Now that you have decided to start up your own blog, you need to know several important things before making a good beginning. You should know that purchasing your own domain name and hosting your blog on a paid server is crucial for your future success. No matter how important and valuable the information is in you blog, if your website url consists of your login name dot free blogging service name dot com then chances are your visitors will not treat your blog as serious enough.
After you've decided with the domain name and the hosting plan, next comes the blogging software which is not less important.
Here again, you are free to choose from the several blogging services but I definitely recommend WordPress. And not only me, if you search for the different peoples' opinions online, you'll surely see that the positive thoughts about WordPress prevail.
If you follow my advise and install WordPress then carry on reading this post. Because I'm going to talk about 10 important plugins for your WordPress blog that will definitely give you a good start. Just a quick note if you do not know what the WordPress plugin is. It is extra code written by the third parties and aimed for improving and enhancing your blog's functionality.
So, here come the list of my 10 recommended plugins. Make sure you install them as soon as you set up your WordPress blog.
This is number one plugin for fighting SPAM in you blog comments. Almost every WordPress blog has Akismet installed and it proves to be effective. It constantly checks all your incoming comments and if there is SPAM then it simply gets filtered out. And you get the detailed report every time you go to your dashboard. Simple enough.
2. All in One SEO Pack
You may probably know that SEO is very important for getting high ranks at the search engine and receiving quality traffic from the organic search results. All in One SEO Pack plugin does what the name says. It helps your blog SEO to be more search engine friendly with simple and easy set up. You do not need to know all the SEO tips and tricks.
3. Broken Link Checker
I find his plugin highly effective and important as it continuously checks all the links on your blog posts and if it finds a broken url, you get the report on you dashboard. This plugin checks not only the links to the websites, but also the images, video etc which are not hosted on your blog. This is quite effective if you use lots of images from the internet and suddenly one or two of them get removed from the hosted server.
4. FeedBurner FeedSmith
This plugin is quite simple and all that it does is forwarding your blog's original RSS feed to the feed burned by the FeedBurner. If you switch to FeedBurner as your feeder then this plugin is definitely for you.
5. Follow Me
Personally I use this plugin as it is a powerful tool for branding yourself on the social networks. This plugin allows you to put your links for the popular social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, IMFaceplate etc. and places a fancy "Follow me" button either on the left or right side of you blog. When a visitor clicks on that button a small window pops up with all the buttons to your profile on the social networks. Give it a try as I find it quite valuable plugin for my blog.
6. Google XML Sitemaps
This plugin also deals with the SEO of your blog. It automatically creates XML Sitemap of your blog structure and submits it to the popular search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo. This is very important for ranking up high in the mentioned search engines.
Installing this plugin is totally up to you though I highly recommend implementing it on you blog. It handles all the comments in a professional way enabling the visitors to login, leave comments, rank other comments. It also has the functionality to add different plugins such as AddtoAny or SpellCheck.
Now, the title of this plugin may look a bit awkward, but in fact, this is one of the best sharing plugins. You get the configurable buttons for the social bookmarking on you blog. I highly recommend installing this plugin.
9. Top Commentators Widget
This highly effective plugin helps to increase the number of comments to your blog posts. It places the widget with the top commentators on your sidebar motivating your visitors to leave the comments.
10. W3 Total Cache
All these plugins are already installed on my blog and I highly recommend them to you too if you are starting you blog or already have it and want to improve adding some extra functionality.
I'm looking forward to your comments below about these plugins.