Monday, March 17, 2014

Optimize Your Blog: A WordPress Theme and Plugin Wish List


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WordPress bloggers often get asked the question: What plugins do you use? Two of my blogging buddies asked me that question recently and compiled the responses from dozens of other top bloggers into their own blog posts. 

Ian Cleary from Razor Social

Ian was the first blogger who asked me to share a list of my favorite plugins. You can find his post here Best WordPress Plugins: 54 Professionals Share Amazing Plugins To Inspire You. This is the first group blog post that I contributed to in 2014. A partial list of a few of the other contributing bloggers featured include:
  • Jay Bear
  • Rebekah Radice
  • Dino Dogan
  • Ann Smarty

Devesh Sharma from WpKube

Devesh's post is called Best WordPress Plugins: 40 Experts Share Their Favorite WordPress Plugins. Devesh pulled together a completely different cast of characters for his group post. 


I find it interesting that this group mentioned some completely different plugins from those mentioned in Ian's post. Here are some of the key people that contributed to Devesh's post.
  • Ana Hoffman
  • Adrienne Smith
  • Dino Dogan
  • Nile Flores
  • Ivana Zuber
  • Kristie Hines
  • Neil Patel
  • Syed Balkhi
  • Ian Cleary
Here are the top 5 plugins that I mentioned on Devesh's post:

"This question comes at a really good time because I switched themes recently which caused me to take an even closer look at the plugins I use on Basic Blog Tips. Before I give you my five favs, I want to start off by saying how important it is to have a great theme with basic features built-in. 
This will make a huge difference in performance and greatly reduce the number of plugins you need to install. 
My current theme is Genesis and I use a child theme from Appendipity called Showcase. So right out the gate I don’t need to install any social sharing or following plugins because they are integrated within Showcase. With all that said, it’s still challenging to pick 5 plugins but I’ll give it a shot. 
1. Anti-spam – is the newest one I’m testing to cut down on the time I spend moderating comments. I almost don’t want to give that little secret away because somehow whenever a plugin like this gets popular, the spammers figure out a way to work around it. But it’s so good I have to share it with you guys. 
2. AuthorSure – is a plugin that takes all the fuss out of setting up Google Authorship, which is essential for any blog with multiple authors and for bloggers who don’t want to mess around with code. It adds a nice looking author bio box and a lot of other options as well. 
3. Pretty-link Pro – is another must have for anyone doing affiliate marketing. It makes your links easier to remember and it’s also great for YouTubers and Podcasters who want to share links on their shows. 
4. WP-Optimize – is a great one to have around. If you haven’t used this one before, the first time you run it, you will most certainly notice that your blog loads faster. 
5. P3 Plugin Performance Profiler – will come in handy when you see that your blog is loading slowly. This one will tell you which plugin is causing the issue and give you a complete rundown of the time it takes for each one to load. When you see the load times, I know it will be hard but just un-install the one with the longest load time and you’ll be thankful you did!"

My WordPress Theme And Plugin Wish List!

Layout, Sidebars and Comment Form 
Responsive
Navigation (including bread crumbs)
Social Networking (Sharing and follow buttons and social proof)
List building/Contact form
Speed/Security
Backups
Basic SEO/Tracking
Monetization (Affiliates, eCommerce, Digital product delivery)

Genesis Theme Framework for WordPress


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