One of the best things about WordPress is the opportunity it provides for fairly easy customization.
Don’t believe me? Here’s the theme my site operates on in its standard form…
Here’s my site:
Big difference, right?! Amy obviously worked wonders with the framework (thank heaven for a great site designer), but much of the customization and preferences on individual pages was made possible via great WordPress plugins. There really is a plugin for just about anything and everything.
Of course, you don’t want to go overboard. Too many plugins can slow your load time and cause problems for your site. With the changes that have taken place around here, I’ve taken the time to go through all of my plugins and determine which WordPress plugins work best for me. I have about 30 plugins currently installed on my site.
As promised, I thought I would share a few of my favorite WordPress plugins for bloggers.
1. Askimet. I don’t have captcha codes, no need for comment moderation. Askimet prevents spam from showing up on my site and I really don’t have to worry about it at all.
2. Comment Luv. Since Comment Luv is available on both Blogger and WordPress, most bloggers are familiar with it. If you’re not familiar, this plugin grabs the commenters feed and posts a link to their last post. I’ve found so many great posts through comments on my site!
3. Comment Reply Notification. When I made the move to WordPress, one of my favorite timesavers was the ability to reply to comments both in the comment thread and via email all in one step. Needless to say, this one is a favorite.
4. Fanciest Author Box. This is a new plugin for me and I am enamored. When I switched over the site I really wanted a great way to feature my contributors…I love that this allows me to help share more of their content, as well as provide simple options for following their Facebook and Twitter accounts. I have Fanciest Author Box set up to appear at the end of my post…
5. Formidable. If you collect any information or have need of an online form. This is THE plugin. I’ve used it for several different things and it works like a dream.
6. Google Analytics for WordPress. If you’re looking to grow your blog, no tool is more important than Google Analytics. Google Analytics for WordPress is without a doubt the simplest and most complete Google Analytics tracking plugin I’ve come across. Plus, it makes installation sooo easy!
7. NRelate. Encourage extra time on site by suggesting additional articles of interest.
8. RPS Image Gallery. I’ve wanted to create some thumbnail images/project galleries for some time…I finally found a plugin that I like. I am still experimenting with it, but here’s what my linky gallery looks like so far…
9. WordPress Editorial Calendar. This is one of my very favorite plugins. It helps keep me organized! This is where I can schedule posts, see what’s coming up and drag and drop them into the schedule as needed.
10. WordPress SEO. Another big time favorite. This tool has taken my posts from mediocre SEO to great SEO. I use it on every single post and it’s simple…Fill out a few extra fields and you’re all done!
I am looking forward to discovering even more great plugins…Got a favorite? I’d love to know what plugins you like to use…