If you run your blog on WordPress, you must be aware of the plugins and their utility in WordPress. In fact it’s because of these Plugins that WordPress has become a darling of Bloggers the world over.
Here is my compilation of most useful and must-haves plugins for Word-press which should be in the arsenal of any serious blogger. I have described these plugins category-wise based on their utility.
Plugins to save your Data (your valuable posts )
WordPress DatabaseBackup : Backing up your WordPress database should be done frequently especially when you are adding content actively. WordPress DatabaseBackup offers a one click database backup to help you backup your data easily. You may download the backup file, or have it emailed to the address of your choice. It’s included in Wordpress 2.0. by default but you’ll have to enable it. It’s a must have plugin.
Plugins to protect your blog from Spams
Akismet : This could be your best friend if your blog is inundated with comment spams. Akismet is a spam filter which checks your comments against the Akismet web service to see if they look like spam or not. Don’t waste your time deleting spam comments. Akismet will automate the entire process with ease by running hundreds of tests on your comments, trackbacks, and pingbacks to ensure their validity. You need a WordPress.com API key (free to get) to use this service. It’s easy to setup and runs quietly in the background. Fortunately, it comes preinstalled with WordPress and it will separate the genuine comments from spams on it’s own. Just like Yahoo and Gmail separate spams from your inbox automatically. It’s a must have plugin.
Bad Behaviour – This plugin isn’t as well known as the Akismet but it should definitely be on your list. Bad Behaviour denies automated spambots access to your PHP-based Web site. This plugin complements Akismet by preventing spammers from ever delivering their junk in the first place. Though it’s not a must have plugin and Akismet will be enough for you, in case you need extra security, install this plugin.
Plugin to Protect from Heavy traffic load :
WP-Cache – Your blog may be new and probably you don’t require this plugin right now. However, I advised you to have it installed in advance as you never know when your post can beome an instant hit in online world resulting into a server crash. This plugin is an extremely efficient page caching system that will make your site much faster and responsive. This plugin is very useful for handling sudden bursts of traffic coming from social bookmarking sites like Digg. Reddit and Slashdot. WP-Cache basically creates static versions of your pages so that they can be served to your visitors without querying the MySQL database. It’s a must-have for all bloggers. Installing it is a bit difficult. Here is one useful installation tutorial for it.
Plugins to help you write quick post
Admin Drop Down Menu : You know, when you are in WordPress admin area and want to perform certain task such as editing your index.php theme, you’ll have to click ‘Presentation’ and then click on the second lever menu which is ‘Theme Editor’.
Here’s where Admin Drop Down Menu comes in. It eliminates the need for this double clicking by allowing you to see the second level menu just by placing your mouse over a main menu. The image below shows the ‘Plugins’ main menu is currently selected but it also shows the ‘Presentation” second level menu by placing the mouse over it. Neat isn’t it.
Plugin to add Adsense Code easily
Adsense-Deluxe : Adsense Deluxe is a great plugin allowing you to plug your Adsense ads easily anywhere within your post simply by inserting html comments. You can define a single default code or as many variations as you like for your skyscraper, banner, link unit ads. It allows you to test your Adsense styles without having to edit your Wordpress templates. However, if you want to use the ads defined in Adsense-Deluxe within your WordPress templates, you can do so by placing the following code where you want the ads to appear:
<?php adsense_deluxe_ads(‘Ad_Name’); ?>
If you use Adsense on your blog, it’s a must have plugin for you.
Adsense Injection : Ad blindness is a common problem, which makes your visitors ignore your similar looking and always single position google adsense ads. Adsense Injection wordpress plugin will let you insert ads randomly in your post, reduce ad blindness and increase clicks. This plugin takes a random paragraph break in your article and inserts google adsense code. It does one per story by letting you pick how many total ads to do (0-3) and pick the formats and colors you want it to randomly select from.
It’s not a must have plugin but a good to experiment.
Plugin to assist your readers in reading your Blog:
Related Posts : One way to increase your blog page view is by adding links to posts which are related to the one they are currently reading. You can do this with Related Posts plugin which automatically returns a list of related entries based on active/passive keyword matches.
