WordPress is an extremely powerful tool for any business owner, and if you plan on starting a blog for your company, the odds are that you will end up using this free, open-source software package. But, WordPress isn’t exactly instantly web-friendly. You need to do some tweaks and changes to perfect it for your business’s needs. That’s what Plugins are for. To help you get the most from your blog, here are the five plugins every blog should have.
1. Akismet – This anti-spam plugin comes standard with every installation of WordPress. The only thing you need to do is activate it with an API key. Get your API key from WordPress.com by signing up for an account. Trust me, you want this puppy up and running – lest your inbox starts to fill with junk spam.
2. All in One SEO – It’s not always easy to get a blog into the search listings immediately, but this plugin will simplify the process many times over. All-in-One SEO will allow for easy keyword, description, and title creation, streamlined tagging, and a quick route to SEO friendly permalinks.
3. TweetMeme – TweetMeme will install those nice, simple little “Retweet” buttons you see on so many posts. This is used by most major corporate and business blogs and allows for extremely fast and simple integration with your Twitter feed. It also allows your readers to help spread the word about your business – free publicity is the best kind.
4. Ultimate Google Analytics – Google Analytics is the best free analytics tool online and this plugin will allow you to install the tracking codes on every page of your site quickly and easily. Just copy and paste the code for your site from Google Analytics into the options panel and it will start tracking immediately.
5. WP-eCommerce – There are a lot of tools online that promise to help you build a powerful ecommerce presence in WordPress, but none of them are free. WP-ecommerce is free and it’s incredibly easy to use. Just enter your payment information for PayPal, Google Checkout or your preferred payment processor, and add products. Voila, instant ecommerce.
Don’t think that just because I’ve only listed five plugins that there are not other amazing tools out there to help you boost the productivity of your blog. Far from it. There are thousands of good plugins that will help you add new widgets, new profile details, and new comment methods among so many other features to your site. Trust me, you will become addicted to these tools the second you start using WordPress and that’s a very good thing.