If you are a beginner to WordPress and are being a bit indecisive about which plugins to choose and install, dont worry… you are not alone. Every WordPress blogger has been there at some point. Though WordPress in itself is awesome, you need to add a few things to the standard installation to extend its functionality. The following is the list of required plugins and why you need to install them on a new blog even before you go ahead and make your first post.
- A standard WordPress installation has some SEO concerns assiciated with it, primary among those is the duplicate content problem where a single post is found in many locations and the second is it lacks the ability to add unique metadata to each individual posts. All in One SEO pack is a simple and excellent all round plugin that takes care of all these. It might take some time for an absolute beginner to get a clearer picture of what this plugin does but nevertheless install this and you’ll get there.
- Versions from WordPress 2.3 and on support native tagging but lack the administration to manage these tags in anyway. Now, there are many plugins for this purpose but Simple Tags is the best among these in terms of its features and simplicity. This plugin can do a lot more than just manage tags – it can tag pages and feeds, suggest tags based on the written content, add related posts, generate and display tag clouds and lots more.
note: Do this if using ‘all in one seo pack’ – go to ‘Options’ and under ‘Meta Keyword’ make sure the ‘Automatically include in header’ option is unchecked.
- Backing up your WordPress database is a boring but important task. This plugin called WordPress Database Backup makes this job easy. Just put in your email id and tell it how often you want it to make backups. It does its job and mails them to you at those scheduled intervals.
- Another solution to WordPress duplicate content problem is to display short excerpts of the posts everywhere except on the single post itself. WordPress Excerpt Editor is a plugin that can help you customize and auto-create excerpts of posts and pages as well, be it for SEO purposes or otherwise.
- Every WordPress blog needs some kind of statistics sytem to keep track of things and Google Analytics is an advanced stats system that can be a bit overwhelming to beginners. Nevertheless I think you must sign up for it right from the beginning and you can analyse your traffic more in depth later on after you get used to things. For google analytics to work, you need to put in the tracking code into your WordPress template by editing it. But instead this plugin Google Analyticator can add the tracking code to your blog without having to edit the template.
- Not a substitute but a supplement to Google Analytics is WordPress.com Stats, a simple and concise statistics plugin that shows only the necessary info by plugging in to WordPress.com’s stats system.
- In case you want to show ads on your WordPress blog right from the beginning, there are many ways to do it but Adsense Deluxe plugin makes it easy to insert Google or Yahoo! ads anywhere in your post.
- You need some way to manage your feed, keep track & analyze your feed traffic and FeedBurner is just that. After you register with FeedBurner, download & install FeedBurner FeedSmith plugin to forward your local feeds to feedburner. This ensures better tracking of every subscriber.
- Once your blog starts gaining visitors it’ll be hit by comment spam and Akismet is about the most effective plugin at catching these. This one comes bundled with WordPress and almost every WordPress blog has this installed. All you need, to get this working is an API key which you can get by signing up for a WordPress.com account.
- If your readers find your post valuable, they might want to send it to their friends or submit it to social media websites. ShareThis plugin for WordPress adds a button at the end of your posts to make it easier to do this.
- Another optional thing that can be done is adding a contact form to make it easy for your visitors to contact you. Enhanced WordPress contact form plugin allows you to add a contact form in your posts or pages.