Best WordPress Plugins 2012

February 11, 2012 | Posted in Wordpress | By

Last year I have posted my “List of Best WordPress Plugins 2011” and this time I am presenting you my list of Best WordPress Plugins 2012. Hope this will help many new bloggers to choose the best plugins for their wordpress blogs. These are the plugins that I use in my own blogs and feels that these are the best plugins available for wordpress and should be used by every new bloggers. This year I have given more importance to page loading speed and light weighted plugins, to make the blog light, clean and fast. As our blog is growing day by day, we need to be lite on server resources, so this time we need to optimize the blog without compromising the features.

  1. Akismet : Akismet is still one of the most downloaded wordpress plugin and the plugin is improving day by day. Akismet checks your comments against the Akismet web service to see if they look like spam or not and lets you review the spam it catches under your blog’s “Comments” admin screen.
  2. Author hReview: This is the latest plugin that I have installed in my blog. This plugin is quite cool. It add support for hReview and AggregateRating based on schema.org. You can read more about this plugin at their official site.
  3. Broken Link Checker : Checks your blog for broken links and missing images and notifies you on the dashboard if any are found.
  4. Facebook Like Box : Facebook Like Box Widget is a social plugin that enables Facebook Page owners to attract and gain Likes from their own website. The Like Box enables users to: see how many users already like this page, and which of their friends like it too, read recent posts from the page and Like the page with one click, without needing to visit the page.  I was using this plugin till last year, but  recently I have removed this plugin, as I found that the Facebook box takes a few seconds to load, which increases the load time of entire site.
  5. FeedBurner FeedSmith : Originally authored by Steve Smith, this plugin detects all ways to access your original WordPress feeds and redirects them to your FeedBurner feed so you can track every possible subscriber.
  6. GoCodes : Create shortcut URLs to anywhere on the internet, right from your WordPress Admin.
  7. Google XML Sitemap for Images : This plugin will generate a XML Image Sitemap for your WordPress blog.
  8. Google XML Sitemap for Mobile : This plugin will generate a XML Mobile Sitemap for your WordPress blog.
  9. Google XML Sitemaps : This plugin will generate a special XML sitemap which will help search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing and Ask.com to better index your blog.
  10. ILWP Colored Tag Cloud : Till last year I was using wordpress normal tag cloud widget, but after getting my hands on this plugin, I have started using this plugin in my blogs. Just few code customizations according to your blog theme and you are live with this beautiful tag cloud plugin.
  11. Jetpack by WordPress.com : Earlier I was using Visitor Maps and Who’s Online plugin to track my real time and daily visitors but due to heavy usage of server resources I was forced to remove this plugin and I switched to Jetpack, which has no impact on your server resources as all the data by collected by wordpress on their servers. For tracking real time visitors, now I prefer Google Analytics that give us an option to view the Real Time visitors.
  12. MaxBlogPress Ping Optimizer : Saves your wordpress blog from getting tagged as ping spammer by installing this plugin.
  13. Ninety Modal Contact Form for WordPress : This is a paid codecanyon plugin. This is only the replacement of our contact page. This plugin is easy to handle and looks clean and nice in any blog.
  14. Peter’s Collaboration E-mails : Enhance the “Submit for Review” feature for Contributor users. This plugin enables automatic e-mails to the relevant users when posts are pending, when they are approved, and when their statuses are changed from “pending” back to “draft”.
  15. Popular Posts Bars : Add your most commented (or viewed) posts in your sidebar with colored bars, Engadget-like. I stopped this plugin from few months due to the change in the style of my blog. This is still a good plugin but it may increase the loading time of your page.
  16. Private Messages For WordPress : Allow members of WordPress blog send and receive private messages (PM).
  17. Quick Adsense : Quick Adsense offers a quicker & flexible way to insert Google Adsense or any Ads code into a blog post.
  18. Redirection : Manage all your 301 redirects and monitor 404 errors.
  19. Secure WordPress :  This plugin is necessary for basic wordpress securities.
  20. SEO SearchTerms Tagging 2 : This is my personal best free plugin for wordpress SEO. I can easily see a mass traffic drop when I disable this plugin. It Multiply blog traffic by strengthening on page SEO, increasing the number of indexed pages, auto convert search terms into post tags, and more.
  21. SEO Smart Links Business : SEO Smart Links Business provides automatic SEO benefits for your site in addition to custom keyword lists, nofollow and much more.
  22. Social Metrics : This is again a new addition in our best wordpress plugins list. This plugin track how your blog is doing across the leading social networking websites and services like Twitter, Facebook, Google +1, StumbleUpon, Digg and LinkedIn.
  23. Subscribe to Comments Reloaded : Subscribe to Comments Reloaded is a robust plugin that enables commenters to sign up for e-mail notifications. It includes a full-featured subscription manager that your commenters can use to unsubscribe to certain posts or suspend all notifications.  Stopped using this plugin due to many comment subscribers and increase in server load.
  24. Thesis OpenHook : Use this plugin only if you have Thesis Premium Theme installed. This plugin allows you to insert arbitrary content into the many hooks that the Thesis Theme Framework provides. Never again edit a file!
  25. TimThumb Vulnerability Scanner : This plugin keep your instances of Timthumb up to date and free from vulnerabilities.
  26. Visitor Maps and Who’s Online : Displays Visitor Maps with location pins, city, and country. Includes a Who’s Online Sidebar to show how many users are online. Includes a Who’s Online admin dashboard to view visitor details. The visitor details include: what page the visitor is on, IP address, host lookup, online time, city, state, country, geolocation maps and more. No API key needed. Stopped using this plugin due to extreme load on the server resources.
  27. WordPress Database Backup : On-demand backup of your WordPress database and send the DB file to the specified email address.
  28. WordPress Facebook Fan Box Widget : Display facebook fan box as widget in your WordPress blog. 
  29. WordPress Mobile Pack : The WordPress Mobile Pack is a complete toolkit to help mobilize your WordPress site and blog. Switched to WPTouch Pro, due to more flexible options.
  30. WordPress SEO-Rank : Seo report on your dashboard of all your statistics ranking in web – PageRank Google- Alexa Rank – Backlinks Google – Backlinks Yahoo – Users Registered – FeedBurner Subscribers – Followers Twitter – Youtube Subscribers – Widget.
  31. WP-PageNavi : This plugin Adds a more advanced paging navigation to your WordPress blog.
  32. WP125 : Easily manage 125×125 ads within your WordPress Dashboard.
  33. WP Smush.it : This plugin reduce image file sizes and improve performance using the Smush.it API within WordPress.
  34. WP Hide Dashboard : A simple plugin that removes the Dashboard menu, the Personal Options section and the Help link on the Profile page, hides the Dashboard links in the admin bar menu (if activated), and prevents Dashboard access to users assigned to the Subscriber role. Useful if you allow your subscribers to edit their own profiles, but don’t want them wandering around your WordPress admin section. Note: This version requires a minimum of WordPress 3.1.
  35. WP Super Cache : Very fast caching plugin for WordPress.
  36. WP Syndicator : Automatically syndicate your content, dominate the SERPs and explode your traffic.
  37. Yet Another Related Posts Plugin : Returns a list of related entries based on a unique algorithm for display on your blog and RSS feeds. A templating feature allows customization of the display.
  38. YouTube Embed : Embed YouTube Videos in WordPress. Switched to Artiss YouTube Embed.

