As part of an on-going effort to help people achieve their goals in blogging and business, I’ve decided to start a page that will list, what I think, are the best WordPress Plugins.
One of the things I love about WordPress is the number of options you have to improve your site through extensions and plugins. This post is a highlight of some of the plugins I find most useful (or just plain cool ).
Note 1: I will set up all the FREE plugins listed on my plugins page for you if you decide to use my services to get started.
Note 2: On my plugins page I list some plugins I no longer have to use since I switched to the Headway theme. I still list these plugins for your benefit.
The following is a short list of plugins broken up by category:
- Popup Domination ($): While most people will describe pop-ups as annoying, the fact is they work. I use this on a niche site to solicit subscriptions. But don’t worry…the subscribers get value in return with a report I worked my ass off to produce.
- ViperBar: This is a great plugin created by Glen Allsopp which creates a bar at the top of the page (above the header) where readers can enter their information and subscribe to your list.
- Quick Adsense: While this plugin was designed to place Adsense ads on your site, I use it a bit differently. In my post describing how to increase opt-in list subscribers I talk about how I use this plugin (hint: place ads to other on-site pages).
- 1-click Retweet/Share/Like: This is the plugin that places the share buttons before and after the post which allows readers to share the post on their favorite social network.
- Sharebar: This places a bar to the left of your post that follows the reader all the way down the page with share buttons. Sharing your post is always one click away with this plugin (speaking of which, please share this post now ). You can also customize the plugin to add buttons that aren’t included by default.
- Tweet Old Post: Set up this plugin and have your old posts Tweet automatically to your account. This is a great way to revive older posts on your blog and bring in some extra traffic from Twitter.
- Duplicate Post: This really belongs under the “Just Plain Cool” section because this plugin was a lifesaver for me when I was putting together the Bursting with Bloggers series. It allowed me to duplicate existing posts and edit a copy of an old post instead of starting from scratch and having to format a new post entirely. I can’t even being to estimate how many hours of work this plugin saved me. (Phew! Thank God I found this plugin!)
- Publish Confirmation: If you read this post then you know why I decided to pick this one up. This plugin helps prevent any accidental posting on your part. So you will not publish anything until you’re absolutely certain you want to.
- Simple Trackback Validation: This plugin prevents any spammers from sending trackbacks to your posts for the sole purpose of backlinking. It actually checks to see that there is a mention of your post on the linking site – it has prevented many attempts at spam-linking to this blog.
- Growmap Anti Spambot Plugin: This plugin is the best of both worlds. Not only does it prevent spam comments, but it also makes commenting very easy for the reader. It does not require the commenter to put in a CAPTCHA code. Instead all the commenter has to do to check a box stating that they are not a spammer – this prevents spam bots from leaving comments for the sole purpose of backlinking.
Just Plain Cool:
- WP FancyZoom: While this plugin doesn’t necessarily have any benefit in terms of optimization or SEO, it is just plain cool. And it does have design benefits (if you’re into that sort of thin ). With this plugin you can place an image on your page, and it allows the reader to click the image to see a larger version (which will zoom up from the screen for them…I dare you to tell me that’s not cool!).
Plugins I want to try:
- Thank Me Later: This plugin automatically sends an email to people who leave comments thanking them for leaving one. I’m not sure if this is something I would use in combination with the ReplyMe plugin which I use now, but I have to look into it because I’ve heard good things.
- W3TotalCache: I currently use WP Super Cache to optimize site speed, but I’ve heard some good reviews of the W3 Total Cache plugin. This may be a better option.
- WP-Invoice: This is a good plugin for people offering services through their sites. While you can invoice clients directly through PayPal, using this plugin may make the process more efficient by invoicing from within WordPress.
- Add Sig: I currently use the End Content plugin to create a sign-up form at the bottom of each post. But the Add Sig plugin allows you to do that plus it allows you to customize different signatures for different posts. Not sure if I need to have that at this moment, but I can definitely see a lot of use for having the customization option.
- Author Box Reloaded: I currently dont’ have an author box at the end of any of my posts but I can definitely see some use for having one. It re-introduces you to readers on every post you write, and also has certain SEO benefits by interlinking pages on your site. I already have some post-content content, but this may be a good thing to add to the mix.
- Blubrry: Unfortunately I don’t have a podcast quite yet. But it is something I have been thinking about starting for quite some time now. This is plugin looks like a good one to get started in podcasting.
- Wordpres SEO by Yoast: I currently use All-in-one SEO Pack but I’ve been hearing some great reviews of the Yoast plugin. Maybe it’s time to try this one out instead?
Plugins I don’t have to use since switching to Headway:
- Exclude Pages: This plugin allows you exclude pages form your top navigation menu by un-checking a box within the page back-end. Couldn’t get any simpler really. However, I have no use for this plugin any more since switching to the Headway theme because I now use custom menu navigation.
- Homepage Excerpts: This plugin allows you to have shortened version of your full post on your blog homepage. This is great if you do not want to display your entire post on the front page (which I don’t). Of course, Headway has internal options that allow you to do the same thing.
- Thumbnail For Excerpts: If you are using excerpts on your homepage you probably want to have an image thumbnail to spice that excerpt up. This plugin allows you to insert an image thumbnail next to your excerpt. But again, Headway offers a similar option internally.
I hope that list was helpful! And remember to check out my plugins page for a full list of plugins I use!
Your Two Cents:
Do you use any of the plugins I listed above?
Do you have any plugins that you find extremely useful that you think should be added to the list?
Have you tried any of the plugins in the “Plugins I want to try” section? If so, what was your experience with them?
How sweet is WordPress?