Monday Tip – The Best WordPress Plugins

The Best WordPress PluginsFirst off I know it’s not Monday it’s Tuesday, but hey thats a minor detail. I’ve just got back from 4 days away with my friends playing golf and have loads to catch up on so I am going to start this post and let you guys finish it.

Here’s how it’s going to work .

I will list 4 types of plugins and what I consider to be the best plugin in that category, It’s then up to you to tell me what you think are the best plugins and even suggest categories and plugins .

At the end we should have the ultimate list of plugins and a great resource. A quick word of warning plugins can slow down your sites so it’s important that you only use the plugins you really need. I’ve seen loads of sites where people had 30+ plugins active. Try to keep the plugins you use to 6-10 and you should have no issues with site speed.

 SEO:

WordPress SEO By Yoast.

I used to always recommend All In One SEO but Yoast’s SEO plugin is a level above all in one. It’s very rare that you’ll find this level of features in a free plugin. It can look a bit complicated to start with but the documentation is well written and soon you’ll be finding the benefits of a well optimized blog.

http://yoast.com/articles/wordpress-seo/

 

Blog Optimisation

W3 Total Cache

W3 Total cache is my favorite plugin in this category, I will warn you now that it can seem complicated at first but it can sped up your site considerably. from the basics like making files smaller to uploading images and large files to a content delivery network it will help you sped up your site which in turn to lead to better rankings and a better user experience.

http://www.w3-edge.com/wordpress-plugins/w3-total-cache/

 

Link Building

 Comment Luv

I use the premium version of comment luv but the free version is very useful and really does encourage people to leave comments on your site.  The more comments you get the better the interaction and the more notice google will take of your site.. Social signals is where it’s at!

With lots of anti spam filters built in the premiumm version really does cut down on spam as well as attracting a wide variety of commenters. It also lets you choose which of your posts to promote when you leave a comment.  As i found out last week support is also second to none, as Andy the owner fixed a problem i had in a few minutes.

One added benefit is I’ve come across some really great contacts just by commenting on their blogs. The read the post that comment luv has highlighted and then contact me or comment which can often lead to a working relationship

You can read about comment luv at: Comment Luv 

 

Social Sharing

 Sexy Bookmarks (AKA Shareaholic)

I’ve used sexy bookmarks since I first came across it a few years ago and it’s still as good as ever, with over 1.5 million downloads It must be one of the most used plugins available . To top it all it’s just got better with a whole host of new features and functions, analytics, related posts, recommended posts,classic bookmarks and more.

You can read all about this on their blog  http://blog.shareaholic.com/

 

Thats it, now it’s over to you, let me know your favorite plugins and the reasons they should be considered.

Finally it’s my 50th birthday in a few days so I want to do a mega post to celebrate, let me know what you’d like me to write about..  I’ll consider anything legal!

Ohh and Finally Finally… please share this post …I love the exposure ;)

Comments

  1. says

    Very precise but useful one. I would also like to add few:
    Digg-digg (For Social sharing)
    Wp smush.it: For Image optimization
    Subscribe to comments: for comment notifation

    Jetpack is also useful but not necessary. I liked the new feature in which they let readers to subscribe to blog updates from comment form. Very useful to get more subscribers.
    Harsh Agrawal recently posted..How to Enable WPTouch helper plugin in Wp Super CacheMy Profile

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  2. says

    Well Mark I admire Yoast’s SEO plugin but I’ve been put off by the sheer complexity of what you have to wade through once you install it.

    Do the instructions you link to really step through all the customisations?

    BTW you might want to include Text editing plugins such as ckeditor and security plugins such as login lockdown.

    All The Best

    Alex
    Alex recently posted..Agave – Is it The Sweetener For You?My Profile

    [Reply]

    Mark
    Twitter:
    Reply:

    If you don’t get enough info from the link then just check out yourtube, there is a lot of info on there

    [Reply]

    Mias Muller Reply:

    I am having the same problem. Most of the info is for older versions… not relevant any more.
    There is a gap for you Mark!! Make an updated version!!

