Tag Archives: Weblogs

My Top 20 WordPress Plugins

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What plugins do you use?

In this post I want to discuss WordPress plugins and narrow down which ones are essential and which of them are useful in other ways. As any self Hosted WordPress user will tell you, plugins are essential for many important parts of your blog from SEO to Statistics and a myriad of other uses. This list includes my top 20 plugins that i use regularly, at the time of writing this list I have 42 plugins and I dare say other WordPress users have a lot more; so I would love to hear about your plugins and how you rate this list.

So let’s kick off with what I use on my blog; I will start with the Essential plugins and list them in order of importance to me. Since this blog is in its infancy my recommendations may not suit everyone but I hope will help you decide which is more important to your particular blog. My goal is to stick with 20 Plugins that give me the best performance, tough job. Along the way i will toss out the dross and replace with them with the next best thing that comes along. Give me your suggestions, love to here from you.

1st All in one SEO I think most would agree without doubt the most important of all the plugins, once set up it is a powerful tool that sends your posts throughout the web. You can customise this plugin in various ways to fine tune your SEO campaign. (Update your keywords and phrases frequently and always check in with Google analytics to find out the latest trends)

2nd. Google XML Sitemaps — another essential element automatically generates your sitemap and notifies Google MSN and Ask.com. Set up just once and leave.

3rd. SEO Smart Links — Very useful plugin for linking your posts up throughout your blog by category or tags, great for SEO. Can be modified and tailored to suit your theme or subject. This also gives the reader more information on your blog without them having to go searching somewhere else.

4th. Psychic Search - Definitely useful for yourself and your visitor, this plugin gathers information on the top or most popular searches which are done on your blog and you have the choice to put these results in your sidebar for visibility. This is handy for gathering information which you can use to write more articles on or tighten up your SEO. *Requires Registration*

5th. W.P Thread Comment — Very useful for visitor interaction, simply put it lets commentators to your post speak to each other and reply specifically to any particular discussion.

6th. W.P Automatic Upgrade — Save yourself a lot of time and effort with this indispensable plugin, remember to always check in and upgrade all your plugins regularly. Very simple to use, it walks you through the whole upgrade process and backs up data.

7th. W.P Super Cache — A must for high traffic blogs (not quite there yet <;) and it keeps your blog running smoothly, check in to clear your cache every now and again depending on your traffic.

8th. W.P Stats — Must have an API Key to activate, great for snapshots and highlighting most read posts and pages visited on your blog.

9th. Subscribe to comments — Another great comments plugin that gives your visitor the ability to subscribe either by RSS or email and to be notified by email of follow up comments.

10. Commentluv - Parses the commentators last blog post, I think this is a must and would recommend this plugin to anybody who wants to grow their blog. Users are more likely to come back and comment more often.

11th. Akismet — Perhaps I should have put this plugin further up the list, never the less a very important spam management system. You can even call it Dusty Bin if you like <;

12th. BlogRush Click Maximizer — Increases your click through rate if you have a BlogRush widget on your blog, this might not be for everybody but is another source of traffic. (Early days for me) Needs to be Registered. ***RIP***

12. Max Banner Ads. Very handy plugin that places ads pretty much anywhere on your blog, I have decided to use it for the side bar widget. This is very handy if you have limited space, you can rotate 3 ads at a time which cuts down on ad blindness.

13th. DoFollow Give some link juice back to your visitors who leave comments, very simple to set up.

14. FeedBurner FeedSmith — Absolutly essential, I don’t think i need to explain much about this plugin, If your new to RSS Feeds then checkout FeedBurner.com. There are far too many options to mention in this post; check out this previous article.

15. MBP Stripe Ad — You can see this plugin in action at Pure SEO. It has many options including an ad rotator with up to 10 ads at a time; you can also change the font couler or size to blend in with your WordPress theme. *Registration Required*

16th. Add to Any Subscribe Button — Lots of these available always handy and you never know somebody might actually use it (Hint_<;)

17th. Twit This adds a small twitter icon after each post, This social network micro platform is gaining huge popularity, so that’s why I have included it on my blog. ***Sticking with the Add to one for all button***

17. RSS FOOTER ,, You can place a custom message at the foot of your RSS feed, so it’s a good idea to give some thought as to which message you want to promote about your blog, perhaps a notice about your newsletter ect.

