The Turning Gate gets a facelift


I spend so much time driving the car, I rarely get to spend any time tuning the engine. Eventually, though, the lack of maintenance catches up to you. And so it's long overdue, but I've finally given The Turning Gate a facelift, retiring my old CHADO theme and replacing it with shiny, new CE3 Theme for WordPress.

The theme isn't the only change, though. I've also taken some time to reevaluate and replace my suite of WordPress plugins.

First thing I did was disable Jetpack. There are a million reasons not to be using Jetpack, but I'll spare you the tirade; it's a blog post for another time. These are the plugins now running on The Turning Gate, and the reasons why:

Helps to prevent spam through comments.

Contact Form 7
I use this to create email forms on my site, such as on my Support > Contact page. This has been my favorite form plugin for years.

NextScripts: Social Networks Auto-poster
Pushes my blog posts to my social networks. Presently setup for Facebook and Twitter, though it also supports Google+, LinkedIn and others. I may setup more accounts for auto-posting later. Replaces Jetpack's "Publicize" module.

Really Simple CAPTCHA
Works hand-in-hand with Contact Form 7, allowing me to include captchas in my forms.

Shareaholic | share buttons, analytics, related content
Adds share buttons to my posts, allowing you all to spread the love. Replaces Jetpacks "Sharing" module.

Single Post Template
Allows me to select alternate layouts for individual posts. This is packed in with and supported by CE3 Theme for WordPress. See our documentation for information.

Allows users to signup to receive new blog posts via email. Replaces Jetpack's "Subscriptions" module. For those of you who had previously signed up for email notifications in the previous iteration of The Turning Gate, under Jetpack's subscriptions, I've migrated your address to Subscribe2 and you will continue to receive posts in your email. You may manage your subscription from the sidebar of this page.

Subscribe To Comments
Allows readers to subscribe to individual comments threads, so that they will receive notice when threads are updated with new replies. Replaces Jetpack's "Notifications" module, or at least as much of it as I was using it for.

W3 Total Cache
Improves WordPress performance and lightens its impact on the web server.

Helps to cleanup and optimize your WordPress database to keep you site running lean -- removing revisions, comments spam and trash, orphaned options from plugins and themes, etc.

As for the featured image on this post, I see these billboards practically every time I leave my apartment. It's my punishment for living in Gangnam (yes, that Gangnam). And no, I do not approve of Gangnam style.

Have you found plugins that you love? Let us know in the comments!

2 Responses to “The Turning Gate gets a facelift”

  1. JayM says:

    Hard to believe how far TTG has come with the ability to create blogs now! That said I am now interested in your reasons for removing Jetpack. I have it as well on my site and always thought it was a no-brainer plugin and really didn’t put any thought into it beyond that. I’ll have to check out the other plugins you referenced.

    · November 15, 2013 @ 9:00 am

    • Matt says:

      Perhaps I will put together that Jetpack post at some point then. In the meantime, you can read some of my thoughts on it, and bounce out to additional reading from this forum conversation.

      · November 15, 2013 @ 10:10 am

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