If you haven’t come across Namzola’s blog yet, you definitely should drop by the Fire Horse. She’s is one wicked witty mom blogger sharing tales of raising kids here in NYC and I fell in love with her writing after just a few posts.
I also love that she sends me emails like this:
“Okay – no more stressing, you’ve given me focus. Muchas gracias. Thanks for everything. I can’t tell you how excited I am about moving forward and it’s all thanks to you and to Maureen for introducing me.”
She’s pretty darn sweet. So for Namzola and all the other mom bloggers packing their boxes and heading over to WordPress self hosted, this post is for you. I hope it makes setting up your new home super easy.
Though I’m a bloody plugin freak and have many many plugins installed, there are really only a few that you NEED. Whatever else you install on your blog is going to be based on personal preference and I’ll share a few of my favorites with you too. Keep in mind, if you do not have a CDN as I do, you’ll not want to blog your wp blog down with too many plugins.
So here’s a list of the plugins you need to keep your blog running smoothly and you can find them all in the free plugins panel on your wordpress dashboard..
1. WP Database Optimizer | By Matthew Price
Even when you empty the posts and spam trash or delete a plugin, crap is still left behind in the database. This can slow down your blog. An easy way to clear out the crap is to install this plugin and click the Optimize button whenever you delete a lot of stuff. You can also set it to optimize your database automatically once per day.
2. WP Super Cache | By Donncha O Caoimh
Caching your pages keeps the blog from going through the whole building process every time you have a visitor. But don’t worry! You won’t be serving your visitors stale content. You can configure the plugin to cache all files every time a new page or post is published. It can also clear the page cache when someone comments (this way they won’t wonder where their comment is). I won’t lie, it’s a pain in the ass to configure, but this post will walk you through configuration. Just scroll down and begin at STEP 3 and disregard the info on setting up the cdn, unless of course you have a CDN.
3. ReplyMe | By Neekey
A reader drops by and leaves a comment. You respond. Why not make it easy on your readers and hopefully keep the convo going on your blog by having wordpress automatically email them your response? Too simple. One of the reasons I don’t respond again to bloggers is because I didn’t know they responded to my comment and really didn’t have the time/remember to check.
4. Jetpack by WordPress.com
I’ve had an on and off love/hate relationship with theis plugin. Right now, I’m loving it. It’s working smoothly. Jetpack will add all kinds of functionality to your blog, track your visitors and email subscribers your latest post. I can’t do it justice here so check it out for yourself on WordPress.org. Keep in mind you’ll need to sign up for a free wordpress.com account and connect it to your blog to make it all work.
5. A Social Sharing plugin.
There are so many and really they’re all based on personal preference. But be sure to have one that’s easy to use, offers the major platforms and maybe a call to action. I use Socialize and it allows for a box where I can remind readers to do ANYTHING like sign up for my RSS feed.
6. A Recent/Related Posts plugin
It’s important to offer readers a list of your recent posts AND place it where they can easily find it after reading your post. I use nrelate and they offer several different versions of the plugin. One for recent posts, one for related posts, etc. I’ve installed both and they are conveniently listed together in their own panel on my dashboard.
7. WP Complete Backup
This awesome free plugin creates a backup of your database and the complete file system. You can easily delete old backups and restore with one click from a backup. Please note this does not back up your posts, media and pages. Go to Tools > Export for that downloadable backup. Monthly I run this backup. This way if I have to move to a new host I can install the database settings before importing the posts.
And that’s it y’all.
Yes I didn’t include SEO plugins. Frankly, they’re not a NEED for your blog. You’ll WANT to add seo plugins if you want Google to love your blog, but you really don’t NEED them.
Have any social sharing or related/recent posts you could recommend? Please share in the comments section. I always prefer to use plugins friends recommend.