Tomorrow night (Sunday) we’ll be chatting about our favorite blog plugins at #Blogchat. The discussion will start at 8pm Central, and if you’ve never joined #Blogchat, here’s what it’s all about.
To prep for that discussion, I wanted to share with y’all my five favorite WordPress plugins. These are for the WordPress.org or Self-Hosted blogs. You can find these by going to the Plugins section of your WordPress dashboard and searching for them.
5 – Comment Luv. I love this plugin because it rewards commenters. When you leave a comment, it gives you the option to add a link to a recent blog post you’ve written. Most bloggers are looking to get more comments and interaction on their blogs, and this plugin does a great job of encouraging your readers to leave more comments.
4 – Akismet. Gotta have this plugin, as it blocks spam comments and trackbacks. I just checked and it says it’s blocked over 55,000 spam comments left here since 2009. Very rarely does a spam comment get through, we’re talking like 5 times a year, maybe.
3 – Sociable. Lets you customize which sharing options you put for each post. Now there is a caveat here because you don’t want to give your readers TOO many options, for example I see some bloggers that use this plugin that give readers sharing options for like 30 different sites. Fewer is better, pick the top 5 or so sites where you want to distribute your content.
2 – Popular Posts. This plugin displays your most popular posts (based primarily on views), and is a great way to draw exposure to older posts. More than once it’s given this blog massive traffic spikes when another site picks up one of the posts served up by the plugin.
1 – Comment Redirect. This plugin lets you redirect first-time commenters to any page you chose. I send first-time commenters to this page where I thank them for commenting. Just a way to let commenters know I appreciate them, and I also include some links so they can get more information on the blog and about me. I get about an email a week from someone that tells me that it was a very nice touch to be thanked for commenting!
So that’s my 5 favorite WordPress plugins. What are yours? Please share them in the comments and don’t forget to join us on Sunday at 8pm Central at #Blogchat and we’ll discuss them more then!
UPDATE: Here’s the transcript to tonight’s #Blogchat if you missed it, a ton of great info and suggestions on blog plugins, thanks to everyone that came!