6 must-have WordPress plugins

I am little more than a rank beginner in WordPress, but like so many others, once I tried this popular blogging platform, I was hooked. WordPress plug-ins make the blogger’s life a lot easier, and developers are coming up with new ones all the time.  Of the hundreds of plug-ins I have checked out, and the scores I have in use, these are my favorites.  You can find them in the search for Dashboard|Plugins |Add New – just search the names and install directly from the “Install Plugins page”. See the video for visuals.  That is the easiest way to install.  Links below lead to plug-in info or development sites.

Apture allows you to add contextual images, links, maps, music, news, video and other media on the fly as you write your post.  2 Icons in the toolbar of your WYSIWYG editor let you find material to either link or imbed in your post.  The resources are comprehensive, and differentiate between copyrighted and permitted use material. [I used Apture to find and add media to this post]

Easy Adsense –Looking to monetize your blog?  Easy Adsense allows you to paste the ads you create in Adsense into the admin panel, choose where you want the ads to appear (location within the post, on pages, in widgets, etc.) and never have to think of them again until you want to change the parameters

Google Analyticator – If you use Google analytics, this plug-in adds a new dimension.  One very cool feature is that you can see stats for your blog on the blog’s dashboard when you sign in.

Lifestream – Lifestream for business, for your friends, or as a dynamic newsletter.  The lifestream plugin draws from your activities in any of your social media accounts that you choose to display, so the output might be very personal, very business-like or a mixture.  One very simple piece of code lets you make a Lifestream page.  You can also publish your Lifestream as a RSS feed and publish a daily or weekly summary as a blog post – a great substitute for an e-newsletter.

What Would Seth Godin Do– Worth clicking the link to see an explanation of how this plug-in came to be.   Options allow you to automatically add a small note at the beginning or end of a post to thank new visitors to your site.  There is a separate option to thank and engage returning visitors. [see the box at the bottom of this post]

Yet another Related Posts Plug-in -  Ever wondered how much trouble it was to note related posts, even old ones at the end of a blog post?  It’s incredibly easy with YARPP… after a little setup, the plug-in recognizes categories, content and keywords, weighs them and finds similar posts which are automatically linked below the current post.

I have some more favorites I will share in future posts.  Any suggestions?

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About 

Joe Spake is a Memphis-based Real Estate Broker and Consultant. He blogs at Joe Spake's Weblog and Memphis Real Estate Buzz. Joe's Social Network.