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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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