A few weeks ago I wrote an article about making the switch from Blogger to Self Hosted WordPress. In that article, I mentioned that I would be sharing my favorite WordPress Plugins with you. It took a bit to narrow it down, but these are my absolute favorite and the ones I personally consider essential to my blog’s success. You might have different needs for your blog, but these help things run smoothly for me!
- Akismet– Spam capture extraordinaire, I could not blog on self hosted wordpress without it. Now I am not a mega blogger. I get anywhere from 500-800 pageviews a day on average. For some reason though, ever since moving to self hosted wordpress I am a spam MAGNET. It’s ridiculous! Sometimes over 50 spam comments a day land on my blog…except that they don’t. Akismet pretty predictably catches them all and filters them out. Every once in a while they will catch a comment that is not spam and I have to rescue it. It is worth it to not have to worry about all that spam ending up on my blog on a daily basis.
- Article Templates-This is especially useful for memes that I hold each week. I can make a template and build upon the post each week from there. It is a major time saver so I don’t have to type out the same thing every single week. Love this! It is a must have plugin if you have any sort of consistent blogging themes.
- Google XML sitemaps-Helps with SEO stuff…not sure much beyond that, but my search engine traffic has been up by 90% since I installed it.
- Sociable for WordPress-I’ve tried several different plugins for social bookmarking. The only one that has been reliable and has not slowed my site down is Sociable. Highly recommend it.
- W3 Total Cache–Makes my site load faster! There is nothing bad about that. Be careful if you have a LOT of traffic though. I’ve heard some big time bloggers have had this plugin break on them. We’re talking over a million visits a month though. If you are reading my blog and you get that many hits…please tell me your secret and make me your new best friend.
- Tweet Meme & Facebook Like-These get to go on top of my posts. Sometimes people use these instead of the sociable buttons. In fact, I think people might use these more. My only issue is that Tweet Meme tends not to work the first time I push it. The second time it always does, but what if my readers don’t know that and don’t try a second time? That’s a missed share for me. It’s the best I’ve found thus far though…so I’m including it. No problems with Facebook Like though.
- What Would Seth Godin Do?-Great plugin that differentiates between different kinds of visitors. If it is someone’s first time to my blog, they get a helpful little hello message at the top of the post so they know how to subscribe and connect with me. I have seen an increase in email subscribers since installing this plugin
- WordPress Database Backup-Emails me a backup of my blog once a week. I’d cry for months if I lost my blog. This plugin insures that doesn’t happen.
- WP-Flickr-Allows me to pull my pictures from Flickr into my blog posts right from my CMS. I love it…definitely essential.
- WordPress Editorial Calendar–My newest and most favorite plugin. This plugin has made me a more organized, efficient blogger. I am a visual person, and seeing my posts mapped out like this makes a lot of sense to me. I also love that you can drag and drop articles if you need to change things up for whatever reason. I am a BIG FAN of this plugin. I heart it so much.
I have a few more plugins active on my blog, but none that are really that exciting/interesting. These are my absolute favorites though and the ones I consider essential to the background of this blog.
What are your favorite WordPress plugins? I’d love to hear about them!