Now that you are using WordPress, you really should take advantage of it. Plugins are little helpers that you add to your WordPress installation to make it do… pretty much anything imaginable. There’s a whole directory of plugins created by different sources, but here are the ones I recommend as a baseline.
Akismet – This comes with your WordPress setup, but be sure to go into the “Plugins” section and activate it. You will have to sign-up for a key, but it’s all worth the trouble. This plugin will block spam comments and trust me, you’ll need it!
BackUpWordPress – This the easiest plugin I’ve found that automatically backs up my WordPress files and database every single day onto your web hosting space. You can also email and download the backup as well. In case anything happens, you can always revert back to the last day! Although most hosting companies do their own backups, it’s better to depend on yourself!
Google Analyticator – You should sign up for Google Analytics (it’s free!) to track statistics on your website and this plugin automatically adds the coding required. It’s a good idea to use this plugin, so that you can change your themes without worrying if the analytics were coded in or not. Sometimes people do a redesign and then forget to add their analytics coding… yikes!
Google XML Sitemaps – This plugin helps search engines easily crawl through your site and quickly index your content. For the beginners out there, don’t worry about all of the settings and extra options that come along with it – as long as you install (and activate) it, your blog should be good to go.
Broken Link Checker –This plugin crawls through your site and reports any broken links. You might have mistyped something or a link might no longer be available… so this definitely helps you to keep on top of your content. Nobody likes a broken link!
RSS Footer – Many people read your content in an RSS reader and this plugin adds a little footer to all your RSS entries. It’s a great way to add a call to action and also identify yourself as the writer of the content… you’ll be amazed how many people pull content via RSS feeds and someone might be reading your words and not knowing where it came from. This only shows up for people reading through RSS readers, not on your website itself.