If you currently have a WordPress blog or are considering building one you’ll want to take advantage of many available plugins that the WordPress directory has to offer. If you seriously want your blog to be seen you’ll want to take note of these highly effective plugins for search engine optimization, spam control, and overall blog maintenance. They will serve you well.
Must have WordPress plugins
- Akismet is a plugin that comes standard with a base WordPress installation and there’s a good reason for that. Akismet is a program for handling comment spam i.e. junk back links to spammy websites. If Akismet finds a comment that looks or smells like spam it will be held for future moderation. Moderators can see potential spam comments in the admin panel and either approve or delete them. This is a great plugin as there a lot of mischievous characters out there looking to use your site as a way to boost their own ad-laden web properties or promote phishing scams. WordPress approves this plugin and so do I.
- Feedburner is a great feature to use to promote and finesse your RSS feeds. It allows for further customization not only of look, but it also gives you many options to add social sharing features, pinging services, Flickr feed integration, widgets, stats and so much more. This is a feature for bloggers concerned with SEO and how there sites are promoted and seen. It will help you promote your syndicated content and in turn get more eyeballs on your pages.
- Homepage Excerpts is a light plugin for turning homepage blog posts into easy to digest summarized content. This is good for your viewers as they can quickly scan your posts and decide if there is something else on your page that interests them. It also helps with the search engines by only displaying your content once on your blog. This is good as you get penalized by Google and other for duplicate content which can end up getting you blacklisted. This is something you want to avoid at all costs. There are a lot of different page excerpt plugin options out there, but this one is compact and easy to configure. From download to activation you’re looking at about 5 minutes of setup time.
- Online Backup for WordPress is a must have plugin for anyone who has ever lost content. If you’re not running Cron jobs you’ll want some way of making sure your content is backed up at some point. This plugin makes it very easy even for the lay user to schedule database backups to ensure that your content does not get lost. If you’ve ever had a database driven website and lost a significant amount of posts or data then you will want to implement this plugin to help put your mind at ease and if chmod forbid you get hacked or a server crashes you’ll, at least, be able to get a recent copy of your website back online again quickly. This is especially important if you are working with clients. If their site goes down you’ll need a means of getting it back up.
- PubSubHubbub is a great service for promoting your blog feed. Once you publish you’re a blog post it will immediately feed to as many social hubs as you define. This is a Google product so if you really want to be seen by this search engine mogul it’s a good tool to have installed. Pinging services are also available for update in the “Writing” panel in WordPress. By default WP blogs are configured to ping Pingomatic, but PubSubHubbub ensures that your blog is seen by more hubs and services and that’s a very good thing for anyone looking for blog traffic.
- W3 Total Cache is a plugin for reducing the load time of your blog. W3 Total Cache makes sure that every aspect of your blog is cached creating a much better user experience for your subscribers. If you notice your bounce rate increasing it may be because your pages take too long to load. Internet viewers have a short attention span. If your page takes a long time to load you can be losing viewers. Serving up your pages as quickly as possible ensures better viewer loyalty.
- WordPress SEO by Yoast is a great search engine optimization tool for beginners or advanced SEO pros alike. It makes sure your descriptions are optimized for the SERPS and your content is optimized around the keyword you define. It provides a real-time view of your search engine listing to give you a better idea of what searchers are seeing when they Google you. It will tell you if your focused keyword appears often enough if it’s in your title, content, meta, and URL. It also has some powerful keyword suggestion options that can help you make your posts be seen by suggesting terms people are searching for.
- WP-Optimize is great for cleaning up your database by removing old revisions, drafts and unapproved comments. It helps clean out your database tables so that extraneous information does not become a problem in the future. It will alert you of any tables that may be getting increasingly larger. WP-Optimize will help reduce unnecessary space being used up by content that isn’t viewable by your viewers anyways.
Make your WordPress blog work for you
These aren’t the only plugins you should be using if you’re interested in more WordPress traffic and better user experiences, but it’s a good base. Making sure your site is free of spam, that it loads fast and that is actually seen will increase your ROI and viewership. You’ve taken the time to create engaging content. These plugins will help ensure that your content gets in front of more eyeballs and potential customers or a broader audience.