Web Design and Development
For those of you who do not know, WordPress is a powerful blog platform which doubles as a multi-purpose CMS. To get the most out of this software, users can opt to install various plugins which extend the innate functionality. Unfortunately, most users do not use plugins, or are unable to find the plugins they need.
To point you in the right direction, we've listed a few plugins that you should consider using.
This plugin is probably the most important on the list. It will enable you to perform basic SEO for your website by easily defining titles, keywords, and descriptions for your website's meta tags. This will go a long way towards increasing your click-through rate as well as improving your search engine visibility.
In WordPress 2.5+, you are easily able to categorize your entries into categories as well as tags. And if you are familiar with tagging, you realize that it is very easy to rack up dozens, or even hundreds, of tags. Simple Tags enables you to easily see, edit, combine, and more… It makes working with tags a breeze.
This plugin is rather obscure, but it is definitely a must have. If you blog contains items that you do not want to show up in archives, feeds, or search pages, this plugin allows you to do it.
For users that want control of their page order, this plugin allows you to easily order your pages via a drag and drop interface in the admin area.
It's always good to be in Google's good graces. One way to stay there is to regularly serve it an XML sitemap. This will also ensure that Google can find, and potentially index, all of your pages.
If your site receives a lot of traffic, you will soon begin to notice an incredible amount of bandwidth usage and/or performance issues. Both can be very bad news. Fortunately, there is a solution which is known as caching. This means that your blog can serve HTML versions of a webpage instead of processing PHP scripts for each page load.
While the default editor which comes loaded with WordPress is OK, it is by no means a fully featured WYSIWYG editor. To really be able to edit your pages, almost as if you were using Microsoft Word, we suggest Dean's FCK Editor plugin. You'll have more options than you'll probably ever need or know how to use. It's great!
Navigating through the previous and next links of a typical blog can be quite exhausting. But this plugin simplifies the process by displaying page numbers instead. Additionally, while it comes with multiple themes to choose from, you can customize it with your own CSS.
Perhaps you hate all of those little icons at the end of each post which give you one-click access to social bookmarking sites. Yes, they can be annoying, but they are effective. This plugin enables you to select social bookmarking websites such as Digg, StumbleUpon, and Technorati to display at the end of each post.
Everyone likes repeat visitors. And the best way to do this is to collect email addresses and send out notifications when new content has been posted. The Subscribe2 plugin does this, as well as lets you configure the message that is sent to users.
Indeed, there are a lot of WordPress plugins. In fact, there probably exists a plugin for just about anything that you can think to add to your blog, from galleries to SMS texting. And there are also a plethora of WordPress widgets for blogs with widget-ready sidebars.
For more WordPress plugins and sidebar widgets, search the WordPress plugin directory.Tags: blogs, cache, navigation, widgets, WordPress