Along with these plugins you will need to have Thesis Premium Theme, the combination of both these plugins and theme will be a perfect traffic gainer. This is only the list of wordpress plugins that I think are effective for every blogger, if you think there are many more then please don’t shy to share.

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Setup Up Your WordPress Blog: One-Click Installation

August 21, 2011 | Posted in Blogging, Wordpress | By

In the past, you pretty much needed to hire a developer or learn some serious technical skills to install a content management system. To have a fully customizable, hosted WordPress site, you need to have an Internet hosting account. The example company we’re using is HostGator, which is a popular hosting company offering good prices and a great quick installer. The company also occasionally runs deals where you can get $100 in AdWords credit. AdWords is Google’s advertising platform, and it’s a nice way to get some attention for your blog or website. Later in this book when we look at promoting your site, we’ll look at Facebook advertising and Google AdWords.

[box type="yellow"]Starting a Hosting Account[/box]

To start a hosting account, visit www.hostgator.com. Then when you’re ready, select a plan according to your need and click Order Now. There’s a lot of information on the next page, but the most interesting to me is when the site runs deals on getting free Google AdWords credit. You can scroll down and check to see if HostGator is running a deal.

Hostgator Order

Step 1 involves website names. If you’re just learning, I’d recommend picking a name for practice; don’t worry about it too much, because the cost for website names is only around $10 per year. You can come up with an idea for a name on the left, and you can click the little drop-down .com and choose other endings, if the name you want is not available. If you do want to get your own, new name, you can also go to register.com and see what’s available (but don’t register there). Then you can start the account at HostGator when you’ve found one you like that is available.

Or, if you already have a name registered somewhere else, you can always point it to a new account. It’s like cell phone portability. If you get a new phone, you still own the number and can point it at a new phone. Also, be aware that when you register a domain name, it’s separate from hosting. That is, if you start an account somewhere and register a name, and you also have hosting, you can keep the name but ditch the hosting. A website name is a domain name. You can have a domain-only account.

At any rate, if you have a website name already, just enter it on the right, and then keep in mind that there will be things you need to do at your registrar account or domain account (the place where you registered the website name) to repoint it. Contact your  registrar/hosting company where you registered the name, and ask how to point it to HostGator. When you get a confirmation email from HostGator, it will have a couple lines that are called nameservers. Basically, you end up needing to point your website name toward those servers.

Purchase Domain

When you’re ready, click Continue to Step 2, and finish the process of starting your account. At some point you’ll get a confirmation email. The Control Panel link is the one you’ll use to log into your account. The email will also have your username and password. Print it or write it down!

