I used Blogger for my personal blog and had not really considered WordPress until I needed a business website.  It took me some time to get my head around the layout and the various tools I could use to create a great website incorporating a blog, and all for a great price for my domain and hosting from Development Island.

One of the benefits of using WordPress for your blog or website is the various plugins available to you, and most of them are free.  I can easily spend a few hours searching for plugins which will either make my website/blog look better or save me some precious time.  I thought in this blog post I could mention a few of the plugins I use and love, but also some links to other blog posts that share great plugins.

So to start with some of the plugins I use on my blog which I wouldn’t be without…

CommentLuv

I did a blog post about CommentLuv some time ago, Spread the Luv on your Blog!, which was really popular.  When you comment on a blog which has the CommentLuv plugin it will take the URL you put in the comment and find your most recent post and advertise it under your comment.  It’s great for giving something back to your blog readers.  I often find some interesting blogs by looking at the CommentLuv links on the comments made on my blog.

Broken Link Checker

I only downloaded this plugin today but it’s just what I was looking for.  I changed a few pages around on my website a few weeks ago and I realised that some of the links no longer worked.  I tried a piece of software I found online but instead of achieving what I was after it took my website down by the constant crawling of my pages.  Then I tried something else but just couldn’t get my head round how to use it easily.  A plugin like this is so easy to install and start using straight away, I now have a list of broken links I can access directly from my dashboard and fix them!

Subscribe / Connect / Follow Widget

I had been looking for something to show my social media profiles but many didn’t use all the sites that I use, this one incorporates all the various networks I use, there are 35 to choose from.  The only downside of this is that you can only show up to 5 accounts, so make sure you choose the most important ones.

Tweet Old Post

This one I have been using for some time, it saves me so much time and can be customised to suit your own blog needs.  It will tweet your old blog posts at random intervals, you pop in the settings when it should tweet, the number of hours between tweets and just let it get on with the work.  You can even exclude certain posts if you don’t want them tweeted, for example I had some Christmas related blog posts which are irrelevant at this time of the year so I just excluded them.  It’s a great plugin and would recommend it to everyone if they use Twitter to promote their blog posts.

Bumpin Facebook Fan Page

This plugin results in the little pop up at the bottom right of my website, which shows my Facebook fan page and my Twitter account.  You can add more buttons, but I wanted to keep it clean and I felt these were the two social networks my visitors were more likely to want to look.  From the bar at the bottom you can view all updates on Facebook and Twitter without leaving the page you’re reading, I think it’s great.  I’d be interested to hear from you if you’ve used this on my site, and whether you feel it’s a good idea?

Now I’ve mentioned some of my favourite plugins, I thought I’d give you a few other blog posts which showcase some of the other great plugins out there.

Firstly I received this post in my ProBlogger RSS feed this morning – 19 Essential WordPress Plugins for Your Blog – this is where I found out about Broken Link Checker, I plan on testing some of the other plugins later this week.

Here are a few more:

10 Must Have WordPress Plugins Of 2012 Every Blogger Should Know About

21 WordPress Plugins I Can’t Live Without

Blog Smarter: 5 WordPress Plugins to Help You Make Money From Your Blog

I’d love to hear what plugins you use, especially ones which will save time and will improve my website/blog… let me know in the comments below!

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