18th. Top Commentators Widget — Involving your visitors and encouraging them to post comments regularly to your articles gives them that stickiness, and hopefully brings them back to your blog more often. I am a great believer in connecting with likeminded people and like to reward input as much as I can.

19th. WWSGD (What would Seth Godin Do) Good for welcoming your visitors with your own custom message with a gentle reminder to subscribe to your RSS feed. Just started using this plugin, so I will see if I like it in the coming months, I suppose it comes down to personal preferences. **Replaced with Referrer Detector**

19. WP Super Edit is a WordPress plugin designed to give some control over the visual / wysiwyg editor and add some functionality without modifying the WordPress source code.

20th. Template WordPress Widget — This is just a shameless plug for a great affiliate program that I am part of at the moment, you can find out more on Template Buzz. This plugin can be set to show snapshots horizontally or vertically and with or without prices. ***no longer in use*** 01/12/08

20th.From Daily Blog Tips
Many bloggers and website owners like to greet visitors coming from specific websites with a tailored message. There are many plugins that will make this for you on WordPress, but a cool one that I came across recently is called Referrer Detector.

“I agree this is a niffty little plugin and i have started using it in place of (WSGS) Thanks for the Tip”

So that’s my top 20 WordPress Plugins; I dare say I have missed one or two so let me know which ones you would include. This list will undoubtedly change in the coming months as I streamline and configure my blog. Although this list is primarily for WordPress Plugins I also make use of other applications like Zementa and Kaalga which I am beginning to see more and more value from. Any application that helps you to be more productive is alright in my books. Here is another great list from Quick onine tips

One for another list; Need a Favicon for your blog? Click here to get your own identity.

Update 30/10/2008 : Amazon Rocks My Boat

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Drive Traffic to your blog with BlogRush

New Dashboard on Show

Today i logged into my BlogRush account to check out what’s on offer and to see which direction the staff are taking. Some very interesting facts and figures came out of that visit.

Now to be honest I haven’t been with BlogRush for that long and I was a bit sceptical about the
performance, that being said I was impressed with the members area, when you log in to your account you are presented with a new dashboard with a clean layout and look to it; and a wealth of very useful and revealing tools for the user.

The first thing you notice are the Two Graphical boxes with your activity stats over the last 30 days, the first graph shows your actual visits to your blog and highlights when you roll your mouse over the points to show you the exact visitor numbers.
The second graph shows you all your referrals in two different shades, one being referrals from BlogRush widgets on other blogs, and the other showing your own traffic from other sources.

At the moment BlogRush are going through a few changes, all for the good which include better monitoring to provide more traffic to members blogs. One area touched on was the placement of the BlogRush widget; on some blogs the widget might be at the bottom of the blog or in a less visible area thus reducing the effectiveness of the system. At this point there is definitely a decision to be made by blog owners about placement, I suppose you have to weigh up the importance of which elements of your blog are more important to you, but in the end I would venture to place the widget in a more prominent spot after all its sole purpose is to bring traffic to your blog.

What was clear in the opening video update was the message to bloggers that it only takes a
couple of referred bloggers to visit one of your posts and write their own variation to expand on your post; and then link to you through trackback and pingbacks and also comments, this gives you valuable link juice for the search engine. Of course not everybody does this and I can’t stress enough how important this is for bloggers, you just need to get into the habit of doing this!

Another new element is your last 12 blog posts at the bottom of the first page which breaks down the stats in a very user friendly way. For each post there are three columns one for Syndicated which shows the number of times that your posts are shown on other peoples blogs.

In the second column you have the actual number of people who clicked through to view your post. The third column (Buzz) shows how hot or cold your responses are with neat little pictures of buzz meters, based on the category your blog belongs to and the average click rate. How your post is reacting across the network.

Bonus credits are given out to everyone but more so to new users or those bloggers who have low traffic, this helps to keep a nice balance. Overall this helps to build up your credits and places your blog posts on other blogs widgets across the network.

