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My Favorite WordPress Plugins    

WordPressI spend so much time setting up new WordPress sites that I thought I might share some of my favorite plugins. For me, browsing for WordPress plugins is much better than going shopping. It doesn’t cost a dime and you can improve your site’s functionality if you choose the right ones.

Here are some that I use:

  • SI CAPTCHA Anti-Spam: This is a utility plugin and is necessary for cutting down on spam comments.
  • Smart Ads: With Smart Ads you can automatically insert ads in the beginning and end of each of your blog posts. You can also insert advertisements in the center of your blog posts, but in order to do that you have to manually insert the code where you want the middle ad to appear. On NJFM I only use the manually inserted ad function. You’ll see it on older posts .
  • Widget Logic: I think this is one of my favorite plugins. I was introduced to this one by a fellow who wanted to purchase ad space on my blog, but he only wanted the ad to appear on the home page. With Widget Logic, you can configure the widgets to appear on certain posts or categories or tags. I use this widget most when I’m working on a mini-blog that I want to appear as a website. The blog consists of 5 or 6 pages and on each page I place an ad that compliments the page’s content.Plugin
  • WP-Ban:  I use that to cut down on spam. When I receive comment spam, I take the spammer’s IP address and insert it in the WP-Ban configuration page. It then bans that person from viewing the site. When I check the stats, I see that it has protected me from over 8,000 spam comments. It’s amazing how some IP addresses continue to make so many attempts (I use this in conjunction with Akismet).
  • Google XML Sitemap: Every blog should have two sitemaps; one for readers (HTML format) and the other for search engines (XML format). This plugin makes sitemaps for search engines.
  • WordPress Mobile Pack: I use that to for making my blog mobile compatible. I’m not too much of a mobile device user, but I believe it’s working (my eyes don’t like small screens).
  • Move Comments: I don’t use this one often, but it does come in handy when you want to take a comment and move it to a different post. Sometimes readers aren’t quite sure which post is the best place to add a comment. If they inadvertently place a comment under the wrong post, you can easily move it to where it should be.
  • Add This Social Bookmarking Widget: I recently started using that one. I’m not so sure if it’s worth it, but I decided to leave it on for a couple of months to see if I notice a difference in traffic.
  • CommentLuv: You see this one in action at the bottom of your comment. It displays and links back to the commenter’s latest blog post.  My biggest issue with CommentLuv is that there seems to be daily updates. Just about every time I sign onto my WordPress account, there’s a need to update Comment Luv.
  • Maintenance Mode: I use this when I’m about to make major changes to my blog. Maintenance Mode displays a screen notifying readers that the site is undergoing maintenance and to check back at a later time. You can configure the message and the maintenance duration.
  • WP-Copy Protect:  Protect your content from plagiarists.  This plugin makes it more difficult for plagiarists to copy your posts.  (This plugin was added after this list was originally created. Read more about the plugin in this post).
  • Broken Link Checker: This plugin will notify you when it finds broken links.
  • Limit Login Attempts: This plugin helps to deter hackers by limiting the number of times they can try to guess your login password.

Just for Fun WidgetsJust for Fun

These are widgets that do nothing for gaining traffic or optimizing your blog. These are ones I use because I came across them and liked them.

  • Quotes Collection: I use it here on NJFM because I like hearing, reading and sharing inspirational quotes.
  • LinkWithin: You can see this one in action at the bottom of the post. It’s rather effective in prolonging the reader’s visit.

Although widgets can add much-needed functionality to your blog, they also slow down the load time of your site so use them wisely.

Ok, I’ve shared mine.  I know that everyone has a favorite widget or two.  Time to fess up and share yours.


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Filed Under: BlogMaintenancePluginsWordPress

About the Author: Felicia A. Williams is a freelance writer and blogger. She spends the majority of her time with her family and writing. If she's not writing or commenting on NJFM, she's either outside smelling the roses or writing articles for one of her other sites which include Tidbits and Stuff, BLULOW, A Dose of Health and a few other sites/blogs scattered around the internet.

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  1. Thank you, you gave me new ideas for my website. I hope this doesn’t bother you that I take up this subject in my next article.Sincerely, Gerard
    pronostic pmu recently posted..Analyse de la course R1C4 – Prix Tantième

  2. Lucy says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your wealth of knowledge with us! Perhaps we could repay your kindness when you publish your step-by-step affiliate marketing guide – just saying! You realize there is a niche to be filled here by a “been-there/done-that and this is what works” person like yourself!

    • Felicia says:

      Lucy I’m working on a few books, but I don’t think affiliate marketing is my strong suit. :) I’ve never been very successful with affiliates, but I have a whole bunch of other things I can write about.