    [Reply]

  3. says

    Hi Mark – first of all – many congratulations on your up and coming birthday! The big 5 0 is certainly one to celebrate big-time.

    And if you were to ask me what I would like you to write about in your mega post it would be about how you would go about deciding upon your next step forward.
    I have sort of reached a crossroads in my internet career and there are several different options available to me.
    My immediate goal is to make my internet presence more profitable and it seems to be such a big jump to creating my own product to sell, as opposed to being an affiliate.
    I am wondering what is the best use of my time at the moment….

    .. and so I guess I am asking you how do you make sure that you are using your working time to its best advantage.
    (obviously golfing time is not strictly working time, but, yes, having time out does increase productivity)

    With regards the plugins, I use Sexy Bookmarks, Comment luv and W3 Total Cache.

    I started to use Yoast a little while back but, with hindsight, I didn’t spend enough time figuring out how to use it properly and so (to save time in the short term) I went back to All In One SEO. And now, at the back of my mind I half think that Yoast would produce a more rounded benefit to my SEO, but it seems to need a fairly big investment of time to be able to set it up and use it properly.

    Another plugin I use for SEO is Easy WordPress SEO.
    I find it useful because it saves so much time when giving the post or page a final check-over for optimisation before publishing it.

    I think your idea of building an ultimate list of plugins over a period of time is fascinating and I’m certainly looking forward to see how it progresses.
    Dave E Wilkes recently posted..Free New Resource For Internet And Online Marketing – Guaranteed ResultsMy Profile

    [Reply]

  4. says

    Mark agree with the top 3, all are excellent products. I like the facebook product add link to facebook.

    Other good plugins are

    Authorhreview – Superb for adding reviews of products and getting google rankings
    TinyMCE – Adds more firepower to your posts
    Hybrid Connect – Best software for adding a opt in box to your blog

    Kev Foulds

    [Reply]

  5. says

    Mark, I especially enjoy a plugin called Wassup. There are two Wassup plugins. One basically tells you how many visitors you are getting to your website. You can separate out those visitors by removing hits from robots and spam. The other tells you which keywords are being searched to reach your site. I use this plugin on all of my sites.
    Paul T recently posted..How To Pick A Lock: BasicsMy Profile

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    Mark
    Twitter:
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    Paul,

    wassup looks very very useful thanks for the heads up

    [Reply]

  6. Robert says

    One of my favorites (and I believe one of yours also) is Rank Tracker by Peter Coughlin. Although not free, it provides some incredible data for keywords.

    [Reply]

    Mark
    Twitter:
    Reply:

    I did think about including it but I decided to keep it at plugins that have a free option at the very least.. (I’ll never make a good marketer!)

    [Reply]

  7. says

    Hi Mark,
    I’m the Marketing Manager for Shareaholic. I just wanted to thank you for including us in this awesome roundup! I’m so glad that you enjoy using our plugin and that you wanted to share it with others. Please let me know if you ever have questions or issues with our tools — I’m more than happy to help out! :) We’ll definitely be sharing this post.
    Thanks!
    Ginny
    Ginny Soskey recently posted..The 3 Best Ways to Engage with an Audience OnlineMy Profile

    [Reply]

    Mark
    Twitter:
    Reply:

    Thanks Ginny,

    Sorry for the delay in publishing found this comment under spam..guess askimet doesn’t like you :) Don’t worry you were in good company there!

    [Reply]

  8. says

    I like most of those, I am also using Social media widget for the sidebar area of some sites. Like you I am using Yoast’s plugin even above some paid for SEO plugins these days.

    Happy 50th in advance!

    Paul
    Paul Forcey recently posted..WelcomeMy Profile

    [Reply]

  9. says

    Sidebar Content –

    SnippetPress – http://snippet-press.com .

    It’s our plugin…ahem…that rotates snippets of text with picture in the sidebar (on every page refresh). We’ve found it very useful for testimonials, deals, ads, quotations, etc.

