WordPress is awesome! There are not enough great things I can say about it. People ask me why I recommend WordPress to our clients and the number one reason is that it is very user friendly. If you can use Microsoft Word, you can blog. It's really that simple. There are 5 WordPress plug-ins that I would recommend adding to any blog.
- Social Media widget / icons – This is the 1st plugin that you want to install on your blog so that your content shareable. AddThis and ShareThis are the two most programs that are used to get your share buttons embedded into your blog.
- LinkWithin – If you are looking to increase your page views and the amount of time people spend on your website [decrease your bounce rate], consider installing the LinkWithin plug-in. This is a blog widget that appears under each post, linking to related stories from your blog archive. All of your content is valuable and you do not want the past blog posts that you have sent so much time on getting lost behind all of your new content. [I had this problem and just recently made sure to install this plug-in!] It is minimally styled and will fit right in with your website design.
- Google XML Sitemaps – To make sure the search engines [Google, Bing, Yahoo and Ask.com] to better index your blog, make sure to add this plug-in to your website. This is very helpful to help spread and work to sculpt your page rank, which over time will allow Google to index all of your pages. My favorite about this plug-in is that it does not realize the search engines every time you create a new post about the new content and this is exactly what you want and need. Trust me!
- Disqus – This plug-in replaces the WordPress comment system, is pronounced 'discuss', gives you the ability to comment on blog posts as well as have your social features available [Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc]. The best part is that is has full spam filtering, blacklists, white lists. You have the ability to receive comment notifications via email and also the ability to reply by email and we all know how helpful this can be when or if you need to play spin control over a particular post.
- Feed Burner – WordPress comes with RSS capability built in, but if you are looking for some options as well as the ability to see your subscribers' growth and engagement, Feed Burner is a most have plugin. Would you like options and tracking within your blog? Feed Burner takes your RSS feed from your website and allows your visitors to subscribe. When you post a new post they will automatically get it in their email inbox. A great advantage to having this is that if your web address ever changes, your subscribers will automatically follow. This plug-in will allow you to inject Google Ad Words into your feed and you can then begin to generate an income from your blog.
If you want to make some improvements to your blog, make sure you consider installing these 5 plug-ins. They will make a noticeable difference to your WordPress blog. What plug-ins are your favorite to use and why?