- Affiliate Marketing - eCommerce - Website Design - Hosting - Domain Names - Websites For Sale
I use WordPress to run many of my websites because of how easy it is to manage content with it. I’ve even talked on this about how WordPress helps you rank better in the search engines.
One of the great advantages of using WordPress is its plugin system in which you have access to thousands of free and effective plugins for expediting the task of being a webmaster.
Today I’m going to cover the best WordPress plugins for 2011, both free and premium, which you should be using right now to improve your site and I’ll give an explanation of each.
If you need help with how to install plugins, check out my post from yesterday on adding plugins to WordPress.
Akismet is a sophisticated spam blocker and is extremely helpful considering I get a lot of spam comments each day across my various sites.
It is so helpful in fact that it comes already installed through WordPress, you just need to activate it using a free key which you can get through its plugin page and it begins cutting down on 99% of the spam comments which you get immediately.
It’s a good idea to frequently backup your blog’s data in case the worst happens. You should also backup everything before you routinely update your version of WordPress when a newer version becomes available, as well.
WP-DB-Backup enables you to backup core/other tables in the same database to one conveniently compressed file. You can backup your blog on demand or can schedule to have a backup file created and emailed to you regularly. Setting up this plugin gives you a lot of peace of mind.
Google Sitemap Generator
A sitemap is helpful for enabling web crawlers and on rare occasions users, as well, to more conveniently and easily navigate your site. Google loves for sites to have a fresh sitemap and Google Sitemap Generator makes it a one click or even an automated process for building a new one in a couple of seconds.
Pretty Link lets you create attractive, custom readable links right from your WordPress control panel. You can use it to mask your affiliate links or simply create “prettier” links and the plugin even shows you stats on how many clicks which each pretty link has received.
It works well with Twitter, as well, because you can create shorter links to include in your tweets. There are additional options which you can tweak such as making it a 301 vs. 307 redirect and specifying nofollow on every pretty link which you create.
There is also an upgraded premium version called Pretty Link Pro to give you additional functionality so that you can automate your custom link creation, fully cloak your links, auto-tweet your links, and replace keywords throughout your blog with your links which can save you a lot of time.
All In One SEO Pack
The All In One SEO Pack takes care of the annoying details of remembering to optimize your site for on site search engine optimization (SEO) and simplifies the process, saving you time.
This plugin offers a lot of options in terms of settings, and it provides a template with each new post which you make in which you can input your title, keywords, and description.
Subscribe to Comments and Top Contributors
These are two plugins to enhance your comment sections. Subscribe to Comments notifies commentators who leave comments via email of when subsequent entries are made so that they can see replies made to their comments, encouraging them to come back to spend more time on your site.
Top Contributors on the other hand creates a widget which shows on your blog to create a list of the top commentators, thus increasing their exposure and giving them and everyone else ample incentive to engage in regular discussion on your site.
This is a very simple plugin which includes links to relevant posts based on keywords at the end of a post on your site. This increases the chances that someone will continue to read more content/other posts of yours and spend more time on your site.