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Categories: Blogging, Online Tools

Why WordPress?

Are you blogging? Are you a webmaster to maintain a site for yourself or other companies? No matter which type category you fit into, WordPress is for you! The great thing about WordPress are:

  1. It is FREE.
  2. It is highly customizable with tons of plugin you can use.
  3. It is very user friendly and professional.

In this post, I am going to run through 13 great FREE plugins that you should install to turbo charge your WordPress blog! You will be able to safe guard your blog from hacker and spammer, make your blog SEO friendly and hence more traffic to your blog and put your blog marketing on steroid.

1. Keep Hacker & Spammer Away From Your Blog

It is highly advisable to create a new admin account with a name you desired (avoid being called “admin”) and delete the username “admin”  account. Lots of hackers use brute force to hack into the WordPress account with “admin” as username because they also know this is the default setting when you first install WordPress and tons of people are just too lazy or are not aware to change the username and delete the “admin” username.

Login Lock

After that, you should install Login Lock plugin to protect your blog. Generally, it will automatically block IP addresses for too many failed login attempts. As the administrator of the blog, you have the right to set it to block the IP for a certain period of time (i.e. 1 hour, 2 hour or a day, etc…) This will keep the hacker away from using brute force (such as with a decoder to unlock the password by trying various combination)  to hack into your WordPress account.

login lock

G.A.S.P

Growmap Anti Spambot Plugin (GASP) will add a client side generated checkbox to your comment box and ask them to confirm that they are not spammers. As it is generated via Java script from client side so the spam bot cannot see that and hence keep the automated spam bot away. It is more convenient for the reader to tick a checkbox than to solve the captcha.

2. WordPress SEO

All In One SEO Pack

WordPress SEO by Yoast (Refer to my update on Why I Dumped All In One SEO Pack)

On page SEO is crucial for the blog if you would like to attract organic traffic. The only plugin that I use for is WordPress SEO by Yoast (I’ve just removed All In One SEO Pack on all my WordPress sites) All In One SEO Pack. It is a handy plugin that allow you to modify the title tag, description tag and the keyword tag. Put your keyword into all these tag and put some creativity when you craft out the title and description to attract more people to click your post when they found it on the search engine results pages (SERPs).

all in one seo packBelow is the setting I used:

all in one seo setting

 Change Permalink Setting

Under Settings > Permalinks, change to custom structure. You can use /%postname%/ or /%category%/%postname%/. The purpose is to make the permalink SEO friendly (and also user friendly).

permalink

Image Alt tag

Whenever you upload a image, remember to insert the alt tag, as shown below:

image alt tagIf you do not enter alternate text (i.e. the alt tag), Google will not be able to recognize what the image is all about. So, make sure you insert relevant keyword and use the keyword as the filename of the image.

SEO Slug

SEO slug will help you to remove the common words like “a”, “the”, “what”, etc…to further improve the search engine optimization. When you have a post such as:

“/How to Improve SEO Ranking”

It will turn it into “/Improve SEO Ranking”.

Once you finished installation, you are good to go. No further setting is required.

Internal Link Building

Yet Another Related Post Plugin

Internal link building another critical WordPress SEO factor you can tweak immediately. One quick way is to install “Yet another related post plugin”. This plugin will automatically add relevant posts at the bottom of your post as shown below:

related postApart from that, I manually add in the internal link to other relevant post with Anchor Text. Otherwise you can try out plugin like SEO Smart Links. I prefer to do it manually because I have full control of the posts I would like to link to with specific anchor text.

404 To Start

This will help to fix up any 404 error page. whenever there are 404 error page, you can redirect to your main URL or any URL you would like your visitors to see. This is a great plugin that will save you lots of traffic!

3. Blog Promotion

CBNet Ping Optimizer

Do you know that as a built in function of WordPress, it will automatically ping and notify a number of websites when you update or finish a blog post? This is a great function but when you edit and save your post for too many times, you might be marked as a ping spammer, though your intention is only to fix up some typos or revise your post.

Ping Optimizer will fix up the problem for you.

