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DISCLAIMER: The FTC requires me to let you know that I may be compensated for products or services recommended. In many cases I am recommending my own company's services, so it's kind of funny to have to spell this out, but I do get paid by some of the companies whose ads are on the site. I ONLY list ads for companies that I use and fully endorse.

Posts Tagged ‘WordPress’

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.

OldSchool SEO Gets a Face Lift

While I’d like to get the kind of face lift that would remove my extra chin, I have (for now) done a face life on the OldSchoolSEO.com website. I wasn’t married to the “Matt Cutts” theme, I just had other more pressing priorities. I have to say, I am really happy with this selection because while it’s not the custom template that I’d like it was priced right at “free ninety nine”.

Even since I decided to get serious about blogging this year, I looked into custom designs, and really had a hard time spending real money on a site that doesn’t bring in money directly. Of course, this is the year to change that as I will highlight the services offered by my company, Web Traffic Team a bit more on the blog (and that site is getting a “real” face lift).

I would like to not only thank Performancing for the free WordPress template, but will credit Matt Keegan for prompting me to use it (without even knowing).

As for the other face lift? I missed the SEO’s Fight Fat For Charity Competition and couldn’t join late (Go Simon!), so I am on my own trying to eat healthy and exercise. I am not off to a good start either, and the fact that I am in Las Vegas this weekend won’t help much, although my hotel allegedly has a gym — mt wife said it does, but I haven’t seen it yet. Hopefully, I will be in shape before the next SEO Fat Fight, but if not, maybe I can lose weight for a good cause.

Happy Friday and wish me luck at the tables!

Get Your Karma On

Spam Karma that is… If you use WordPress as a blogging platform and you have any visibility at all, you are probably very familiar the daily challenge of deleting spam comments. I just installed, and can now recommend, Spam Karma 2 by Dr.Dave. It is a free WordPress plugin and takes minutes to install.

Spam is a real annoyance, and a time killer. The good news is there is no need to deal with it. If you aren’t getting any blog spam and have not addressed the issue (and you aren’t using a hosting blog platform), then you probably need to work on building your web traffic and online visibility :-)


How to fail at blogging

Well, this isn’t really a difficult post to write because there are so many blogs to look at and see how people are doing them poorly. I wish I had the time to prioritize th points below in order of how badly they affect your site, but again, it would be a subjective list. I will start by saying I visited a site today that had a very pointed message, followed by an annoying message asking me to register to comment. I know lots of people have this feature, but it is a barrier to posting, and that’s not what people are looking for. If it’s an established community, that’s one thing, but if you are just getting started and have little following, it’s not likely to change soon if you make everyone register.

Here are my blogging pet peeves:

1. Not allowing comments. If you don’t allow comments, you can say what you want and the only way people can object is to blog and point to your blog. Isn’t the purpose of blogging to have an interactive voice with your community? If you dont have time to manage comments, then maybe you shouldn’t be blogging.

2. Making you register to comment. (see intro)

3. Infrequent posts. If people like what you say and are inclined to come back, their interest will soom diminish if they see the same post on the home page, or look at your time line and see that it your last post was two years ago (I am not exaggerating, I have seen this).

4. Not using tags. This is one of the best known “secrets” of blogging. The ability to “tag and ping” your blog to maximize your positioning in the search engines.

5. Ignoring Social Media. Ahh, if you don’t know what this means, you need to learn some more blogging basics before you start to blog. Social Media sites have grown significantly and aren’t just for techies anymore. This can be a huge source of traffic to your blog.

6. Ignoring (not using) RSS feeds. If you don’t know how to set this up, go to feedburner.com.

I guess you need to ask yourself why you want a blog anyway. If it’s to make money, then you clearly need to address the above issues, but you will also need to keep these in mind.

1. NEVER use a WordPress hosted blog. End of story. They will shut you down if you get on their bad side. I have seen some people get away with it, but I had a profitable blog shut down by them before. Sure some will tell you it’s the best way to take advantage of their traffic, positioning, taggings, etc, but trust me, that stuff is only good to you if your blog stays live.

2. Learn to monetize your blog. Google’s AdSense is probably the simplest way to do this, but there are a host of sites such as Clickbank or Chitika that can help you monetize your site.

So that’s this Fridays Rant… I will try to do a Friday Rant at least once a month.

Have a great weekend!

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