I’ve been spending my evenings lately just working through all the ins and outs of this WordPress thing, studying Search Engine Optimization (SEO), link sharing and pouring through a multitude of WordPress plugins. I thought I would list off the plugins I have mostly decided on and describe some of my SEO strategies for this site in case anyone wanted to make some comments or give me advice, or if I happen to hire a WordPress SEO consultant to point out all the mistakes I’m making.
These are the plugins I use.
Add RSS – not totally sure what this does. I think it gives certain browsers some kind of access to my site’s RSS feeds, like if someone has their feed reader turned on within the browser.
AddToAny: Share/Bookmark/Email Button – the button in the upper right of the sidebar that gives the sharing menu
All in One SEO Pack – I use this to write my own descriptions, keywords and title tags, and because it has the feature of changing the link names in the sidebar because I don’t like multi-lined links but the real titles often need to be slightly longer than what will fit on a line. SEO Ultimate, which I use for a few other things, doesn’t have this feature.
AWS Easy Page Link – adds a list of pages in the add link tool in the editor so I can easily make table of contents pages. I wish it added blog posts and scheduled pages/posts as well.
Breadcrumb NavXT – adds the breadcrumbs at the top of the posts, which is supposedly good if my content gets scraped (automatically plagairized) and suppedly helps search engines figure out my site architecture. I wonder if I should add them to the bottom of pages too, since some of my pages can be quite long.
cbnet Ping Optimizer – I tend to edit posts a lot so I needed a plugin that would make it only ping on the first post, so I don’t get marked as a spam. Also for the ping log so I can make sure they aren’t blocking me for whatever reason.
Contact Form 7 – just a simple email form on my contact page.
Contextual Related Posts – supposedly good for getting people back from scraped pages – adds a list of ‘related’ posts at the bottom of my posts and pages. Sometimes they don’t seem quite so ‘related’ so I named them ‘random pages’.
Full Text Feed – no idea what this does. I read that I need it to prevent the ‘more text’ thing coming up. I’ve never liked having to click on a more link when I go to blogs. Do I actually need this?
Global Translator – plugs into google translator and gives me the flag cloud in the sidebar – I wonder if the translated pages get indexed by search engines like my english pages do… I also wonder how accurate the translation is. Suppose I will never know since I only speak English 🙂
Google XML Sitemaps – supposedly helps search engines find their way around the site. I think I just turn this on and leave it. Don’t need to link to it or submit it or anything… at least, that’s my understanding.
JR_Compression – Apparantly pages can be zipped, then sent to the client and the browser automatically unzips and shows them, which decreases load times. I think I understand this correctly.
RSS Includes Pages – adds my pages (since the pages are the most important part of my site) into my RSS feeds.
SEO Ultimate – I use this for some of its peripheral features (canonicalizer, slug optimizer, 404 monitor) but use All In One SEO for the actual keyword/description stuff. Thankfully I can disable individual features of SEO Ultimate.
SexyBookmarks – creates the sharing functionity – similar to AddToAny button – to the bottom of every page and post. They claim that the pretty, animated nature encourages more interaction.
Simple Tags – I still need to figure out a good tagging strategy. Still need to explore this plugin a bit more. But since pages are more important on this site, I need pages to be included in the whole tagging system. Would like to be able to put pages into categories as well.
Ultimate Google Analytics – for my site statistics. Is this a good plugin for this? There sure are a lot to choose from.
WordPress Database Backup – absolutely necessary for those times when I do something stupid and overwrite my database.
WP Smush.it – to optimize my images without losing any quality. Not sure if this is necessary since most of my images I do myself through Photoshop or Gimp.
WP Super Cache – for server-side caching . How can I tell if this is working? Not all of my pages seem to be listed in the cached files and I always get a new file whenever I hit refresh.