Everyone claims that WordPress is a great option for blogging, and it is, but how can we make it into a friendlier CMS for our blog? One of the greatest powers that WordPress has is its ability to easily install and run plug-ins, many of which are developed for free by members of the WordPress community. Using a few of these awesome plugins we can take WordPress from a powerful and intimidating CMS and change it into a blogger-friendly content management system for your blog.
Google XML Sitemaps
This is one of the most essential plugins available for WordPress. This plugin makes sure that your site has always got an up to date XML sitemap for search engines to find when they come to crawl your site. No updating or worrying required with this plugin.
This plugin can be a life saver, and we can certainly attest to that having used it for many of our clients. Everyone is always talking about the importance of keeping and making regular backups, but for so many of us, we never seem to do the actual backup because it takes some work. Not with Backup Buddy! You can backup widgets, themes, plugins, files and SQL databases all with the simple click of a button inside WordPress. Not only does it make it easy to make a backup, but storing them is easy too with the ability to send the backups to your Dropbox, Amazon S3, Rackspace Cloud, an FTP server, your email, or download them to your desktop! Backups really don’t get much easier than this.
This plugin for WordPress is one that can really help you come to terms with your blogging schedule. Keeping a blogging schedule or calendar is a great way to keep yourself on top of what you need to do in addition to helping out your readers as there will be more consistency in your blogging patterns with a schedule. Download this plugin and easily create your editorial calendar with just a few drags and drops.
I have tried working with several SEO tools for WordPress and Yoast is my favorite. Most SEO plugins simply give you access to the title and meta data for your post or page, Yoast takes it a step further. You get to control your title and add the meta data for the post or page, but you also get a full set of tools to check and make sure that your on page SEO is up to par. It basically guides you through the SEO work that you have to do on your site, taking a lot of the guessing work out of doing SEO.
Broken Link Checker
This plugin is almost essential if you have a series of blog posts and pages on your site. Being able to double check your links and make sure they are all working is almost beyond thinkable with the amount of content that many people are putting out there these days. No one has the time to go through and make sure that all the links are working all the time on their site, that is why this plugin is so essential to a friendly WordPress blogging set up.
This plugin is one Plugin that can really save you some time and headaches, all while making your blog posts look better. PhotoDropper allows you to easily find and use over 200 million photos for your blog posts. It does all of that without you ever even needing to leave WordPress. How’s that for a blogger’s dream?
Zemanta Blogging Assistant
Zemanta Blogging Assistant is an awesome plugin for anyone who is interested in saving time and creating more informed posts. It can help you find related articles based on the content you are writing, recommend tags for your blog post, help you find related images, and more. If you aren’t sure how useful something like this, go ahead and give the demo a try right now.
WP Jump Menu
After you begin using WordPress for a while, you will start to realize how much time you waste jumping through menus all day long. Its not WordPress’s fault, there is a lot of information to access in control inside of WordPress and they did a pretty good job organizing it. However, this plugin can help save you lots of time in your day by giving you quick and simple access to the pages you need to access the most inside of WordPress.
If there was an all in one solution for a lot of the things you need on your WordPress installation, Jetpack is as close as it gets. It adds a lot of useful features to your WordPress website like easy stats, email subscriptions, social commenting, easy social media embeds (YouTube), it gives you easy social media sharing buttons, and web photo galleries. Probably the most useful feature that Jetpack has for bloggers is After the Deadline. This WordPress plugin uses AI to check spelling, style, and grammar as you type your blog content to make sure that you avoid more than just spelling errors.
As you continue building up your blog, you will likely want to start utilizing guest bloggers or a team of bloggers down the road. This can be hard to do from a security point of view, as you don’t want everyone to have access to parts of your WordPress site that can cause it to crash or give them access to information that is private to the company. That is where Adminimize WordPress plugin comes in handy, you can control the exact parts of your WordPress installation that other admins and bloggers will have access to.
This article was written for you by Chris Steurer, a freelance marketing consultant and designer for small and medium sized businesses. You can follow me on Twitter or circle me on Google+ to say hi and stay connected.