We’ve blogged before on the subject of WordPress and what plugins work well for running your site. However, since the go live of Penguin and the latest version of Google Panda it is worth looking at this again as there are some plugins we’re now using which can help with the visibility of your website.
Here’s a quick list of some of our old favourites:
Tweetly Updater - Update your latest blogs to your Twitter feed automatically
Redirection – quick and easy 301 redirects without needing an htaccess file
W3 Total Cache – improve server performance to help your users experience.
Askimet – stop spam comments on your blog
XML Sitemaps – create XML sitemaps for your website
Shockingly Simple Favicon – easily add your company logo as a favicon for your website.
Since the last of these WordPress Plugin blogs there have been changes to both the search engines and the plugins available from WordPress developers. So here’s a little update of some of our new favourites.
Contact form 7 is a great simple way of creating contact forms for your website. This allows you to have some forms which look fantastic and not just a boring old form. Many themes have Contact Form 7 in them already. But using this will help you to create forms which are more likely to be completed by people on your website.
Next Gen Gallery – Create image galleries. Manage photography and create user friendly light box style galleries really simply.
Easy Columns is great for creating more complete layouts within posts and pages, with little or no coding experience. You can also used this to create some nice layouts and content boxes. Great way to make your content stand out.
Social media is more important than ever for your SEO, and making sure that you are promoting your content, engaging with your market and allowing people to share your content with their connections on the main social networks.
Previously we’ve suggested using the separate plugins for Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn but as we now have Pinterest into the mix as well it’s worth reviewing this as all of the different social buttons end up looking and feeling different and to manage them you end up with lots of different plugins and styles to manage to make them look consistent. AddThis Social Bookmarking Widget can be used to create these buttons in a consistent format and to help with the layout of these.
Once you’ve installed these buttons there are some tweaks to the code for the buttons which can be done to help with the monitoring of how your site is being shared socially by adding some code to the template for your pages around the Add This buttons – information about this can be found here.
My other new favourite plugin is WP Paginate helps you to display your “previous” and “next” buttons with the correct pagination code as this code helps the search engines understand that the blog it is looking at is part of a series.
A plugin we’ve talked a lot about in the past in YARPP (Yet Another Related Post Plugin) which we used to help provide you with related post content on the blog and news of our site. However in the last few months we’ve migrated away from this plugin to nrelate Related Content. This does the same thing but seems to work much better as the most recent version of YARPP was only providing relevancy scores on other content based on the title of the content and not the content so we were getting things showing up which were not at all relevant or suitable. Since upgrading to nrelate we’ve had none of these issues.
One I’ve also been using recently is WP Bots Analytics. This plugin allows you to easily see what robots are crawling your website. This can help you to exclude crawlers from your website without having to trawl through your server logs. Following the launch of Google’s Penguin it’s more important than ever to make sure that your content is not being scraped so this plugin we’ve found to be really important.
I’m sure there will be some more to add to this list the more new plugins are launched and as the Google Algorithm changes.