Web designers, developers and bloggers should be quite familiar with WordPress, a powerful, award winning and widely used open source blog publishing application. This useful tool offers an easy to use and reliable platform for blogging activities. In fact WordPress features rich plugin architecture for bloggers and developers to enhance and improve the base function. If you are new to this blog publishing tool, perhaps you could make references to some of the popular plugins here to make your blog or website more dynamic, interactive and attractive.

Security: Akismet is a powerful spam filter that can be used to block off spam flooding to your blog. It filters link spam from blog comments and spam TrackBack pings.It will check these comments and pings against the Akismet web service to see whether these comments are real spam. By adding Akistmet to your WordPress, you can avoid those annoying spam and save your time to read and delete them. Non-commercial bloggers can download Akismet for free via the link here. Commercial users need to pay for the service.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Google XML Sitemaps Generator is a useful tool to create a Google sitemaps compliant XML – sitemap of user’s WordPress blog. User’s sitemap will be updated as and when there are contents or posts added. All major search engines that support sitemap protocol such as MSN, Google, Yahoo, Ask.com, etc will be notified on the update. This plug in will help to get your blog optimized by search engines and get your post indexed successfully.

Monitoring: There are various interesting plugins which allow users to keep track of their blog activities. For instance, users can install Popularity Contest to monitor and keep track which one of their posts is amongst the most popular, most frequently viewed, etc. Download Popularity Contest. Bloggers who want to manage their RSS feeds and keep track of their subscriber base, one of the best plugins recommended is via FeedBurner FeedSmith. This plugin will detect all ways to access your feed and redirect them to your FeedBurner feed so you can track every possible subscriber. Download FeedBurner FeedSmith. Bloggers who want to monitor and track those who add comments to their site can try Live Comment Preview. This useful plugin can get you the comment previews in real time. Download Live Comment Preview.

Reader Interaction: To make your blog more interesting and interactive, bloggers can try some of these WordPress plugins to make their blogs more interactive. For instance, bloggers can conduct reader survey, quiz and polls. There are a lot of plugins which offer bloggers to opportunity to conduct the said activities. Amongst them, users can try these: polling WordPress plugin, survey WordPress plugin and quizzin WordPress plugin. To encourage readers to forward comments and share ideas, bloggers can also try another WordPress plugin, Show Top Commentators. This plugin helps users to display top commentators’ names and the number of comments made by them. This will acknowledge commentators’ effort and encourage more feedback from readers. Download Show Top Commentators.

Backup: For safety reasons, it is important to backup your core database in order to avoid any data files corrupted or data missing. To do backup, bloggers can try WP Database Backup. This reliable backup application will ensure you have a contingency plan in the event things go wrong. Download WP Database.

Translation: Global Translator is an important WordPress plugin that you can’t ignore if you want to “globalize” your blog. This plugin translator offers translations in various languages such as Chinese, French, Italian, German, and Arabic, among others. Download Global Translator.

Publishing Tools. There are number of publishing applications that you can add in to WordPress to make the publishing work much easier. If you frequently add videos to your blogs, try out EasyTube. EasyTube allows WordPress users to easily embed YouTube and Google Videos using one simple tag and places a preview image of the YouTube videos in your RSS feed linked to the video. Download EasyTube. For easy navigation, users can try the Evermore plugin. This plugin will automatically abbreviate all posts when they appear on a multiple-post page such as the main blog page. It has the same effect as putting <!–more–> after the first paragraph of every post. All formatting and HTML tags are preserved in the abbreviated post. Download Evermore.

There are a few thousand plugins for WordPress. What we have discussed is just a small portion. These plugins are pretty useful especially for those new kids on the block to blogging.

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