As you can probably tell, I’m a big fan of WordPress. I’ve used a few other Content Management Systems (like Joomla, Drupal, PHP-Nuke, etc.). But I’ve found that for internet marketing, WordPress is simply hard to beat with its ease-of-use, maintenance simplicity, and the huge community support of free plugins and themes.
So, here’s the list of plugins that I routinely use with each WordPress installation:
- Catches spam Comments on your posts or pages.
- I find that it’s very accurate.
- You do have to enter a WordPress API key though to activate it (which I’m not a big fan of doing…why does WordPress need to know what spam I’m receiving?).
- Does anyone know why it has such a strange name that has nothing to do with spam?
All in One SEO Pack
- I call this thing “Search Engine Optimization For Dummies”
- You don’t really have to know much about SEO to get some serious benefits from it
- It can do custom HTML headers like keywords, descriptions, titles
- You can even set “noindex” for different types of archives so you won’t get hurt by having duplicate content
Dagon Design Sitemap Generator
- An easy-to-use HTML sitemap generator
- Tons of features, super configurable, but not complicated
- Occasionally with some sites I need to execute PHP within posts, this plugin makes it extremely easy
- If you don’t know what PHP is skip this one
- URL shortener and click tracker all-in-one!
- Simple interface
- Great for hiding affiliate links (instead of using http://youraffiliateID.vendorID.hop.clickbank.net you can use http://yourdomain.com/go/FriendlyProductName)
Google XML Sitemaps
- Rather than creating an HTML sitemap, like the plugin I mentioned above, this one creates an XML sitemap
- It also notifies many popular search engines when changes are made
- Tons of options, but works great out-of-the-box
- Sometimes I like putting image thumbnails in my posts so visitors can click the thumbnail hyperlinks to see the full image
- That’s exactly what this bad boy is for
- It’s very simple and fast (full images load real quick)
WordPress.com Stats [Edit - June 30 - Now I like "StatPress SEOlution" better!] If you’ve ever used WordPress.com to host a site, you’re familiar with their admin “stats” page That’s exactly what this plugin emulates, except it works for sites you host yourself You must enter your WordPress API key to activate it (you can get this for free from WordPress.com) My only complaint is that it doesn’t show unique visitors, only “views”
- It tracks UNIQUE VISITORS and other cool stuff like which countries visitors are from and search engine spider stats
Yet Another Related Post Plugin
- Dynamically determines which posts are related to each other
- Places links at the end of each post so visitors can then view the related posts
- Lots of options, and easy to use
If you’re not sure how to find or install these plugins, you have two options:
- From the WP admin panel, go “Plugins” > “Add New”, then use the “Search” form to find the plugins you want
- http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/, download the ZIP files, then FTP the contents to your web server root/wp-content/plugins directory
Here’s a bunch of pointers that I gathered from various sources and use myself for each WordPress site I create. It’s assumed you have a decent understanding of web servers, FTP clients, and IP addresses.
Ya never know when you might write a post that pisses off some random hacker in Czechoslovakia who decides to delete all your work or just post naked pictures of himself to scare your visitors. Better safe than sorry, right?
- Add Secret Keys to your wp-config.php file
- Go to this site – http://api.wordpress.org/secret-key/1.1/
- FTP to the root of your WordPress installation (ie. www.yourdomain.com/)
- Copy and past the 4 rows into your wp-config.php file (anywhere should be fine)
- Upload the updated file back to your web server
- You may need to log out and back into WordPress for the keys to get picked up
- Delete the Admin account
- Backup your database (always a good idea when making drastic changes like this)
- Create a new user with Admin privileges
- Login to the new user account
- Delete the “Admin” account (I would recommend checking the “Attribute all posts and links to…” radio button)
- Protect your “plugins” directory
- FTP to your WordPress installation root/wp-content/plugins folder
- Upload an empty file called index.html (you can create it in Notepad)
- This makes it so that people can’t browse your plugins directory and possibly figure out how to exploit certain plugins you have installed
- Secure your “wp-admin” directory
- FTP to your WordPress installation root/wp-admin folder
- Upload an .htaccess file (if you can’t create the file on your Windows PC, you can upload another empty file, like bla.txt and rename it on your web server)
- Make the contents look something like this –>
- Of course the xx.xxx.xxx.xx IP address must be replaced with your actual IP. If you aren’t sure what it is you can go to www.whatismyip.com
- Hide your version of WordPress
- In the WP admin panel, go to Appearance > Editor
- Open the header.php file
- Browse for something like this and delete it:
<meta name=”generator” content=”WordPress <?php bloginfo(’version’); ?>” />
- Save your changes
- This prevents a would-be hacker from targeting your specific WP version for attacks
Here’s a few of my favorite FireFox Add-Ons, in no particular order:
- Holy shit is this ever a MUST HAVE Add-On for everyone
- Allows you to save one or more windows (containing multiple tabs) as a “Session”
- Tracks the state of your windows and tabs if FF crashes
- Keeps a history of all closed windows, in case you accidentally close one (I do this quite often)
- Allows you to embed an instance of Internet Explorer inside of a FF tab
- Super handy for viewing how your site would look in IE without having to open the app
- I actually use this mostly for keeping two Gmail sessions active: personal email in an IE Tab, work email in a normal FF tab
- Displays the Google PageRank for the active URL
- Useful when you’re busy worrying about SEO and backlinks and all that fun stuff
- Tons of functionality in this bad-boy
- I primarily use it when looking at Google search results to get metrics for each result such as PR, Google Cache Date, Traffic Value, # Diggs, # Stumbles, Twitter Rank, and various other details.
- One-click easy enable/disable in the FF *system tray* (whatever the heck that’s actually called?)
- If you enable this Add-on, when you’re browsing webpages, it will highlight hyperlinks in different colors to indicate the dofollow / nofollow status
- Definitely useful when promoting your site on directories, blogs, forums, etc.
- Adds a button in FF near the address bar
- Makes it very easy to share sites with your favorite Web 2.0 social networking, bookmarking, blogging, and email services.
- Works with over 60 services such as StumbleUpon, Delicious, Diigo, Google Reader,…
- Allows you to easily sort your bookmarks
- I wonder why the heck FF makes it so difficult to search ALL folders and bookmarks alphabetically?
If anyone has others that I missed and likely don’t know about – please leave a Comment!