It is common knowledge among blog enthusiasts that the first thing you should put in mind when having a blog is usability. If a blog is visitor-friendly, expect hundreds or even thousands of visitors just because of that fact. Content in itself is useless if your visitors can’t fully enjoy and/or use it.
For this simple reason, we tend to add custom navigation panels, use clean and simple themes and utilize a multitude of plugins and add-ons that cater to this need. More often than not we get too busy with all the complexities in blog management that we forget the simplest details. Content sharing. Making sure people can easily share your content is one of the things the blog owner should not forget to prioritize.
And something a lot of bloggers overlook is…. a print friendly website. Sure, it might be a little “old-school” but the reality is this, most people want something they can actually read on paper. Plus, adding one on your WordPress blog is as simple as installing a plugin.
To make it even easier for you, here is a compilation of the 7 best plugins to optimize your blog for print.
1) PrintFriendly (WordPress version 1.5 or higher)
Printfriendly is one of the many plugin out there that will make your life easier just because it can. Co-authored by Joost De Valk, creator of many SEO plugins out there, PrintFriendly puts usability and customization first for the visitor. Not only does it provide print support capability for your blog, it also gives your visitor the capability to convert your post into a customized PDF file.
2) PrintWhatYouLike (WordPress version 1.5 or higher)
It works like most top-tier print functionality plugins out there. You can edit the post and even unedit it to get the original post format. It also allows you to print in a pdf format. One good thing about this plugin is that it allows you to decide where you can place the “print” button on your blog.
3) Cleanprint (WordPress version 2.0.2 to 3.0.1)
Cleanprint is considered on the most flexible and user-friendly plugins for print functionality. Aside from the usual print and pdf capability, it also gives users the capability to forward the blog post to different email services from the page itself.
Editing can be done on a pop up editor with your basic editing tools. The best thing about Cleanprint is its capability to let users print the post in a “magazine” style format that includes both the header and the logo. Albeit compatibility issues with some WordPress themes, Cleanprint still stands as one of the more popular print functionality plugins out there. You can also choose where to place the print button (either top or bottom of a post).
4) WP Print (WordPress2.8 or higher up to 3.5.1)
A flexible plugin that lets the blog owner specify different print styles through the use of dedicated CSS files. You will be given the choice to embed the print option through a PHP call (for advanced users) or a short code (for amateurs and beginners). You can also exclude certain parts of a post through the use of a special short code. This plugin almost has no problem with compatibility with most WordPress themes.
5) Print Me! (WordPress 3.8 or higher up to 3.4.2)
As the name suggests, Print Me! gives your user the choice to print the entire content in a printer-friendly format. Placing it on your blog is as easy as placing a shortcode. The short code can also be embedded in different custom post types with no known hitches. For advanced users, the plugin can be embedded just about anywhere in your blog through a PHP function.
Print Button Shortcode (WordPress 2.9 or higher up to 3.4.2)
For people who want easy and nonsensical print functionality then Print Button Shortcode is the best one there is. Just insert the [print-button] shortcode wherever you want in your content and the print button will appear and do your visitor’s bidding. Customization goes as far as being able to print only div elements by inserting the said div elements within the shortcode. This is great for people who just want certain regions of their pages to be printable.
7) WP Print Friendly (WordPress 3.1 or higher up to 3.5.1)
WP Print Friendly is all about unique features. This plugin allows you to configure different print templates for pages, posts and other custom posts. This allows you to provide optimized printing templates for your visitors for different parts of your site.
Did you already optimize your blog for printers? Share your experience and favorite plugins in the comments below!
Guest Post by:
Rogier van Evans of Inktweb.nl, an online store selling cartridges, toners and other printing supplies. A big lover of technology, start-ups and debating on Android vs Apple.
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