I love WordPress. Yes I said it. I am not afraid of the love I have for this wonderment of a content management system. This amazing collection of small simple software blocks has made my life easier, made my clients live easier, and is close to bringing about world peace.
As great as WordPress is it is NOTHING without the great plugins the community creates. Every time I install wordpress there are at least five plugins I install immediately. I don’t even question it – I just know they are coming. They are:
Google XML Sitemaps – Your site is nothing if it cannot be found. And right now the king that determines whether or not the world finds you is Google. You ain’t nothing if Google doesn’t say so. You can let Google crawl your site and try to guess as what all of the right pages are that it should be looking for, or you can get a Google Webmaster Account and tell Google what the pages are. And the way you tell it is by generating sitemaps. It is a geeky task and you can figure out how if you want. Or you can just install this plugin and have it done for you. But don’t do it unless you want to make this real easy on yourself.
Google Analyticator – You can’t improve what you can’t measure. And once again Google has done a great job of buying up another company (Urchin) and giving away their product for free. I don’t know of an analytics program as robust as Google Analytics. It is amazing. You will have amazing clarity as to what is going right (and wrong) with your website. So get a Google Analytics account, install this plugin, and get ready to get blown away by all of the stats you will be receiving. If you are a statistical or numbers nerd then you will love this.
Headspace2 – This plugin takes care of making sure your pages are search engine friendly. It does a good job out of the box, or you can pop into one of the many config pages to pimp out your SEO work. Either way you will be better off in the SEO world. After you install this the next time a search engine crawls your site it will find out just how cool and informative all of your pages are.
WordPress Database Backup – I don’t know about you, but I would die if I lost all of the great pages and posts I put up on the website. That represents years of my life’s work. Backups are just as crucial on the internet as they are at home. Install this plugin. Tweak. Tweak. Tweak. A backup of all of your content and blog posts gets emailed to you daily. (Sadly this plugin no longer exists. Look at managewp.com or in the plugin directory for wordpress backups)
Yet Another Related Posts Plugin – One of the great beauties of the internet is the phrase “You may also like…”. Add that feature to your website. This plugin will located blog posts that are related to the current one you are reading. It will the display the links for readers to chooses from on at the bottom of the blog post. Great way to automatically share out your content that nobody would normally find. Love it and get it !