I don’t typically do technical stuff on this blog, because my focus here is the effective use of blogging and social media and how to monetize your business using these tools. In other words, I don’t usually concentrate so much on the technical side of things, because my focus is on sales principles and the human element of making money online. However, it seems appropriate for me to share with you what plugins I personally use on this site and which ones I consider indispensable for any business blog.
If you’re going to operate a blog for your business, efficiency, effectiveness and security should be top priorities. Use these 10 Essential WordPress Plugins, and you’ll be in good shape 🙂
- All in One SEO Pack – this one is a classic. It’s one of the most downloaded WP plugins of all time and for good reason. It is a huge asset to your blog with regards to search optimization.
- WP Super Cache – this one makes your pages load faster. Why the heck wouldn’t you use it?
- Google XML Sitemaps – builds and maintains a sitemap and robots.txt for you automatically. It also lets Google know when it should visit your site again to index new content. “What’s a robots.txt?” you say? You need this plugin.
- Login Lockdown – if you’re not too concerned with someone hacking your site, you obviously are not aware of how often blogs get hacked and how much damage they can do. One way they get in is by randomly trying passwords over and over again until they get through. It’s called a brute force attack, one of the most common types of attacks. This plugin shuts your login page down after 2, 3 or however many false attempts you feel should be the limit.
- Redirection – It’s essential to think ahead. You probably won’t need this plugin right away if you’re just getting started blogging, but it’s inevitable that you will take a page down, rename a post or something that will break links. This plugin allows you to make sure that everyone visiting your blog lands on a valid page. A very cool tool.
- SEO Smart Links – strong internal linking is good for SEO. This wordpress plugin allows you to attach specific words or phrases, and anytime they appear on your blog, they will automatically link to whatever page you designate. This is a great tool for quickly establishing a good internal linking structure. Get it.
- WP-DB Manager – your blog is going to require ongoing maintenance. Database optimization and repair, backups, etc. This plugin gives you an easy way to do a lot of these things, and it automates most of it as well, saving you time.
- SEO Friendly Images – Images can be your friend when it comes to search engine optimization. Especially if you use good alt tags on all your images. For me, it’s easy to forget to do this, and it takes a minute, so this WordPress plugin automatically does it for you. Another no-brainer as far as I’m concerned.
- MaxBlogPress Ping Optimizer – Pinging google and other directories when you produce new content is a good thing. WordPress does this automatically. The problem is that when you make a change to an existing post, WordPress pings em again. And when you make any other small change to your site, WordPress pings em yet again. Basically anytime you hit “save”, WordPress pings Google. This can get you blocked. Not a good thing. This WordPress plugin knows the difference between when you should ping search engines and when you’re just doing edits. This way, you’re getting all the exposure you need, and you’re not abusing the system. A lot of bloggers don’t even know about this. It’s a very good tool.
- Google Analytics for WordPress – having some type of analytics program installed on your site is essential for anyone serious about getting results from their business blog. There are other more robust alternatives. Google analytics is definitely not the holy grail of analytics utilities. However for me it is the best, because it’s free and it gives me everything I need. I’m not going to spend all day analyzing my web traffic. I want a really good snapshot of what’s going on…where people are coming from, my most visited posts, etc. Google Analytics gives you this and more, and it’s free. As far as I’m concerned it’s the best analytics application out there for business bloggers, and this plugin makes installation a snap.
If you’ve been involved with using WordPress for any length of time, you will likely have heard of all these before. My personal take is to keep plugins to a minimum. I like to run as lean as possible with plugins, because the fewer you have, the fewer things can go wrong. I prefer to spend as much time as possible on content and networking…and as LITTLE time as possible on design and coding, etc. Technical stuff is not for me, although I’ll learn whatever I need to learn to get things working smoothly.
That said, a handful of plugins, like what is on this list, will save you a lot of time, make your business blog more secure and much more effective for both your visitors and for search engines.
All these plugins are available for download at no charge by visiting the WordPress Plugins page.