If you’re thinking about starting a WordPress blog, you’ll soon discover that there’s a seemingly limitless number of plug-ins and miscellaneous add-ons to tack onto a website. Keep in mind that while it might be tempting to upload the top 40 latest and greatest plug-ins of the week, add-on overload can quickly become a huge distraction for visitors and severely slow down the page load speed of your website. Not cool.
To help save time in your own plug-in exploration process, I’ve listed what I consider to be the essential collection of WordPress add-ons and tools that I couldn’t live without. In other words, this is my essential collection.
All-in-one SEO Pack : Uploading this plug-in to your WordPress blog is the definition of a no brainer. The All-in-one SEO Pack allows you to quickly optimize the title tags, meta descriptions, and keyword tags of your posts. Don’t start a new blog without it!
Ninja Affiliate Plugin – This plugin is a must for affiliate marketers, it works like a charm to automatically convert your keywords into affiliate links. The plugin is easy to install and helps you cloaking your affiliate links and make money from affiliate products. You can download the plugin here.
Spam Defense: Spammy comments and blogging is as inevitable as death and taxes. It’s something that like it or not comes with the territory. I use a plug-in called Intense Debate to help prevent spam, but a few sneaky comments still seem to find their way in. Another very popular anti spam plugin with bloggers is Akismet.
Easy Uploader: To make your blog more visually appealing, you’ll want to include some nice charts and graphs. Installing a plug-in like Easy Uploader makes uploading, resizing, and optimizing images or video a lot faster and easier than the manual alternative.
Aweber: Okay, so technically this isn’t a WordPress add-on. It’s an email list management service. But there’s no way I’d build a blog without having a way to collect email addresses using this program. To this day building an email list remains one of the best ways I know to monetize a blog.
E-junkie: Speaking of monetization, E-junkie is a shopping cart that allows you to charge and host digital products. If you’re planning to sell your own software or information product via your blog this is the way to go.
The Back-up Plug-in: You put a lot of hard work into developing compelling content for your blog. Wouldn’t that suck if you lost it all? Download this plug-in and be prepared in the event that tragedy strikes!
Yet Another Related Posts Plug-in: Websites and blogs with strong internal linking help improve indexation and rankings. The Yet Another Related Posts Plug-in makes sure each one of your blog posts is linked up to other relevant pieces of content on your blog.
Ultimate Google Analytics: This is another no-brainer, auto upload. The Ultimate Google Analytics program allows you to monitor website performance without manually uploading analytics tracking code into each new post. This is a huge time saver and a must have for any blogger.
Sharing: Finally, in the social web in which we live you need some sort of plug-in that allows visitors to distribute your content to their friends on sites like Facebook or Twitter. Right now, I’m using the Facebook Like Button and Tweetmeme plug-ins to improve the odds my content goes viral.
You might be surprised to see a short list of essential WordPress plug-ins considering the seemingly infinite number of plug-ins out there. But trust me, these add-ons are probably all you’ll ever really need. You can also check out 11 WordPress plugin, you gotta have
Keep things simple, keep things organized, and you’ll reap the benefits of improved user experience and faster load speeds for the growing the audience of your blog.