alex sysoef
expert wordpress

8 New Plug-ins Every New Blog Should Have

This post is by a guest blogger Jake Walker…

Over the last few years I’ve built a lot of blogs, both for clients and my personal network.  Each of my sites utilize different plug-ins depending on what’s required for the sites function.  That being said, there are 8 plug-in’s that go into every site blog I build.  I consider these the ‘don’t leave home without them’ choices of the plug-in world.  In my opinion any blog missing these plug-ins is hindering itself.



Akismet

I know I’m not the first person to include this on a must have plug-in list, and I definitely won’t be the last. Akismet rocks. Enough said.  Unless you want to constantly be deleting spam comments from your blog, install this plug-in.

Have you ever noticed that the spam bots seem to find a blog before the real people do? Thank goodness for Akismet. Amen.

Bookmarks Are Sexy
I love this plug in.  I don’t use all of the provided network icons, usually Digg, Facebook,
Stumble and delicious will suffice.  If you aren’t writing at least once a week for the
sheer purpose of social network attention, you aren’t promoting your blog effectively.

The fastest way to establishing authority in your niche and building links (not to mention a reader base) is through proper social networking promotion.

SEO for WordPress
Most new themes these days are beginning to code themselves with SEO in mind, so this plug-in is starting to become obsolete.  However, for most themes it’s still necessary.  This plug in allows you to
custom build your title tags from the post edit window.  Starting the title tag with a meaty key-phrase is essential for ranking for that phrase in the search engines.

SEO for WordPress has many other handy features that make life easier.

Email To A Friend
One of the biggest mistakes I made early on was underestimating the value of this plug-in.  The coolest part about it is you can actually see who is sending your posts to who, and what they are saying about it in the email.  Is it kind of sneaky and semi-voyeuristic? Yes.  Interesting and encouraging? Absolutely.  It’s also a great way to make word of mouth marketing easy for your readers.

Robots.Txt
This is a must have. Search engines love it when you’re organized and you tell them what to do.  This automatically builds a must-have robots.txt file for your site.  Check it out.

Database Backup
I consider this plug-in my little insurance policy.  It automatically backs up your WordPress database and emails you the file daily. Talk about peace of mind.  I always have a fresh back up of all my sites sitting in the cloud in my email folders and also backed up on my hard drive.   It’s an easy, smart and prudent thing every blogger should do.

Subscribe To Comments
This one is as simple as two words: Return Traffic. Someone says something engaging, and they’re notified every time someone replies. Offering the option for viewers to subscribe to comments is promoting conversation which is generating return traffic and allowing your readers to engage and communicate, creating a community. That’s a no-brainer.

SiteMap
Lastly, building a sitemap makes it very easy for pages to get indexed, re-indexed, and constantly recognized.  This plug-in automatically draws up an .xml sitemap and submits to Google at a frequency that you set.  You should also link to the site map from the footer of your blog.  This will make it very easy for the search engines to index.

Of course there are plenty of other awesome plug-ins that I use a lot.  But these are my 7 absolute musts.  I never build a blog that doesn’t utilize them.  Happy building!

Jake Walker has been working on the web on and off for the last 10 years.  An avid blogger
he has had many posts featured on major social networks and other news portal websites. He
currently works as a search engine optimization consultant with the other smart people at
seop.com

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About The Blog Author

Alex Sysoef is an IT Consultant, Internet Marketer and ProBlogger who shares his passion and knowledge of WordPress, SEO, Social Media and traffic strategies on his blog WordPress Howto Spotter. Connect on Twitter or Facebook

30 Responses to “8 New Plug-ins Every New Blog Should Have”

  1. dave says:

    I currently use some of them, but the backup one sounds great, I'm getting it as I type :) thx!

  2. Tony Sena says:

    Email To a Friend

    I gotta try this one especially in my industry.

    Thanks
    .-= Tony Sena´s last blog ..Condo in Gated Community in Summerlin for Rent =-.

  3. Dee says:

    Your suggestion to use a robots.txt file was a good one, and this is an area of some confusion for new bloggers. But you didn’t include a link to the specific plugin you use, so I wonder if you meant the Robots Meta plugin? I use this plugin on ALL my blogs, and I love it. Some of the options might be a little confusing for newbies, but it’s worth the learning curve. Among other things, it’s a great way to prevent search engines from seeing the duplicate content that WP leaves all over the place, such as on your archive pages, author pages, etc.

