Over the course of your WordPress blogging, you are going to have plugins that come and go in your search for that perfect add-on that compliments your amazing content. The following list is my must have WordPress plugin resource that is not part of the “I just want to try it out” crowd. This list of plugins for WordPress stay activated on my blogs 24/7 and have become incredibly useful over time.
Plugins provide functionality outside of the core WordPress code that increases interaction and functionality within your blog that may or may not be relevant to all blogs. This list will be relevant to 99% of the blogs on the web as they are generic functions that exist on all WordPress blogs as your blog readers engage with your content. As you go through the list, you can click on the provided links to find out more about the coder and find the most recent copy of the WordPress plugin.
- Comment Relish – Justin Shattuck threw together Comment Relish to help increase your RSS count by sending off a simple email when a reader first comments on your blog. With its own admin panel, it is highly configurable and it only sends a email on that readers first comment. If you are looking to increase your subscription rate by inviting readers who have already taken action on your blog, Comment Relish is a great plugin to try out. Your personal email can contain anything you specify from an invite to subscribe to your newsletter, rss feed, to take a look at the latest eBook you published or just to say thank you for taking the time to comment on your blog article.
- Feed Footer – There are times that I want to promote an eBook, encourage newsletter subscription or place an ad at the bottom of the posts in my feed, but I want that process to be easy. That is where Feed Footer steps in. With this easy to configure plugin, you are able to add a footer containing anything you want at the bottom of the posts in your feed. Better yet…it allows you to configure each of your 10 most recent articles separately if you want different content on each article.
- FlickrRSS – The web is getting centered around multimedia more and more each day. I use th FlickrRSS plugin to share pictures with my readers and increase traffic. On robbsutton.com, the images you see in the sidebar are my own, but on Mountain Biking by 198, the images are user submitted riding and bike pictures pulled from a Flickr group. By increasing reader participation, you keep subscribers longer and provide your readers with a source to get their images on Flickr more targeted traffic. It is a win/win for both of you. FlickrRSS is easy to install and configure for you needs.
- Google XML Sitemaps – It is always good practice to have your sitemaps updated in all of the major search engines. I do not want to take the time to manually update them all, so I have Google XML Sitemaps do it for me. Even-though Google is in the title, this plugin updates all (including Bing) search engines to make this maintenance task on your blog go on auto pilot.
- MaxBlogPress Ninja Affiliate – This is one plugin I can not live without. If you are serious about making even 5 dollars off your blog through affiliate promotions, you have to have the MaxBlogPress Ninja Affiliate plugin. It takes all of your affiliate linking and does the work for you. Better yet, when a link changes, all you have to do is change one setting in Ninja instead of going through every blog post on your blog. This is an incredible time savor in the quest to making money off your blog and I do not have a single blog that runs without it. It increased my affiliate income by at least 25% just by making things more efficient and less time consuming.
- Platinum SEO Pack – The Platinum SEO Pack is almost identical to the popular All in One SEO Pack, but with one major feature that was extremely important to my blogging…automatic 301 redirects for changes in permalinks. If you want to change your permalink structure on your WordPress blog, the Platinum SEO Pack will automatically make sure that your search engine visitors land on the right page and you don’t lose any of your links or Google Pagerank. The rest of the plugin handles all of your WordPress blog’s SEO tasks and makes sure that you are getting the best results as you can out of your blog.
- Redirection – Redirection is a simple plugin that allows you to configure 301 redirects in you WordPress blog.
- Sociable – Yoast’s Sociable plugin automatically inserts (or manually if you prefer to insert the code yourself) social media buttons at the bottom of your blog posts. This highly configurable plugin allows you to pick which sites you want to display, the text that appears above the icons and how the icons are displayed. As an added bonus, you can insert your own social media icons if you prefer not to use the ones provided with the plugin. If you know a little bit about CSS styling, you can really make this plugin jump off the page.
- Subscribe to Comments – As readers comment on your blog, you can increase return visits and conversation by installing the Subscribe to Comments plugin. This WordPress plugin sends an email to your commenter every time a new comment is left on that particular article when they check the subscriber button during the comment process. This will encourage readers to revisit that article and participate in the conversation further.
Ideally, we would like to have every feature we need in our blogs hard coded for efficiency, but…luckily…Wordpress handles their add-on feature efficiently and easily. The list you just read are WordPress plugins that I use on every one of my WordPress blogs. There are other plugins I use that perform different needed tasks, but this list rarely changes across the board. As you look at your blog, ask yourself which features are most important to your readers and design your blog around that idea. Try to stay away from wasting time trying out every plugin in the WordPress directory. Install the necessities and get to writing content that your readers can soak up like sun on the beach.