My fave 10 WordPress plugins

Nikki Parkinson Life 65 Comments

I delivered my first beginners’ blogging workshop this week and, apart from getting to speak about my second favourite subject for two hours, I also got to espouse the virtues (as I see it – I’m no techie expert just someone who’s muddled through almost three years of blogging) of using WordPress as your blogging platform.

Now, I’ll be upfront and say I haven’t ever had a Blogger blog but I have helped a friend with her “back-end” (insert inappropriate giggle here) and I do find the dashboard and functionality of WordPress a lot easier to get my head around.  It seems to be a more flexible system too, thanks to what are called plugins.

Plugins can be likened to apps for your phone or tablet.  They’re super easy to install and activate and in seconds you can have a new functionality on your site without so much as picking up the phone to your web developer.  Most are free too – some will ask you for a donation, which I like to make, as a way of saying thank-you for sharing something so useful.

Now, just as I like to browse all sorts of things on the inter-webs, I also love a good plugin search.  To my inner geek delight, I’ve found is that there is basically a plugin for every possible widget you could want for your WordPress blog.

Installing a plugin is as simple as heading to your WordPress dashboard and, clicking plugins, and add new.  This brings up the search function and you can search for the plugin you’re seeking.  Click install, then activate.  Some plug-ins require that you fill-in the settings.  In these cases, the settings forms for these plugins will be found under the settings tab in your dashboard.

Photo: www.savetimeandmoney.mobi

Here are my 10 favourites. Most I’ve been using for years; some I’ve just uploaded and am already in love with.

1.  All in One SEO Pack (for making optimising of SEO on my posts and pages super easy)

2.  WPtouch (allows people looking at your blog on their phone to see a simplified version that doesn’t take as long to load)

3.  CommentLuv (for giving people commenting on my blog a chance to link up a post from their own blog – with the latest version you can choose from one of your last 10 posts)

4.  Google Analyticator (for having my Google stats sitting on my dashboard so I can check them at a glance every time I log on)

5.  Google Calendar Events (for having my public events calendar in my blog’s sidebar)

6.  LinkWithin (this offers posts that people might like to read at the end of each post – it may help to keep readers on your site longer)

7.  RSS Blogroll (I link to my favourite blogs in my sidebar and it shows up when they’ve published a new blog post)

8.  WordPress Editorial Calendar (this helps me to schedule my post and create balanced content)

9.  YouTube Brackets (this plugin makes loading a Youtube clip so easy, once installed you just have to use around any YouTube URL link to embed it in your post or page)

10.  Google +1 (this new plugin works to facilitate Google’s version of the Facebook like button.  You’ll see +1s showing up on Google searches … so please +1 me!)

There’s one big, yawning gap in my plugin library.  Pretty please (I promise I’ll click the Donate button!), can someone please develop a Pin it Pinterest plug-in so I can make it really easy for people can pin straight from my blog?  Yes, I know there’s a HTML code on the Pinterest site that I could get put into my blog but my geeky brain hasn’t extended that far. Yet.

… speaking of Pinterest

My favourite pin from Pinterest this week ... don't mind if I do!

My favourite pin from Pinterest this week ... don't mind if I do!

Do you have a favourite WordPress plugin?  Would love you to leave a comment below.  And if you’re on Blogger, don’t hate me … just explain to me how your gadgets and widgets work.  And why your “back-end” looks smaller than mine?

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Comments 65

  1. I want to install one on my blog so people can get my blogs in a reader.. HI Nikki, I am following you on Twitter now. I saw that one this week on pinterest and it so made me think of you!! I love how it’s on my iPhone but would love to see my latest pins on my blog!!

  2. I am so with you on the pinterest plugin! I have the button in my own tool bar, but I want to make it as easy as possible for others to pin my posts! I hadn’t heard of the WPtouch plugin though! I will definitely check that one out! Thanks for the tips!

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  3. I’ve been using some of them too,but I like most CommentLuv plug-in because it brings much more visitors.

    I’vre never used calendars because I don’t find them being a necessity.

    What I definetly need from this list is the second plug-in – WPtouch -I strated to have many visitors who are using the the phone.

    Thanks for sharing!

