10 must have plugins for my blog

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I’ve been emailed lately about my tech ‘stuff’ after I accidentally outed myself as a WordPress aficionado in a community that thought I was ‘only a writer’. Oooops πŸ˜‰

I’ve got about 23 plugins on this blog now – some are because I’m looking to see if I can replace a plugin that’s not quite doing what I want. But I’ve got a set of ten plugins that I like to use, and in the coming weeks, I’m going to try to put up some in-depth tutorials at my WPwonderwoman site. For now though, the ten recommendations πŸ˜‰

  1. All in One SEO – whether I’m using Thesis or another theme with built-in SEO or not, I prefer to use All in One SEO – because I’m fickle when it comes to themes, and like to mix them up as often as I can. This way, I’m not losing all of my SEO fun stuff because I’ve suddenly disabled the theme that’s using it. It’s also number 1 because though SEO isn’t my top priority on this blog, it is in other places, to make sure the information gets spread out as far as it goes (such as bi-polarbears)
  2. After the Deadline – I discovered this plugin recently and it’s been something I’ve been looking for, for a while. Basically, it’s your ‘word’ grammar and spelling check – on your blog.
  3. Akismet – don’t overlook it just because it’s pre-bundled into WordPress (conversely I drop ‘Hello Dolly’ as soon as I start adding plugins). This small, but mighty plugin takes care of all my spam problems for me.
  4. Contact Form 7 – One of the biggest problems I’ve encountered with contact forms is spam. Contact form 7 lets me work on my site and have a contact form, without worrying about waking up to a bazillion spam messages.
  5. To make contact form 7 work, you need ‘Really simple CAPTCHA‘. If you’re having problems with spam, you can add the CAPTCHA to your comments too – there are instructions bundled with the plugin.
  6. Instant weekly roundup – this is a lifesaver plugin when you’re having to run a roundup of what you’ve done on your blog – it’s something I’ve missed about my blog lately, but this plugin makes it a snap. Just a couple of clicks and et viola – a ’roundup’ of your posts, with links so people can see what they’ve missed. Deep linking for the win!
  7. Zemanta – You know all the images and links in my post? I don’t search for them – they’re provided automatically based on what I write by a really neat plugin called ‘Zemanta’. It pulls information and presents it to you – you can then choose to insert or use the bits you want. It’s fun to watch the images at the side update too πŸ˜‰
  8. Google XML sitemaps – absolutely must have to go with any SEO effort, this gives google a machine readable ‘site map’ outlining how your site links to pages etc. Perfect for hands off automation.
  9. WordPress Editorial Calendar – Gotta have this, especially as my goal now is to get material set up and ready to post in advance. Was recommended right at the beginning of the 30 Day Blogging Challenge and it’s been so worthwhile.
  10. Anything that tracks stats – I like WordPress Statistics, which gives me the opportunity to make sure that I’m getting traffic, and what’s popular so I can adjust what I’m posting.

Head nod to Glennette who raised a great point on a Facebook discussion -backing up. It
s crucial that you install a backup plugin – there are several brilliant ones – and I mntion them and the rest of these plugins in my blog startup guide. If you’ve got any suggestions, chuck em in the comments πŸ˜‰
If you need more ideas, keyword tracking, posting direct to Ezine articles and do follow plugins are a great place to start πŸ™‚ One of the other ’30 Day blog challengers’ (Glennete) is also publishing overviews of each plugin, so you should check them out πŸ™‚

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2 Responses

  1. Glennette says:

    Great post! Thanks for the mention. What did we do before WordPress and plugins? LOL

    Glennette Goodbread
    Premium Web Design and Hosting

  2. stone says:

    Thanks for the ideas!
    I got busy and installed WordPress Statistics as soon as I read your blog… Just waitin 4 those stats (rubs hands vigorously) :b
    I’d been limited to statcounter which offers spotty information, and the stats provided by the webhost which are confusing…

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