Alison Foxall, sent the following message to some members of TampaBay WordPress:
This meeting snuck up on us! So this month do some homework and come prepared to talk about a useful plugin for your site or blog or a plugin that you thought was really “cool.” We’ll all take part in this discussion and enjoy some Italian food while we’re at it.
These are the plugins I generally find myself using on various sites time and time again, most of them are pretty common, but users new to wordpress may not know of them and find them pretty handy. I only included the plugins gauranteed to work with the most current version of wordpress, there are a few other plugins I love, but haven’t confirmed they are all stable with the latest version yet.
WordPress SEO by Yoast
The most complete all in one SEO solution for your WordPress blog, this plugin has a huge list of features, including:
- Post title and meta description meta box to change these on a per post basis for ultimate SEO.
- On page SEO Analysis using the Linkdex page analysis library.
- Taxonomy (tag, category & custom taxonomy) title and meta description support.
- Google search result snippet previews
HeadSpace2 is an all-in-one meta-data manager that allows you to fine-tune the SEO potential of your site.
You can configure meta-data for:
Posts, Pages, Categories, Home page, Author pages, Search pages, 404 page
You can define:
It also allows you to add:
Google Analytics, Google Webmaster, Google section targeting, Mint statistic, 103bees, Statcounter, CrazyEgg heat map, Feedburner Stats Pro, Apture, Yahoo! Site Explorer, Microsoft Live Verification, HitTail, Piwik tracking, AWStats tracking
You can also:
Disable visual editing, Disable widgets, Configure first-time visitor messages, Add frame-breaker code, Disable WordPress auto-formatting (wpautop and wptexturize), Configure memory limits, error reporting, and system timeouts
SEO Content Control
Even if you care about search engine optimization, your WordPress site will quite likely still have potentials for an even better optimization. One very interesting area is regarding the many archives of WordPress, which are feared by some because of their potential to create internal duplicate content. If a search engine finds the same pieces of content on several pages of a site, many of these pages will be ignored. The basic solution for this is to make your archives as individual as possible.
SEO Content Control helps you with this kind of issues. It helps you to keep track, which of your posts have too little content, and shows, where an excerpt or a meta description is missing. You get it all at a glance in a neat summary with red, yellow and green colors.
SEO Smart Links
SEO Smart Links provides automatic SEO benefits for your site in addition to custom keyword lists, nofollow and much more.
SEO Smart Links can automatically link keywords and phrases in your posts and comments with corresponding posts, pages, categories and tags on your blog. Further SEO Smart links allows you to set up your own keywords and set of matching URLs. Finally SEO Smart links allows you to set nofollow attribute and open links in new window. It is a perfect solution to get your blog posts interlinked or add affiliate links to other sites.
Google XML Sitemaps
This plugin will generate a special XML sitemap which will help search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo and Ask.com to better index your blog. With such a sitemap, it’s much easier for the crawlers to see the complete structure of your site and retrieve it more efficiently. The plugin supports all kinds of WordPress generated pages as well as custom URLs. Additionally it notifies all major search engines every time you create a post about the new content.
Other Useful Plugins
W3 Total Cache
Recommended by web hosts like: MediaTemple, Host Gator, Page.ly and WP Engine and countless more.
Trusted by countless sites like: mattcutts.com, mashable.com, smashingmagazine.com, makeuseof.com, yoast.com, kiss925.com, pearsonified.com, lockergnome.com, johnchow.com, ilovetypography.com, webdesignerdepot.com, css-tricks.com and tens of thousands of others.
W3 Total Cache improves the user experience of your site by improving your server performance, caching every aspect of your site, reducing the download times and providing transparent content delivery network (CDN) integration.
WP DB Manager
Allows you to optimize database, repair database, backup database, restore database, delete backup database , drop/empty tables and run selected queries. Supports automatic scheduling of backing up, optimizing and repairing of database.
WP jQuery Lightbox
This plugin lets you keep the awesome Lightbox 2-functionality, but sheds the bulk of the Prototype Framework and Scriptaculous Effects Library.
Redirects the main feed and optionally the comments feed to Feedburner.com. It does this seamlessly without the need to modify templates, setup new hidden feeds, modify .htaccess files, or asking users to migrate to a new feed. All existing feeds simply become Feedburner feeds seamlessly and transparently for all users. Just tell the plugin what your Feedburner feed URL is and you’re done.
Helps manage existing tags and provides tags suggestion from Yahoo! Term Extraction API, OpenCalais, Alchemy, Zemanta, Tag The Net, Local DB with AJAX request.