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Which WordPress Plugins Do You Use?

Wordpress-Plugins-1A quick question for WordPress users:



WordPress Plugins – which ones do you use?

18 months ago in a post titled (I’ll show you mine if you show me yours) I shared the WP Plugins I used and asked readers to tell us which WordPress plugins they used. The response was great and I then compiled a list of WordPress Plugins for ProBloggers which summarized everyone’s favorite WP Plugins.

That was a year and a half ago so today I thought it might be time to do the exercise again.

I’ll kick us off with a few of my personal favorite WordPress Plugins and then will open it up for you to submit yours:

  • Ad Rotator – this is what rotates the 468 x 60 ads that you see at the top of ProBlogger.
  • AdSense Deluxe – for inserting AdSense (and other types of ads) into posts
  • Akismet – comment spam filtering (which has stopped just under 2 million comment spams on ProBlogger since I installed it).
  • Democracy – Poll plugin (the one I currently use here at ProBlogger in the sidebar)
  • Landing Sites – I have used this off and on with my blogs – it greats readers arriving from search engines with suggestions for further reading
  • Popularity Contest - a modified version of this runs the ‘Best of ProBlogger’ section on the front page of ProBlogger
  • Random Redirect – a cool little plugin that I use on DPS offer readers a random post from my archives (people do actually use it)
  • Related Posts - not the sexiest plugin but pure gold at driving people deeper into your blog (also good for SEO)
  • Share This – a plugin that lets your readers share your post via email or social bookmarking
  • Subscribe to Comments – used by quite a few ProBlogger readers to track comments left on posts

One WordPress Plugin that I’m keen to experiment with in the coming months:

So now it is over to you. Which WordPress Plugins do you classify as your favorites?

Please limit your answer to 10 if you can (if you have more – get it down to your 10 ‘must have plugins’). I’ll compile a summary of all the plugins submitted in a week or two. Stay tuned to ProBlogger’s RSS feed to be notified of that post.

5 Comment Management Plugins for WordPress

One more post on the ‘respond to comments‘ post that I wrote yesterday.

If you’re a WordPress user there are a number of WP plugins that can help with managing your comments and responding to readers. Here are some that might be worth exploring.

1. Better Comments Manager - this plugin allows you to respond to comments on your blog as you moderate them in the comments area of WP’s back end. So instead of seeing a comment come in, having to then visit the post and responding from there you can simply hit ‘reply’ from within the comments section and you’ll be taken to a page where you can leave a responding comment. It also puts a ‘view all’ link in your comments area that allows you to quickly see all the comments on a post – still staying in the back end of WP. Here’s the two links as you’ll see them in your comments area:

Bettercommentsmanagercloseup5

2. Comment Relish – this plugin sends and automatic email message to users on your website who have never commented before. I’m seeing more and more bloggers using this – generally giving a quick thank you for the comment, a link back to the post and blog and a mention of their RSS feed etc. Be a little careful of making your comment too ‘auto generated’ and if you want to make your emails more personal check out how my good friend Alister uses it. Here’s another similar plugin called Comment Email Responder.

3. Subscribe to Comments – this won’t help you respond to comments but will help your readers know when you have as it sends an email when new comments are added to a post that they’ve subscribed to. While I don’t use this here at ProBlogger at the moment (in a previous version I had a bug) it is something I’ve used on other blogs and have found very effective.

4. WP Comment Moderation Notifier – get notified on your desktop when a new comment comes in that needs moderation. This is a new one that I only found today via John TP.

5. Threaded Comments – Ben and I have talked about using this in the new ProBlogger design but have resisted so far as it can get a little messy. However it is one way of helping readers to have more dialogue in their comments.

Want more Comment Plugins for WordPress? Check out the WP Codex page for Plugins for Comments.

Which WordPerss plugins do you use to help managed your Comments?

Speedlinking – 22 July 2007

Blog Hosting, Domains and Blogging Platforms – What We Wish We Knew

This post is part of the ‘What we wish I knew when I first started Blogging’ Series. In this post I’ll share readers comments on the topic of Blog Hosting, Domains and Platforms and will share some of my own experiences and advice.

There is always a diversity of opinion over which blogging platform and hosting method is best – but there were some recurring themes in the reader discussion on this particular topic. Let me attempt to summarize the main theme:

The most common regrets seem to have been starting out with some of the free blogging platforms (particularly Blogger.com) and using the free subdomain URL that they provide instead of starting out with one’s own domain and hosting.

While there is some real wisdom in getting a taste for blogging using some of the free platforms my advice to anyone who suspects that they might end up blogging on a serious level it is worth securing a good domain name and getting set up on a platform that you think you’ll stick with for the long term.

In terms of blog platforms – there is no right or wrong answer and while my personal preference is for WordPress the blog platform that one chooses needs to match with the blogger’s own preferences. Try a few out and see which you’re most comfortable with – but be aware that the choices you make early can impact your future blogging. There are import features to migrate from many platforms to others – but it’s easier to choose the right one up front.

My Own Experience with Domains, Platforms and Hosting

[Read more...]

Speedlinking – 17 May 2007

WordPress Releases Stats Plugin

Yesterday WordPress released a plugin to allow hosted WordPress.org bloggers to use their WordPress.com Stats system on their blogs.

I’ve not tested it but Muhammad Saleem’s reviewed it for you here.

Hosted or Standalone Blogging Platforms – Which is Best?

One of the most common questions that I get asked around blogging platforms is whether people should go for a hosted blog platform like Blogger, TypePad or WordPress.com or whether they should go for a stand alone platform that you host on your own domain and server like WordPress.org, Drupal or Movable Type.

I’ve talked previously about some of the Pros and Cons of Hosted and Standalone blog platforms – but thought it might make an interesting open mic discussion (or debate).

So what do you think?

  • Do you use a hosted or stand alone blog platform? Why?
  • Do you wish you’d made a different choice when you started?
  • What are the Pros and Cons of the two options?
  • What would you recommend to a new blogger?

Is Your Blog Template Holding You Back?

This Guest Post was written by Wendy Piersall from eMoms at Home.

In the first few months of blogging, there was SO much to learn. I figured that SEO was one of those battles I would tackle once I was “more established”. But after 9 months or so, I hired a professional designer to develop a custom template for my blog. Quite literally the next day, my search engine traffic doubled. Soon I went from 800 referrals a month to nearly 2400 monthly referrals - just from Google alone.

I realized rather quickly that I had been terribly short sighted on the importance of SEO for a blog. The extra visitors are important, of course, but with more search engine hits came…

  • New readers from outside of the blogging community
  • New advertising opportunities
  • A higher click-through on existing ads
  • Better monetization options for highly ranked posts
  • Mainstream press inquiries

How could a blog template impact search traffic THAT much? My question led me to Chris Pearson of Pearsonified and Sarah Lewis of Blogging Expertise, my template designer. Both of these talented designers know how to put a seriously powerful template together – and I decided to interview them to help you ensure your blog template isn’t holding you back, too.

Interview with Chris Pearson and Sarah Lewis

~Chris, I found a post on your blog in which you had a similar jump in traffic from an SEO perspective. You had recently moved from Movable Type to WordPress – what is it about WordPress that is so search engine friendly? [Read more...]

WordPress Plugins Directory

WordPress have added a Plugins Directory which will be a welcome relief to many WP users.

This is a great development from WP – one of the reasons it is so powerful as a blog platform is the large number of developers adding features to it via plugins – now we can find them!