I think it must be sheer bloody-mindedness on my part, but I have worked out how to use wordpress the experiential, and pretty tough way. In a way, this is good news for you, as I am about to share what plugins I use for my blog and why.
Before I carry on talking about plugins, I’ve just spent a heart-stopping moment when I thought I had lost all my content of my wordpress blog. Don’t let this happen to you… Before you press the ‘automatically update my wordpress blog to the latest version’ button, always do the following steps:
1) Make a complete off-line copy of your wordpress blog
2) Deactivate all your plugins
3) Then press the update button
Some of you may be wondering what plugins are – these are pieces of coding written by programmers that give your wordpress blog extra functionality. The open source nature of wordpress is what makes it great – but is also its major downfall. The myriad of word press plugin programmers often do not collaborate – why should they? Which means that sometimes one plugin uses a variable needed by another plugin and stops a plugin (or more fatally the whole blog) from working.
Whilst updating my new website I learnt that when wordpress is installed within your own website, your web needs to be hosted on a dynamic server – i.e one that can handle php scripts. After I moved my website to a dynamic server suddenly a lot of plugins started to work for me…
These are all the plugins that I use on my blog, and why I use them:
My first three recommended plugins are all included to help you with search engine optimisation for your website.
All in One SEO Pack
I am not quite sure how this plugin works or what it actually does. However, I am assured that it optimises search engine optimisation for your blog. Basically I dutifully fill in some extra boxes after I have written a new blog post and hope that this plugin does what it says on the tin.
Dean’s Permalinks Migration
Sometimes you may want to change your permalink structure. For example, maybe like me, you started off with the default permalinks (the individual URL addresses for each blog post), then someone nice like @sarah_arrow in my case told me my permalinks were not optimised for SEO… and I changed all the permalinks. The whole point about permalinks is that they are meant to be permanent. With this plugin, you can safely change your permalink structure without breaking the old links to your website, and, I’m told, it even doesn’t hurt your google pagerank. In case this is too techie for you, trust me, it’s a good thing.
Google XML Sitemaps
This is a must have plugin for your blog. I’ll just say that again, this is a plugin that you must have. Everytime you write a new blog, this plugin generates a new sitemap and submits in, in search engine friendly format, to all the major search engines. That’s efficient!
My next two plugins help your readership to easily share your content with their networks.
Add to Any: Share/Bookmark/Email Button
This one is a bit of a no-brainer – it allows your readership to share your content on many different social networking sites.
I like this plugin as it allows twitter people to easily re-tweet your blog to their followers. It also keeps track of how many times a post has been retweeted. Unfortunately, a week or so ago when I changed the server that my web was kept on the totals all reset themselves to zero. Most frustrating!
My next 5 tools are all designed to help your efficiency on wordpress
Google Integrator tool kit
This seamlessly Integrates Google services such as Analytics with Your Blog. This way you can easily see how many people have been reading your posts and for how long etc etc etc
I use this plugin to get rid of spam. It does what it says on the tin, and is a different option to the other main spam killer askimet.
Yet Another Related Posts Plugin
This is a great plugin. It puts on the bottom of your posts (or the sidebar) related posts within your blog. This means that you don’t have to even think about putting related posts on the bottom of your posts.
Very simply this plugin turns your WordPress blog into a mobile website/blog.
Every time you add a new post, this will automatically tweet a new blog post to all your followers.
I take my IP very seriously – which means that I use this plugin to stop people cutting and pasting my posts. It wouldn’t stop the most hardened of ‘thieves’, but every little helps.
This is the best tag cloud plugin that I’ve seen. It’s small, neat and looks fantastic.
If you have any wordpress plugins that you wouldn’t be without, I would love to hear about them and what they enable you to do.
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