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Recommended WordPress Plugins (Update)

This is an update from a blog post I did way back in April of 2008 which ended up being one of my most popular posts even to this day.

There have been some changes due to plugins no longer being supported and the evolution of some great new security plugins. Also, prior, I had recommended that people install plugins the old school way of uploading and now you can simply upload them through WordPress without using FTP software which is much much simpler.

First, let’s start with the installation instructions:

1. Log in as administrator.
2. Click Plugins in the left column.
3. Select “Add New” from the top of the new page that appears.
4. Type the name of the plugin you want to upload in the search box.
5. Scroll down through the results and locate the exact plugin you want to install by name. There are many similar names so be careful.
6. Select “install now”
7. On the next screen click on the link that says “activate plugin”
8. Configure plugin by selecting it from the left column. If you do not see it, you may need to click on settings for it to show up in the drop down menu.

Security Plugins for WordPress – WordPress has some security issues so it is critical that you use the following WordPress security plugins:

  • Akismet – This one will cost you a mere $5 per month, but it is well worth it to keep the spammers away.
  • Login Lockdown – This prevents people that use tools to guess password from getting access to your admin console. It is also recommended to choose a secure password.
  • WP DB Backup – This plugin will email a copy of your blog to you periodically (I recommend daily). This way, if you have to reinstall it, you can.

SEO / Social Media plugins for WordPress – These are plugins designed to help you market your WordPress Website or Blog.

  • All in One SEO Pack – Allows you to enter custom titles and meta tags for each page or blog post.
  • Blog Glue (formerly known as Arkayne) – Allows people to find you through other blog posts as it syndicates your blog posts to a network of related bloggers. I have actually seen quite a bit of traffic come to my SEO blog from Arkayne/Blog Glue.
  • CommentLUV – Encourages blog comments by linking the comment to the posters previus blog post.
  • Dofollow – This plugin removes the “nofollow” attribute which is supposed to encourage people to comment on your blog. Truth be told, people should not worry about this so much as whether or not they are contributing to good content. In the end, this plugin actually produces lots of spam because those that seek out “dofollow” blogs are typically looking to take advantage of links they can get from posting bogus comments.
  • Google Analytics for WordPress – Allows you to insert Google Analytics code simply on all pages of your WordPress website or blog.
  • Sociable – Allows readers to share your blog posts through a variety of methods including several different social media sites.
  • Tweetmeme – Allows your readers to retweet your content with minimal effort.

Communications Plugins – Plugins designed to help your readers communicate with you.

  • Contact Form 7- Creates a form for people to use to communicate with you.
  • Subscribe to Comments – Allows readers to be notified of additional comments to a blog post, which would allow them to continue the dialogue is they desired.
  • Really Simple CAPTCHA – This works in conjunction with the Contact Form 7 plugin to create a CAPTCHA code to eliminate bogus automated form responses from bots.
  • YouTube Brackets – Makes embedding YouTube videos into your posts simple.

There are dozens of additional plugins. In fact, if you want to find one, just do a Google search and you will find many plugins that can really make WordPress a powerhouse such as:

  • Directory Plugins – To create an online directory using WordPress.
  • Membership Site Plugins – This is a great way to monetize a website; by creating a membership site and charging a monthly fee.
  • Buddy Press – Helps you create a Social Media community using wordPress.

In closing, here are a few things to keep in mind regarding plugins:

1. Since they are developed by 3rd party developers, you will need to get support from the third party developers as opposed to your webmaster or web hosting company.

2. Plugins need to be kept up to date, otherwise failure can occur.

3. Make sure your plugins are compatible with your current version of WordPress (and vice versa), or you could have conflicts or plugins that do not function as they are intended.

If you have any great WordPress plugins that you think should be listed, feel free to let me know by commenting below.

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