    Rank Tracking –

    Rank Tracker Plugin – http://ranktrackerplugin.com

    It notifies you of the keywords people are using to find your site and the corresponding rankings. Great for seeing what’s really going on on your site and how to optimize it.

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

    Hmmmm. Maybe write a doozy post talking about the past, present and future? Obviously the European Senior Tour is a goal, but you need to declare it to make it official.

    [Reply]

    Mark
    Twitter:
    Reply:

    European Senior Tour ..now there is a target :)

    [Reply]

  10. says

    Hi Mark,

    Great list you have, in fact I use every one of them somewhere within my network of sites and love them.

    I have just got onto using WordPress SEO by Yoast and I think it is great. I avoided using it as it is quite intimidating at first and a lot more complicated to setup, so I resisted until recently.

    I use some other plugins that people should consider or a variant of these:

    WordPress Database Backup – Emails your website database backups on a schedule you set for it

    nrelate Related Content – This is a little like ‘link within’ however you can customize this one

    Hope these help

    Chris
    Chris Cole recently posted..Amazon Affiliate Strategies Part 1My Profile

    [Reply]

    Mark
    Twitter:
    Reply:

    Chris, The database backup plugin is a good one… if people aren’t backing up their db’s then they should start now

    [Reply]

  11. says

    In my list of wordpress plugins, the followings are the must haves :

    (1) Ozh’ Admin Drop Down Menu : Saves lots of screen real estate in admin panel (http://planetozh.com/blog/my-projects/wordpress-admin-menu-drop-down-css/)

    (2) SEO Ultimate : Better than Yoast IMHO (http://www.seodesignsolutions.com/wordpress-seo/)

    (3) Google XML Sitemaps : Self explanatory (http://www.arnebrachhold.de/redir/sitemap-home/)

    (4) Zemanta : Contextual suggestions of links, pictures, related content. Uber important after Penguin update (http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/zemanta/)

    (5) Delete Pending Comments : Help doing it in bulk. (http://www.nkuttler.de/wordpress/delete-pending-comments/)

    Regards
    Eklavya
    Eklavya recently posted..Overcoming depression: A four steps strategyMy Profile

    [Reply]

    Mark
    Twitter:
    Reply:

    Thanks,,,, thats a good list

    [Reply]

  12. says

    Wow, I’d have to agree with you on all 4 of your selections. While I do have some nits to pick with 3 of them, I use all 4 quite a bit.

    The only thing I’d like to see with Yoast’s SEO plugin is the ability to recognize variations of your keyword when it tries to rate your page’s SEO content. I know that’s pretty tough though.

    And SexyBookmarks needs to stop forcing us to resave the settings after every update! What’s up with that?

    And watch out for interaction between SexyBookmarks and W3 Total Cache — I had some issues with that. I suspect that it wasn’t just those 2 (probably something in the theme I use) but I had to spend some time sorting it out.
    Bill (LoneWolf) Nickerson recently posted..The 3 Little Pigs for the Modern AgeMy Profile

    [Reply]

  13. says

    Mark,

    A plugin that I started to use recently, in view of the importance of social activity, is WP Facebook Open Graph protocol. Very powerful in terms of controlling FB comment format.

    E.g. when I enter “http://www.mjthompson.net” in the FB comment window, it pulls the “Internet Marketing 101″ image. Is that intentional?

    [Reply]

    Mark
    Twitter:
    Reply:

    errr no it’s not!! but don’t you get a choice of 10 images? I think FB pulls all 10 and you can choose the ones you want

    [Reply]

  14. says

    I’d say a spam plugin is also a necessity. I use Akismet but there are others as well. I’ve just never bothered to test anything else because I’ve been using it for so long.

    I also like Contact Form 7 to embed forms in my contact pages and other places I might want to use them.

