It’s no secret that WordPress is a marketer’s best friend. This simple, free little software can do pretty much anything – from forming the foundation of a blog to providing a way to make sales directly to your readers. I love it. But, WordPress alone isn’t necessarily a “complete” software tool. You need to do a few tweaks and upgrades if you really want to get something solid out of it.
1. All in One SEO – This should be number one whenever you create a new WordPress website. It allows you to quickly and easily create titles, descriptions, and keywords for your post, index all of your categories and tags, and generate keyword rich URLs. In short, it makes sure that your content is seen on Google.
2. XML Sitemap – Google likes to see sitemaps on websites with more than two or three pages of content. For a blog, a manually created sitemap would take a long time and likely be inaccurate most of the time. XML Sitemap Creator will generate a new sitemap every time you write a post and submit it to not only Google, but the other major search engines as well.
3. Ultimate Analytics – Google Analytics is the most powerful free tracking tool online. If you want to know where your visitors are coming from, what they’re viewing, and how long they stay on your site, you need an Analytics account. This plugin will place the tracking ID for your account onto each page of your blog so you continue to get the data you need regardless of how big your site gets.
4. WP-Ecommerce – If you plan on selling something on your website, this free plugin will allow you to easily add a shopping cart that integrates with PayPal or Google Checkout. You can sell items directly from your site with a redirect to the payment processor of your choice. It doesn’t get much easier than that.
5. AddtoAny/TweetMeme – AddtoAny is a tool that allows users to use a social bookmarking service like Facebook, Digg, or StumbleUpon to share your posts. TweetMeme is a “retweet” button that will allow instant retweeting with shortened URLs. I recommend you add them both to your WordPress to maximize sharing of your content.
Simply put – you’ve got to be willing to play with some of the features and toolsets available for WordPress. The opportunities are nearly endless if you do, plus it’s fun to see what you can come up with using simple, free software.