plugin

plugin image by C. Wess Daniels

Choosing the Right Plugins For Your WordPress Blog – plugin

Bloggers have very mixed views when it comes to plugins – some will have lots of them and some will recommend that you have very few on your site. I’m somewhere in between with my opinion. I think that plugins are great and they can be a great way to improve the success of your blog yet it is possible to have too many resulting in a cluttered and uninteresting blog.

A plugin is basically a file that is supplied to you free of charge by users on WordPress, to see some examples just type “WordPress Plugins” into Google and you will see that there are many you can choose from. Once downloaded you can then activate the plugin via your WordPress dashboard and it will automatically display on your site ready to use. After this there is not much else you will need to do, some of the more complicated plugins will require a little bit of ‘techie’ knowledge and may even require configuration but once you have configured one you will find the rest easy. I just want to say that when I started I had no idea what a plugin was or how to install one so it is very easy to pick up and I recommend that you do so.

Plugins can be great for SEO because many of them will handle the Search Engine Optimisation for you meaning you don’t have to worry so much about getting ranked by search engines. Although SEO for Blogging is a whole other topic which I will be covering in great detail in the near future plugins can be a very quick way to achieve better ranking in search engines. The plugins which I use for SEO purposes are:

Google Site Map Generator Plugin – Search engines love websites that have a site map and this plugin creates on for you and is used by all of the top Bloggers. The reason for SE’s enthusiasm for sitemaps is because it enhances the navigation of your site and displays your whole blog on one page.

Permalink Migration Plugin – You must download this plugin as soon as you start up your blog. I made the fatal mistake of handling my SEO once my blog was fully functional and it was very complicated to sort out. This plugin will basically construct your permalinks (page & post URL’s) in a way that the search engines love. I won’t go into great detail but an example would be a post URL that looks like this “http://www.mysite.com/456373.html” – The permalink plugin will restructure the URL to include the post title like this “http://www.mysite.com/how-to-hang-a-door.html” thus resulting in a better search engine rankings, simple!

All in one SEO Plugin – This is a great plugin and many bloggers all over the world have a lot to owe to whoever was clever enough to invent this plugin. All you have to do is download it and activate it and the plugin will handle the rest. If you want to be smart then you can configure the settings in the dashboard of your WordPress blog but many will not bother. This plugin handles your page titles and descriptions and will automatically generate page and post descriptions that it feels will achieve a better ranking in the search engines, which it does. I have ranked very highly and regularly number 1 for my chosen keyword, which can be an entrepreneurs name…great traffic boost!

Other plugins that you should consider exploring are the TweetMeMe plugin. TweetMeMe is a Twitter related plugin that allows your readers to tweet about your post if they have enjoyed reading your content. If you look in the top right hand corner of this post you will see a TweetMeMe Re-Tweet button, once pressed the plugin will automatically send out a Tweet via their account to all of their followers. Clearly if they have 10,000 followers many of these people could click on the Tweeted link resulting in an increase in targeted traffic and therefore sales.

The About the Author plugin is a great way to inform your readers of who actually wrote the post that they have just read. As well as giving the author credibility it is also a nice little design feature. If you have a large blog that has a variety of contributing writers this plugin can be a great way to introduce your writers to your readers, much better than a small ‘written by: Joe Blogs’ at the top of the post.