3 must-have plugins for setting up your business blog with wordpress

If you’ve installed WordPress for your business’ website, blog or news section, you’ll need to install some extra plug-ins to really get the most from this excellent software. They’re all free (although a donation is welcome) so install them right now.

Greg’s High performance SEO

Out of the box, WordPress doesn’t insert some common meta tags in your pages. Although the importance of these (specifically keywords & description) has been reduced since the early days of SEO, they still hold some value and it is just general good practice. This plugin has a wealth of features (and documentation) to help make your site a bit more Google friendly and to get it set up properly took me about 15mins. If you only have time to install one plug in, this is the one – it really is superb.

Google XML sitemap generator

To make sure that Google (and Bing and Yahoo!…) knows where all your pages are, you can submit an XML sitemap. However, editing the file manually every time you create a new post is a major pain. This plug in does the editing and submits the new sitemap to all the search engines automagically!┬áMake sure that you take a couple of minutes to configure the plug in to get all the categories and tags that you want into your sitemap.

Wordtwit

There are a whole host of ways to integrate your WordPress blog with Twitter but this plugin gives you a couple of powerful features that are really slick. Once installed, you can create your own url shortening structure (now, that looks pro doesn’t it!) and you can track clicks from Twitter in your Google Analytics account. You can also restrict the posts that are tweeted by including or excluding a specific tag/category.

The evolution of successful blogs

Oct 26 2008 Published by under Improving your site, Observations

The guys at website monitoring service Pingdom have done an interesting visual round up of how some of the more successful blogs have evolved over recent years. There are a few trends to note but for me the move to a very crowded masthead stood out. Most of the blogs featured have decided to place a large ‘leaderboard’ style banner ad at the top (or near the top) of the page. I read this as a sign that the attention ads get here is too difficult to ignore when compared to the revenue from other areas on the site. It really reminds me of the huge mastheads we now see on print newspapers.
If you’re planning a blog it might be worth learning from the big guys rather than find out through your own evolution. Although the specifics are clearly relevant for those looking monetize content, the layout lessons must be applicable to corporate, promotional blogs too.

Take a look now: A visual round-up of successful blog evolution

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