The 12 Plugins of Christmas

Plugins are a wonderful concept (especially when it comes to WordPress), no matter what software you are using (be it a blogging platform or a message board system) plugins easily help add great little tweaks to them to make them even better.

If you have been running blogs for a number of years then (hopefully) like me you will probably have collected a small group of your favourite plugins that you install first when you set up new blogs.

Below you will find 12 plugins that I always install first when starting a new blog – accompanied by a cheesy Christmas theme!

On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…

CommentLuv – The perfect way to reward your readers for commenting on your blog, this plugins shows a link under their comment to their latest blog post.

On the second day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…

Google Analyticator – This plugin allows Google Analytic to log your blog traffic without the need to edit your theme files. It will display stats on your admin panel (thus eliminating as many trips to the Google Analytic site) and it has some widgets to display your stats in your sidebar.

On the third day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…

IntenseDebate – Many bloggers are becoming disillusioned with the spammy comments left on their blogs and are turning to plugins like IntenseDebate and Livefyre to help reduce this and to also i prove the community on their blogs. IntenseDebate is the one I always go with.

On the fourth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…

New Adman – A plugin that allows you to insert ad code at the beginning, at the end and in the middle of posts without having to edit the theme files.

On the fifth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…

Contextual Related Posts – This plugin displays a number of related posts at the end of every post so your readers will hopefully stay on the blog for longer. You can either have just links, or you can have them laid out like I have on this blog. You can also display image thumbnails as well.

On the sixth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…

Fast Secure Contact Form – A contact form plugin that offers CAPTCHA and Aksimet protection to help stop spammers sending you floods of unwanted emails.

On the seventh day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…

OIOpublisher Ad Manager – This is a plugin that you have to pay for ($97) but it is well worth it and you can use it on as many blogs as you wish. It is an advertising system that makes selling ads on your site so easy, you just set up your ad zones and the plugin will do the rest of the work.

I didn’t pay for this, it was bought for me as a Christmas present, maybe you should think about this for your Christmas list?

On the eighth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…

GoCodes – If you publish affiliate links online then you will find this plugin very useful. It creates a short url for you which makes it easier to publish online and it stops people signing up for things and cutting your affiliate ID out of the url. 🙂

On the ninth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…

Tweet old post – Breath new life into your old posts by having this neat little plugin publish them on your Twitter account. You can easily set it to publish old posts as many times a day as you wish (I have it set at four a day with a couple of hours in between each post).

On the tenth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…

Google XML Sitemaps – This plugin will produce a special XML sitemap that will enable search engines such as Google, Yahoo, Bing and Ask.com to index your blog better and quicker.

On the eleventh day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…

Top Commentators Widget – A plugin that displays a list of your top commentators, this is a great way of saying ‘thank you’ to your readers for commenting. It also gives your commentators an extra bit of exposure to their blog or web site.

On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…

NoFollow Free – Increase your comments by turning your blog into a do-follow, that’s what this little plugin does. Install it and watch your comments increase by at least 50%.

* I’m sorry for the awful 12 days of the Christmas puns. 🙂

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About Dean Saliba

Dean Saliba is a freelance writer, professional blogger, media enthusiast, keen long-distance runner, and huge professional wrestling fan, who covers a wide range of subjects and niches including: making money online, traffic generating, pro wrestling, blog reviews, football, how-to guides, music, internet marketing, running, and more.

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