    I typically use a Google Sitemap plugin (Google XML Sitemaps by Arne Brachhold is the one I like) and another one called Exclude Pages from Navigation. It makes it easy to choose whether or not your pages will show up in the baked-in nav menus in WordPress.
    John Lenaghan recently posted..Google Really Screwed Up This Time. Or Did They?My Profile

    [Reply]

    Mark
    Twitter:
    Reply:

    Hi john, you’ve been quite lately ;)

    Growmap anti spam bot is very good as someone else pointed out

    [Reply]

  15. Mias Muller says

    Hi Mark
    Growmap Anti Spambot Plugin – the tick box makes a lot of difference.

    O – and let us not forget about Hello Dolly…. on second thoughts, let us forget about Hello Dolly.

    Hope you will enjoy your birthday!

    I would love a post about how you evolved on line, from the original ideas and plans, to where you are now, and what influenced the changes.

    [Reply]

    Mark
    Twitter:
    Reply:

    Hi Mias, I like growmap as well, it’s also part of the Commentluv premium plugin, good idea about the post..

    [Reply]

  16. says

    I’d have to agree with you on all 4 of these. I use them all myself. I do have some minor aggravations with 3 of them, but nothing to offset the value.

    With Yoast’s SEO, I wish that it would recognize variations of the keyword phrase (i.e. skip stop words or recognize it in different order, tenses, etc.) I know that is pretty tough to do though.

    I’ve also had a conflict with SexyBookmarks and W3 Cache at one of my blogs. I’m not convinced that there wasn’t a 3rd component in the mix but I eventually was able to fix it.

    The one thing I hate about SexyBookmarks is that it requires that you save the options after every update. What’s up with that? Just call the function to save options as part of the update script.
    Bill (LoneWolf) Nickerson recently posted..The 3 Little Pigs for the Modern AgeMy Profile

    [Reply]

  17. says

    Hey Mark

    Gotta get back to Marbella sometime soon to hook up with you and Andre… Paul Mort is gonna fire over some info to you later today regarding one of our programs!

    Anway, WP plugins…

    WP – Affiliate (premium… but well worth it)

    This allows you to pretty much create your own affiliate program from the products you sell on your site… integrates with pretty much anything worth integrating with Paypal, S2 Member, Shopp, etc etc etc… Very well featured plugin.

    http://www.tipsandtricks-hq.com/wordpress-affiliate-platform-plugin-simple-affiliate-program-for-wordpress-blogsite-1474

    UpDraftPlus

    This backs up your wordpress database and files to your Amazon S3 account, probably the easiest way I have found to have reliable back ups for WordPress:

    http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/updraftplus/

    Regards

    Tim
    Tim Goodwin recently posted..You Don’t Need A Million Dollar IdeaMy Profile

    [Reply]

    Mark
    Twitter:
    Reply:

    Thanks Tim , got the email from Paul,

    Going to check out updraft now

    [Reply]

  18. says

    I quit using W3 Total Cache, as it was quite cumbersome for me. I currently use Hyper Cache, and I’m very happy with it.

    In those cases where I use pages instead of posts for my (or some of my) content, I always install these plugins:

    – Ninja page categories and tags (it allows you to add categories and tags to pages as if they were posts)
    – Flexi Pages Widget (it allows me to add a widget icluding the pages I want, I use it like a recent / featured posts widget, but for pages.
    – RSS includes pages (I think this one is quite self explanatory)

    I hope this helps some of you!
    Mikel recently posted..So, what is a niche market?My Profile

    [Reply]

  19. says

    All great suggestions for plugins. I am curious as to what plugin or how you incorporated the two step-Share the Love and Get free updates box into the article?

    [Reply]

    Mark
    Twitter:
    Reply:

    Angel, I use the optinskin plugin which has both options

    [Reply]

  20. says

    W3 Total Cache: questions:

    On this page: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/w3-total-cache/ he talks about using caching (the plugin itself), content delivery (using Amazon accessory S3 account), and Minifying images, to totally maximize site load times and the SEO/better rankings that goes along with it.

    Does anyone use the latter two aspects of this plan, or do you just simply use the plugin for the caching maximization?

    Thanks for your help!

    Doug

    [Reply]

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