5 WordPress Plugins I Use & Why

If you want to take your blog to the next level, here are 5 WordPress Plugins you may want to consider using. The best part about all of them is that they are FREE!

Social Media widget/icons – This is the first plugin that you want on your blog if you want to be make your content shareable. Sharing content is the entire point right? AddThis and ShareThis are the two most popular icons that I know you have all seen at the bottom of various blog posts and articles. Get this plugin and be part of the power of the sharing revolution.

LinkWithin – If you would like to increase your pageviews and time people spend on your website [decrease your bounce rate], you may want to consider installing the LinkWithin plugin. This is a blog widget that that appears under each post, linking to related stories from your blog archive. The content you write is valuable and you don’t want the past blog posts that you have spent so much time on getting lost behind all of your new content. The best part about this plugin is that it is minimally styled and will fit right into your website design.

Google XML Sitemaps – This plugin helps the search engines [Google, Bing, Yahoo and Ask.com] to better index your blog. This is very helpful to help spread and sculpt your page rank which over time will allow all of your pages to be indexed by Google.  The best part about this plugin is that it notifies the search engines every time you create a new post about the new content and this is exactly what you want and need. Trust me!

Disqus – This plugin replaces the WordPress comment system, is pronounced ‘discuss’ and gives you the ability to comment on blog posts and have social features available.  The best part is that is has full spam filtering, blacklists, whitelists, and you have the ability to receive comment notifications via email and also the ability to reply by email. Very convenient when you need to play spin control over a particular post.

FeedBurner – Yes, I know WordPress already comes with RSS capability built in, but if you want options and the ability to see your subscribers growth and engagement, this plugin is my final must have. Options and tracking within your blog? Yes PLEASE! FeedBurner takes your RSS feed from your website and allows your visitors to subscribe. If your web address ever changes, your subscribers will follow. Another cool function is that you can inject Google ad words into your feed and begin to generate an income from your blog

If you have been thinking of making some improvements to your blog, make sure you consider installing these 5 free plugins. They will make a world of a difference to you and to your blog subscribers. What plugin is your favorite to use and why?