One of the specific reasons that I love and recommend a hosted WordPress blog is due to the the thousands of free plugins that enable you to crystallize, optimize, and customize your own blog. In regards to blogs, a common question I am frequently asked is “What are your favorite ‘must have’ plugins and why?” Below is my list. Enjoy and keep blogging!
1. Akismet This should be a given but I am amazed at how many clients don’t activate and use this great spam filter. A good blog is going to receive spam and you must have a way of dealing with it. Without this, I would be inundated with more than 10,000 pieces of spam a month. Any questions?
2. Better Feedburner Widget by Bit51. A good blog needs subscribers and followers. Feedburner is a great place to start. This widget helps gather and track your blog subscribers.
3. Modal Dialog by Yannick Lefebvre. I was on the fence about having a new visitor pop-up. But after trying it for two weeks, my subscribers jump up 100+ instantly. I only have it pop once and embeded the Feedburner widget mentioned above. (By the way, Yannick’s new plugin cookbook is on my next to buy/read list. Love ya man!)
4. Hello Bar for WordPress by Digital-Telepathy. Again another great use of the top banner bar to encourage subscribers. I also use the Feedburner code here too. See a pattern?
5. Google Analyticator by Ronald Heft. You have to be able to track and monitor your growth. Google Analytics is a given, but Ronald’s plugin allows you to study it from within your WordPress Dashboard.
6. Easing Slider by Matthew Ruddy. No list would be complete without discussing rotators. I have tried nearly 50 different rotators and Matt’s is my all time free favorite.
7. Subscribe to Comments by Mark Jaquith. Another little gem that is often overlooked. You want comments on your blog and you want to keep people engaged after they comment. This allows your visitors to see other comments long after they post.
8. LinkWithin. This is perhaps the simplest way to cross promote your other existing blog post without having to think about it. I’ve got mine set for four recommended posts complete with picture thumbnails. Love it, love it.
9. Shareaholic | email, bookmark, share buttons by Shareaholic. Do you like all those cool sexy share buttons you see at the bottom of people’s posts? Here’s my favorite.
10. Contact Form 7 by Takayuki Miyoshi. Finally, I keep trying other contact forms and I keep coming back to Takayuki’s. His forms are so simple and easy to use. I have built some very complex contact survey down to basic name and email forms with his plugin. It’s not sexy, like Shareaholic, but straight forward and simplistic.
One of FunCity’s Clients
What’s missing from this list? What are your favorite blog plugins?
Fred Campos is Chief of Marketing at FunCitySocialMedia.com. Like this post? Make sure you subscribe to his blog, book him to teach or speak, buy his “Social Media Success in 31 Days” or attend his latest social media classes.