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  4. HI Nikki, I am following you on Twitter now. I love your plugin in list however the LinkWithin doesnt come up in the WP Plugin search.
    Any idea why? Other clues…?
    Also I will now add you to those I follow on the blogEzine twitter account
    @LustrousPearls (I am the Creadtor?Admin)
    I am here for a while to check out a few things
    on your very creative blog.
    Catch you around the tweets…
    Jane

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      Hi Jane
      I’m not sure what is going on there with LinkWithin. It looks as if it has changed and now you have to sign up with the developers. There is another plug-in called Similar Posts – or Similarity which you could try.

  5. Glad to see Google Analyticator and WPtouch on the list, i’ve been using them a while and they work so well.

    I’d recommend you have a look at SEO Ultimate as an alternative for all in one SEO though, i’ve switched not to long ago and i’m impressed with how much SEO Ultimate can do, infact I was able to uninstall 3-4 other SEO related plugins because it’s so powerful.

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  6. Loved this post Nikki – I now proudly have WPTouch on my blog and it works at treat on the phone now – will definitely be adding more! Thanks!

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  7. Thanks heaps for this one Nikki!
    We are just starting out on our blogging journey!
    Been so much fun so far!

    Just wondering we are in the middle of ‘pimping’ our blog is there a professional themes site or range that you would suggest for a foodie blog?

    This was the perfect post to read 🙂 Do you do the workshops online or in perth??? 🙂

    Thanks again!

    Cass
    xo

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  8. About a year ago, I probably would have listed AIOSEOP too, but it hasn’t really advanced at all. Since discovering WordPress SEO by Yoast, I’ve realized how far behind the game AIOSEOP was. WordPress SEO does so much more and in a much more efficient and user-friendly manner. My other favorite plugin is W3 Total Cache. These are my two favorite plugins that I couldn’t live without.

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  9. I’ve been searching for something that allowed blog content to upload to mobiles more easily. Fabulous!
    You’ve also got a few others there Nikki, that I wasn’t aware of. So thanks.
    My only addition would be ReplyMe, which sends an email to your readers with the reply you post on their comment. I’ve found it’s helped keep the conversation flowing on the blog.

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  10. other than the SEO thingy these are all easy in blogger and pretty much standard.

    I am always looking at wordpress and wondering if I should move, mainly as I like the way it won’t go down if blogger does, but the self hosting part worries me. Do you find that a problem at all? Who do you use, if you are happy with them?

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      That’s good to know Claire, I’ve only had limited exposure to Blogger. My blog has always been self-hosted. First with Planet Domain and then from this year with Blackbird Solutions (private host – link is at the bottom of the site). As my traffic increased I needed a server to keep up with the bandwidth that required. Even so, it’s still a minimal business cost for me on an annual basis. Can highly recommend.

  11. Hi Nikki, awesome info as always… can you tell me which plugin to get for RSS Feed Button? I want to install one on my blog so people can get my blogs in a reader..
    Ta, Jeanne x

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  12. I love me some pinterest!! I love how it’s on my iPhone but would love to see my latest pins on my blog!! Only a matter of time im sure!!

    I saw that one this week on pinterest and it so made me think of you!! (in a good way of course!!)

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  13. Hey Nicky – with YouTube videos now …apparently you can just put the text link to the YouTube clip in your post, and it will automatically embed the video for you. So literally just drop the text http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EEuQU6a90Pc into the visual editing window (unlinked) and WordPress should do the rest.

    With the Pinterest thing … won’t Pinterest pick up images that are on your blog?

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      Hi Kelly, I gave it a try and it didn’t work? Maybe another plugin is required before it will? And yes, you can pick up images from my blog with Pinterest with the button on your browser but having a Pin it button – like the Facebook Like or Tweet button would encourage that interaction on a more proactive basis.

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          1. Great roundup! I recently moved from a Blogger blog to self-hosted WordPress and love it. As for Pinterest, there is a WordPress widget now that lets you display your most recent pins, but not one that lets your readers easily ‘pin’ something from your blog post. The widget they offer has to be personalised to a given url (presumably your home page) and therefore can’t be used for direct links to each individual post. They need to come up with something that defaults to the current page, not the home page. I even tried grabbing the code from their java bookmarklet but that didn’t work. I agree, though, that it’s just a matter of time. Meanwhile I’m ‘bumping’ your sentiment and wishing for it too. Hopefully someone with the right know-how will hear us soon!

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