Once you’ve built a few niche sites and got to know your favourite plugins you will use them time and time again, and so I thought I would share my favoured plugins with you all. This isn’t an extensive list and there are bound to be ones that I don’t include, but this is just a sample of those that really add value to a site and can make your life easier.
All in One SEO Pack
This does what it says on the tin and offers out-of-the-box search engine optimisation for your WordPress blog. One of the better feature is the ability to override post titles so they are displayed differently in search engines which is great for testing without changing your posts url.
Google Analytics for WordPress
Google Analytics is the daddy of monitoring your sites stats especially since Google is where most of your traffic will be coming from. You will need to set up an Analytics account with Google and then you will be asked to paste some code into your site so that they can track it. Simply enter your analytics code into this plugin to authorise your site and it will start tracking.
Google XML Sitemaps
This plugin will generate a special XML sitemap which will help search engines to index your site and alert them when you make any changes.
Ozh’ Admin Drop Down Menu
This hasn’t got much to do with SEO and niche sites but it’s the first plugin I install on a new WordPress site as it removes the sidebar menu and provides a horizontal drop down menu instead which helps with navigation in the admin area of your WordPress installation. It really is a must.
Pretty Link Lite
This is a way of shrinking or masking your links which is great for affiliate sites allowing you to display a friendly url as well as being able to track them.
This allows you to insert your AdSense code into posts/pages/sidebars with minimal effort. Paste your various advert codes into the plugin and then say where you want them to go. This allows you to experiment with their positions putting ads at the end of posts, the beginning, or even the middle and specifying their alignment so they fit in snugly with your text.
SEO SearchTerms Tagging 2
This increases blog traffic by strengthening on page SEO, increasing the number of indexed pages, and auto converts search terms into post tags so that more of your pages are indexed. This also displays incoming search terms on the footer of your post or on your sidebar which can mean more visits but also helps you with keyword research and perhaps what words you should be looking to optimise or write new content on.
SexyBookmarks (by Shareaholic)
You will have seen this on quite a few blogs (and this one) and it adds an attractive social bookmarking menu to your posts, pages, or homepage. I would click on this far more often than any other bookmarking plugin and you can easily select which social bookmarking links to display.
Strictly Auto Tags
Tagging is a great way to get more pages indexed by search engines and can also increase site traffic but it’s all to easily to forget this and not add any tags to your articles. This plugin will scan your post and add the most relevant and appropriate tags but in a really smart way. Hit ‘publish’ and the tags are automatically added.
Subscribe to Comments Reloaded
This enables people who comment on your site to sign up for e-mail notification of subsequent entries and if you’re running a niche site you want to get as much returning traffic as possible. You can also have this as ‘opt out’ as well as ‘opt in’ so that the box is already ticked when a user comments meaning they are more likely to be subscribed to that comment stream. This may annoy some but it’s easy to either untick or unsubscribe.
Tweet old post
When running a niche site you will probably set up a twitter account for it too but it’s not always easy to keep this updated so why not use this plugin to keep your twitter stream (and your followers) populated with links back to articles on your site? You can specify the age of posts, exclude categories, add additional text, add hashtags based on the tags on your post, and lots more. Then just set the intervals you would like to publish your tweets at.