Open source blogging platform Wordpress can be enhanced with the use of free plugins which can help you manage comments and spam, as well as improving SEO and user experience.
We’ve put together a list of some of the most useful plugins for Wordpress…
As the name suggests, this plugin creates a Google-compliant XML Sitemap for your blog. Every time you add or edit a post, your sitemap is automatically updated.
This will automatically add META Keywords tags to every post you add to the blog, based on categories under which the article is categorised.
This handy plugin provides a number of SEO functions; it optimises your title pages for search, generates automatic META tags, and avoids duplicate content appearing on your blog.
This helps you manage 404 errors and automatically deals with 301 redirections, as well as ensuring that there is only one URL for each blog entry.
This generates breadcrumb navigation bars for your WordPress blog.
Tools for dealing with spam
An essential tool which checks your comments against the Akismet web service to find out if they look like spam. You can review the amount of spam it catches in your blog’s admin screen.
This separates humans from spam robots by asking users leaving comments to answer a simple maths question.
This PHP based plugin complements Akismet by preventing spammers from ever delivering their junk in the first place.
Defensio blocks comment spam by learning and adapting to the behaviour of the site’s owners and users. It is an all-in-one anti-spam solution so other anti spam plugins need to be removed first.
This aims to keep management of spam comments to a minimum by replacing the names of the comment form fields with random names, making it harder for the spambots.
This adds a list of related entries to your blog posts, based on keyword matches.
This adds a more advanced page navigation to your WordPress blog.
This keeps a count of your page and category views and shows a list of the most popular articles for your blog’s readers.
If visitors come to your blog via a search engine, this plugin will show them a list of posts related to their search term.
This generates a list of all your blog posts, listing the date of publishing, the article title, and the number of comments.
This enables readers that have left a comment on your blog to subscribe to email alerts for subsequent entries, so they can keep up with the debate.
This shows the latest comments and trackbacks in your blog’s sidebar. Blog owners can customise the appearance of these comments and the length of the excerpt displayed.
This plugin lets users and siteowners edit comments on a post. While users can only edit their comments for a short period of time after leaving them, administrators can edit at any time.
This gives previews to users, showing how the comment will look up on the site.
This will display a list of the posts which have attracted the most comments.
Social media plugins
This makes it easy for bloggers to add videos from YouTube or Google Video, placing a preview image of the video in the related RSS feed.
This allows users to add your post to a variety of social bookmarking sites, avoiding the need to display too many buttons at the foot of your articles.
This adds an AJAX rating system to the bottom of your blog’s articles.
This plugin will add links on your posts to various popular social bookmarking sites.
This plugin automatically displays your latest musings on Twitter on your WordPress blog.