The more time I spend with WordPress, the more tempted I become to ask it out for dinner because WordPress is sexy and I can’t keep my hands off it – but don’t tell Veronica 🙂 . If you’ve used WordPress before then I’m sure you’ll understand what I’m talking about. It is by far the most versatile blogging platform on the market today, and while some might argue, WordPress has proven time and time again that it’s a force to be reckon with.
If you’re ready to get moving in the blogging world, you will have to be ready to invest a small amount of money for a custom domain name and web hosting – I highly recommend Godaddy.com for your domains and Hostgator.com for your website and blog hosting. If you Google “godaddy coupons” you will find tons of updated coupon sites that will get you domain names for dirt cheap like this one OYH3 for $3 off and .com or OYH1 for 10 % off anything. Sweet! 🙂
Now assuming that some of you already have a WordPress blog set up, I’ve taken the time and compiled a list of the 7 Must-Have WordPress Plugins for 2008. I find that if you do a search query on “best wordpress plugins” many of the results are outdated and not that great (shitty) so I figured I would revive all these garbage lists and condense them into 7 powerhouse WordPress plugins that will make it easy for beginners to improve your blogs performance, increase its search engine optimization, and start bringing in some traffic.
- Akismet – I have no idea how to properly pronounce this, but I do know that this plugin is an absolute spam destroyer. Askimet was developed by Matt Mullenweg to perform one main objective – stop all crappy spam comments from hitting your blog, and make sure the good ones get in. This blog has been up for a little over 2 weeks, and Akismet has already stopped 16 spam comments! Pretty scary shit. Click here for some more info.
- All In One SEO Pack – Michael Torbet developed this plugin to act like your own little SEO personal assistant. When you are writing a post, you can scroll down and access all the SEO features that search engines love – meta title, meta description, meta keywords… It’s awesome. If any of you have ever used Build a Niche Store, or BANs, then you will be familiar with adding these elements to a web page or post. Having the ability to input your own meta information will improve your blogs rankings for keywords, as well as give you the control over what people see when your site pops up in Google. Click here for some more info.
- SEO Friendly Images – I love this plugin because it’s a huge corner-cutter and saves a butt load of time. Vladimir Prelovac designed this app to automatically add the alt text and title attributes to any image files that you upload or post, and if you remember from my 5 Traffic Techniques For New Bloggers post, naming your image files correctly could be the difference between no traffic and a traffic grande with a side of curly fries! Personally, I still name all my titles and alt attributes manually – due to the fact that I’m a Virgo and like to have control 🙂 . Click here for more info on this super easy plugin.
- Google XML Sitemaps – Think of a sitemap as an index, and your blog as a book. Every book needs an index to help its reader determine the content before buying it. Comparatively, every blog and website should have a sitemap to assist the search engines and readers in determining the content. Arne Brachhold developed this plugin to automatically create a sitemaps.org compatible sitemap of your blog which is supported by all the major search engines i.e. Google, Yahoo, MSN, etc… and search engines love blogs with sitemaps! Click here for more info.
- Feedburner Feedsmith – By default, WordPress automatically creates feeds for your blogs. The Feedburner Feedsmith plugin detects every way to access your blog’s feed and redirects them to your Feedburner account – enabling you to track and manage every subscriber! If you want to be a pro-blogger you need to have your Feedburner widget in the top corner, right? Not necessarily, but Steve Smith has made our lives much easier with this plugin. This is a definite must-have if you are looking to build a subscriber base and utilize the power of Feedburner. Click here for more info.
- Robots Meta – I’m sure most of you who have dabbled in web development or blogging have stumbled across the term robots.txt. In laymen terms, every site should have some sort of permissions protocol which communicates to the search engine spiders what to crawl, and more importantly, what NOT to crawl 🙂 . Developed by Joost de Valk, the Robots Meta plugin allows you to add all the necessary robots meta tags to your feeds, pages, posts and comments as well as mediating the nofollow aspect of your links – preserving your link juice and page rank. Click here for more info.
- WordPress Automatic Upgrade – Pretty self explanatory. Rather than manually downloading each wonderful update provided by our friends at WordPress, Keith Dsouza developed this plugin to provide us with an automatic, 5-step process to upgrading our WordPress software. It comes with ample instructions and a simple point and click interface which saves tons of time. Click here for more info.
Truthfully I do have more than 7 WordPress plugins active behind TheAtHomeCouple.com but I really wanted to avoid the “Top 78 WordPress Plugins” type of post because that equals information overload for you guys, and that wouldn’t be too friendly. If you are thinking of setting up a new WordPress blog, or currently have a blog and would like some more functionality, security, and optimization – then my 7 Must-Have WordPress Plugins For Newbies will transform your blog from effin’ ordinary to an effin’ rock star!
If you guys have any plugins that are a must-have in your opinion, let me know!