Blogging Posts

WordPress Wins CMS Award

Sunday, November 21st, 2010

We’ve known WordPress is an excellent blogging platform and content management system (CMS) for years. Apparently, we’re not the only ones. WordPress beat out Joomla and Drupal to win the “Hall of Fame CMS” from the 2010 Open Source Awards. This award is limited to CMS projects that have previously won the coveted “Open Source CMS” award. Yes, it’s nice to let the other kids have their 15 minutes too! 😉

5 “Must Have” WordPress Plugins

Friday, April 9th, 2010

We frequently get emails from clients asking about whether or not they should install a particular plugin for their WordPress blog. Many times the answer is “Well…it depends.” It depends on that other plugins you have installed and what your goals are with blogging. Below are 5 WordPress plugins that are a safe bet for any blog:

1. All In One SEO Pack – This is by far the most useful plugin to maximize the SEO potential of your company or personal blog. There are a number of other SEO plugins for WordPress but I’ve found this one to be the most comprehensive and easiest to configure. Some of the main features include:

  • Advanced Canonical URLs
  • Fine tune Page Navigational Links
  • Built-in API so other plugins/themes can access and extend functionality
  • ONLY plugin to provide SEO Integration for WP e-Commerce sites
  • Nonce Security
  • Support for CMS-style WordPress installations
  • Automatically optimizes your titles for search engines
  • Generates META tags automatically
  • Avoids the typical duplicate content found on WordPress blogs
  • For beginners, you don’t even have to look at the options, it works out-of-the-box. Just install.
  • For advanced users, you can fine-tune everything
  • You can override any title and set any META description and any META keywords you want.
  • Backward-Compatibility with many other plugins, like Auto Meta, Ultimate Tag Warrior and others.

2. Socialize – The Socialize plugin simplifies the task of adding buttons allowing reader to share/save your posts on social networking and social bookmarking websites. These buttons can be added manually but this requires copy and pasting code from each social networking/bookmarking site in the correct places of your WordPress template. Bah….who has time for that?! Socialize gives you a quick and easy interface to customize which buttons are included and where they appear.

3. TweetMeme Button – The TweetMeme button (seen in the top right of this blog post) is one of that fastest and easiest ways to encourage readers to tweet about your blog post. Granted, there may be some overlap with Socialize but it really depends on how you configure each plugin. One key feature that TweetMeme has over socialize is that it can be integrated with for additional web analytics. In addition to that the standard list of features is fairly impressive too:

  • Hashtag support (which are automatically taken from your post tags)
  • Ability to control the length of the tweets
  • Live count of tweets from Twitter
  • Allows you to change the source which you retweet, E.g. “RT @yourname “
  • Easily installation and customisation
  • Quicker loading times for the buttons
  • Better integration, allowing custom titles, hashtags and URL shortner
  • Removes the default “RT @tweetmeme”
  • Ability to control the length of the tweets (through the new spaces parameter)
  • Integrates with WordPress MU

4. WP to Twitter – This plugin is short and sweet. It does just what the name implies…automatically tweets about your blog post once it’s published. As with all the other plugins mentioned so far, WP to Twitter comes with a variety of options and highly customizable.

5. Disqus – The Disqus comment system is actually a plugin that’s still fairly new to me, but the more I learn about it the more I love it! Essentially it’s broken down into two platforms, Disqus Comments and Disqus Profile:

Disqus Comments is a comment system and moderation tool for your site. This service lets you add next-gen community management and social web integrations to any site on any platform.”

Disqus Profile lets you get the most out of the comments you post on sites all around the web. Take back control of what you’ve written by tracking and managing your comments all in one place. You can also use Disqus Profile to effortless follow and reply to what people are talking about, on and across sites.”