I 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.
- 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 Widgets
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.
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.