For those of you who’ve not been following my blogging journey over the last few months (Welcome, I’ve been waiting for you) I recently wrote a piece reviewing the first 12 months of StokedSEO.co.uk.
Amongst other things I listed a couple of goals for 2013, one of which was to move from the wordpress.com platform to my own hosted wordpress.org site (and this is it!). I think that the wordpress.com offering is exception at no cost but there were a few limitations I couldn’t live with any longer.
Thankfully, with some gentile guidance from Chris at hitreach the transition was pretty smooth so massive thanks to him for being so supportive and understanding..
@stokedseo WHENS NEW SITE GOING LIVE
— Chris Gilchrist (@hitreach) March 7, 2013
One of the most daunting parts of moving to your own wordpress site for those with little experience for me has got to be the plugins. I mean, you often know what it is that you’re wanting to do and there’s a plugin that’ll do just that, but if there’s one there’s probably 100. Which is the best?
On the other hand there are plugins for things you never even thought you needed, but you do. How do you find these?
According to the WordPress plugins page there are currently just over 24,000 plugins available for your blog.
What I decided to do was to simply ask some smart folks what they were using, I figured if it’s good enough for them I should probably at least consider it so I duly shot of an email to a few industry peers.
Responses came back within minutes. (damn, those guys are good)
I’ve collated the responses from 16 individual sites (almost 200 plugins between them) in this posts and tried to give some insight into the plugins they’re using and to see if there are any obvious choices I should be making for my new home.
I did this mainly for myself, but since you’re here, I hope it can be of some use to you also 🙂
Number of plugins
First things first, how many plugins is a reasonable amount? It’s very tempting when you see all the shiny things on offer to fill your boots and just get anything that looks interesting, have a play, and then probably never use it again.
Quite a broad range as you can see, the site with the lest number of plugins has just 3, whilst the one with the most has a huge 25 in total. On average most are sitting around the 5 – 10 range which feels about right, but at the end of the day I guess you should only have as many plugins as you need.
Plugins by Category
The next thing I was interested to see was exactly what all these plugins were doing. Overall there were 130 distinct plgins being used and I simply didn’t have time to categorise them all. Instead, I took the 30 most popular plugins and broadly categorised them into 10 distinct areas.
Perhaps not too surprising that the category of WordPress management which includes things such as redirects, backups and coding plugins comes in top of the tree here. Even less surprising is that in a survey of SEO blogs, the SEO category does quite well.
Top 5 plugins
One thing which became clear early on as I was collecting this information was that a handful of plugins were extremely popular within the group. The top plugin features on almost 70 % off the blogs whilst the 5 most prevalent is still featured on more than 40% of them.
- Akismet (Antispam) Featured on 69% of blogs
We can’t stand spam. Who can? You have better things to do with your life than deal with the underbelly of the internet. Automattic Kismet (Akismet for short) is a collaborative effort to make comment and trackback spam a non-issue and restore innocence to blogging, so you never have to worry about spam again
- WordPress SEO Featured on 63% of blogs
WordPress SEO is the most complete WordPress SEO plugin that exists today for WordPress.org users. It incorporates everything from a snippet preview and page analysis functionality that helps you optimize your pages content, images titles, meta descriptions and more to XML sitemaps, and loads of optimization options in between.
- Digg Digg (Social) Featured on 44% of blogs
Make it easy for your readers to share your articles. The Digg Digg bar makes it as easy as pie.
- Google Analytics for WordPress Featured on 44% of blogs
The Google Analytics for WordPress plugin allows you to track your blog easily and with lots of metadata.
- Contact Form 7 Featured on 44% of blogs
If you value simplicity and flexibility, Contact Form 7 is a great choice. It allows you to flexibly design the form and mail. You can manage multiple contact forms as well. In addition, it supports many features including AJAX submitting, CAPTCHA, Akismet spam filtering, file uploading, etc.
Other popular plugins
Aside from those listed above there were quite a few categories where a number of plugins seemed to be quite popular and are probably worth considering:
- SEO – All in ONE SEO pack – Google XML sitemaps
- Social – Sharebar
- Comments – DISQUS
- Other – WP Supercache – Google Analytics dashboard
Big thanks to the folks who took the time out to share their plugins with me, they’re all people I respect and have a lot of time for their own blogs, you should check them out…
Alessio Madeyski – Chris Dyson – Chris Gilchrist – Dan Shure – Emma Still – Geoff Kenyon – Jason Acidre – Jon Cooper – Kane Jameson – Michael Kovis – Nick Eubanks – Patrick Hathaway – Wayne Barker – Rand Fishkin – Sean Revell – Ryan Mclaughlin
Feel free to chip in with any plugins I’ve missed in the comments below guys, always looking to hear recommendations to enhance this blog.
Post by Gaz Copeland