8 WordPress plugins to get your blog started
So you’ve decided on WordPress to run your site. You’d also know that it comes with a very impressive plugins system that allows you to install additionally functionalities and extended capabilities in just a few clicks.
No PHP code-hacks required at all!
But you’d also notice the plethora of plugins available for your use. More is almost always good. But unfortunately, you’d also be wondering which ones you should install too!
I obviously had the same problem too when I started using WordPress recently. Therefore, I figured that perhaps I can share my list plugins which I think is essential to any new blog sites. Here goes!
The Akismet plugin is installed (but deactivated) by default when you install WordPress. It’s essentially a comment spam-blocker and everyone who’s a blog should install and activate this plugin. In order to do so, you’d firstly need a WordPress.com API which you can easily obtained here.
Once you’ve Akismet activated, you’d never need to worry about spamming in your blog post comments anymore. Yup, it’s that good.
Plagiarism and image leeching is a common problem these days. It’s one thing to read free information and reuse them as reference material, but it’s another to just blatantly copy and paste an entire article and claim as your own. If you’re one of those that just loathes this ungrateful attitude, then the Blog Protector plugin is for you.
It provides you the following options to protect your blog from unscrupulous leeches.
- Disable right click on your blog
- Disable selection of text on your blog
- Disable dragging of images on your blog so that images can’t be saved using.
- Disable Microsoft Image Toolbar to protect images from your blog.
This plugin is pretty self-explanatory. However, it also notifies Google, Bing and Yahoo when there are changes to the sitemap generated. Nice to have to ensure your site better indexed by the search engines.
If you’ve a Twitter account, then this plugin is a must. What it does is again quite self-explanatory. It helps you tweet a new status update every time you publishes (and if you wish to, updates) your blog posts. What I like about this plugin is the options available to use bit.ly to shorten you URL, and the sheer amount of options and configurations to customize how the tweets will look like.
There are a few plugins that provides a mobile-friendly version of the blog. However, my favourite is the WPtouch iPhone Theme. Perhaps, I’m biased towards anything that looks better in the iPhone. 🙂
But the other key advantage of such a plugin is the speed of loading the blog pages when you’re on mobile networks. EDGE can sometimes take a while to download the full version of the site, and therefore, mobile-optimized themes like this one would save your readers a good deal of frustrations.
Getting to know what is popular on your site helps you write better articles to your readers. WordPress.com Stats is one such plugin, leveraging on the site statistic analyzer provided for free at WordPress.com.
One nice feature of this plugin is that it adds-on to the administrative dashboard of your WordPress-powered site, providing you quick access to the site reports. No need to login to another site just to check out your site statistics!
The reports are also much simpler to ‘read’ and not as overwhelming as Google Analytics. So, for quick views of visitor counts, page views, referrers and clicks, this plugin is a must!
Even if you’ve WordPress.com Stats, it’s still good to have the more comprehensive reports of your site statistics when you need it. And for that, Google Analytics is the usual obvious choice. And since it’s much easier to maintain the site if you don’t hack any files at all, plugins like this one allows you to seamlessly include the required codes as simple as updating the plugin’s configurations.
And of course there are also other goodies that comes with such a plugin. Ultimate Google Analytics (UGA) also allows you to track outgoing links and download links automatically, as it would include the required codes to any links in your post. Nice!
My blog isn’t really meant to be a money-generating blog. However, any income would be nice to aid in the up-keeping of my blog. This plugin allows me to easily include my Adsense codes into the site without needing to hack any theme files, or relying on any specific themes that has the provision for including ad codes.
Advertisement Management allows you to include your advertisement codes into 8 pre-defined placeholders, which are as follows:-
- Below posts title on the front page
- Below the title when post is open
- Below post content when post is open
- Below title when a page is open
- Below page content when a page is open
- Below the comment boxes
- Above the header
- Below the footer
So there you are, 8 plugins that you get you started on your blog. Feel free to leave a comment and let me know what you think of my choice of plugins.