your spammy links… webmasters are bound to approve a few of these, right?
  • Google XML Sitemaps – within a day of creating a new site, you can see your latest article(s) in the search results.  And – driving traffic already.  That is proof enough.
  • WordPress Database Backup – We all know that we should.  Most of us don’t.  Plenty of us lose entire bodies of work.  This plugin makes it simple and automatic – right to your email.  Every site, every time.

That is my current list.  Got suggestions? Something I might like?