What's a plugin? They are simply "add ons" or "features" to your blog. When you first install WordPress.org, it comes as a blank slate… And so you are responsible for adding all of the different plugins, which add various features and functionalities to your blog. You can Google "Wordpress Plugins" and find that there are thousands out there. You want to be selective as to which ones you choose because having too many for no good reason, can slow the loading of your blog down when people are trying to access it. And that's not good. But researching and finding plugins that you like and will bring added value and spunk to your blog are certainly fun exploring. Below is a list of plugins that I use on my blogs and I've noticed that not all work on all templates. So a blog guy can come in handy for special coding or a recommendation for another plugin that serves basically the same purpose. To install a plugin, you just log into your WP dashboard, click on ‘Plugins’ in the left sidebar, and then click ‘Add New’. From here, you can do a search for each of the plugins listed below. When you find it, click on ‘Install’ on the right side of the screen, and then follow the prompts to install and activate your plugin… And voila! It’s as simple as that! Ok, so here are my top 11 24 favorite WordPress plugins… (In NO particular order ) 1. Tweetmeme button~ This is the Twitter icon you see on this post both at the beginning and the end. It helps visitors ‘Re-tweet’ (share your post on Twitter) your content and it also tracks it nicely, so you have great social proof on your blog! 2. What Would Seth Godin Do ~ This is a plugin that actually cookies visitors and tracks who’s new and who’s returning. You can then craft welcome messages accordingly… See the welcome message at the beginning of this post for an example. 3. Viper’s Video Quicktags ~ This plugin will help you easily embed videos onto your blog from Youtube, Google, Vimeo, Viddler, and other top video sharing communities. 4. Sociable ~ This is one of many possible content sharing plugins that you can add to your blog posts to encourage readers to syndicate (or share) your content on other social networking and bookmarking sites. Other popular ones: ShareThis and I Love Social Bookmarking. 5. Tiny MCE Advanced ~ This plugin gives you ‘Microsoft Word-like’ functions when writing your posts… Very helpful when it comes to paragraph spacing, font size, and other various typing features. 6. Comment Re-Direct ~ You can direct first time commenters to a page of your choice thanking them for their support and feedback… Great for relationship building! 7. Commentluv ~ This is the plugin you see on my post here that showcases commenters latest blog posts with a little heart icon. It helps drive traffic back to your commenters’ sites and encourages more people to want to comment on your blog! 8. WP Related Posts ~ This is a plugin that lists related posts down below each blog post… Very helpful in encouraging multiple post reading! 9. WP Super Cache ~ The more plugins you install, the slower your blog load time will get… So this plugin will help speed up the load time of your blog. 10. Ultimate Google Analytics – Enable Google Analytics on your blog. Has options to also track external links, mailto links and links to downloads on your own site. 11. Contact Form 7 ~ This is a plugin that allows your vistors to fill out a form on your blog, leaving their name, email, subject and a message. The message is then sent to your email so you can reply. I noticed that this form may or may not work on your blog largely depending on the way it sends mail. So, if it doesn't work, then you need to look to the way your webhost has its servers set up (specifically, sendmail isn't working correctly). Here's an alternative: 12. Form Builder ~ This allows you to design a form for people to contact you. It's a great substitution if you are having trouble configuring your Contact Form 7 plugin. 13. Facebook Fan Box – Displays a Facebook Fan Box 14. Global Translator – Automatically translates a blog in 41 different languages by wrapping four different online translation engines (Google Translation Engine, Babelfish Translation Engine, FreeTranslations.com, Promt). After uploading this plugin click 'Activate' and then afterwards you must visit the options page and enter your blog language to enable the translator. 15. Google XML Sitemaps – This plugin will generate a sitemaps.org compatible sitemap of your WordPress blog which is supported by Ask.com, Google, MSN Search and YAHOO. 16. LinkWithin – Displays recommended stories and associated thumbnails from your blog 17. Most Commented – Retrieves a list of the posts with the most comments. 18. My Page Order – My Page Order allows you to set the order of pages through a drag and drop interface. The default method of setting the order page by page is extremely clumsy, especially with a large number of pages. 19. OnlyWire for WordPress – Easily post to millions of sites with one button. 20. Top Commentators Widget – Adds a sidebar widget to show the top commentators in your WP site. 21. Simple Facebook Share Button – Painlessly add a Facebook® Share button to your posts and/or pages. It supports all five button types including custom button text and placement above or below content. Also includes compatibility modes to ensure seamless theme integration. Button can also be added using a shortcode or by inserting a function in your template. 22. Akismet – Akismet checks your comments against the Akismet web service to see if they look like spam or not. You need a WordPress.com API key to use it. You can review the spam it catches under "Comments." 23. All-in-one Bookmarking Button – Out-of-the-box SEO for your WordPress blog. 24. All in One SEO Pack – Out-of-the-box SEO for your WordPress blog. 25. Exclude Pages from Navigation – Provides a checkbox on the editing page which you can check to exclude pages from the primary navigation. IMPORTANT NOTE: This will remove the pages from any "consumer" side page listings, which may not be limited to your page navigation listings.
And, I had to come back here September of 2011 and mention another I found…
SEOPressor. This one has a small cost but it's totally worth it. It offers a checklist for you to make sure you've done everything you needed to do to ensure your post is 100% SEO Optimized.
Hope you took some great value out of this post today! I’d love to hear your feedback, so make sure you leave a comment down below with your thoughts or questions! And also, you can use the Tweetmeme and Facebook plugin right now by clicking on the icons next to this post… Thank you! I totally appreciate it!