Google XML Sitemap

Google XML Sitemap will generate a sitemap for your blog so that the major search engine such as Google, Yahoo and Bing can better index your blog. Remember to check “Notify Yahoo about update of your Blog” and apply for a application ID for yahoo (it is free) so that it will notify Yahoo when you have a new post.

Google XML Sitemap

CommentLuv

With Commentluv, you will be able to encourage your visitors to leave a comment and hence have more interaction between you and your readers. Your readers would be happy to leave the comment as they gain extra link to promote blog post on your blog. You will get more content and interaction on your blog. This is a win-win for both!

Add Post Footer

Do you like to add some call to action or something you would like your readers to check out every time they finish reading your blog post? Add post footer will be able to do that. With this plugin, you can easily leave an opt in box or an ads to direct people to your product after the post. This is a great way to promote within a blog post.

WP Greet Box

This is a great tool that I love. You can customize the greeting message to your visitors depending on their referral URL. It works with referral from Facebook, Google, Stumble Upon, Digg, Delicious, etc…Take a look of the screenshot of WP Greet Box on my blog (you should see it above this post too).

WP Greet BoxBasically, this plugin generate a customized greeting message and remind them to subscribe to the RSS feed!

WPTouch

Are you into smart phone? I am not anyway…However, there are just too many people carry smart phone and use their mobile to access internet everyday. So, we should optimize our blog for the mobile guys! WPTouch will automatically transform the blog theme to suit for mobile platform such as iphone, android, etc…

By doing this, don’t be surprised when you see more traffic to your blog from mobile device!

No Follow Free

This plugin will remove the “no follow” attribute from the comments and hence encourage more people to leave comments on your blog. You can set o meet your criteria such as only remove the “no follow” attribute when they leave 5 comments or above. I’ve set to 3. So, do remember to leave a comment whenever you visit my site so that your link will become “Do Follow”.

However, do keep an eye for human spammers…

Odiogo Listen Button (Update 30 Sept 2011)

Ever wonder what is the “Listen Now” just under the blog post title? This is a great plugin by Odiogo that automatically convert your text to become a podcast. Now, blog is not a conventional blog anymore. People can actually listen to your blog. On top of that, you can setup your own ITunes Podcast Channel, just like me –> Blog On ITunes, using the feed created by Odiogo. Feel free to leave me a review on ITunes Store:)

 

Great Plugins To Suggest?

Are you using any other plugins to turbo charge your WordPress blog? Feel free to share them in the comment box!

To Your Success,
Ming Jong Tey

37 Responses to “13 Free Plugins To Turbo Charge Your WordPress Blog”
Read them below or add one

  1. Michael Belk says:

    Ming Jong, I just got WPTouch and it is great. For free this is the best mobile website plugin i have seen.

    I tried some of the others. All in one SEO is ok, but I started using Yoast.
    Michael Belk recently posted..Los Angeles Laker Security Guard Arrested.

    • Ming Jong says:

      Hi Michael, a better option is to use a responsive theme (i.e. this theme is a responsive theme) so that it will auto scale and fit on Mobile, tablet, etc…

      Yoast is definitely the plugin to go for on page SEO.

  2. Thank you so much for those plugins. It is so wonderful of you to have you share them with us.
    Evelyn Guzman recently posted..Marketing with Roger and Evelyn Step 3 Starting Your Blog

  3. Great post. Incorporated the WordPress SEO and love it. Just looking for a little organic traffic and this SEO tool is so much better. Especially for the inexperienced. Thanks for sharing.

    Frances

  4. D. Dixon says:

    Really a great post! I will be sharing it all around. Like I mentioned, I’m a huge fan of Yoast and CommentLuv
    D. Dixon recently posted..How Reachli Helps You Monetize Your Pinterest Pins

  5. Dave Arnold says:

    Hey Ming. Thanks for this great post. Question: What do you think is better for creating good comment-conversation on WordPress: CommentLuv, as you mentioned, or Disqus? Right now I’m using the regular WordPress commenting system but want to change. Thanks!

    • Ming Jong says:

      @Dave Arnold: Welcomed Dave. It really depends on your intention. I have seen people do very well with normal comment box without any plugin. The key is to have the content that people love to read (news related post, trending topics, ever green topics etc…).

