WordPress Plugins is what makes the CMS such a great tool to use and play with. A good plugin can make a huge difference to the outcome of your blog in many ways. This could be the visual aspect of it, the interactivity of your traffic, the money that you could make from it, and also to help you in your SEO efforts.
Today, I want to share with you 10 of my favourite WordPress Plugins that I use in most of my blogs that I know that you will also get a lot of value out of. So in no particular order, here they are:
- Comment Luv – The Comment Luv Plugin was set up to allow you (the blog owner) to reward your readers if they leave a comment on one of your posts. What happens is that when you leave a comment, a titled link to their last blog post will appear. It is a great tool that actively encourages people to leave a comment. You can even make some changes so that the link is dofollow as well.
- Akismet – This one comes standard these days and it is the original spam stopper. It runs it’s own web service, and will check your comments against their service to see if it is spam or not. Gives you a chance to review the spam too, just in case a real comment slips through the net.
- All In One SEO Pack – If you are interested in SEO and getting your blog ranked well, then this one is a must have. You get to choose the title, description and also the keywords for single posts, as well as your index.php and any pages you have on your blog. There is also a setting so that you can avoid duplicate content with your categories and tags sections.
- Tweetmeme – A newcomer although it has spread like wildfire and for good reason too. This plugin allows you to ‘retweet’ the article you are reading directly to Twitter. Everyone seems to be on Twitter these days, so it can create you a lot of traffic as people begin to retweet your article. Comes as a WordPress Plugin and also a script which offers more functionality as to where you can place it on your article. Get your blog whitelisted by the Tweetmeme team and this will add even more credibility to your work.
- Contact Cold Form – Every blog needs a contact page and form, and this one works great and is very easy to use. You can see it in action at my WordPress Consulting blog. My favourite part is the simple anti spam challenge.
- Add Sig – This WordPress Plugin allows you to automatically have your signature displayed at the bottom of your posts. It is very adaptable, and you can allow it to be on single posts, pages, or whereever you choose. You can use HTML too and use anchored text in your signature, for a nice little SEO boost.
- TinyMCE Advanced – I really can’t live without this one. It is the advanced model of the standard visual editor that comes built in to WordPress. Allows a tone more options to visually change not only the look of your articles, yet there are also some SEO tricks you can do with it too, and we all want to get a bit more traffic right?
- WordPress.com Stats – One of my favourites, after all, who doesn’t like to see how much traffic their blog is getting. There are plenty of stat counters out there, although this one makes life pretty easy. It will show you where all your traffic is coming from, and what search terms people used to find you too, as well as telling you what people clicked on when they leave your site. You will need a WordPress.com API key for this, the same one you use for Akismet is fine.
- S-ButtonZ – This wordpress plugin has undergone some great changes of late, and incorporates several social media voting style buttons to appear on your article post. At the moment there are Digg, Yahoo Buzz, Reddit, and dZone buttons as part of the package. Very flexible settings and having these buttons on your article will encourage readers to give you a vote or two.
- WP-Cache – This WordPress Plugin is a very efficient page caching system that will make your blog much more faster, and responsive too. Basically it caches your posts and pages and stores them in a static file for serving future requests instead of loading up everything else. If you write a hot article and traffic is flowing thick and fast to your site, you will want to hope this plugin is installed.
There you go, 10 of my favourite WordPress plugins that will not only make your blogging experience a lot easier, they will improve your readers experiece as well, and not to mention the boost you will receive in the search engine rankings if you adjust the settings correctly. If you feel that I have missed any plugins out here that you think should be here, let me know and I’ll gladly check them out.