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7 Essential WordPress Plugins for the Average Joe (Strummer)

by Scott Hoffman on February 12, 2010

A lot of people have asked me what I have used under the hood of Cliqology. Over the past several years I have found that these 7 WordPress Plugins are essential parts of building a successful Blog. Please keep in mind that I am average person, with very little coding skills, so all of these Plugins should be easy to install and use for everyone. As an added bonus, all the Plugins are FREE.

Akismet – Spam Blocking Software – Believe it or not, once your blog starts to get significant traffic, spammers will start to show up on your door step. They will leave bogus comments and links on your posts. Automattic Kismet (Akismet for short) is a collaborative effort to make comment and trackback spam a non-issue. It is easy to use, and best of all, it is Free. Click here to learn more about Akismet

DISQUS - Comment Moderation – DISQUS Comments is a comment system and moderation tool for your site. This service lets you add next-gen community management and social web integrations, making it possible to moderate your comments in a very easy and efficient way. The commenting system also ties in with most major Social Media platforms, and your community participants are encouraged to share their comments with Twitter, Facebook, etc leading to greater visibility for your blog. Click here to learn more about Disqus

TweetMeme Retweet Button – Twitter Promotion – The TweetMeme retweet button is for website and blog publishers who want to encourage their audience to tweet their content on Twitter. The button shows a live count of the number of times your webpage or blog post has been tweeted. When a user Tweets about the content of your blog it increases visibility. Click here to learn more about the TweetMeme retweet Button.

Twitter Tools (With Bit.ly Extension) - Twitter Integration – Twitter Tools is a plugin that creates a complete integration between your WordPress blog and your Twitter account. Twitter Tools integrates with Twitter by giving you the following functionality, Archive your Twitter tweets (downloaded every 10 minutes), Create a blog post from each of your tweets, Create a tweet on Twitter whenever you post in your blog, with a link to the blog post which can be linked to your URL shortening service account (Mine is Bit.ly) to accrue all your click stats. Click here to learn more about Twitter Tools and the Bit.ly extension

WordPress Stats (Easy) and/or Google Analytics (Moderate) – Analytical Packages – When you start your blog, you should be looking for which pieces of content drive the highest amount of traffic and interactivity. Certain topics may be more interesting than others, and having knowledge of that will allow you to adapt the content of you site to allow for maximum exposure. I have two main monitoring packages installed on my site – Word Press Stats, which is a very easy and is incorporated in your WordPress dashboard, and I also use Google Analytics which involves placing a cookie tag on the footer of your page. If you are comfortable with placing tag code on your site, the Google product will give you much more visibility into your traffic, showing you where it came from, what countries your vistors where from, how much time they stayed on the pages, etc. Click here to learn more about WordPress Stats and Google Analytics.

Zemanta – Content Creation Helper – Zemanta is a platform for accelerating on-line content production. Any user-created text (a blog post, article or web page) is directly “read” by Zemanta, which recognizes all contextual content. Zemanta then combs the web for the most relevant images, smart links, keywords and text, instantly serving these results to the user to enrich and inform their content. Click here to learn more about Zemanta.

WPtouch – Mobile Optimization – As mobile internet browsing becomes more and more popular, some of your visitors may access your site from their mobile devices. WPtouch automatically transforms your WordPress blog into a web-application experience when viewed from an iPhone, iPod touch, Android, or BlackBerry Storm touch mobile device. The result is a lightweight, fast-loading, feature-rich and highly-customized “theme application” that is optimized to deliver your site on a mobile devices. Click here to learn more about WPTouch.

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  • http://joeberkowitz.com/ Joe Berkowitz

    Thanks Scott. I had not tried out Zemanta and WPtouch. Given your reccomendation I will try them out.

    You also may want to try a few I'm fond of:

    1) WP Super Cache – to cache content
    2) Redirection – helps to manage all 301 redirects and 404 errors without having to code
    3) Broken links remover – helps to manage and identify broken links as they happen over time.

    Enjoy – Joe

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  • http://www.cliqology.com scotthoffman

    Thanks for the tips Joe!

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