  3. Ok, Felicia – question here. I am getting slammed with spam on my WP blog the past few days. Thankfully I have it set to moderate comments because some are really bad. I guess I need to add Askimet, although I thought I already had – maybe it died? Anyway, I don’t know whether to mark as spam or trash all these comments. They disappear either way but do you know which is best? Are there repercussions either way?
    Crystal @ Custom Memorial Quilts recently posted..“Love Remains the Same” Lap Quilt

    • Felicia says:

      Akismet is really good, but it doesn’t catch all of the spam. When I get spam, I take the spammer’s IP address and insert it in the WP-Ban plugin so they won’t be able to spam me again then I delete the comments permanently.

  4. Joni says:

    Feleica,
    I have not read it in depth. I will find “gems” like your book and skim it and tell myself I need to go back and read to learn and I forget. This is where cutting back on too many sites and too much info will help me.
    Thanks for reminding me.
    Joni

  5. Loretta says:

    Felicia, thank you for this valuable information. Every time I read one of your posts I know that I will learn something new. The education that you share with us is priceless, and the best thing about your instructions is that you eliminate all of the unnecessary technical jargon and explain things in plain English making it easier for novice bloggers to understand the “how to.” Bless you
    Loretta recently posted..A Message to Young Men: Put a Belt On It

    • Felicia says:

      Thanks, Loretta. My mind operates on a very simple level. It doesn’t do well with too many unnecessary complications. :)

  6. Joni says:

    Felicia,
    That was much appreciated. I could continue to just write for up front pay but I don’t want to!! I want to expand and get into residual pay and have at least several blogs.

    Thanks again,
    Joni

  7. Joni says:

    I feel dumb but here goes:
    -what’s a plug in?
    -how do you plug it in once you have it?
    -what’s a widget?
    -how much do they cost?
    -where do you get them?
    -how do you bookmark? i only know how to save my favs
    -what exactly is SEO and how do you learn about it?

    can someone please show me the pre-K class for all of these items and more? I need to go to school.

    joni :-(

  8. Bill says:

    My favs are:

    All in One SEO for tweaking your titles, tags and descriptions. Ensures you always have your keywords in these critical places.

    ONW Simple Contact Form — just like it says

    Twitter Tools — makes a tweet for each blog post with link

    Flickr Gallery — create galleries on your blog from your Flickr gallery… great backlinks

    WP Super Cache — speeds up your load time

    XML Sitemaps

  9. Ken says:

    Great list of favorites. I’ll add a couple:

    Yoast Breadcrumbs – helps with
    interlinking for SEO benefit and provides a better browsing
    experience for your visitors.

    Easy Privacy Policy – Google loves this. Simple set-up

    All In One SEO

    Simple Feed Copyright – This adds a copyright notice at end of articles in your feed.
    Ken recently posted..Freelance Writing Opportunities 06/21/2011

  10. Crystal says:

    Thanks for sharing your favorites, Felicia – I have so much to learn! Why can’t things be simple? (Yeah, right.)

    On another note, the CommentLuv is still missing on NJFM for me but not on other blogs. Well, at least some others – how would I know if it’s missing or not unless I know it was there previously? At any rate, I still see it over a The Sales Lion but not here. Hmm. Tis a mystery.

    • Felicia says:

      Thanks, Crystal. Apparently an update or two ago CommentLuv changed the interface and there were a few configuration options I had to select. I’ve made a few selections and it should display now. Thanks for troubleshooting NJFM.

      Now I’m going to look deeper into CommentLuv to see what else it has to offer.

      • Crystal says:

        Yep, Felicia – it’s back! I am so happy:)
        Crystal recently posted..Laminate Floor Care

        • Felicia says:

          I’m glad it’s back but it looks like it’s gone from all of the old comments. I’m back under the hood to see how to get all of the links back.

          Gotta love software! :)

          FYI, if anyone else is having a similar problem with CommentLuv, check out this post. This problem apparently happened as a result of the latest update.

  11. kidgas says:

    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! This is just the post that I needed. I am just getting started with WordPress as you know and have done a little bit with some widgets but have a hard time knowing how to search them out. This will provide me with a great starting point. I have bookmarked this page and will refer to it when I get a little more time to work on my new blog. BTW, where do you get your pictures? I think I might like to add some from time to time and was wondering where they come from.

    • Felicia says:

      Glad this helped, Kidgas. I get most of my images from http://sxc.hu/. I mostly use the photos that have “Standard Restrictions.” They’re free to use on websites/blogs. On occasion I’ll use an image where I have to request permission from the owner and provide credit back, but usually I can find something where I don’t have to.