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Feb 21

All-time Favourite WordPress Plug-ins to Boost Your Blogsite

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I’ve had a few discussions lately with various people about the different WordPress Plugins that are available to boost the functionality of a blogsite. These are my all-time favourite WordPress Plugins that I use on my own blogs (and a few that I’m not using right now but have previously or will be using soon) and wholeheartedly recommend as being extremely useful and easy to use.

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General Plugins

WP-SpamFree
WP-SpamFree blocks spam comments from appearing on your blog.  I have found it to work better than the default Akismet, plus you don’t have to go in and manually delete the spam as you do with Akismet.

Contact Form 7
Creates a great contact form that is easy to use and customise.  This form is brilliant because when you use it you don’t have your email address on your website, just waiting to be harvested by spammers!  The form can be extensively customised from a simple contact form to a detailed form with several sections.

Exclude pages
When you want to have pages on your site that are not included in user menu’s.  For example, a thank you page when people sign up to your newsletter.  This plugin puts a simple tickbox on the Page options when you are creating or editing a page.

MaxBlogPress Super Ninja Affiliate

This is a paid-for plugin that automates adding affiliate links to your site.  You set it up with the affiliate links and keywords and it automatically adds the links.  It prevents affiliate theft where the id is altered so you lose your affiliate payment.

Twitter Meme
(scroll down the page a little for this plugin) I LOVE this one!  Twitter Tools has the option to automatically create tweets from your posts, blog posts from your tweets, a digest of your replies and a couple of other options for Twitter.

Database Backup Plugin
Hands up all those who have lost a site or blog and not had a current backup!  Here’s your answer, the Database Backup Plugin.  It can be set to automatically (daily, weekly, monthly) email or download to the server a full backup of your database.

WP-Shortstat
A quick and easy way to see where you visitors are coming from, what keywords they are searching for, how many visitors and other stats.

I use this one in conjunction with StatCounter which is not a plugin but extremely useful, free and gives very detailed stats.

WP-Super Cache

WP-Super Cache enables faster loading of your site and less bandwidth usage.  Recommended settings are to reset the cache when a page or post is published or updated, and set to ‘Half-On’ and ‘Mobile Support’

MobilePress

Enable your site to be seen on mobile devices such as internet phones.  I’ve tried several mobile plugins and this one seems to be the best.

Commenting plugins

Comment Luv
Automatically inserts a link to the commenter’s latest post on their blog.  The Commenter has the option to untick the box if they wish.  You can also register your blog at Comment Luv and it will collect click-thru stats on your site and comments on other’s sits

Subscribe to Comments
Enables a Commenter to subscribe to comments on an interesting thread.

LinkWithin

This plugin puts three related post links at the bottom of each post, including any graphics in the post.  Customised for each site, it’s a tiny bit of code.

SEO Plugins

All-in-one SEO Pack
SEO out of the box for WordPress blogsites.  While there is still a lot that you can do to improve your SEO yourself, this plugin will give your blog a great boost.

Google Sitemap Generator
Creates a sitemap and updates it every time you make a change on your blog.  Great for the search engines to find and crawl.

Recommended Plugins that I’m not using at present

These four are plugins that I have used, or will be using soon.

Wishlist Member

This is a paid-for plugin that makes setting up a member site easy.  I know of several people who are using this plugin now, and as I have plans for a member site in the future I’ve bought it as well.  There are free plugins out there for member sites, however I’ve yet to find a free plugin that works as well as Wishlist.

Featured Content Gallery
Rotates featured posts and pictures.  This one was recommended by Sandra at TechCoachforCoaches recently.  It looks fascinating and I’m looking for a way to play with it on here!

Smart YouTube

Add a ‘v’ to the http of your video and it automatically inserts it into the post.  Very very easy!

What plugins do you like to use?  Please share your favourites in the comments so we can all check them out!

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