Tweak Your Biz » Technology » 8 WordPress Plugins You Should Consider for Your Blog

8 WordPress Plugins You Should Consider for Your Blog



You can find thousands of blog posts out in the web covering the best WordPress plugins. Most of these articles will cover the must-have plugins that most experienced WordPress users would already know of. Yes, I do love the core plugins, especially the ones that make your comments more social or that enhance tweets, shares, etc.

This post is aimed at those of you who enjoy trying out new things on your own before calling your developer for the final touches. I will walk you through a personal selection of plugins that complement those core ones you already use. Hopefully some of these below may become part of your must-haves.

1. # Protect your blog from your mistakes with WP Security Scan:

Are you a non-technical user that works away installing plugins, modifying your WordPress Theme or edits WordPress files? Sometimes we achieve great results and are very happy about it but may be jeopardizing our WP security.

This is a very useful plugin that Scans your WordPress installation for security vulnerabilities and suggests corrective actions (and helps us learn from our mistakes).

Use it at least every time you alter your blog files or install new plugins.

2. # Invite readers to explore your blog further with “Yet Another Related Posts Plugin

This plugin is responsible for those intelligent suggestions at the end of a blog post saying things like “If you enjoyed this article you might as well read…” Among the advantages, it can
dramatically increase the pages visits and time readers spend on your blog.

3. # Greet your visitors with a special message with Referrer detector:

This plugin allows you to display a special message for your visitors depending on which site sent them your way (e.g. Google, Yahoo, Twitter, etc). You can then prompt users to take action experimenting with messages like “Subscribe to our feed” or similar.

4. # Improve your pages loading time with WP Minify:

Again, if you are a non technical user, you may find that installing plenty of plugins may affect your page speed. Among other reasons, this may have to do with the amount of scripts present in your pages.

This plugin grabs those scripts and presents them in an organized way to improve loading time. Important: Consult your developer before trying this out. She may advice against it or may find it to be a gem. Please also explore WP-Cache in conjunction.

5. # Tell Google and users that a url has changed with “Redirection

If you have had more than one blog or site or have been involved in re-developing a website you will know that url structures may have to change or content has to be moved from one place to another.

Please stay with me; it also affects your link building efforts so it’s important.

 

 

 

 

 

 

This plugin allows you to “tell a browser” that one url has moved from one place to another (technically called a “301 redirect”). To give you an example I recently spotted a competitor who redeveloped their blog. Originally it was located at www.competitorexample.com/blog and now they have all their articles on the very top level (www.competitorexample.com). This means that if someone visits the old url, they find nothing (technically called a 404 error).

Why is this important? Well, if you had a bunch of nice links pointing to that old /blog url like my competitor did, then your SEO will definitely suffer. You need to tell Google that this important url which was making you rank well has now moved to a new place. This plugin does that for you and you don’t need technical skills :)

6. # Take multilingual blogging to the next level with qTranslate

I have researched a lot for clients regarding the best way to have a multilingual blog or website. This plugin is by far the best solution for WordPress I have found. You will need help from your developer to adjust settings in the front end of your blog.

If used in conjunction with qTranslate META, Google XML Sitemaps with qTranslate Support and qTranslate slug with widget you are set for a robust multilingual SEO strategy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Important: These plugins may cause conflicts with other existing ones in use in your blog (e.g. All in one SEO vs. qTranslate Meta). It is definitely worth your time and money to get help from your developer on this type of move. This is actually true for every plugin you try out so where possible have a dummy “staging” installation of your blog to test new things.

7. # Manage editorial with Peter’s Collaboration e-mails & post notes plus the WP editorial calendar:

When used together, these three plugins can really ease the feedback process for a blogger and the editorial efforts. The collaboration emails and post notes will allow for communication back and forth directly through WordPress across the different revision stages, while also sending each party e-mail notifications.

All the history gets recorded on the post (back end). This way, if there is more than one collaborator on the editorial side, she can pick up where someone else left and continue the workflow towards publishing.

We are still testing these plugins over at Bloggertone because of it being a Multiblog installation with particular needs.

If you have a regular WordPress installation though, chances are that your needs will be easier to match and you will thrive with this trio.

8. # Finally, quickly password protect your blog with “Password Protect Plugin for WordPress

This plugin does what it says it does. When activated, it will prevent content from displaying and require users to log in in order to view further. If you don’t have a separate staging installation where you test things, it means that every now and then you try out new plugins or make changes in the live website.

I have used this plugin for those “panic minutes” when you just need the world to wait a little bit while you tidy things up your end.

Have you tried any of these plugins? What others can you recommend? Leave your comments below.

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The Author:

Facundo is a founder here at Tweak Your Biz (formerly) Bloggertone and a director at Dublin based Web Agency Channelship, where he works with directly with key accounts, particularly in creative and strategic capabilities. Naturally involved in Bloggertone's and Channelship’s business development and promotional efforts, he enjoys networking in the Irish Business scene. http://www.channelship.ie

Add Your Comment

  • http://www.tweakyourbiz.com Niall Devitt

    Great post Facundo, While all of these are great plug-ins, I would suggest that no. 1: WP Security Scan is one that every blogger should have regardless?

  • Facundo

    Thanks! Indeed, anything that can prevent headaches :)n

  • http://www.encouragingexcellence.ie/ Mairu00e9ad Kelly

    Very useful post Facunda. I already know I’m going to have fun playing around with those in the near future.

  • http://www.encouragingexcellence.ie/ Mairu00e9ad Kelly

    Very useful post Facunda. I already know I’m going to have fun playing around with those in the near future.

