OK, I admit it, I’ve had a love/hate relationship with WordPress. I’ve been a deliriously happy Typepad user for years, attaching it to my site by means of a nice neat button, and back again to the site, to get the SEO. My blog had a 4/10 google ranking and my site had the same, so benefited from the many links backward and forward. Since moving my blog to WordPress and hosting it on my domain, that has remained at 4/10 and the blog is now 3/10 even though it’s got many more original posts on it than the Typepad one.
After the last World Internet Summit in London 2007, however, I took on board that all the “big dogs” are using it and when my buddy Mike Stewart said “I don’t know why I’m using it but Armand told me too!” I came home, downloaded the software for free from www.Wordpress.org, tried some plugins and after a long frustrating weekend trying to get it to work, I gave up on that one.
Then I turned to ex-internet coaching client Lea Woodward for help, as she was much more techie than me and had an army of geeks to outsource the tricky bits to.
Turns out my server 1and1.co.uk needed some serious tweaking before it would let me hook up my new MySql database with the blog software. Most hosting like my preferred one FunkyDomainNames will let you do a very sexy one click install from the CPanel – takes nanoseconds.
Of course installing it is one thing, making WordPress look nice and do what you want it to do is another. I struggled for weeks to get images in my posts! For this you will need to choose a “widget ready” theme AND install about 20 different plugins.
Here is my list of the Top Essential & Most Sexy Plugins For WordPress
** Please feel free to comment below and let me know which plugins I am missing **
1. Akismet – stops comment spam and comes pre-installed, you just need to activitate it (in Plugins) and then add your API key, which you get from setting up an account at www.Wordpress.com
2. OneClick – install this first, by downloading the zip file to your computer, extracting the files and uploading via FTP the main OneClick folder to your wp_content > plugins folder on your server. Go activate it in your WordPress control panel, then thereafter, after you have downloaded the zip file for any plugin to your computer, you can do everything else from within WordPress. Remember to use the pull down menu to choose plugin rather than theme, as it defaults to theme.
3. Sign-out-reminder – does what it says on the tin!
4. WordPress-automatic-upgrade.1.1 – this makes the business of upgrading your software effortless, if you choose the “automatic” option. Amazing to watch!
5. Feedburner_feedsmith_plugin_2.3 – you need to open a free Feedburner account and “burn” a feed for your blog. Not only will Feedburner give you better statistics, but you can monetize your blog posts and feed page with Google Adsense.
6. adsense-manager.2.5 – put your Adsense publisher CA in here and monetize your blog
7. better-comments-manager1.5 – helps you manage comments more easily and picks up inbound links to your blog
8. google-sitemap-generator.3.0.2 – automatically generates and updates your site map for Google
9. Maxblogpress-ping-optimizer.zip – if, like me, you save each post about five times, before you are happy with it, this plugin stops your blog spamming the ping sites, particularly ping-o-matic, who can block your blog for over-pinging! MaxBlogPress has some nice plugins generally.
10. ImageManager2.41 – never again struggle to put pics in your posts, or have to upload your pic to your server before you can use it, or worse still, LOSE a pic that you just KNOW you uploaded/used before on your blog. This plugin did disappear last time I upgraded my WordPress software but I just reuploaded it using oneclick and it worked fine again.
11. All-in-one-bookmarking-button – puts that sexy little bar at the bottom of all your posts that enables your visitor to digg you, stumble you, delicious you or technorati you (and many, many others)
12. TwitThis_for_WordPress_1.1 – if you twitter – and you should as it updates your blog with your twits, you can twit on the move, it updates your Facebook and MySpace Profile and it twits to your followers when you post on your blog (AMAZING!!) – then you need this on your blog! not sure which of the Twit tools listed here does what, but you need both (take it from me!)
13. Twitter-tools.1.1b1 – as above!
14. Viddlercomments – enables people to post a comment using video via their webcam on your blog – watch this one grow and grow!
15. Max-banner-ads – just getting into this one but man, it’s really, really good. Enables you to put your own banners or OTHER PEOPLE’s in various locations on your blog, and gives great stats. You can start to charge for banner ads on your blog!
Hope this was helpful. and if you hit the comments link (or the little camera) you can leave your favourite plugins for us! Cheers, Nicola