When first began blogging I used Blogger as the platform for all of my blogs, I still have several hosted there. I must admit that what attracted me to the service was the ease of use and that fact that it was free. I couldn’t have imagined what my investment of a little time learning about Word Press and less than five dollars per month for hosting would mean for my results from blogging.
There are numerous advantages gained by using WordPress as the platform for your blog, the variety of plugins available is among the most significant. Plugins allow you to maximize every aspect of your blog both in appearance and function. Today, I was visiting with a marketer who is in the process of evolving his first blog and we were discussing how to make the most of your blog theme and structure.
I concluded the conversation by promising to write a short post sharing my recommendation of a few key plugins to optimize WordPress. I’ve decided to share ten, the list could easily be thirty as there really are some innovative options depending on what you want to achieve. Let me start with a quick explanation of what a plugin is and the purpose of adding them to your blog.
Simply stated, a plugin is a piece of code that controls certain aspects of your blog, from SEO optimization to appearance you can dramatically enhance every aspect of your blog. Here is a resource to help you better understand the value of using WordPress and Plugins:
Here is my top ten for today. I recommend that you install these in your blog and take care to set each one up and take full advantage of each customizable feature when available.
1. All in One SEO Pack by Michael Torbert: This plugin will provide you all of the basic features for search engine optimization and will satisfy the needs of most bloggers. There is a Pro Version of this plugin worth consideration and you can read more about Michael Tobert and his plugins on his blog http://michaeltorbert.com
I use this plugin or another called Platinum SEO Pack on all of my blogs. There are other SEO related plugins, but this is the one I would recommend for most bloggers.
2. Google XML Site Map by Arne Brachhold: This plugin makes it very simple to install a SEO friendly site map on your blog, which is essential to maximize both search engine optimization and your users experience. To learn more about Arne Brachhold and access some amazing content visit his blog http://www.arnebrachhold.de
3. SEO Title Tag by Stephan Spencer: Create a customized title tag for any post, static page, category page, UltimateTagWarrior tag page – indeed, any URL! And will auto-insert the tag name into the title on tag pages generated by UltimateTagWarrior plugin. Admin allows for mass editing of title tags. To learn more about StephanSpencer visit his blog http://www.netconcepts.com/seo-title-tag-plugin
4. Hyper Cache by Stefano Lissa: Hyper Cache system for WordPress will improve your blog perfomance and save resources. By utilizing a cache plugin you will improve page load times among a number of other benefits. To learn more about Stefano Lissa visit his blog http://www.satollo.net
5. MBP Ping Optimizer by Max Blog Press: Using this plug in will save your Word Press blog from getting tagged as ping spammer which may result in your blog being banned from these vital services.n. This plug in solves a couple of critical issues with the manner in which Word Press auto pings your post. To learn more about Max Blog Press visit their blog http://www.maxblogpress.com
6. Link Within by Link within: I love this plug in because it ensures that your older post remain relevant to new visitors to your blog by offering an attractive thumbnail of a few of your past post at the footer of every post on your blog. To learn more about Max Blog Press visit their blog, although there is not a ton of content there – just access to a few recommended uses and the download link http://www.linkwithin.com/learn
7. Pretty Link by Blair Williams: As an affiliate marketer and information products publisher, Pretty Link has become one of my favorite plugins. This clever plug in allows you to add a keyword redirect to the end of your domain name, which can be used to redirect your visitors to product sales pages, PDF doacuments, etc. This plugin cloaks, redirects and tracks your links all in one action. There is a very easy to use administration panel accessible within the WordPress dashboard. To learn more about Blair Williams visit his blog http://blairwilliams.com
8. Exclude Pages from Navigation by Simon Wheatley: Provides a checkbox on the editing page which allows you to exclude pages from the primary navigation. This will remove the pages from any “consumer” side page listings, which may not be limited to your page navigation listings, so test the pages you exclude to ensure that they are accessible based on your initial intent. To learn more about Simon Wheatley visit his blog http://simonwheatley.co.uk
9. CommentLuv by Andy Bailey: This cleaver plugin shows the last post from your commenter’s blog by parsing the feed at their given URL when they leave a comment on your blog. This will reward your readers and encourage more comments because they are allowed to promote their post while benefiting yours. To learn more about Andy Bailey visit his blog http://fiddyp.co.uk
10. Sexy Bookmarks By Josh Jones, Jamie Carter, Gautum Gupta, Norman Yung: SexyBookmarks adds a (X)HTML compliant list of social bookmarking icons to each of your posts. This plugin does this beautifully with attractive icons and a unique multi-line listing of multiple social sites. To learn more about the authors visit his blog http://blog2life.net
Do you have a list of your favorite plugins that you can share? Be sure to add them along with a comment here and I will look forward to exploring your recommendations.
I am here to help you succeed!
(c) Copyright 2008-2010 James A. Holmes. All Rights Reserved.
James Holmes, Global Team Builder, Coach and Trainer, combining online and offline techniques to help you grow your business. To request a free 30 minute consultation contact James by phone at 303-523-9503 or email at james@AskJamesHolmes.com
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