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ntNOTE: If you’d prefer to view this information as a blog post, check out this entry in our Five Apps blog.
ntWordPress is the most popular blogging tool available. And blogging isn’t just for personal use now. It has turned into a great marketing tool that can help spread the word about your product or service. Naturally, if you decide to take on a blog for your company, you’ll want to make sure it has as much in the way of features and flexibility as you can get. WordPress offers just that in the way of plugins.
ntThousands of plugins are available, and “essential” is in the eye of the blogger. But I’ve rounded up five that I think are highly useful no matter what kind of blog you maintain.
ntAkismet is the single most powerful tool you can use in the prevention of spam on your blog. This is only necessary if you allow discussions on posts (and why wouldn’t you want to promote user interaction?). If you do happen to encourage users to converse about a topic, you will definitely want to enable Akismet.
nt This plugin comes with the base WordPress install, but it isn’t free. You will have to pay a fee based on the purpose of your blog. It’s worth it.
ntGRAND FIAGallery is one of the best gallery tools out there. With it, you can rotate banners, images, music, video, and more.
ntSEO Ultimate is one of the best plugins you’ll find to help you gain an edge on search engine optimization. This extension gives you control over title tags, no index, meta tags, slugs, canonical, autolinks, 404 errors, and rich snippets, among other things.
ntSEO might be the last thing on your mind — but your competition isn’t feeling the same way! You need to help your product or business in every way you can, and SEO Ultimate might be the easiest way to get that blog up the rankings on the Web.
Track That Stat
ntTrack That Stat allows you to view your blog status in real time. See your unique views, referrals, keywords, who’s logged in, individual page status, and much more. You can even monitor how traffic has been for the past 30 days. This is a great way to determine which days your site is more popular so you can better manage when content hits the front page.
ntBWS Captcha is one of the simplest Captcha plugins around. And BWS allows you to do more than have the user enter a string of text. It lets you enable simple math questions that are sure to stop bots from getting in and making comments.
ntUsing BWS Captcha along with Akismet delivers a one-two punch to keep your content safe from the scum of the net known as spam!