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Essential WordPress Plugins
WordPress offers the capacity to add great plugins that maximize your blog to its fullest potential – and beyond. There are plugins for just about anything you’d like to do with your blog.
Here are some essential plugins you should have installed, and some extra plugins worth including in your setup as well:
Askimet Anti-Spam and its Auntie
Spice is nice, but not on your blog. Unless you want links to questionable sites peppering the bedroom of your comment section, you need protection.
The Askimet plugin compares comments to Askimet’s database of no-nos and sends undesired comments to moderation instead of publication. You have the option of agreeing and marking the comment as spam or allowing the comment to pass through.
All-in-One SEO to Go
You can build it, but no one will come unless you make sure people can find your site.
Make it easy for search engines to find and return your blog’s URL to searcher and surfers with the All-in-One SEO Pack plugin. This plugin lets you set your title text, add meta descriptions to your posts, generate keywords from your content and helps you avoid the duplicate content penalty.
If you’re moving your blog to a new domain, optimize the chance people will find you by adding the Redirection plugin, a handy little tool that helps you redirect visitors arriving at your old site to your new site. The plugin also helps you monitor those nasty 404 page errors.
Burning Feeds with Feedsmith
Blogs are all about gaining readers, so you need to let people to get your content the way they want it. Adding RSS feed capacity helps visitors sign up and read your latest posts in their feed reader.
Opt for Feedburner, the most popular feed burner out there. It’s easy to use, quick to set up and handy to have on your blog. But you’ll need to install the Feedburner Feedsmith plugin to make your feed deliver properly.
The more people love your blog, the more they’ll tell others. Make it easy for people to spread the good news by offering social media options on your blog.
The Sociable plugin puts nice little social media buttons beneath each of your posts. Readers can enjoy and then click a button to tell their favorite social media friends to come take a look.
Many bloggers swear by StumbleUpon to send huge spikes of traffic, and this nice little plugin encourages readers to click and share.
Digg users like to have their own button, too. The Digg This plugin lets you post up those shiny gold squares to highlight some Digg shoveling.
Subscribe to Comment Heaven
The more comments your blog receives, the healthier it appears. People love vitality and want to get in on the action of a great discussion. Help them do that with comment options that increase conversation in your comment section.
Start by installing the Subscribe to Comments plugin, a nifty little checkbox that commentators click to receive new comments via email. It lets people stay on top of discussion, read what others have submitted and click through to come back and add more thoughts. A must!
Show a little love to your commentators, too, and help discourage link dropping. The Comment Luv plugin picks up the title of the person’s last post on their blog and displays it with their comment.
A typo? No problem. The WP Ajax Edit Comments plugin lets commentators have a few minutes to correct typos of published comments, clarify a sentence that could be misunderstood or choose better words to say what they mean.
Your sidebar offers plenty of potential to make your WordPress blog more functional, interesting and most importantly, sticky. After all, you want readers to hang around longer, don’t you? Try these plugins to encourage traffic to stay.
Keep readers reading by installing the Recent Posts plugin. This handy plugin displays links to your latest posts and gives readers choices of what to read next.
Put another brick in your wall with the WP Wall plugin, a must for people who love graffiti. This plugin lets people scribble a quick word on your wall to make it a lovely collection of compliments and kudos. (And in case they leave nasty words on the Wall, you’ll have moderation powers to wipe the writing away.)
Everyone loves being tops. The Top Commentator plugin highlights the commentators that say the most on your blog. It also adds a little competition, too, as top commentators jostle to win first position.
Put comments in the spotlight too, by adding the Get Recent Comments plugin. It lets you capture recent comments, control display options and shows your blog is full of vitality and great conversation.
A Little More Action, Please
When you’re blogging for business or need to turn hits to sales, make it easy for people to contact you. People need to be able to reach you with questions about your products or hire you for your services, after all.
The cForms II plugin lets you install a super contact form on your blog. You can stylize it for great looks, optimize it to help filter questions and create dynamic forms for your needs. In a word, it’s awesome.
WordPress Upgrade Away
Change is inevitable, and usually, it’s for the better. WordPress engineers are constantly tweaking the platform and releasing new versions that just get better each time.
Stay on top of changes by installing the WordPress Upgrade plugin, a neat little friend to help you upgrade your WordPress version in five quick steps without having to fiddle with any files. Now how easy is that?
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