All of the following word press plug-ins I have either used, seen used by coworkers and friends, or I am currently using them. Most are the latter. I only picked nine of the dozens and dozens I have used and tried out. These are my favorites or are barely good enough to not look for something better, you know how it is. Looking for the right plug-in can take hours and hours but once you find the right one it is very rewarding. Enjoy!
Dynamically link to any URL using phrases found in your blog posts
This is a great plug-in for those of us who want to monetize their blogs by adding affiliate links through their posts. Or perhaps you would like to maximize the spreading or your link values through out your website. This is one of my favorite plug-ins of all time.
Change the anchor text of the link “more” on your post excerpts
This is nice because who wants to rank for the keyword “more” plus that text is not very description from a user stand point any way. Of course I don’t use this plug-in, I would though if I chose to use the short excerpts from my blog posts on my home page. I may also prefer to use a rel=”noflollow” link instead of this plug-in.
Outputs a brief summary of a post’s or Page’s excerpt as the Meta Description Tag
I love this plug-in too due to its ability to dynamically make meta description tags. Which may not be extremely effective for click through rates on SERPs (search engine result pages) but shoot for a blogger who hasn’t monetized his blog and doesn’t want to take the time to write custom unique meta descriptions it’s a beautiful thing.
Notifies a commenter when a comment has been posted on a blog post they have commented on
This use to work great until I upgraded to the latest word press version. Or it could be my Theme but I am not sure. However, I have notice more conversation going on my posts when this plug-in did work.
Simple and to the Point Stats for your Blog
Focuses on the most popular metrics a blogger or writer would want to keep an eye on. Thus providing the data in a lucid and succinct interface.
Automatic Search Engine XML Sitemap
While this is by far the best search engine XML sitemap I have found for word press it still is not fully www.SiteMaps.org compliant. Plus it only pings GoogleBot when a update has happened, there are at least three other search engines I think it should ping. But free is freeJ.
My main beef with this plug-in and the rest of the “almost there but not quite” xml sitemap plug-ins is that none of them actually do the priority xml field correctly. Priority is based on the number of internal pages linking to the page the priority is referring to. In order to do this it would need to actually crawl the entire blog.
This is due to not every link being stored in the Word Press data base. So these coders just took the simple easy way out. Again free is free, but you would think that they would have some sort of disclaimer telling the user that.
Please note that a Search Engine sitemap is no longer called a “Google Site Map”. See the above SiteMaps.org link for the reason why.
XML Data Feed for Blog Reader Subscriptions
Google bought this company a while back. Rumor is they’ll be adding the tracking of Feed Burner users to the Google Webmaster Central blog reader statistics soon. So it won’t only be Google Reader users being reported in your Google Webmaster Central account.
Tracks Nine Web Spiders
This is very awesome! It tells you what pages the bots are tracking or crawling, gives you the date it was crawled, email, and link to the bot page for each search engine. But the neat thing is when I used the “a link” plug-in to link to my SEO category page using the keywords seo, and search engine optimization I noticed the bots started to crawl it more. Wowâ€¦ now that makes sense! Not to mention now you can actually do a trial and error so see if you can change around some more of that link love. For some reason Google Analytics doesn’t do this. Google webmaster accounts only tell you about Google and shoot the free Webalizer software found on most Linux based servers tells you all of them!
User Site Map
I have never liked the whole traditional date and calendar browsing of a typical blog. I don’t as much to when you published something so long as it is useful to me know. So I apply that same theology to my blog and use this user sitemap to allow my users to browse by category minimizing the number of pages they would have to click through if they were to try and browse any other way.