In the past few days, we moved from our old blogging platform to WordPress and have been busily uploading plugins that will benefit our blogging experience and help in terms of SEO.
Although we have used WordPress extensively in the past, we haven’t really used plugins to their full advantage. It has been pretty much trial and error and in fact, more often than not we would just upload a plugin because it looked pretty cool.
So prior to moving this blog over to WordPress, I did some extensive research to find out what are the ‘must have’ plugins for WordPress, and as a result of my research, here are the top 5 best WordPress plugins:
1. All-In-One-SEO Pack
This in my opinion is one of the best plugins to improve WordPress SEO. It ensures that your blog posts have better titles, better descriptions and it also helps to reduce problems associated with duplicate content.
Once activated you only need to change the main options once. Then for each individual post, you can change the title tag, description and keywords, although this is not required as the SEO Pack determines what needs to be included in these fields automatically by your original settings.
2. What Would Seth Godin Do?
Believe it or not, ‘What Would Seth Godin Do? is the name of the plugin. Who is Seth Godin? – He is probably best known as the creator of Squidoo but is also the writer of a number of books and has probably one of the most popular blogs on the internet.
The reason the plugin got it’s name is because of something Seth Godin mentioned on his blog:
One opportunity that’s underused is the idea of using cookies to treat returning visitors differently than newbies. It’s more work at first, but it can offer two experiences to two different sorts of people.
This got Richard Millar working on a WordPress plugin that would do just that…hence the ‘What Would Seth Godin Do’ plugin.
What this plugin does is place a small box of text either at the top or the bottom of each post depending on the number of times a visitor comes to your blog. So for instance, the first three times a visitor comes to your blog they could see one message and then anytime after that they could see a different message.
You can change the message to say whatever you like and you can also add a url.
This is a very cool plug-in and a definite must have.
3. Subscribe to Comments
If you’ve ever left a comment on a blog you might have seen a small tick box under the comment field that allows you to subscribe to the post. If you ticked this checkbox then you would receive an email notification when further comments are left by other visitors on that particular blog post.
This is a great way to get readers to return to your blog as they follow up on responses left in response to their comments.
To get this option on your blog you will need to download the Subscribe to Comments plugin.
4. Google Sitemap Generator for WordPress
A sitemap is, in its most basic terms, a map of your site. It lets the search engine robots know how to find pages on your site and this means your pages are more likely to be indexed.
This plugin creates a sitemap for your blog and it also pings the major search engines when you have made changes to your blog.
5. Share This
This handy plugin allows your visitors to share your posts with some of the top social bookmarking or networking sites.
Once activated, the plugin places a link at the end of each of your posts so that when it is clicked a pop-up is displayed that allows the reader to select the social networking or bookmarking site they want to submit your post to.
You do have to register to get this to work.
So there you have it – the top 5 WordPress plugins. I have uploaded each to this blog and they are all working perfectly.
If you have any plugin suggestions then please leave a comment.