Five WordPress plugins you should have for your blog
There are tens of thousands of plugins available, and many more websites telling you which ones you should choose.
As a basic, you should have Akismet installed to protect from spam. There’s also a worthy shout for JetPack and Google Analyticator to keep track of your stats. On top of that you’ll no doubt have your own preferred SEO optimising plugins and the likes of YOAST.
But I’m not here to tell you about these. I’d rather tell you about five plugins that aren’t widely publicised. These are plugins that I have stumbled across through random recommendations, or by seeing it in action elsewhere and chasing through the plugin via Google.
In alphabetical order:
Broken Link Checker
Where I’ve moved this blog over the years (from Blogger to Livejournal to WordPress before settling here), coupled with the age of some of the entries (up to ten years), I stumbled across Broken Link Checker – http://w-shadow.com/blog/2007/08/05/broken-link-checker-for-wordpress/ which runs in the background and checks all of the links on your blog. It then highlights anything that isn’t working. For me, it brought up dozens of really old links that weren’t working which have now been fixed.
This is something I saw on someone elses blog and decided that I wanted it on my own. Comluv allows people who comment on your posts to add a link to one of their own recent posts. It automatically picks up the RSS feed of the person commenting (assuming that they enter their website details - a common request - when they comment). It also looks neat and tidy. Bloggers love leaving links to their own sites and this makes it easier for them to do so. http://comluv.com/
Easy Content Templates
This is one of my favourite WordPress plugins, and yet the premise is so simple. If you have a set layout that you use all the time for your posts, you can save it as a template using this plugin. I have several templates including one for my regular Silent Sunday post, and another for standard blog entries. It means I can keep things fairly uniformed on the blog, and helps to reduce mistakes in terms of what I want to include in the post.
Growmap Anti Spambot Plugin
Or GASP as it’s known for short. A simple plugin that inserts a tick box alongside your comments, and asks for those who comment to tick a box to prove they are human. It is another step to help reduce spam comments and again is something I saw elsewhere and wanted to put on my own blog. http://www.growmap.com/growmap-anti-spambot-plugin/
Tweet Old Post
It was Loz that suggested this one to me. Another simple plug in. This one automatically tweets old posts from your blog which helps drive traffic. Infuriatingly, the recent versions have been hit and miss at best as to whether it works, which is a shame. As a result, I’ve reverted back to an old version (v4.0.10) available here – http://downloads.wordpress.org/plugin/tweet-old-post.4.0.10.zip, though if you want the latest version, it’s available