We all know WordPress is by far the best blogging platform out there. Period.
Those n00bie bloggers may disagree and say Blogger is the best place to host a blog, but the pros know where the good software is at.
I often receive e-mails from readers asking me to suggest my favourite plugins to use. I’ve compiled a list of the top 5 plugins I couldn’t imagine being without. Over all, I run about 25 or so different plugins, but these are at the top of my list.
- Shutter Reloaded – If you use images in your posts, or more importantly link to images to expand them in your visitors’ browsers, you’ll appreciate this plugin. What it does is take an image link and open it in a hovering window on top of the post. This not only helps the visitor to see the image, but it doesn’t lead them away from your blog in a new window or tab.
- WP Super Cache – Load time of a blog is extremely important and if your site is too slow, your visitors will go somewhere else. This plugin takes your database and caches it on the server for quick retrieval when visitors come to your blog. There are also numerous options available within the plugin, such as how much of a cache to keep and the option to delete the cache completely.
- cforms II – There are simple “contact us” forms, then there’s cforms II. I’ve never seen a form plugin with so many options – it’s almost overwhelming. You can use this plugin to get your readers to e-mail you. Why I like this is because there’s also the option to accept file submissions, such as images, video, mp3’s etc.
- Akismet – This plugin is standard with every installation of WordPress and helps protect your blog against spam. So far to date, this plugin has helped stop over 14,000 spam comments since I installed it. While it doesn’t prevent ALL spam, it captures about 99% of it.
- All in One SEO – This is my favourite plugin of all time as far as optimizing my blog for the search engines. I’ve written about this before, and most bloggers will agree, you need to have this plugin installed if you’re serious about getting traffic from Google, Yahoo!, MSN etc. It gives you a number of customizations for your posts, including title tag options, and the ability to add meta tags to each post.
Best New Plugin
iWPhone – With all the people using iPhones these days and surfing the ‘Net, it’s important to make sure your blog is readable on the tiny screen. What iWPhone does is convert your blog’s layout to fit the iPhone’s screen, but it doesn’t affect the way normal visitors on a computer see your site. There is no noticeable difference in the appearance of your site, unless you’re on the iPhone.
Best Sitemap Plugin
Google (SML) Sitemaps Generator – This plugin generates a XML-Sitemap compliant sitemap of your WordPress blog. This format is supported by Ask.com, Google, Yahoo! and MSN Search. If you want all of your pages indexed in the search engines, then make sure they’re easily accessible – and the easiest way to do that is with a sitemap.
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