Our Top 5 Must-Have WordPress Plugins

wordpress plugins
WordPress hoodie, for the ultimate WordPress fan-person.

WordPress is the most popular blogging platform on the Internet: as of this time last year, it powered 22% of all new websites. There’s a good reason too: it’s structure is designed to make it easier to get a site up and running (and keep it running) than if you had to build your own website completely from scratch. Part of that power comes from the plugin system, which extends the WordPress framework to include features programmed by outside developers – kind of like Apple’s App store. There are thousands of plugins, most designed for very narrow purposes, and it can be hard to figure out which ones may help your blog. Our top five favorite suggestions for WordPress plugins to help keep your site running smoothly and securely:

For only $15 a month, the Vaultpress plugin promises continual backup of your entire site, plus a simple one-click site restore if something ever goes terribly wrong. It was created by the team at Automattic…the parent company of WordPress itself.

SEO by Yoast
Wordpress’ design makes it fairly search engine-friendly, but it never hurts to give your rankings a boost. This plugin helps search engines find your content, with a foolproof checklist of steps for each post, including optimizing your post titles, meta descriptions, keyword frequency and url length.

It’s bad for your site if people are running into pages that don’t work (404 errors). Redirection lets you check a log of where users encountered 404 errors so you can fix them, and makes it easy to set up page redirects even if you don’t have the technical knowledge.

Wordpress stores all of the data you put into your website in a database, but it doesn’t necessarily do a great job of keeping that database clean. But cleaner databases are faster databases. WP-Optimize lets you clean up your database (by deleting things like post revisions and spam comments) without any technical knowledge.

Mobile Pack
There’s a lot of pressure to make sure your site looks good on mobile devices, but it can be a confusing and expensive endeavor – and probably deserves its own blog post! But it’s better to do something then nothing, so try Mobile Pack. It will let you set up your site with a theme designed for mobile devices, and takes are the guesswork out of trying to plan for all the different devices out there. It may not be your dream site, but it’s functional and that’s important.

Do you use WordPress? Are there any WordPress Plugins we missed you love? Let us know!

Official WordPress app for Windows Phone 7

WordPress for WP7 Actions ScreenAny brave bloggers out there grab the first iteration of the Windows Phone? If so, WordPress has released an official app for WP7 devices that from the images, looks pretty sweet.

Looks aside, WordPress for WP7 doesn’t bring anything extraordinary to the table outside of now being available to WP7 users. So heavy mobile bloggers should be able to add their blog and navigate the new app with no troubles. But just in case there are some newbies to mobile blogging with WordPress, here is just a short list of the options available for mobile users:

– Create/edit posts and pages
– Manage multiple blogs
– Add Media to library
– Moderate comments
– View stats

Whether you’re blogging as a personal hobby, to get more exposure for your business, or blog as a business, you want access to your WordPress site while your on the go just in case you’re inspired to post a pic, video, or quick story to your site as soon as the moment presents itself. With the WordPress app now available for WP7 devices, the Microsoft faithful can join the “Big Three” (Apple, Android & BlackBerry) users who can share and exchange valuable information with WordPress blog subscribers…whenever and wherever.

WordPress Version 3.0.2 Update Stresses Security

This is one of those updates that I would stress you do if your business has an online presence via WordPress. Scratch that, WordPress herself is stressing that you update to this latest version.

and I quote:

WordPress 3.0.2 is available and is a MANDATORY SECURITY UPDATE for all previous WroPress versions.

There it is, straight from the horses mouth source. here is more of the release notes:

This maintenance release fixes a moderate security issue that could allow a malicious Author-level user to gain further access to the site, addresses a handful of bugs, and provides some additional security enhancements. Big thanks to Vladimir Kolesnikov for detailed and responsible disclosure of the security issue!

Download 3.0.2 or update automatically from the Dashboard > Updates menu in your site’s admin area. You should update immediately even if you do not have untrusted users.

Sounds pretty important right? I suggest you head on over to WordPress downloads and do what you gotta do.

WordPress 2.6 for iOS Adds Enhanced Video Support

I manage a couple of WordPress sites and write for a couple of others, but I hardly use the WordPress apps for my mobile devices. BUT when I need to use it to adjust something real quick like a typo, or a broken link in a post and I am NOT sitting around a computer, BOY do the WordPress mobile apps come in handy.

So I’m pretty geeked to tell you that WordPress has added some additional features for iOS devices (Apple) that just may get me to use the mobile apps more often.

The “set up” (leading up to the grand finale) features include:

– Autosave feature and improved Local Draft Support so you’re mobile posts don’t get completely trashed if your phone or the app freezes up…and it does happen.

*Drumroll please*

– The WordPress 2.6 for iOS devices now includes enhanced video support. Now you can capture and post videos directly to your WP site without any converting, or uploading to additional video sharing sites, then embedding the video to your WP site. So for all you Vloggers with an iPhone and a WP blog, you can now shoot and post vlogs on the fly.

There are a bunch of other bugs that they worked on, so check out the improved WordPress 2.6 for iOS app – it’s free, but requires iOS 3.0.2 or later.

(No word on any improvements to Android or BlackBerry versions…doh!)