The Top WordPress Plugins
For some of you who might not be familiar with the layman’s definition of a WordPress Plugin, here it is—according to WordPress.org:
“WordPress Plugins allow easy modification, customization, and enhancement to a WordPress blog. Instead of changing the core programming of WordPress, you can add functionality with WordPress Plugins.”
With that said, some WordPress plugins will provide greater benefits to your business blog than others.
Here is a list of our 5 favorite WordPress Plugins:
Yet Another Related Posts Plugin: One of our favorite plugins, the Yet Another Related Posts Plugin (YARPP) enables bloggers to increase the amount of time visitors stay on the site. Basically, YARPP provides readers with a few links to some of your past entries that are related to the current entry. Think of this plugin as a way to say to readers, “If you liked this post, you might also like these posts.”
This plugin offers an extensive list of settings that enables users to verify which criteria they would like YARPP to use when pulling up related posts.
In other words, you can choose to have YARPP pull up related posts within the category of the current post, or you can choose to have YARPP pull up related posts that have similar tags and titles to the current post. You can also select how many related posts you’d like YARPP to display at the bottom of posts.
Many online retailers use something similar to YARPP on their websites to help consumers find other items that they might enjoy. Amazon.com is a great example of an online company that does this. Whenever you purchase a book or DVD, Amazon pulls up other books or DVDs related to your current purchase(s).
All in One SEO Pack: If your WordPress theme does not include built-in SEO features, installing the All in One SEO Pack plugin is a must!
The SEO Pack enables you to optimize your blog without having your post title be enticing or catchy.
Here’s an example of what that means:
For example, let’s say your post title was “4 Ways to Keep Your Customers Loyal.” This is the title that readers will see when they visit your blog. An SEO Pack title for this post might be “Customer Retention Strategy: Keep Loyal Customers.” This title is considered optimized because it has keywords placed at the beginning of the title. This is the title that search engines see and read. And notice, the SEO title isn’t very catchy or creative.
The All in One SEO Pack also enables you to add a meta description and meta keywords for search engines to read.
Facebook Like: Adding the Facebook “Like” button to the top or bottom of your blog enables readers to quickly and easily “Like” your post on Facebook—and they don’t even need to visit Facebook to do so! When readers “Like” your post, the news shows up immediately on their Facebook wall and in their friends’ news feed. It’s an excellent way to gain exposure.
Not to mention, when readers “Like” a post, a minibox pops up that enables them to add a comment with their decision to “Like” your post.
Broken Link Checker: The Broken Link Checker searches your posts for broken links and images and immediately notifies you via your dashboard if one is found. Therefore, you have the opportunity to quickly fix the broken link or image before all your visitors try to click through the link or view the image and are disappointed or frustrated.
Tweet This: Similar to the Facebook Like plugin, the Tweet This plugin allows readers to quickly and easily tweet your post to all of their Twitter followers. They don’t even need to leave your blog or open Twitter in a new browser.
And Tweet This also shortens the link for users so that they can add a comment to their tweet.
Additional Plugins for Specific Themes:
For those on Thesis: Thesis Open Hook is one of the best ways to customize your Thesis blog without having to enter your custom editor and mess with coding. Basically, Thesis Open Hook allows you to add content to various features that make up the Thesis Theme. For example, the Thesis Theme has a header area (also known as the header hook). Open Hook allows you to add content to just the header hook without having to go into the custom file editor. The benefit here is that the coding you place into the header hook within the Open Hook plugin can easily be deleted without deleting anything vital to the design of the Thesis Theme. However, if you were to use the custom file editor to add the header but realized you didn’t like the look and wanted to delete it, you run the risk of deleting a vital component of the design of Thesis. Just by deleting one, itty-bitty semicolon, without knowing it, you could mess up a great deal of your Thesis Theme design. Be safe—use Thesis Open Hook to edit your Thesis Theme.
For those on ProPhoto: Flaunt Books Image Voting is an amazing blog feature for any blogger involved in the photography field. This plugin enables readers to vote on their favorite images within a post, just with one click of a button. We love this plugin because it engages readers and encourages them to be active on the blog.
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