WordPress itself is a great platform to run your own blogs but WordPress plugins make it a lot easier to control spam comments, SEO, check for broken links, place revenue generating ads and to back up your WordPress database to name a few. Without these plugins you would require technical expertise way beyond the average blogger, not to mention the time plugins save in doing things like creating a “Contact Us” page and sorting out all those spam blog comments.

Here are the 9 plugins that I now use on all my blogs.

Akismet is a popular plugin that checks your comments against the Akismet web service to see if they look like spam or not. You can review the spam it catches under “Comments.” Without such a plugin your blog could easily become full of undesirable comments that you certainly do not want your readers to read.

All in One SEO Pack is Out-of-the-box SEO for your WordPress blog. You can use this plugin to tweak the default options for title, description, keywords and duplicate content.

Broken Link Checker checks your posts for broken links and missing images and notifies you on the dashboard if any are found. There is nothing worse getting traffic to your blog and then sending them to a web page that no longer exists. Without this plugin it would takes quite some time to regularly check all the links on all your blog posts and pages.

Google AdSense, Chitika and Kontera plugins allow you to monetize your blog and make an income from an information blog.

Contact Form 7 allows you to create a “Contact Us” page with a form people can fill in for further information or questions about your products.

Google XML Site maps plugin will generate a special XML site map which will help search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing and Ask.com to better index your blog. Another time saving plugin.

Pretty Link will shrink, track and share any URL on the Internet from your WordPress website. No more ugly affiliate links that you have to hide under hyper-linked text.

StatPress gives real time stats for your WordPress blog. This is my preference for displaying my blog stats.

WP-DBManager manages your WordPress database. Allows you to optimize database, repair database, backup database, restore database, delete backup database, drop/empty tables and run selected queries. Supports automatic scheduling of backing up and optimizing of the database. This is probably one of the most overlooked plugins for WordPress as a backup is only needed when your blog has been hacked or has failed due to technical issues. Relying on your hosting account for backups may not be a good as you think because blogs need to be backed up regularly as they are constantly changing with new posts being added regularly.

These are only a few of the many plugins available to use on your blogs. You need to consider the nature of your blog,the niche you are blogging in and other things like are you using you WordPress blog as a blog, a sales page or just a website?

You must also be aware that some plugins for WordPress can conflict with one another and cause problems with your blog. From my experience I have had I am yet to have a problem using the above combination of plugins but one must remember that plugins are always being updated and conflicts may arise with future updates.

For more information about WordPress plugins check out my blog at http://www.kerriesheehan.com. If you are looking for more information about making money blogging check out http://www.kerriesheehan.com/blog

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