One of the questions we’re asked the most is … “What plugins should I use for my wordpress site?”. It’s a question that really can’t be answered by sharing the names of the plugins because inevitably … we need to explain what each plugin does and why we like it so much. We’re ready to share with everyone what we like to use.
Note: We are not paid by any of the following except where noted – we encourage you to explore other options beyond our list below.
When we work with a new client the following list is what we suggest they include on their wordpress site:
Askimet plugin – this wonderful little helper will capture and remove your spam comment problems. Catching the majority of spam that may come to your site. This plugin is free for individuals or non-profits, but if your site is making money … you need to pay a monthly fee for this plugin. It’s worth the price.
All-in-One SEO – You guessed it, an SEO plugin. Typically free, there is an upgrade / pro option for this plugin. Works wonderfully if you don’t have something already setup on your site. (Thesis theme is one that has great SEO already integrated into it). Be sure you don’t keyword stuff and use keywords that are relatable to your blog post for best use. More on that in a later blog post.
Google XML Sitemap plugin – Do you know what or how a sitemap should look? Neither do I … that’s why this little plugin is oh so helpful. Install and let it do it’s job for free. I suggest a donation to the developer on this one (right hand bottom is a donation button) … after all … he just saved you a ton of money and headaches!
Feedblitz RSS plugin – (This is an affiliate link) I Love, love, love this program. Many marketers will use this or adweber for their campaigns … the difference with this little gem is it integrates into your RSS feed like a super hero. Not only is it great for RSS and newsletters, but people can subscribe to your blog post via Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and email. I was shocked how many people choose to get blog post information sent to them via twitter direct message. They can do that with this program! Always promoting subscriptions on all social sites – this is our favorite plugin for gaining subscribers as well. Free until you have email subscribers, then fees start at $1.49 per month.
Gravity Forms – Don’t want to display your email but want people to be able to contact you? Create a form through gravity forms that allows people to contact you without having to give up your email. Why this plugin vs. all the others … it’s a plugin you can grow with! Integrates into Paypal, Constant Contact, SalesForce and many others. I have a feeling they’ll keep expanding. Free if you just use it’s basic smallest version … there is a price for the add-ons and 3rd party integration.
Commentluv – This can be a questionable plugin as it tends to be abused a bit by spammers. However, if you are serious about building a community around your blog – be sure to use this. Commentluv allows a a person who comments to feature their latest blog post along with their comment. This can be used when YOU respond on your own site. I’ve used this many times to promote my latest blog post on my own site via an old blog post comment thread. Install … but don’t create a Spam environment please!
Disqus plugin – is another great option for comments, it integrates all social sites and can increase awareness to your blog through it’s platform and other people commenting. Look at both sites and decide which works better for you!
JetPack Plugin – For analytics you can of course integrate Google Analytics into your site, but being a novice with that reporting platform, I use JetPack. It’s easy breezy and helps me identify where people visit my site from, what they read and where they go …. as well as how many of them! Great visual type plugin and easy to understand.
Social Metrics Pro – Start seeing what is being shared out on social media sites from your site! This plugin will show you where your site content is being shared. Pinterest? LinkedIn? Stumbleupon? It’s all there and there is a one time license fee. Worth it … you might find out as we did on some sites, what social site you should start working with especially if your content is being shared there!
These are just a few of our favorite plugins that we suggest and use! Do you have a favorite plugin? Let us know in the comments below: What is it, why do you like it and what is the link to it!!
Jennifer Stinnett is founder of eJenn Solutions, Inc. She shares social media marketing tips and ideas for small businesses. Be sure to check out eJenn Solution's how to's on the eJenn Solutions YouTube channel!