I don’t know what came over me – I just saw this picture of the Hot Ninja Babe and wanted to BE her for a minute (but only a minute), so I thought she belonged here. This post, while NOT written by or about a Hot Ninja Babe, was written by my friend, Matt Bernier, who is not only very fun to hang out with, he’s really smart when it comes to WordPress. So, here he is, sharing his brain cells with you! Enjoy.
When I read and then re-read Shelly’s post about 5 Things to Make Your Business Blog Totally Kick A** I immediately thought that there might be quite a few WordPress site owners who might WANT to do these killer things, but who don’t know what to do to make these changes to their site. Lucky for you, there’s me! (Shelly is clearly rubbing off on me).
With WordPress, the first thing I do is try to find a plugin that will do what I want. Plugins are often free, which is cool. Free is good. And sometimes, you have to pay a little something for a really awesome plugin, but you usually get so much FREE functionality that it makes it worthwhile. Plus, you don’t have to pay a geek like me to build the feature for you! Here are some specifics mentioned in Shelly’s post … and quick and easy solutions. w00t w00t!! (that’s geek speak for “totally cool beans”).
1. Do you have a Contact Form?
You can get a quick and easy contact form that will allow people to get in touch with you easily and quickly by using the Contact Form 7 plugin. All you have to do is install it and add a simple tag to your contact page, the form shows up like magic and you are protected from spam comments by a CAPTCHA!
2. Do you feature “Connect With Us” buttons that are easy to spot?
There are a couple great plugins for this, but the one we really like is called Find Me On. You can customize it with the top social networks and locations where you are found and can create the community around your online presence.
3. Do you utilize social sharing buttons, prominently displayed on your blog?
Shelly is a big fan of AddThis and Apture. We love Apture too and have it on three different sites right now because it is so awesome. Another great plugin that I love is ShareThis which is almost exactly the same as addthis but it will add the icons to the bottom of every post.
Comments are one of the very most important features of a site, but they have a tendency to attract those wonderful spam bots. One of the quickest and easiest ways to fight spam is with a plugin that comes with WordPress called Akismet. It is built and managed by the WordPress guys to fight spam and much like your email spam detector, it learns!
5. Do you invite your readers to subscribe to your blog by BOTH an RSS feed and by Email?
Most popular themes have links to RSS feeds, either in the theme, or your browser will let you see the RSS links in the address bar. But, since many people still don’t know what RSS is or how to use it and many don’t want to use an RSS reader because it is just one more thing to check, email is super important. An email notification plugin that we love is Post Notification. It gives you a widget for your sidebar and lets people sign up quickly and easily, enabling your brilliant posts to be quickly delivered to their inboxes.
There are literally thousands of WordPress plugins out there, all you have to do is look. Or you can read my blog and discover them there! The ones mentioned above are usually standard fare when we put together a WordPress site because they are so simple and add such great functionality for website visitors.
Matt Bernier is co-owner of Spotted Koi LLC in Denver, CO. He has been working with web software and technology for over 7 years. Recently, he has been helping people set up and maintain their WordPress websites through how-tos, tips and tricks on WP-Relief.com He’s good people and if you’re not yet following and engaging with him on Twitter, I suggest you do so, immediately. #thatisall
P.S. And if you’ve not yet subscribed to this blog’s bitchin’ RSS feed (for convenient delivery either in your reader OR in your emailbox) why the heck not???