The logo of the blogging software WordPress.
Image via Wikipedia

WordPress is a great Content Management System (CMS).  It can be a blog, but it can also be so much more.  It can be a VERY easily updated website as well.  But in order to really get the most out of WordPress, you need to deploy a few plugins that aren’t included with the basic package.  Luckily, they are all free.  I have 40 active plugins on LaneBailey.com and 20 here.  And all of the plugins listed below are on both sites.

These aren’t limited to just real estate sites… they can be used by anyone, especially those utilizing WordPress as a business website.

Here they are in no particular order…

  1. All in One SEO Pack*.  If you are blogging for business or to get noticed, you will need to be optimized for search engines.  This plugin, after it is set up, handles a lot of the drudgery of SEO.  You still need to provide the killer content, though…
  2. FaceBook Share.  There are a variety of ways to do this, but the basic point is that FaceBook is second only to Google in importance for growing your site.  You NEED to have a way for readers to easily share your killer content with their friends.
  3. Facebook logo
    Image via Wikipedia

    MobilePress.  This is a plugin that builds a mobile version of your site.  You can tweak the mobile version so that it is faster and easier for mobile users.  And the growth in mobile web surfing is astounding.

  4. TAC (Theme Authenticity Checker).  If you like to use free themes, this is a great plugin that will look through the theme for potentially malicious or junky scripts.  If it does catch something, it isn’t always completely bad code… but it is a good prompt to look into it further.
  5. SoJ Tag Feed.  Turn any post tag into a RSS feed.  This is great for sending some of your content to your other sites.  It is also a great way to have a feed that is targeted for a specific audience (like maybe a different feed for buyer and sellers).
  6. WordPress Editorial Calendar*.  I’m writing this post a few days before it is going live.  I usually try to have anywhere from 3 to 10 posts in queue at any given time.  This allows my blog to be more consistent.  With the WP Editorial Calendar, I can look and see at a glance when I have posts scheduled to run.  If I had other bloggers, I could also see who is posting what… and when.
  7. This icon, known as the
    Image via Wikipedia

    WP-DBManager*.  This allows you to inspect, repair and optimize your databases from right within the WordPress admin panel.  But, it also allows you to get scheduled back-ups.  You HAVE to have back-ups coming in regularly in case there is a problem.

  8. Zemanta*.  This is one of the plugins that I leverage more than any other.  It allows me to easily find and use images and related articles.  I can use just my own or I can use items from around the web.  One word of caution, though… KNOW if it is content you are allowed to use.  The articles are generally not a problem (they are just linked), but you CAN get into trouble with images.
  9. Page Link To.  This allows you to build a “holder page” so that you can link in the menu to items outside of the WordPress installation.  If you have a squeeze page, sales page or other site that you want included in your menu, this is the way to do it.
  10. Blog Copyright (by BTE).  If you don’t protect your content, nobody else will.  This doesn’t keep it from being stolen, but it keeps the reasonably honest people honest… and can make it easier to find the scrapers that steal it.

 

The plugins with a “*” after them are the ones that I think EVERYONE needs to have on their blog.  These are the ones to grab first.  I would have a hard time blogging without these…

Image representing Zemanta as depicted in Crun...
Image via CrunchBase

What do you think?  What plugins do you find essential?

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