A new companion site called traffic jam.com is on the cards which will be released in the coming month or so. Users will be able to see which posts are the hottest on the network by category. This is another great way to generate traffic from visitors to your blog by utilizing the power of your writing skills kind of like a mini digg site i suppose.  Check out 20 Possible ways to Optimize your blog over at thou shall blog

Related: Using Articles to Boost your websites traffic

All in all i rate this service from BlogRush very highly and going by the direction they are taking will improve in leaps and bounds. Remember bloggers use your trackbacks and pingbacks regualary

** RELATED UPDATE : Farewell BlogRush**

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No More Searching This Will Do Just Fine

Image representing Blogger as depicted in Crun...*Image via CrunchBase, source unknown*

Well finally I have chosen this template from eblog templates after a long and sometimes frustrating search I am happy. So I am going to be tidying up the category section which was a mess before, now it will be more compact and refined. The tabs on the header will provide further useful and relevant content for home business and career search, these links will open in the same window.

Here is the Intro from eblog templates;
Langit is the latest and coolest “make money” blog template to hit the scene here at eBlog Templates. It’s a very modern, web 2.0, 3 column, black and blue template with a ton of features including some never before used in a Blogger template! We really try to push the limits with our latest and greatest templates and know you’re going to love this one.

 Several different types of highly optimized “Make Money” ad spots
 Built-in FeedBurner rss and subscribe via email area
 Top box displaying your 10 most recent posts (yes I said 10)
 Calendar style date on each individual post
 Header banner rotator
 Dynamic top tabs so you can easily add them
 Custom comments section
 Live website traffic widget from FeedIt

The one thing that I must mention; you do not have the ability to edit your colours apart from the Blog title in fact the only options you have are Blog title colour-Blog title font-Blog description font and that’s it .
The trickiest parts are changing your ad codes, this template comes with three ad sources Google-Chikita and a header rotating banner, all of these you can change to suit your theme. As you can see I changed the header banner then hopped over to Google Adsense to grab my own code. I didn’t have an account with Chikita so I applied and am waiting for confirmation. Replacing these codes is fairly straight forward.

The templates have RSS built in so all you do is search and find YOUR Feedburner ID in the edit template section in blogger. There was a little bit more work involved setting up at Feedburner and I still need to set up the email subscribe properly , but all in all its fairly straight forward.

So after some fine tuning I will be replacing http://MaxBlogBits.blogspot.com with my new domain name http://web-workathome.com I will be messaging my community about the change over in due course, thank you for your patience. Please send your comments about this template and let me know what you think.

Here is the new URL *Update this is my new home*

Happy Blogging,   Related >>>

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Looking for a new look (Update)

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Hi all, well so far I have been tinkering around this latest template from eblogtemplates.com & I quite like it.

The only thing with blogger is that it doesn’t allow you to add extra pages unlike WordPress which does and adds more flexibility. I am impressed so far with this template it has a nice professional appearance although it is a pain in the ass changing the readymade built in ad block.

There are instructions on how to replace the ads and banners but this does take a hands on approach in dealing with the template. For all those non techies like myself i think it might be a bridge to far although if you take the time to read up on the instructions it is certainly more than possible to accomplish.

Importing my other posts from MaxBlogbits was a bit of a nightmare first of all you have to download an xml file of your posts to import, then you have to check the automatically post comments check box. And of course the dreaded confirmation (type these letters to authenticate) if you’re like me and your eyesight isn’t to good then you know where I am coming from, I tried 3 times before I got it right, even if you click the little wheelchair icon to listen it comes out like there are 3 people speaking at different times which renders it useless.

When I imported from blogger to WordPress it was a breeze I am seriously giving thought to transferring all of my blogs to WordPress. At the moment i am waiting for a new domain name to propagate and I will definitely be using WordPress for my new blog (watch this space)

Oh the trials and tribulations of a blogger; I suppose it will be worth it in the end, one thing’s for sure I won’t be changing it for a while once it’s in place.

You can keep up with my project on twiiter or MyBlogLog

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How To Use Pingback/Trackback To Get More Links And Contents For Your Blog | LeadsLeap Internet Marketing Blog

The generic globe logo used when Firefox is co...

Just read your very interesting post on the do follow pluggin from WordPress and I think it is a useful addon for new blogs especially for non techies like myself,uploading the pluggin is a breeze and WordPress being WordPress makes it very easy to activate. There might be some filtering to do as time goes by so I will keep an eye out and see if it slots in. But overall its great for linking traffic which can only be good for everybody.I do have Firefox as well as IE but prefer to use IE as i can just hit the write to blog button for instant replies.

Thanks again for the tip : keep up the good work

Regards Bill Masson :

How To Use Pingback & Trackback

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