How I Set up my WordPress Indieweb Website – 2019 Edition

This is an update to my 2018 article on how I set up my WordPress site.

Standard Plugins

  1. EWWW Image Optimizer(Link) – It reduces file sizes for images to ensure faster loading
  2. Pushover Notifications(Link)or the forked alternative Pushbullet Notifications(Link) for WordPress – This plugin sends notifications of site events to my phone. The Pushover version is actively maintained and allows for extensions.
  3. Simple Local Avatars(Link) – Overrides the default of using the Gravatar service for profile pictures to storing them locally. However, this plugin hasn’t been updated in years. May look for a new one.
  4. Avatar Privacy (Link) – Adds local avatars and custom default avatars, caches items from gravatar, adds opt out of avatars, etc. Should be a part of WordPress Core.
  5. The SEO Framework (Link) – Sometimes, I think about getting rid of all SEO plugins. I’m not really obsessed with this. This does add non-Indieweb markup for some sites that require it. It isn’t worth it for me to manually add this right now.  Last time I commented that I thought about getting rid of all SEO plugins. So I did.
  6. Antispam Bee(Link) – As an alternative to third-party solution Akismet, this plugin does a similar job without a third-party service.
  7. Hum(Link) – This is a simple URL shortener. So for each post, there is an equivalent URL address at This allows me to give out easier to enter links to longer post titles.
  8. JSON Feed(Link) – Adds a JSON Feed to a WordPress site. This is an alternative to RSS as a feed. I’ve used it to feed my content to more effectively, as the specification was co-created by Manton Reece, who is the creator of that service. The plugin could stand some enhancement. I now am a contributor.
  9. Series(Link) – Creates a simple taxonomy called ‘Series’. I added this to my site to allow creating series of articles. There are other plugins for this, but this one is extremely simple.
  10. WP Photo Sphere(Link) – For the rare occasions that I post 360 degree images. Rare as in I’ve only posted one. Hasn’t been updated in a year and was throwing errors.
  11. Dimage 360 (Link) – My current solution for displaying 360 degree images.
  12. Social Network Auto Poster(Link) – I keep wanting to get rid of this thing. But I haven’t spent the time to replace it. Thinking of doing that soon.
  13. Simple Location(Link) – You can call this an Indieweb plugin, but it isn’t specifically an Indieweb technology(although it does use Microformats markup). It adds location and weather awareness to a post. So, you can click to add your location and the current weather conditions at that location to a post.
  14. Home Assistant for WordPress(Link) – I use Home Assistant for my Home Automation integration. Since it has an API, I wrote this simple plugin. A year after I wrote this, I have not added the ability to display information from any sensor and to update a sensor on the Home Assistant side from WordPress as planned. I use it right now as an enhancement to Simple Location. Instead of getting my location from the browser, it gets it from my Home Assistant installation, which tracks my presence.
  15. WP Term Images(Link) – Allows you to set an image for any category, term, or tag. It hasn’t been updated in a while, but even though there are a few improvements I’d make, it does the job. My theme displays these images on archive pages, as well as in the RSS feed.  I may consider running a fork of it so I don’t have to add this in all my themes.

The Indieweb Stuff

  • WordPress Webmention(Link) – Adds webmention support for WordPress. This allows communications between sites.
  • Semantic Linkbacks(Link) – Adds richer content to WordPress comments received by Webmention. For example, interprets them as reply, repost, like, favorite, mention, etc. This allows different displays and actions to be done with them.
  • IndieAuth (Link) – Creates an IndieAuth endpoint on your site so you can log into other services with your website credentials.
  • Micropub (Link) – Adds the ability to post to your site using Micropub. Uses the IndieAuth plugin for login.
  • Post Kinds (Link) – A replacement for the WordPress Post Formats which uses Indieweb post types. It allows you to respond to content on other sites, generates previews of those sites for context, allows you to post activity type posts(like watching, listening, reading, etc).
  • Syndication Links(Link) – Another project, which adds fields to a post for the corresponding versions on other networks. It also adds links to same to the post. It also adds a UI for posting to other sites, with support for the Bridgy service built in.
  • Indieweb Plugin(Link) – The Indieweb plugin is not only a plugin installer, but it contains tools for adding rel-me links(urls to your presence on other sites) based on your profile, declaring the default author for your site, and adding a simple h-card widget to show off a primary author.
  • MF2 Feed (Link) – Accepting that it is hard to get a theme that supports Microformats 2 markup, as there are only a few, this tries to add a side file to your site with the data available. I use this as a way of testing it for those who may have no other easy way to be Indieweb capable.
  • Refback (Link) – I quickly created this a few months ago. It is very basic. A refback is when you take referrers to your website(URLs sent when someone visits your site from another site), and process them as responses to your site.

A Few Choices

  • The theme I use is a custom one I built, but the most popular theme for Indieweb sites is Sempress(Link). I am currently using a fork of the WordPress Twenty-Sixteen theme(link) called IW26 that I modified for Microformats and support of the plugins I use. I have an alternative theme, a fork on the popular Independent Publisher theme called Indieweb Publisher(link). I’m thinking of switching themes occasionally to mix things up.


Bridgy now has a WordPress plugin(link) which acts as a UI for registering and posting to Bridgy. Oddly enough, I wrote the plugin, but don’t actively use it. I need to fix my handling of syndication. I deprecated the Bridgy plugin and moved a new version of the functionality into Syndication Links. I am now using it.

Bridgy is a service that you can link your accounts on places like Twitter, Github and Facebook(deprecated due API changes) to, and it will pull in comments, likes, etc from those sites and send them to your site to be integrated. This requires the Webmention and Semantic Linkback plugins to understand what is being sent.

David Shanske

My day job is in training for an airline. I also develop Indieweb WordPress plugins so that others can take control of their online identity.

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