It’s been quite some time since I posted my last list of preferred WordPress plugins. Since the HomeGain Real Estate Blog is all about helping real estate agents succeed, I thought this would be a great place to post an update.
Man have things changed! WordPress has always had great plugin’s, but I really think it’s reaching a breakout point. After installing the right stuff, WordPress behaves like an incredibly functional CMS for a highly dynamic website (not just a blog.)
Without further adieu, here’s my list of preferred plugins for WordPress blogs:
Akismet – There’s a reason this plugin comes standard with every WP install. It’s the only spam plugin you need.
Lucia’s Linky Love – In my opinion, this is the cadillac of do-follow plugins. Most do-follow comment plugins blindly follow any commentator link on your website or blog. This makes it really tough to let marginal comments through — even though the commentator might simply be uncreative, rather than spam commenting. Lucia’s allows you to set a minimum # of comments before the links are followed, and allows you to follow any specific comment that you don’t like, along with a number of other useful settings. Minimum Comment Length – I’ll say it right now — Joost de Valk is the man. Not simply because of this plugin, but because I’m currently rocking 3 of his WP plugins and 2 of his Firefox extensions. Minimum Comment Length does what it says — you set a minimum comment length and you frustrate the daylights out of spam commentators. Subscribe to Comments – This plugin allows your visitors to subscribe to comments on specific posts. After incorporation, I noticed a steep incline in comment participation.
cforms – I have cforms installed on my site, but I don’t currently have a form up. Basically, it’s a killer contact form plugin with anti-spam tools built in. Here’s one in action (look on the lefthand side).
Exclude Pages from Navigation – So this plugin doesn’t have the most creative title, but it is accurate. If you want WordPress to behave like a website CMS, then you’ll need to control your recurring navigation. This plugin allows you to do so.
WordPress Database Backup – Backup often, backup automatically.
WP Super Cache – A fork of the original WP-Cache 2. Stock WordPress calls its database on every page load, which is slow. Super Cache generates static html files and serves them to your visitors, making your WP site much faster. No matter your server, you won’t survive a front page digg story without Super Cache.
All in One SEO Pack – This plugin allows you necessary control over your title, description, and meta keywords (which are probably not necessary.) It allows some control over the robots meta index/noindex/follow/nofollow tags.
Robots Meta – Another one from Joost. This picks up where the SEO Pack left off. It allows control over the robots meta of every page/post, and gives you more control over your archives.
RSS Footer – Again from Joost. This allows you to add a footer to your RSS feed. I use this to add links back to my real estate blog, which helps Google learn who the original author of the content is.
Quiz Master 3000 – My first attempt at designing (not coding) a plugin. This plugin allows you to create simple quizzes for your visitors, and encourages the quiz taker to display their score on their own blog. Here’s one in action.
Wow…I didn’t realize how many plugins I’ve collected over time! I’m noticeably no longer using “Did You Pass Math” (DYPM) or “Sociable.” I don’t feel DYPM is necessary due to akismet, and I think a large number of social bookmarking links is obnoxious, hence the sociable axe.