WordPress Plugins You Can’t Live Without (Your Website Sucks, Part 4)

Wordpress Plug-Ins Come in All Shapes and SizesIn this final installment of Your Website Sucks, we’re rapping about WordPress plugins. By now, you’ve read about Three Reasons Your Website Sucks (and one simple fix), some awesome premium WordPress themes and the power that CSS brings to a WordPress-powered website (thanks to Jason Nelson of Visual Adventures Web Design, WordPress-powered site specialists).

A WordPress plugin is simply an add-on for any self-hosted WordPress installation. Like plugins for Firefox. They are the Legos of WordPress, adding virtually limitless functionality to a simple WordPress-powered website or blog. Today’s post will list the ones that I find critical for my own installations and I’d love it if my readers added their own must-haves in the Comments section below.

SEO Nova

If you’re not running the THESIS theme, you’re going to need a kickass SEO plugin. I was turned on to SEO Nova by @Trypnotik, who had previously turned me on to the Headspace plugin to meet my SEO needs. SEO Nova goes beyond both Headspace and the popular All-in-One SEO Pack plugin by leaps and bounds. You can code the page title, description and meta keywords, but you can also specifically code each post and page of your site to varied index/follow settings. Oh. My. Gawd. It has a savvy master control panel to set some universal settings site-wide as well. Visit the SEO Nova site and grab a look-see. This site and RedheadedFury.com both run SEO Nova.

SocioFluid

Every blog or website should have a social bookmarking application. My choice is SocioFluid. Simply stated, I like the rollover/grow-shrink effect that catches a reader’s eye. You can custom select which social bookmarking sites show up in the bookmarking bar as well as set the size of the icons and designate whether they appear at the top of a post or bottom.

Social Homes

Wanna encourage visitors to connect with you on your other social networking sites like Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook? I use SocialHomes. Pick your sites, enter your site-specific information, drop it in a widgetized sidebar and you’re good to go.

Akismet Spam Control

Spam blog comments suck serious nuts and Akismet controls them (albeit, sometimes too well) with ease. Akismet is already installed on every self-hosted WordPress blog – you just need to activate it with a WordPress API key.

Google Analytics for WordPress

If you’re not running Google Analytics as a component of your site’s metrics, for the love of God, why not? It’s the Google Monster, granted, but it’s pretty damn savvy for tracking your traffic, sources and helping you determine ways to generate revenue from your site through AdWords and AdSense. Google Analytics for WordPress is a simple plugin that requires the cutting and pasting of a tracking code and BAM! You’re off and running.

12 comments
Cory Casciato
Cory Casciato

Thanks, The Redhead! That's what I figured but I wasn't too sure.

Cory Casciato
Cory Casciato

Thanks, The Redhead! That's what I figured but I wasn't too sure.

Cory Casciato
Cory Casciato

What exactly do you mean when you say Akismet blocks spam "too well" sometimes? I just started running it a few days ago since my spam was getting out of hand. Am I losing comments? How can I check?

Cory Casciato
Cory Casciato

What exactly do you mean when you say Akismet blocks spam "too well" sometimes? I just started running it a few days ago since my spam was getting out of hand. Am I losing comments? How can I check?

Kilted_alex
Kilted_alex

TAGAROO!!!! It's perfect for lazy unimaginative folks like me that can't be bothered tagging their own posts and then finding images for them. Why bother - tagaroo takes care of it all, suggests tags, and finds tag related images from flickr. Could it be any easier? And the cool part of Tagaroo - when you add your own tags, theyre added to the plugins database, so the more users suggesting tags, the easier it gets. 10 out of 10 plug in. Then there's the LIFESTREAM plugin, but I guess thats not a live without one - its super awesome mind you!

Kilted_alex
Kilted_alex

TAGAROO!!!! It's perfect for lazy unimaginative folks like me that can't be bothered tagging their own posts and then finding images for them. Why bother - tagaroo takes care of it all, suggests tags, and finds tag related images from flickr. Could it be any easier? And the cool part of Tagaroo - when you add your own tags, theyre added to the plugins database, so the more users suggesting tags, the easier it gets. 10 out of 10 plug in. Then there's the LIFESTREAM plugin, but I guess thats not a live without one - its super awesome mind you!

Matt Bernier
Matt Bernier

The plugins that I absolutely love on top of these are: firestats - gives you on-site analytics statistics similar but not the same as awstats or google analytics. Its a nice briefing of what is happening on your site. Site here: http://firestats.cc/ Google XML Sitemaps - will build a sitemap for you whenever you add a new page or post to your WordPress site. This means that your sitemap is always up to date and ready for Google's spider to grab. This means you get ALL of your pages looked at right away. Also, with Google Webmaster Central, you can submit your sitemap and get more information about what Google sees on your site (for free). Site here: http://www.arnebrachhold.de/redir/sitemap-home/ Twitter Tools - Will post all new articles to Twitter with a link. I get tons of traffic from my Twitter friends as a result. Site here: http://alexking.org/projects/wordpress Highlight Source Pro - This is a programming language syntax highlighter based on the Geshi standard. Total nerd stuff, but one of the best ones I have found yet. Site here: http://blog.kno.at/tools/highlight-source-pro

Matt Bernier
Matt Bernier

The plugins that I absolutely love on top of these are: firestats - gives you on-site analytics statistics similar but not the same as awstats or google analytics. Its a nice briefing of what is happening on your site. Site here: http://firestats.cc/ Google XML Sitemaps - will build a sitemap for you whenever you add a new page or post to your WordPress site. This means that your sitemap is always up to date and ready for Google's spider to grab. This means you get ALL of your pages looked at right away. Also, with Google Webmaster Central, you can submit your sitemap and get more information about what Google sees on your site (for free). Site here: http://www.arnebrachhold.de/redir/sitemap-home/ Twitter Tools - Will post all new articles to Twitter with a link. I get tons of traffic from my Twitter friends as a result. Site here: http://alexking.org/projects/wordpress Highlight Source Pro - This is a programming language syntax highlighter based on the Geshi standard. Total nerd stuff, but one of the best ones I have found yet. Site here: http://blog.kno.at/tools/highlight-source-pro

The Redhead
The Redhead

@Cory - I make it a practice to go through my Spam comments just to double check. On occasion, I've found legitimate comments in there and approved them. While rare, it's worth keeping an eye on. @Alex - thanks for the additional plugin idea!

The Redhead
The Redhead

@Cory - I make it a practice to go through my Spam comments just to double check. On occasion, I've found legitimate comments in there and approved them. While rare, it's worth keeping an eye on. @Alex - thanks for the additional plugin idea!

The Redhead
The Redhead

Awesome adds, Matt! Thanks for the list!

The Redhead
The Redhead

Awesome adds, Matt! Thanks for the list!