We’re live blogging from the Blog World & New Media Expo and this afternoon we attended a valuable session about WordPress. This very blog is hosted on WordPress and we’re always looking to add new and useful features.
This session was hosted by Mitch Canter (follow him on Twitter, @Studionashvegas) who is a designer and developer for WordPress. He is also the technical editor for the manual “WordPress Web Design for Dummies.” Mitch kicked off the session with a compelling statistic: 14.3% of all measured sites online use WordPress (including us!). Given all the available blogging platforms, that’s significant.
Mitch went on to stress the importance of your WordPress theme. He encouraged the audience to select a theme that will really showcase your content – photos, videos, multiple authors. If you want to search free WordPress themes, click here. Mitch cautioned against searching for free WordPress themes via Google, as 8 of the top 10 Google results contain malware or spam. Great tip!
The majority of Mitch’s presentation focused on WordPress plugins. Plugins allow you to bring in tweets, share Facebook albums, add a shopping cart and much more. Mitch described plugins as adding readability, usability and findability to your site.
With that, Mitch provided us with his personal list of the best plugins:
- Sexybookmarks – Adds sharing buttons to the bottom of every post (email, RSS, Facebook, Twitter, Digg and more)
- Digg Digg – Adds bookmarking chicklets to your page that follows the reader as they scroll down
- Ad Buttons – Easy to use advertising option
- Tweet Blender – Pulls in tweets about a hashtag or from a custom list
- Twitter for WordPress – The best no frills Twitter plug in
- Woo Tumblog – Allows you to post quickly right from your dashboard
- Calendar – Insert a clean and easy calendar on to your site. Link to events, Eventbrite or blog posts
- All in One SEO – Pump up the SEO volume on each of your posts with this easy to use plugin
- Google Analyticator – This plugin adds Google Analytics into your dashboard and allows you to check up on your site stats without needing a separate log in
- Google XML Sitemaps – Generates a sitemap for your blog that Google can crawl more easily
Are you using WordPress? What plugins do you recommend?