    Anyway, that’s the particular robots.txt plugin I use. But if you were referring to a different plugin that you think is better, I’d love to know what it is.

  4. Dennis Edell says:

    I’m very happy to see subscribe to comments on there. I have no idea how many bloggers I have personally contacted to tell (err ask) them to install it. ;)
    .-= Dennis Edell´s last blog ..Only 4 Ad Spots Left – Meet The First Advertiser! And The Pot Just Got Sweeter. ;) =-.

  5. I do have most of these, but thanks for the info. on the Robots.txt This one I don’t have but I will be sure to install it.
    .-= Dave Kendrick´s last blog ..So What’s All the Fuss About Working From Home Anyway? =-.

  6. Frederik says:

    Okay. I missed out the “no-brainer” since I started blogging and I think that was a mistake. After I now read about the Subscribe to Comments plugin for the 1000th time I just installed it on all my blogs simultaneously ;-)

    The backup thingy is nothing for me. I never experienced any problems so far and I’m very sure that there is not going to happen something “bad” to my blogs. I feel very safe without backing up my data every minute.
    .-= Frederik´s last blog ..What About Thesis 2.0 Pricing? =-.

    • Dee says:

      > “I feel very safe without backing up my data every minute.”

      Let me tell you a little story. I woke up one morning and discovered that my most profitable blog had been hacked. I have no idea by whom, or why. Every bit of data was gone. All my posts, all my pages, all my comments, EVERYTHING. There are people on the Internet who think it’s fun to destroy someone’s work, and one of those people had found my website.

      Fortunately, I’d been using the WordPress DB-Mgr plugin on this site. I had it configured to do an automatic backup once a week. The backups were emailed to me, every week, without me having to even think about it. So when my site was hacked, I was able to get almost everything restored within an hour. All I lost were my blog comments and posts that hadn’t been backed up yet that week.

      Until your house is robbed, or until you have an auto accident, etc., we all have a tendency to think “it can’t happen to me.” Maybe it won’t, but just because you think you are safe doesn’t mean that you actually ARE safe. Using a database backup plugin is extremely easy, so to me there is no good reason not to do it.

  7. J. Lewis says:

    Thank you for the post. As a new wordpress user I found these plugins very useful.

    The database backup plug in seems like a no-brainer for anyone serious about their blog.

    Cheers,
    J. Lewis

  8. After reading about all these plug-ins one realizes how much there really is to do to a website. Where can I read more about back-up?
    Thank you!
    .-= Henriette Gustafson´s last blog ..Bead knitting patterns =-.

  9. Chris R says:

    Now if only they had a plug in that could help me to write better :)

    As usual, a very helpful post.

  10. Kenny says:

    Great list. I agree that having a robots.txt file is important, almost as important as having an XML sitemap. The more help you can give search engine spiders, the better.
    .-= Kenny´s last blog ..What Website Hosting Solutions Do You Need? =-.

  11. Ben Huebner says:

    Thanks, I use the most of them, but I will try the others too. The backup plug in seems to be avery useful one!

  12. Clive says:

    Links to the plugins sites would have been useful.
    .-= Clive´s last blog ..News From The Front Line =-.

    • TheSpotter says:

      Clive,

      Most people install plugins now days using WP Provided option directly in your blog Admin interface – just search for term and see the info and install if needed.

      • Brenda says:

        I agree with Clive about having links to the plugins. I tried using the search feature in the WP “Add New” plugins but the search results didn’t match the plugin titles in the blog post. There were – in some cases – multiple “sort of” matches. So, without links to the plugins being discussed, I didn’t know which plugins to install.

        Brenda

        <>
        .-= Brenda´s last blog ..A Sign of the Times for the Internet Age =-.

  13. Richard says:

    Thanks for the pointer to robots.txt, how did I miss it before!? Look forward to seeing it in action.
    .-= Richard´s last blog ..Building an Effective Affiliate Marketing Program Online =-.

  14. Kim Ramsey says:

    Creating a backup is one of the most important things that a blog owner must have. Like what you’ve said, it’s your insurance in something went wrong. At least you won’t start from scratch again.

  15. Josh says:

    Interesting… I use very similar plugins yet they are different than those mentioned in this post. One other I want to mention is WP-PageNavi. This plugin will help ensure all posts are at most 3 clicks away from the homepage. Don’t make people dig for content (especially the search engines). :)
    .-= Josh´s last blog ..Best WordPress Real Estate Themes =-.

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