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As we know there are literally Thousands of plugins for our WordPress blogs, some people love them and some people loath them. But there are some that, love or loath, we simply have to have installed on our blogs if we really want to see results from our blogging efforts.

Listed below are the Top Ten Plugins that I think are essential for my blogs performance, results and security.

Akismet Anti Spam filter: This plugin is pre installed on WordPress but may need activating. This is a must have plugin for your blogs security as it stops most spam comments from appearing on your blog, I say stops most spam as the odd one does slip through but this is where you need to train your eye to detect spam comments. A simple way of doing this is to read the comment and see if it could relate to any post on any blog. If it can then they are just after a back link to increase their blogs ranking, so mark the comment as spam and Akismet will recognize the commentator in future comments.
Google XML Sitemaps: This plugin will generate an XML sitemap of your complete blog which helps search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing and with indexing your blog. All types of WordPress generated pages and custom URLs are supported by this plugin and in addition it will notify the major search engines of the new content when you add a new post. When I first installed this plugin I saw my Alexa ranking improve by nearly 40,000, which goes to show just how powerful the plugin is.
All in One SEO Pack: In addition to XML sitemaps, which indexes your blog, this plugin will help get your blog posts found by the search engines based on the keyword content within your posts. Once you have installed the plugin and wish to add a new post you will find additional text boxes lower down the Add New Post page of your admin panel. These additional boxes are for the Title, Description and Keywords for the new post and are submitted to the search engines.
Google Analytics for WordPress: The simple way to add Google Analytics to your WordPress blog. It is extremely important that you use Google Analytics to check on your blogs performance. The plugin has custom variables but the default settings will suffice for 90% of users. It can also add tracking to outbound links and downloads from your site. As I said it is very important that you check your stats in Google Analytics so that you are aware of what is giving you the best results from your blogging efforts, thus allowing you to concentrate on those areas.
SEO Super Comments: This is a neat little plugin that allows you to use your blog comments to generate more traffic. What it actually does is give the impression that every commentator has their very own dedicated page containing all of their previous comments, with a do follow link at the top of the page back to the commentators website. When I first started using this plugin I noticed an increase in traffic of between 20 and 25%.
WordPress Database Backup: On-demand backup of your WordPress database, which also allows you to set up an automated back up of your blog on an hourly, Twice daily, Daily or Weekly basis. Allowing you to keep your Back Ups up to date automatically.
CommentLuv: This is the plugin that shows a link to the last post on the commentators blog. It does this by parsing the feed at their given URL when they leave a comment. Which rewards your readers and encourages more comments. Also, if you register with commentluv then you will be able to select any of your previous five posts when submitting your comments, which is very handy if the post you are commenting on relates to a post that you have previously written.
Fast Secure Contact Form: This plugin will place a Contact Me link on your blog to let your visitors send you a quick email without revealing your email address. Supported by Akismet it includes a CAPTCHA and will block all common spamming tactics, meaning spam is not a problem. It is extremely important that you have some way for your visitors to contact you in private as there are often times when people wish to say things that they are uncomfortable saying in a public comment. To suggest a few: errors in your post, errors on your blog, offers of guest posting, offers of Joint Ventures, request for further advice, assistance the list goes on….but I am sure you grasp the importance of making yourself available to your readers, privately.
WordPress Thread Comment: I simply love this plugin as it allows me to reply to comments and places my reply directly beneath the comment, no matter what the time gap is between the comment being left and my replying to it. It also sends the commentator an email containing my reply, which helps continue the conversation. Please Note: WordPress does have a built in function for replying to comments however it is not compatible with all themes, where as this free plugin is.
Subscribe To Comments Reloaded: This one does what it says in the title, it allows our readers to subscribe to comments, so that when future comments are made they will receive an email to notify them of additional comments and each email will contain the comment. This is extremely beneficial to our readers as they can keep up with the conversation and gain additional info on a subject of interest to them. It also encourages them to come back and continue the conversation.

All of the plugins can be installed within the plugin section of the WordPress admin panel, just copy each name and paste them into the search box. Once installed remember to activate them. As I said at the start of this article, I think these plugins are essential for my blogs performance, security and of course my peace of mind.


Looking for more great ideas for your blog? Visit Barry Wells’ Blog for free blogging and video tutorials, plus news and information that will help your blog stand-out. Be sure to sign-up for our free Blog newsletter and download my Brandable eBooks and URL Cloaking Software.

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