A simple and easy way to start blogging is by using WordPress. Many themes and plugins are available to meet most every need. In this post, we will present 5 unique plugins that are great additions to any site.
- Google XML Sitemaps
Search Engines play a large role in the amount of traffic your site obtains. Google, one of the main search engines, enables the use of Sitemaps, or a list of links that pertain to a site. There are many benefits for using Sitemaps:
- Faster crawling/indexing of your site in Google
- Ability to index pages that are never linked to internally/externally. Google can only find pages on your site by following links. If you provide a Sitemap, their crawler is able to find pages that are not linked to, but are listed in your sitemap.
- Prioritizing content becomes possible. If some of your pages are very important to your site, it would be preferable for Google to visit/update them more often. This is where priority becomes important.Google XML Sitemaps automates this whole process for you. All you need to do is provide some information about your prioritizing needs and other options. We personally love this plugin and use it on our site.
- Google Analytics for WordPress
Getting information about visitors is always vital. Whether it is the number of visits, what pages are visited, or incoming links, webmasters should have easy access to this information. Google Analytics is one of the best systems used for tracking this information. Most everything you could ask for is clearly available when using this system. In order to use this plugin, you must sign up for a Google Analytics account (which is free) and then type the given account number under ‘Settings’ of the admin panel.
Having too many posts on your home page can be a pain for your visitors. The large loading time and excess content can scare away potential viewers. In order to counter this problem, many webmasters use pagination. Pagination is the splitting of content into multiple pages to enable fast loading times and easy access. This plugin automates the process of paginating your home page depending on given preferences. In order to use this plugin, please refer to the usage information found here. You can see an example of this pagination by scrolling to the bottom of the Lateral Code homepage.
Akismet is one of the most useful plugins you will ever find. Have you ever obtained comments on your blog that seem to be spam? Your admin panel may even be filled with these types of comments. Luckily, Akismet resolves all of this with ease. It finds these spam comments and eliminates them. If you ever want to override the decision of this plugin, you can go into the ‘spam’ area of your comments list. We highly recommend using this plugin as soon as you start blogging. In order to enable Akismet, you must sign up for a WordPress.com account and enter in the API key given.
Here is another anti-spam plugin for extra protection. WP-reCAPTCHA uses an ingenious method to produce CAPTCHA images that are hard to bypass. CAPTCHA images are those distorted words that users must type in so that a site knows that a human is using it’s services. This plugin is mainly used as an anti-spam mechanism and works wonders. In order to use this, you must sign up for a reCAPTCHA account and enter the given key in designated area under the admin panel.