Top 10 Favourite WordPress Plugins by a Pregnant Chick

by admin on August 20, 2010

It’s embaressing how long it has been since I posted on SEO-Chicks, it’s months, agh…I have kind of got an excuse, being 8 months pregnant at the moment, but then again the baby is not growing in my head is it. Although sometimes it feels like it, when I find my keys in the fridge, throw the rubbish in the sink and the plate in the rubbish, or forget what I was talking about half way through a new business pitch. Apparently it’s the hormones affecting your brain, great thanks, like looking like a waddling hippo isn’t bad enough my brain is the size of a shrimp.

But as the guilt of not writing anything has finally taken hold of me, I’ve decided to do a “straight forward” blogpost. A Top 10 favourite list, and if you find it boring don’t leave a mean comment, who would do that to a pregnant chick. Ha! I’ve got the trumph card.

Ok, let’s get to business: one of my clients recently launched a blog on their site and asked me for my reccomendations on plugins, I started writing a list and found it surprisingly difficul to stop. So here are my top 10 “Must-Have” WordPress Plugins:

1. WordPress Database Backup
Website: Creators Website or WordPress Plugin Download Page
What it does: This plugin does on-demand backup of your WordPress database. Highly recommended as it makes sure you don’t lose anything.
Why you need it: You think it won’t happen to you, but it will, you will fiddle with something and down the blog goes, at least having a backup you can restore it pretty quickly. It only takes a minute girl….(jeese am I turning into Julie quoting songs in my blogposts? Albeit less cool songs that Julie’s mentions though…again “pregnancy trumph card” I can’t help it, it’s the hormones. Oh and I also downloaded an entire album of Roxette. And if you don’t know who Roxette are, bugger off, that means you are youger than me and it’s mean to make a pregnant girl feel old, she is already fat.

2. WordPress Firewall
Website: Creators Website or WordPress Plugin Download Page
What it does: This plugin blocks any suspicious-looking requests to WordPress.
Why you need it: Because there are mean little geeks out there trying to get your blog down, it happened to SEO-Chicks once, luckily Dazzlin Donna saved our “derrieres”.

3. WordPress Automatic Uprade
Website: Creators Website or WordPress Plugin Download Page
What it does: Allows a user to automatically upgrade the wordpress installation to the latest one provided by wordpress.org using the 5 steps provided in the wordpress upgrade instructions.
Why you need it: It is very important that wordpress is upgraded regularly as old version might leave you prone to attacks! And I’m not talking attacks by raging hungry polar bears, I’m talking seriously pissed off and spotty virgins, that happens to have an IQ of 200 and a high spec computer.

4. All in One SEO Pack
Website: WordPress Plugin Download Page
What it does: This plugin allows you to specify title, meta descriptions and other information to the search engines. Why you need it: Because you want to be able to specifiy the title and meta description of your blogpost, “it’s SEO in’it mate”. There are loads of these SEO plugins around, it might not be the best one but it’s a pretty easy one to use. I wouldn’t spend money on “pro version” though I don’t think, it’s a bit cheeky isn’t it? WordPress plugins are suppose to be free, although, yes yes, you are right, they spend allot of their time making the plugin, but hey links is money, be grateful.

5. Tweetmeme
Website: Tweetmeme Plugin Homepage or WordPress Plugin Download Page
What it does: This has fast become the most used “social plugin” for twitter, it allows people to “tweet” the blogpost by simply clicking on the “tweetmeme” button on the blogpost. You would be hard pushed to find a blog without this plugin now.
Why you need it: Because this whole “Twitter” thing is a pretty useful channel, who would have thought..This is such an easy plugin to use for your users, one click and it’s tweeted (surely I’m preaching to the choir on this one). Once the plugin is installed it looks something like this:

6. Sexy Bookmarks
Website: Creators Website or WordPress Plugin Download Page
What it does: This is a very useful and nice looking (although I wouldn’t say sexy) plugin for including all social networking and bookmarking sites within each blogpost. Gives the reader an easy way to “spread the word” about the blogpost.
Why you need it: Making it as easy as possible for your readers to “socialise” increases your chances of your content being spread through social channels, simples! When implemented it shows up at the bottom of each blogpost and looks something like this (you can chose which social and bookmarking sites to include):

7. Facebook Share New Button
Website: WordPress Plugin Download Page
What it does: Allows reader to share the blogpost on Facebook, similar to Tweetmeme but for Facebook.
Why you need it: Facebook seems to be having a strong comeback and it’s once again “fashionable” to be on Facebook and even to share stuff..although I still hate it when my relative in northern Norway sends me a “I joined a stupid facebook application and thought you might like it to” request. Even still, I’ve seen a significant increase in “Facebook Share” and “Like” buttons on blogs lately. Once implemented it looks something like this (you can have a smaller button as well as having it after the content if you like, it’s pretty adaptable):

Once the user has pressed the facebook shared button it automatically posts it to their wall and news feedand will look something like this:

8. WP FB Like
Website: WordPress Plugin Download Page
What it does: Allows users to facebook “like” a blogpost by the press of a button. As far as I know (and correct me if I’m wrong) the “like” functionality doesn’t post a link to your newsfeed but just to your wall.
Why you need this: The “like” functionality is what brings shared items higher up in the news feed of importance, i.e the more people “like” a shared item the higher up it will be in the “top news”. It’s the “thumbs up” of facebook and people are getting very apt at using this functionality so make sure you have it on your blogposts. The plugin looks like this before anyone has “liked it”:

Then looks like this when someone has pressed the button:

And it will look something like this on the users facebook wall:

9. Subscribe to comments
Website: WordPress Plugin Download Page
What it does: Allows readers of the blog to subscribe and get emails every time a new comment is made.
Why you need it: This is such a simple easy plugin BUT so important. Readers usually wants to know if someone else has commented on their comment and you should to as it encourages continious conversation and increases the number of comments you get.

10. Post Avatar
Website: Creators Website or WordPress Plugin Download Page
What it does: Includes an avatar (picture) of the authors of each blogpost.
Why you need it: This is one of the most important plugins in my opinion (well any avatar plugin), why? Because building a blog (especially when it’s a group blog) you are building relationships between readers and users, knowing what the writer looks like can enhance the user experience in my opnion, and no not from a is she/he “good looking” point of view, but a simple human level. Knowing what someone looks like when you talk to them imitates personal contact, the phrase “putting a face to the name” springs to ming. But saying that, it obviously helps having gorgeous, friendly looking people on the blog staff like “me Julie”:

Lastly, and not at all connected to the subject, because I’m pregnant and my brain wanders (I find I’m not expected to make sense whilst pregnant, which is a relief, finally I can be myself). Here’s a video of what I look like when pregnant and trying to run

And of course feel free to share your favourite WP plugins with us and the readers in the comments, there are thousands out there, this is just 10 basic ones that I couldn’t “live without”, and if you feel tempted to leave a comment about the phrase”live without”, it’s a figure of speech, don’t be a numbskull..Have a great weekend everyone!

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