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