[box type="red"]Installing WordPress with QuickInstall[/box]

This quick installation stuff is really quite fantastic. You can use your Control Panel to log directly into your account, or you might be able to visit your website name and then click the cPanel Login or type www.yourdomainname.com/cpanel on the address bar. Use the username/password provided in the email. You might also want to bookmark the Control Panel (cPanel) login.

Hostgator cPanel

The first time you log in, if you want to learn more about your hosting account, you can click the Get Started Now button when this little window pops up, or you can click the View Our Video Tutorials link. The cPanel screen has lots of goodies on it. Scroll all the way down to the Software/Services section, and click QuickInstall.

Quick Install

The QuickInstall logo appears at the top of the screen. It’s worth noting that this is one area where you can come back and manage your quick installations. You might want to bookmark it.

Then scroll down to the Blog Software section, and click on WordPress. When this next screen comes up, click the Continue button.

This next screen provides some different options. If your website name hasn’t been connected yet, there might be a temporary address you can use. The section that starts with http:// allows you to place WordPress at a specific address. If you leave the field on the right blank, WordPress is installed at your website address. In my case, that’s fine. When people type in storyloom.org, they’re directed to WordPress.

In the install window, enter an email address for the admin email—that is, the main one to be used with the WordPress account. Then choose a title for the blog, and click the Install Now button. You should get a congratulations message. You’ll probably want to click the Here link and bookmark it, and then check your email address.

Woohoo! WordPress is installed!

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What Is Blogging?

August 20, 2011 | Posted in Blogging | By

A blog is basically like an online diary, or your own personal magazine. The word blog is both a noun and a verb. A blog is an online “place” where you can write things down and display pictures. It can be private, allowing only certain people access, or it can be public. While blogs often are like journals or online magazine columns, it’s important to mention that nowadays, people have pushed the WordPress platform so far that you can do just about any kind of website on WordPress, including using WordPress as a way to do ecommerce.

Blogging

[box type="yellow"]What is Blogging ?[/box]

Blogging is an increasingly popular form of communication; there are millions of blogs out there, and millions of people are reading them. They cover just about any topic you can imagine. Some people write them for fun, and some as a way to make money. You can “blog” by starting a blog and then writing things on it. Material you add to your blog is called a post.

Blogs can become pretty influential; to see a list of the top 100 blogs, try visiting Technorati Top 100 List. The list can change from time to time, but there are typical leaders.

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WordPress – One Of The Powerful Blogging Platform

August 13, 2011 | Posted in Wordpress | By

Are you new to blogs and don’t know how to begin with it? Choosing the best platform for your blog is very critical task. There are various publishing platforms for blogs like WordPress, Tumblr, Twitter, Blogger, Joomla etc. Among all these platforms, WordPress is considered to be the best blogging platform because of the functionalities that it offers. The flexible customization, numerous add-ons and its user friendly support differentiate it from other blogging platforms.

WordPress is one of the most flexible platform that is in use as a content management system. WordPress offers a wide range of customization tools, plug-ins, themes which make it an effective gateway towards marketing efforts. There are mainly 5 reasons which distinguish it from other blogging platforms.

  • Easily Manageable Dashboard- Dashboard is one such area which helps to have full control of our blog. It is very easy to manage the dashboard, blog post, plug-ins, general settings effectively in wordpress without any user manual.
  • Plug-in and Theme Functionality- There are various Plug-ins available for wordpress that helps to customize our blogs. Installing and uploading these Plug-in to the blog space is very easy and manageable task. This plug-ins can be downloaded and installed easily. The wordpress themes are very flexible as these themes allow the user to customize the look of our blog.
  • Auto ping functionality- The auto ping feature in the wordpress helps to notify the search engine about adding a new post to the blog. This feature helps to saves a lot of time and effort.
  • Posting new pages and posts- WordPress has completely changed the way to create a new page or post. Just by a single click on the “add new” button a person can create new page and post effectively without any efforts.
  • Simplicity and flexibility- The simplicity and flexibility offered by wordpress makes it one of the user friendly blogging platforms.

These are some reasons which entice the bloggers to choose the wordpress as their blogging platform. It is one of the simple yet powerful platforms that help the user to manage the blog in an easy and flexible manner.

[box type="blue"]About the author: Catherine Jones writes for http://www.toyotaplace.com. She enjoys content and writing about the social sphere. [/box]

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WordPress Updated To Version 3.2.1, A Quick Update

July 13, 2011 | Posted in Wordpress | By

In just about a week after the launch of WordPress 3.2, a quick update of WordPress has been enrolled and now the latest version of WordPress is 3.2.1.

Statement from WordPress Official Blog:

After more than a million downloads of WordPress 3.2, we’re now releasing WordPress 3.2.1 into the wild. This maintenance release fixes a server incompatibility related to JSON that’s unfortunately affected some of you, as well as a few other fixes in the new dashboard design and the Twenty Eleven theme. If you’ve already updated to 3.2, then this update will be even faster than usual, thanks to the new feature in 3.2 that only updates files that have been changed, rather than replacing all the files in your installation.

You can Download 3.2.1 from here or update now from the Dashboard ? Updates menu in your site’s admin area.

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