An Introduction to Plugins

Plugins are a powerful way to change what your WordPress site does. They can be very simple, allowing you to add, for example, new collections of fonts to your page site. But plugins can also be very complex. You could use a configuration of different plugins to change a simple site into something that functions like an academic journal.

WordPress is powerful in part because an enormous number of plugins have been created for it, and we’ve included some of them as part of MLA Commons. If you have a site, you can select Plugins from the left-hand menu of the WP-Admin area to see what’s available and to turn any of them on or off. The following list provides an overview of what we have, and it might give you ideas about the kinds of projects that are possible on MLA Commons. Each plugin is linked to its official site in case you’d like to read more about it.

Anthologize allows you to export the content of your WordPress site as an electronic book in PDF, EPUB, or TEI files. You might look at this ProfHacker column about it.

CommentPress Core allows readers to comment paragraph by paragraph in the margins of a text. A paper by Kathleen Fitzpatrick explains in detail how it can be used in an academic setting.

Creative Commons Configurator will add a Creative Commons license to your site.

FeedWordPress allows you to embed content from RSS feeds—from, for example, other sites, like Twitter and Flickr—into your site.

Google Doc Embedder lets you embed a variety of file formats (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and pdf, among others) in your Web page using the Google Docs interface.

jQuery Hover Footnotes lets you use footnotes in posts and pages.

OpenBook uses Open Library’s data to display a book’s cover image, title, author, links, and other book data when given the book’s ISBN. You can do this either in a post or in a sidebar widget.

Password Protected lets you add a password to your site, making it invisible to those who don’t have it.

Print Friendly & Print PDF buttons will add buttons to your posts that allow you to format them for printing or save them as PDF files.

ScholarPress COinS will add COinS metadata for citations to any post that contains COinS data so that they can be read by other COinS interpreters. This is useful for making your posts Zotero friendly.

TypeKit Fonts for WordPress allows you to use Adobe TypeKit fonts on your MLA Commons site.

WordPress Importer allows you to import content that’s previously been exported from another WordPress site.

WP-Markdown allows you to use the MarkDown text markup language in posts and comments.

WP-Polls allows you to add customizable polls to a post or a widget.

WP Accessibility allows you to improve accessibility features on your site.

WP Google Maps allows you to easily embed custom Google Maps in your posts.

Because MLA Commons is a complex system, we’ve prevented users from adding their own plugins. But we’re not averse to adding more plugins to this list; if you know of a plugin that would benefit other users of MLA Commons, let us know and we’ll consider adding it. Just send the name to