  • http://profiles.google.com/richard.conroy Richard Conroy

    @37b80f46c3622a6b1e0a16c9f20c4035:disqus Great post. A lot of these WP plugin roundups tend to over-focus on eye-candy operations, and ignore genuinely useful, nay indispensable alternatives. I know options with respect to Caching & Minify and why you would use them (too many clients on the one share hosting shard), have used 301 Redirects for similar reasons, but WP Security Scan looks like a real find, especially on sites with too many admins (like one that I am building now: http://w3projects.org – ~15 people with admin rights). Installing it now.nnHowever for me qTranslate is the peach. I have seen professional translation plugins like WPML (site 5?) but nobody seems to get it when I try to explain what a translation plugin REALLY means. Too many suggestions along the lines of Google Translate. I actually have a potential client who really wants something along these lines (she is bilingual).

  • Facundo

    Hi Richard. Glad you found the suggestions useful. The guys that do qTranslate seem to really get it so if you decide to go that way you can expect even more features in the future I’d say. n

  • http://www.channelship.ie/blog Facundo

    Thanks Mairu00e9ad. Trying out new plugins is something I enjoy too of course :) n

  • http://www.cgonlinemarketing.com/ Christina Giliberti

    Excellent Facundo! Will add the ‘related posts’ one for sure. n

  • http://www.cgonlinemarketing.com/ Christina Giliberti

    Excellent Facundo! Will add the ‘related posts’ one for sure. n

  • Anonymous

    Great list there. I also think it’s important to have a plugin to give users the ability to share a post they like on any social network, e.g. Twitter, Facebook, etc. Found a neat one today: nhttp://www.daddydesign.com/wordpress/social-toolbar-wordpress-plugin/

  • Facundo

    Thanks Tina. Makes sense, especially if you have plenty of older posts!n

  • http://www.hal9000.ie Jennie Molphy

    Great selection Facundo – there’s so many plugins out there, it’s good to get recommendations.nnnI’ve just installed Dagon Design Sitemap Generator – another useful one.nnhttp://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/sitemap-generator/nnnSo next up is WP Security Scan…

  • http://twitter.com/beatricewhelan Beatrice Whelan

    Some really useful Plugins there Facundo. For SEO do you prefer the All in One SEO Plugin or the SEO Ultimate Plugin?

  • http://twitter.com/beatricewhelan Beatrice Whelan

    That is a good one Simon. I use Digg Digg but it can slow up a site if you opt to use all of the different buttons. nhttp://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/digg-digg/

  • http://twitter.com/PaulPinnacle Paul Cawley

    I’m not sure if you’ve tried it yet Beatrice, or if Facundo will agree, but I’d opt for Joost’s wordpress SEO plugin ahead of both mentioned. Still technically in beta and continually being developed and improved, but already a superb (and stable) option.nnhttp://yoast.com/wordpress/seo/nnGood list Facundo. The security scan is a new one for me, looking forward to trying it out.

  • Facundo

    Thanks Jennie!n

  • Facundo

    @twitter-201285346:disqus & @twitter-155752094:disqus I normally go for All in one SEO because it is generally compatible with other plugins. I’ve tried Platinum SEO which is great but a thing to consider is that once you choose one of these SEO plugins if you then want to change you may end up having to re-enter metadata again or find a way to export it and import it (and it can be a bit messy as this is not built in). In short, I tend to decide based on the plugins I may need down the line too. n

  • Facundo

    Very true Beatrice nn

  • http://twitter.com/PaulPinnacle Paul Cawley

    A very valid point Facundo, both on compatibility and on import/export flexibility. nnMost of the tools mentioned are compatible with the SEO data transporter plugin (http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/seo-data-transporter/), but it can still be messy if you’ve a high level of customisation on your site. Regardless of what methods you use to achieve it (Joost’s tool has a nice and tidy import/export function which works pretty well), ensure you have a safe backup before proceeding. It can cause serious headaches if you run into a problem down the line without a safe restore point.

  • http://blog.myprojecttracker.com Barney Austen

    Hi Facundo. A good list.nnnI’d also add a spam filter like Akismet. Not so important when you start off first but as you increase your profile online, targetted spam does come it’s way :)nnnCheersnnBarneyn

  • Facundo

    There’s a plugin for everything :) Didn’t know about that tool, excellent!n

  • http://www.seefincoaching.com/blog Elaine Rogers

    OK, you lost me after No 5 but the first few are excellent for WP non-techies like me. Looking forward to experimenting @facundov:twitter

  • Facundo

    Thanks Elaine! You can probably try out number 7 too without too much pain :) n

  • http://www.seoreseller.com/ SEO reseller

    Thanks for this one Niall. I’ve been using a lot of plugins for wordpress, most of them SEO-related. I just haven’t installed anything for security. This is a great addition to my plugins. And Facundo, thanks for that list, I’ll look into every plugin here.

  • http://www.actpropertyservices.co.uk Cleaning companies Kent

    Hi Facundo, Your Plugin’s are very usefull for me. I can protect my pc from spam.
    Gardening Surrey

  • http://www.leadsandappointments.com/ Anika Davis

    Bragging is anyone’s most hated attitude. Yes, agree to you that instead of bragging in front of other people use it as your marketing tool. These can eventually attract more customers which means more sales to your company. One great strategy indeed!

  • http://twitter.com/denisefay Denise Fay

    Hi Pawel, a comprehensive list. I certainly don’t like bragging, it reminds me of my mums friends years ago and how wonderful their children all were!!

    I like your clear approach and advice to people. A good list that any small business owner or executive can follow.

    Take care,
    Denise

  • http://twitter.com/wbider Web Spider

    Thanks for encouraging me about the article. I’ll mention few more topic soon about Identity theft. Thanks for stopping by :)

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