Sam Brown

9 Must Install Textpattern Plugins

There are hundreds of plugins out there for Textpattern, everything from admin-side, navigation, and commenting to keywords, meta data and statistics. Here is a list of 9 plugins I find myself using over and over again on many of my Textpattern powered sites.


This plugin creates a navigation bar as seen on Google when you search for something. It has a wide variety of attributes so you are able to customize it until you drop.

I have only just recently started using ob1_pagination (formerly ob1_googlenav) for several reasons, it allows for easier and better handling of paging in Textpattern as opposed to simple previous and next page links, but more importantly this is a good one for SEO and the robots that crawl your site. The multitude of deep links to previous pages on your site greatly increase the chances of your older data being crawled.

ob1_pagination – More info | Download


Article tagging

The description might be brief on this one, but it is pretty self explanatory. tru_tags brings article tagging to Textpattern with ease and simplicity, however it does use the Textpattern code and Keywords field to hold the tag data. This may be a draw-back for some if you are already using this field for something else, if not, this plugins rich feature set is a definite must have if you are a fan of tagging.

tru_tags – More info | Download


better comment-invites

Textpattern does allow you to edit what the Comment Invite link says, by default it is Comments and the number of comments on that article are appended so you end up with a link looking like “Comments (4)”.

With the fantastic gho_comments_invite plugin you can create much friendlier comment invites, for example you could have “No comments yet, be the first” to start and after a comment has been left you can display “1 Comment”, “2 Comments”, “7 People have Commented”… the possibilities are endless with a great set of customisable attributes.

gho_comments_invite – More info | Download


Alternates output based on even- or odd-numbered comments

A pretty simple but very helpful plugin that allows you to output different data depending on the comment number, particularly useful for alternating comment colour rows through CSS.

ajw_comment_alt – More info | Download

Note: This can be achieved just as easily with the zem_nth plugin which would be my 10th Must Install plugin.


gravatars for your comments

If you are a fan of Gravatars and you get your fair share of comments then this plugin adds a nice friendly touch to your comments, outputting the commenters Gravatar from the email address they submit their comment with.

glx_gravatar – More info | Download


Article listings by date or by category/section. Archive menu by month or year with totals.

In my opinion this should be built into the core of Textpattern, this is a definite must have plugin that allows you to create an archive of your old articles. There are three tags contained within this plugin, allowing you to display your older data in a variety of different ways.

rss_suparchive – More info | Download


Form mailer for Textpattern

Again, this is another Plugin for Textpattern that I feel should be in the core files. A brilliant plugin that has a vast array of features that allow you to create a very customisable form for your site. All the usual form attributes are obviously included as well as some helpful extras such as Server Info and Article sending. Don’t forget the required seperate language plugin, zem_contact_lang.

zem_contact_reborn – More info | Download


Automatically expand article advanced options.

A dead set simple and straight forward plugin that keeps the Advanced Options section of Writing an article open via a little JavaScript trickery. Very handy indeed.

rss_admin_show_adv_opts More info | Download


The rss_unlimited_categories plugin enables you to assign an unlimited number of categories to an article so that you’re not limited to the default number allowed by Textpattern (2).

The third plugin in the list by Rob Sable does exactly what it says on the tin. This is a very useful plugin, especially if you are unable to use the tru_tags plugin mentioned above. The plugin adds a multiple select list so that you can add an article to more than Textpatterns default 2 categories, and also offers some great public side tags for displaying categories which is an improvement over the original Textpattern cat’s.

rss_unlimited_categories – More info | Download

More Textpattern Resources & Links

Wrap Up

Remember, this is a list of my must install Textpattern plugins, there are a whole host of other plugins that I haven’t mentioned, infact, I haven’t even scratched the surface of the Textpattern plugin community. Be sure to list you favorites or must haves in the comments!

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qrayg 26 March 2008, 07:25 #1

Replace ajw_comment_alt with zem_nth, which can be used in any form… not just comments.

Sam Brown 26 March 2008, 07:29 #2

I concur, zem_nth is also a fantastic plugin and would be my 10th Must Install plugin. Article updated to reflect that.

Will Wilkins 26 March 2008, 13:18 #3

It would be nice if some of these would be built into Textpattern. However, that may reduce some of the modularity of TXP.

I was wondering if you had updated to TXP 4.0.6. If so, did it break most of the plugins that you use?

kus 2 April 2008, 15:06 #5

hello, Why do not including rss_db_man ? it superb plugin :)

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Sam Brown co-founded Iterate, and was previously VP of Design at Foursquare. Based in NYC.