Your post title will be used for matching but you can also manually relate entries using keywords in situations where post’s title may have little to do with post’s content.
Many bloggers have experience that adding a descriptive title helps the plugin to find more relevant matching entries. After installation, you can specify the number of related posts to show, include excerpt and among others.
Show Top Commentators : This plugin is an excellent choice if you are looking for a way to increase your comments and the interaction among your readership. Show Top Commentators encourages discussion by rewarding readers for making a comment. The top commentators are displayed in the sidebar with the number of comments they have made and a link back to their website.
Popularity Contest – This plugin allows you to show off your most popular posts in the sidebar of your WordPress blogs.
Plugins to help readers share your post & contact you.
Digg This – This plugin automatically adds a Digg story link whenever it detects incoming links from Digg.com. This is an excellent way to promote your articles on one of the most popular social bookmarking sites around.
Share this : A wonderful plugin that let the users share your post in a number a numer of ways. It provides an unobtrusive way for your visitors to add your post to various social bookmarking sites, or send a link via e-mail to a friend. A must have plugin.
WP-ContactForm : If you want to add a contact form in your blog, WP-ContactFrom might be the one for you. Leaving their comments is one way for your readers to communicate with you but having a contact form allow them to get in touch with you regarding matters not related to the post you made. Wp-ContactForm is very easy to use, just drop the HTML comment, <!–contact form–> anywhere in your post and you are ready to go.
Plugins to make your post more visible to search engine
Google Sitemaps – This plugin will automatically create a Google compliant sitemap of your WordPress blog to ensure that all of your pages are indexed in Google. This is one plugin you definitely don’t want to be without. It creates a sitemap for your blog and whenever you publish a new post, it pings Google ! Results : Your pages in Google search index within 24 hour ! A must have plugin.
Ultimate Tag Warrior – This is the best tag system for WordPress. Ultimate Tag Warrior will help you pick up more traffic from Technorati and adds a number of SEO benefits to your blog. If you are not able to think apprpriate tag words, it ‘ll even suggest you tagwords by taking the healp Yahoo. A must have .
SEO Title Tag – Title tags are one of the most important on-page factors for search engine optimization. This plugin allows you to optimize your title tag for optimum traffic.
Plugins to subscribe more readers to your RSS feed
RSS , the Rich Site Summary is a way to keep readers update about your site without their reaching your site. Your site’s summary reach them through your RSS feed.
Feedburner Feed Replacement (also know as Feedsmith) – This popular plugin forwards all of your feed traffic to Feedburner. FeedSmith often causes an elusive “bump in subscribers” when you first activate it because it will detect all ways to access your feed. Readers coming from http://www.yoursite.com/feed/ or http://www.yoursite.com/wp-rss2.php will both be redirected to your FeedBurner feed so that you can accurately track your subscriber base.
Three plugins to make it easy for your readers to subscribe
1. What would Seth Godin do : Yes it’s the name of the plugin. Seth Godin is actually is a best-selling author of business books and speaker . He is one of the most popular bloggers in the world and founder of Squidoo – a popular social networking website. What would Seth Godin do plugin is aimed towards first time visitors of your blog and displays a reminder at the beginning of the first post asking readers to subscribe to your blog’s feed. It works based on session cookies, and normally displays the following message 3 times to new visitors:
2. Subscribe Me : The Subscribe Me WordPress plugin lets you display chicklets on your blog, so that visitors can subscribe to the feed using their favourite RSS reader. You can customize the chicklets that get displayed using the Plugin’s options page.
3. Subscribe Remind : This WordPress plugin will place a reminder under each post, requesting your readers to subscribe. Note that it’ll be displayed permanently, irrespective of new/returning visitors – because it is not based on cookies.
Here ends my largest post till date on this blog. I have covered all the essential plugin you’ll ever need to make your wordpress blog a success. Installing these plugins will immensely help your blog. If you think there is another important plugin that I have missed, you are welcome to sugest it by making a comment.
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