Retrodiva Media

content creation, social media, design

Twelve of the best WordPress plugins

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Blogging is hard, and setting up your blog is even harder. I am asked most often about plugins when people set up a blog, so here are the twelve that I always recommend:

  1. Affiliate Link Cloaker: affiliate advertising is almost a necessity in today’s blogging world if you are trying to monetize, but the links are cumbersome, ugly, and may carry a Google penalty (sources are divided on this, however). Easy to use, this plugin allows you to cloak your links with a URL that includes your blog address.
  2. CommentLuv: this is just one of those feel-good plugins, really. Commenters on your blog will search for their latest blog post (on their own blog) and post the link under their comment. Great for building goodwill.
  3. Copyrighted Post: this plugin will add the copyright notice of your choice onto each post, discouraging scrapers and others who want to curate your content for their own use.
  4. Fast Secure Contact Form: this allows people to contact you directly and immediately from your blog without your email being made public. This reduces email spam. It’s fully customizable, and you can do much more with it than just a simple form, if you’re so inclined.
  5. Feedburner Feedsmith Extend: if you use Feedburner for your feed, this plugin is essential. It detects every way to access your multiple feeds (posts, categories, author, media, etc) and automatically directs them to your Feedburner feed.
  6. Instapress: Instagram is a very active social media outlet based on the picture taking app on mobile phones. This will create a feed for either a widget or a page to display your photostream.
  7. LinkWithin: creates nicely formatted thumbnails based on previous posts underneath each post. Encourages visitors to read more posts.
  8. Pin it on Pinterest: If you’re not on Pinterest, you should be. This adds a button to your create new post page that allows you to add a predefined picture and text with a button that says simply “pin it”.
  9. Pinterest Pinboard Widget: creates a widget for your sidebar that displays your recent pins.
  10. Social Sharing Toolkit: makes sharing super easy on posts and includes all the major networks: Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, Digg, Reddit, and Google +1 to name a few. Many choices for buttons, and also creates a dead easy widget to place in your sidebar.
  11. WP Hashcash Extended: eliminates bot spam. Easy to use and very, very effective.
  12. WP Spam Free: another anti-spam plugin that works very well.
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