      Commentluv will help to leave extra links to your post so it might have a better chance to attract the clicks if the post is highly relevant to the post you comment.

      If you take a look at the big sites (i.e. news sites, mashable, etc…) they generally use Disqus. This is such a norm. For me, I just prefer normal commenting box.
      Ming Jong recently posted..How I Started My Online Business Plus Lessons Learned

  6. Mike says:

    Thanks for this list. I’ve been blogging for almost 3 years, but I have to admit that I’m still not really up-to-date on SEO knowledge, so I’m going to try the SEO-related plug-ins and see if my traffic increases. Thanks for writing this post!

  7. Ajnabii says:

    Hi Ming,

    Thank for your response. I have enabled WP-Recaptcha plugin and also following your moderate all comments tip.
    Ajnabii recently posted..How to Write Articles and Earn Cash while Doing It

  8. Ajnabii says:

    @Ming jong

    Now I’m using commentluv plugin on my blog but problem is bunch of spammers commenting on my posts like a comments flood. how to stop spammers?
    Ajnabii recently posted..Crazy Bets (That Didn’t Pay Off)

  9. Ajnabii says:

    Nice list for Plugins! Thanks for shared with us, I going to try out two plugins.

    1. ComentLuv
    2. Wptouch

    Hope both plugins works better on my blog :)
    Ajnabii recently posted..Tips to Make Dreams of Becoming a Writer True

  10. Great information Ming,
    I’ve been trying to “tweek” my site and get the best SEO settings as possible. Thanks for this post to turbo charge wordpress blog!!!

    Julie

  11. Sammi Law says:

    I am so happy your “followed” me on Twitter (@viasammilaw) I am enlivened by the chores you have presented me. My blog will be one year old in a few weeks. Thanks for the early presents.

    I need to fix my wife a cup of coffee now and get back into adding all the wonderful plugins.

    Namaste – have an excellent day!
    Sammi Law recently posted..Christmas Day in Thailand

  12. Flash Site says:

    I use All in One SEO. And I found in this article, it written with strike through. What is it mean ??? Is is mean All in One SEO stopped ??
    Flash Site recently posted..Cursed Treasure

    • Ming Jong says:

      @Flash Site: previously I was also using all in one, after “that incident” happened a few weeks ago, I’ve already dumped it and am using WordPress SEO by Yoast. You can refer to (Refer to my update on Why I Dumped All In One SEO Pack post) for to find out more :)
      Ming Jong recently posted..RSS Backlink Traffic

  13. Ben says:

    Great plugin Ming, I had downloaded a few for my blog. my site had been spammed a few times, i think Login Lock and GASP are quite useful. Thanks.
    Ben recently posted..north face outlet created the group Canada Goose Mens Snow Mantra Parka in Brow

  14. Chumm says:

    Thanks for the helpful list of addons. I’ll use them when creating my new and upcoming website!
    Wordpress makes things so much simpler, I don’t know how I got on without it xD
    Chumm recently posted..How to Change New Facebook

  15. Steven says:

    great plugin list. some of them is new for me. I really interested with no follow free. I think it’s good for my reader and bring them back to my blog.
    Steven recently posted..Exotic Red

  16. Collins says:

    Thanks for the list of plugins. I was looking for this all over. I came from digitalforums.
    I also I like how you uploaded an insturctions video for SEO pressor.very helpful.
    Collins recently posted..Information on the new procedure “Nose Surgery” is now available at PlasticSurgery.com

  17. What a wonderful list of Plugins. “Google Site map” and “yet another related post plugin” are two great tools I use. Your information is always helpful and awesome. keep it coming Ming Jong.
    Henry @BuildWPThemes.com tutorial videos recently posted..How to Post Articles on WordPress Blog for traffic (video tutorial 1 & 2)

  18. Ileane says:

    Hi, so happy to see that you have CommentLuv and GASP on the list!
    I just got rid of Greet box, because I noticed that most of the time when I see it on other blogs, I just ignore it anyway. LOL!! Thanks for sharing the other plugins.
    Ileane recently posted..The Anatomy of A 25% Open Rate Autoresponder Sequence

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