WordPress plugins make it easy to modify and customize your blog. These plugins are hard working and can enhance the functionality of your blog. The good things they do run the gamut from protection against spammers and robots to transforming your blog into a mobile site and if you like, it could even act like a pod cast.
There are some plugins you may want to upload. But first, let’s deal with the different ways to upload a plugin. If you don’t find the plugins screen in the dashboard, it could be because you are using WordPress.com and that has some drawback. You may have to go to self-hosted WordPress.org. It takes less than half a minute to install a plugin but check the settings after installation as it may need to be configured. Let’s take a look at the three different ways of installing a plugin.
Install a Plugin through the WordPress Admin Panel Search Option
For the first way to install a plugin, go to WordPress Admin Panel and click on Plugins. Then click Add New. You will then see the description, the method of installation and other related info. If this is the plugin you want, click the Install Now button. The plugin will be downloaded, installed and then it will say the installation is done. Don’t forget to click on “Activate the Plugin”.
Install a Plugin Through Upload Method in WordPress Admin Panel
The second way to upload a plugin is for beginners when they can’t find their chosen plugin. You will have to download it as a zip file from the source. You can then go to the WordPress admin panel. Over there, you have to click on Plugin and Add New. After clicking on the Upload Tab, don’t forget to click on “Activate the Plugin”.
Install a Plugin using FTP Manager
This is the third way and is not user-friendly for the beginners especially if you are a newbie and have no idea if the FTP Manager is something or someone who will give you something to eat or what. You can gain access to your host via the FTP manager. Here is the path (/wp-content/plugins/) where you can upload the files.
Here are some plugins you may want to install.
Odiogo Listen Button This plugin puts a listen button underneath the title of every post allowing you to offer an audio version of every post. You have to register your blog’s RSS feed with Odiogo though. It does not consume any bandwidth from your server system. Imagine that, it\s like even having your own podcast. People not only read your blog, but they will have the option to listen to it.
Login Lockdownis a plugin that will protect your blog from hackers and scammers because it will automatically block IP addresses that cannot login after a few attempts. You see what hackers maybe trying to do is login with different usernames in the hope that one will work and then find your password with a decoder. You can block these attempts for a day or so.
Google XML Sitemap Generator is a plugin that will create a sitemap for your blog. This way, the major search engines will have an easier way to index your blog. Make sure you check “Notify Yahoo about update of your Blog.” Then apply for the yahoo free application ID. This is the way Yahoo will be notified whenever you have a new post.
WordPress SEO by Yoast is an important plugin as it helps secure organic traffic to your blog because this will allow you to change the title tag along with the description and keyword tags to make would-be readers choose to read your post when they find it among the search results. This enables you to become a better content writer.
SEO Slug is a plugin that removes common words like ‘a’, ‘the’, ‘in’ from post slugs to improve SEO and make it more search engine friendly. For example, if your blog is on “How to Write Better Content”, it will turn it into “/Write Better Content” However, when I checked it out, this is what I saw, “plugin hasn’t been updated in over 2 years. It may no longer be maintained or supported and may have compatibility issues when used with more recent versions of WordPress.”
G.A.S.P This plugin will add a client side generated checkbox to your comment form and ask them to verify that they are not spammers. This is so much easier than having to enter a captcha. The checkbox is generated in the commenter’s side so the robots cannot see it. It should therefore stop 99% of automated spam bots. Something new has been added that prevents spambots from thinking they have links of your website by removing the links from comments that have not been moderated yet.
CommentLuv Reward your readers by placing a link to their latest blog post at the end of their comments This encourages them to leave comments. This will also encourage them and the community to discover new posts. CommentLuv attracts the readers and includes anti spam features that will protect you and your blog from robots.
WP Greet Box displays a different greeting depending on where the visitors come from, be it from facebook, twitter, delicious or Google. It will keep showing the greeting until the visitor closes it, After that it will not show up anymore for that visitor. It also has a timeout feature so the visitor will not feel being nagged. It requires 2.7 or higher version.
No Follow Free removes the No Follow Free tag from your WordPress blog’s comments with a lot of custom options. There is a warning though that it has not been edited for two years and so may have compatibility issues with current blogs. Anyway, this plugin will encourage the readers to leave comments so their link will become do follow,
CBNet Ping Optimizer Wordpress has a built in feature that makes it able to automatically ping your blog every time you hit update. The trouble with this is that if you’re editing and updating your blog often, you might be mistakenly regarded as a spammer. But don’t worry there’s a solution to that in the plugin called Cbnet Ping Optimizer.
WPTouch can easily create a slick mobile WordPress version of your blog with just a few clicks. Now that people are into their smart phones, this is one way to increase traffic to your site. This will also allow the mobile visitors to switch between the mobile version and the regular one. The beauty of this is that you won’t even have to change a bit of code to have this plugin work.
Add Post Footer will allow the blogger to add any custom paragraph, html code, ad code or any call to action you want the readers to do at the end of your post. You can even leave an opt in box. It is flexible and easy to use and you can customize it through the administration’s option panel.
404 To Start 404-to-start/ is here I am glad because I don’t like 404 page not found error, do you? It could make you lose some traffic but it is something that routinely happens. URLs could change and there you go. But don’t worry because there is a plugin for that. The 404 to start plugin can redirect your visitors to the home page or any other pages of your choice. This plugin will help solve problems with the search engines which regard external bad links as a no, no.
Yet Another Related Post Plugin This plugin displays a host of related links to your posts. Installing this will make Google love your posts because it will automatically add related posts to the one you just published. I put mine on manually most of the time though.
There you have quite a number of plugins you may want to use. You might be tempted to upload them all, especially they are so easy to install. It does not take a brain surgeon or a rocket scientist to install any of them. But don’t install them all, just the essential ones. And remember that WordPress runs faster with less number of installed plugins. That said, plugins make the blog more interesting.
By Roger Guzman, M.D. and Evelyn Guzman
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Copyright 2013 Roger Guzman, M.D. and Evelyn Guzman All rights reserved.