The more I get to learn about Wordpress and the use of Plugins, the more I start loving and appreciate the ease of them. There are a few plugins that I use on a regular base because they make blogging life just so much easier, so I wanted to share them with you. Please keep in mind that most plugins mentioned below are WordPress plugins, sorry for that guys, I only talk about what I know!

If you are not familiar with plugins and how to get them to work, it really should not worry you. Nowadays, Wordpress is so easy to work with, that all you need to do is go to your WP admin panel, then select the section of the plugins and choose the "add new" option. This will bring you to the page where you can find the plugin you want to install and from within the same admin panel, you will be able to install and activate, with only a few clicks of the mouse.

I love using wordpress to create blogs to build by income, and apart from the help I got over at The Keyword Academy, WP has shown to be most usefull these past years. If you are already familiar with plugins, here goes my list of my top 15 plugins I use on different blogs and almost couldn´t live without in the blogasphere!

Plugins to Improve SEO of your blog

  • All in One SEO Pack by Uberdose

This one automatically optimizes titles for search engines, generates Meta tags and avoids duplicate content found on wordpress blogs. If you are running wordpress 2.3 or up you don´t even have to look at the options, but you can of course override and title and set any meta description and keywords you want.

  • Contextual Related Posts by Mark Ghosh

This plugin is really neat because it shows the last 5 contextually related posts after every single blog post, making it easier for visitors to find related material if they liked the one they just read, but it will also bring forward older posts, thus improving the deeplinking of your blog.

  • Dagon Design Sitemap Generator by Dagon Design

This plugin generates a fully customizable sitemap for your WordPress powered site. This is not just another XML sitemap plugin, but rather a true sitemap generator that is highly customizable from its own options page in the WordPress admin panel. Once installed and activated, all you need to do is go to the Settings page inside your WP control panel, click on the DD Sitemap and choose your preference. Once your preference are set, you create a new page and in the html you add the following code where you want the sitemap to show up:

<!-- ddsitemapgen -->

Why is this plugin good for SEO? Apart from giving your visitor an easier way to navigate and find things on your site, you are again providing extra links to all your posts.
To see this plugin in action, visit my sitemap page.

  • Google XML Sitemaps by Arne Brachhold

This plugin will generate a compatible sitemap of your WordPress blog that is supported by, Google, MSN Search and YAHOO.

  • Top Posts By Category by M&M

I am using this plugin to easily show the posts that were most commented all together on one page, but you can also set it to show the most visited posts in your blog. This will again bring extra link attention to your most popular post plus it gives your visitor a short list of most interesting posts on your blog.

  • WWW Redirect by Justin Shattuck

Redirects variations of identical domain requests to a consistent uri to ensure and are not regarded as two different domains by the search engines.

Important Plugins you really need to install

  • WordPress Database Backup by Austin Matzko

After having had a problem with another blog, losing all content because of my own stupidity, I have this plugin installed to make sure I get a database backup emailed to me weekly so I won´t have to worry about that anymore.

  • MaxBlogPress Ping Optimizer

Save your wordpress blog from getting tagged as ping spammer by installing this plugin. Did you know that the new Wordpress version already is set to ping (You can find which services you are pinging by going to Settings in your controlpanel and then choose Writing. You can modify the services you want to ping everytime a post comes out at the bottom of that page).

Did you also know that everytime you edit a published post, you are sending another ping to the pinging services and that this might get your blog banned because it is considered spamming if you ping too often for the same post? And another little known fact is that when dating your posts in order to have different posts going public in the future, you will loose the value of these pingservices, because as soon as you hit the publish button, they will start searching your post, and guess what, they won´t find it if you have set the date to the future!

The cool thing about this plugin is that you can actually date posts that you have written and only ping once they are published online. Plus, you can edit your post without the danger of continuously pinging every time you change something in an already existing post. After installing the plugin, just activate it and go to the Settings in your controlpanel to make sure you register the plugin in order for it to work and start avoiding spamming pingers and getting blocked from their services.

  • Google Analytics Plugin

If you are looking for an easy way to be able to see how your website is doing, how much traffic you are receiving, where people are coming from, how long they stay and which keywords brought visitors to your blog you might want to open a Google Analytics account for free. Once you have your account you will have to implement some code in order for Google to track your traffic. Now, instead of starting to muddle in the code of your template (and then having to do that again whenever you change to another template) you can use this plugin to easily put in the code. Once installed, just activate it and go to the analytics plugin you can find in Settings, and add the code in order for the plugin to start doing it´s job.

Make sure that you always have the latest versions of both the Wordpress software and plugins, because this will help protect your blog from attacks. Of course, if you want to completely bulletproof your blog, you will have to do some research on the safety of WP blogs and how to improve that.