First of all, I would like to wish everyone a Happy New Year. This is the first post of 2011 and I am really looking forward to another outstanding year of high-quality content, new guest bloggers and feedback from our readers on how we can continue to deliver outstanding value.
Recently I’ve had a few people ask me what WordPress plugins do I use, specifically for StayOnSearch.com. I thought I would list ALL of the plugins we are using and why.
So here they are…
- All in One SEO Pack: We use this plugin to make our blog more SEO friendly. It does a great job of dynamically creating Title and Meta tags, as well as helping cut down on duplicate content by blocking search engines from things like Category pages and Tags.
- Arkayne Plugin: Recently I did an in-depth review on Arkayne, but this plugin provides “Related Posts” as well as other “Recommended Posts” from the Arkayne community. You can see what this looks like if you go to the bottom of any post on SOS.
- CommentLuv: We use CommentLuv to give back to the readers who take the time to leave insightful comments on our blog. This places a link next to the comment that shows the commentors last blog post from their site. This is a DoFollow link back to their site.
- Contact Form 7: This plugin handles all of the contact forms on our site. This is probably the best contact form plugin that I have used and comes with lots of form options.
- Feedburner Feedsmith: This helps direct all RSS URLs on your blog to the proper Feedburner URL, which can help increase your RSS numbers.
- Google Analyticator: This is just a plugin that adds your Google Analytics script to every page on your site. It is able to track other important things like downloads.
- Google XML Sitemap: Creates an XML sitemap and submits it to Google, Yahoo, and MSN on a regular basis. This plugin is important in being able to get all of our pages indexed in the search engines.
- Ninja Affiliate: This is another plugin that I did an in-depth review on that we use to make our affiliate links clean and not look spammy.
- OIO Publisher: We use this to handle all of the advertising areas on the blog. This makes it 100% automatic, by allowing us to set the ad zones and pricing and the advertiser can upload and pay for their ad spot themselves.
- Pop-Up Domination: A great way that we were able to increase the number of subscribers was by installing POD which displays a light-box pop-up that entices the reader to sign-up for our free whitepaper that we offer.
- RSS Footer: Another awesome plugin that adds any HTML that you would like to the end of your RSS feed. In our case we reward our RSS subscribers with a graphic and link that gives our subscribers $10 off the Link Builders Toolkit product.
- SEO Friendly Images: This plugin helps to make all of our images more SEO friendly, by adding alt tags to each post.
- Text Link Ads: This allows our blog to make revenue by allowing Text Link Ad advertisers to be able to purchase links that will be published on our blog. However I will say that we don’t do much of this.
- Tweet Old Post: We have been recently testing this plugin and have seen great results thus far. It allows you to bring back old content from the dead, by auto-tweeting blog posts that are tucked away in your archives.
- WP Total Cache: A plugin that tremendously helps to speed up our blog. Because we have lots of images on our blog, this plugin helps to reduce the time it takes to load a page on our site. This is a MUST have plugin.
- WordPress Database Backup: Its always smart to backup your database on a regular basis. That is exactly what this does for us. Every week it backs up the database and saves the DB file, just in case.
- Wordpess Popular Post: We use this in our sidebar, that automatically displays posts that were made popular by our readers. Posts are displays based on the URLs that are visited the most each month.
- WP Touch: With mobile becoming a much larger chunk of the SOS visitor base, we felt that by using this plugin that it will make our content much more mobile friendly. It can take any blog and deliver your blog content in a smartphone friendly version.
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Popup Dominator appears to be a great plugin. I made the purchase after reading this post. I also installed the arkyne plugin, but there are not recommended posts from other sites yet. Maybe this takes time to match content or it needs my site to develop a bit more. Still a good plugin list.
Thanks for posting this list of your plugins Mark. I found it reassuring to see a lot of the plugins I use on your list. I have also found several new plugins thanks to your list such as the WordPress popular post plugin and the WordPress database backup plugin. I'm curious to know how you have paginated posts without a plugin? I use WP-Paginate on my photoblog and I'm just trying to decide how to paginate my other blog. Regards Dave
Good list of plugins there Mark. There are a few that I had never heard of before, like the Arkayne plugin. Might give it a try soon. Thanks, and have a happy new year, Amr
Hey Mark, I really appreciate that your blog uses CommentLuv. It's a fantastic way to give back to the community and encourage engagement. I got a slow start with the Arkayne plugin but now that others are starting to recommend my content things should pick up. I have a question about Feedsmith, what does it add to the feed for someone who is already using FeedBurner or FeedBlitz? I don't seem to have a problem with my FeedBurner feed, but maybe I'm missing something. Have you ever tried SEO Ultimate vs. All in One? I'd love to see a head-to-head comparison. I found SEO Ultimate very easy to set-up and maintain. You're doing a great job and thanks so much for the plugin list.
You are very welcome :-) I always like to reward our readers with a link back to their site if they leave an insightful comment like yours! Yes, the Arkayne plugin is going to take a little time until you can start to see some noticeable increases in referral traffic. If you are active in their community and start recommending other blogs and reaching out to the other blogs in the network, you will start to see some great results. Feedsmith just redirects your other feed urls to the main feedburner URL (ex: website.com/feed) so that all RSS subscriber are subscribing to your Feedburner URL, thus helping to get more accurate numbers. Haven't tried SEO Ultimate. They are all very similar though. All in One does a great job for me, so never had to switch. Thanks for the great comment Ileane Mark
AHA! I was missing the point about Feedsmith. Thanks for clearing that up Mark. :) I plan to devote more time to list building soon, so I'll install that one too. Will it work the same way with Feedblitz or is it exclusive to FeedBurner? I debating about using FeedBlitz to create Newsletters instead of service like Aweber or Mailchimp.
This list is awesome! Thanks for sharing your secrets to making SOS a successful blog. I have some new plugins to go check out now.
Nice compilation of Plugins running SOS that's for sure. I use all of them already with the exception of Arkayne, heading over to check that out thank you.
Mark...These are basically the same ones I use also..and when you think about it..they all comes in handy...but don't think I could live without the all in one seo though.. "Black Seo Guy "Signing Off