My Top 10 WordPress Plug-Ins
Ok, I’ve convinced you to ditch Blogger and come on over to WordPress. Great, however, now you have a blank slate. The great thing about a WordPress blog is that, with some tinkering, you can get it to do anything you want it to do! The magic is in the WordPress plug-ins!
Plug ins are little bits of code that help your blog do tricks! My blog would really not run well without them. I’m still always trying out new plug ins and replacing others. But my current top 10 are these!
- Without a doubt, the best investment I’ve made in a premium plug-in has been Comment Luv Premium. This little plug in is what lets you place a link to your most recent post at the end of your comments. (I always, always click on these posts!) This little plug in also allowed me to deactivate my Akismet plug-in, that was actually hiding many of my real comments as spam and letting a lot of spam through. That little box I ask you to click, to prove that you are not a spammer? That comes from this plug in. This plug in also gives you the option to leave your twitter handle so that I (and other readers) can follow you on Twitter. Comment Luv Premium has allowed my blog to be more of a community! If you post a certain number of times on this blog, you are given more blog posts to choose from other than your last blog, and if you have Comment Luv Premium, you have that choice on any Comment Luv enabled blog! So, when I post on a twin blog, I can choose one of my twin posts to feature. There is a free version of Comment Luv as well, which is more stripped down, but still a lot of fun! Don’t want to spend so much for a premium plug-in? Next month Comment Luv Premium is having an anniversary dime sale, and you can get this plug-in, plus many bonus extras for a great price. Get on the list here!
- Facebook for WordPress is another great (free) plug-in that does many jobs all at once. This plug-in places that little like button on my posts, (go ahead, like it!) and places some Facebook widgets in my sidebar. I can also configure an app to automatically post to my Facebook time line for my personal account and my fan page as well as giving me the option to add commentary to the post. This nifty plug-in really connects my blog to my Facebook community, which can be a really good thing. It takes a while to configure, but if I can do it, anyone can!
- Jetpack By WordPress.com is another (free)plug-in that brings a lot of functionality. Have you noticed a theme here? I like my WordPress plug-ins to do more than one job! Jet Pack brings some WordPress.com features to your self hosted blog. The blog stats are great. (I still use Google analytics, but this is a great companion stats program). With this handy stats program, I know (in real-time) where people arrived at my blog from, what they are reading and what they are clicking on. Because of this, I can improve on what I offer you, my readers. I know that many of you love to read about twins, and about blogging! There are always new features being added to JetPack, I am enjoying the “after the deadline” proofreading feature.
- Simple Social-Sharing Widgets and Icons places a row of social sharing icons at the bottom of your posts. This makes it simple for readers to share your content across their social media networks (go ahead, try it…share this post!) This is a free plug-in.
- Comment Reply Notification is a nifty little free plug-in that emails you, my reader when I reply to one of your comments. This keeps the conversation flowing! No commenter wants to feel invisible (I know I don’t!)
- I now have all of my social media links up in my header which is ideal, but not always easy to do. When I am using a theme that does not support my icons in the header I use a free plug-in called Social Media Widget. This plug-in is super easy to configure with your information and supports every social media site that you can imagine. (and if your don’t find your site listed you can set up a custom button easily.) This is one of the Plug-ins that I tell people to install immediately after moving from Blogger to WordPress.
- Theme tester is one of my new favorite free plug-ins. As you may have noticed, I like to change the appearance of my blog at whim. This Theme tester plug-in allows me to tweak and test out new themes without disrupting your experience. This is a great plug-in if you are not investing on a major site design.
- WordPress SEO is a wonderful free plug-in that will help you make your blog stand out in the search engines. I’m not an SEO pro (but I learn a little every day) and I cannot afford to hire a pro to optimize my site for SEO, this plug-in is the next best thing!
- WP Touch is a little free plug-in that runs in the background to make your blog look nice on a phone or mobile device. This was one of the first plug-ins I installed. When I saw how nice my blog looked on an iPhone, I knew that I made the best decision by moving to WordPress.
- Link Within is a plug-in that most Blogger users are familiar with. This free plug-in places links and thumbnail image at the bottom of my posts to keep you, my readers engaged.
So, there you have it, my top ten, must-have WordPress Plug-ins. Does your list look like mine?
— Pam Thompson (@Dakotapam) August 10, 2012