When you set up a WordPress blog on your own site, you have the chance to select a single theme and install various plug-ins. The theme is the design of your blog, which means you can change it from a blue background site to a site with a white background for example, and a plug-in extends what the blog does, which means you can turn your blog into a forum, or add a pop-up, for example.
We’re going to go over my top ten plug-ins to have a blog that is easy to find, easy to navigate, and encourages people to comment. We’re going to be talking about the plug-ins for best visibility, most discussions, and easiest management.
As far as visibility goes, my favorite is the All In One SEO Plugin. By default, search engines like Google and Bing will not spider your blog correctly. They might not show the title in the right way, in the excerpt if someone searches, it might not show the exact part of the post, but the All In One SEO Plug-in makes sure that your sites appear correctly in the search engines.
The GoogleXML Site Maps plugin creates a special file that it submits to search engines that makes sure that they can get access to every single post and page on your blog. In the old days, spiders used to have to go to your front page and see what you linked to. But now with the Site Map, they can see every single page on your blog.
The Robots Meta plugin will make sure that no duplicate content appears in those search results, which will allow you to rank higher in search engines.
The WPTouch plugin will allow users with smart phones like iPhones, iPods, Android phones, to view your site in a mobile phone-friendly format, which means that all the text will appear in giant print, and it will be easy to navigate from a phone.
As far as discussion goes, the Subscribe to Comments plugin will make it so when someone leaves a comment under one of your posts, there is a box to check and if they check that box, they will be notified when other people leave comments under them.
The Get Recent Comments plugin will make a list of all the commenters on your side bar so people can easily see what new discussions have been taking place on your blog since they were last here.
The Akismet plugin, which is built into WordPress, keeps spammers away.
To manage your blog, install PsychicSearch, which will record everything people type in the search box of your blog. If someone comes to your blog and they are making a search for “time management” over and over again, that’s an indication that you should make more posts about time management because that is what your visitors are looking for.
The Top Posts plugin will list all of your blog posts on a page, but it will show the post with the most comments first. That means that if you have a new blog about certain subjects that get the most response, then other people can find those hot topics and comment even more on those.
And finally, the Top Commentators widget will list which of your users or blog commenters talk on your blog the most. You can see who’s the top ten bloggers, who’s made 50 comments on your site or more, basically see who talks the most on your site so you can see who to reward, who to talk about, or who’s blog you should comment on as well.
Those are my top ten WordPress plugins for visibility, discussion, and management on a WordPress blog.