5 great plugins to add to your WordPress blog

A WordPress blog is a pretty awesome thing on its own, and a getting one set up is incredibly easy thanks to name.com’s RapidPress install.* But what if you want to add a few bells and whistles to your already-awesome blog?

One of the biggest advantages of a hosted WordPress blog–as opposed to setting one up through WordPress.com–is that you can add plug-ins. Plug-ins enhance your blog with all sorts of cool features, from SEO tools to widgets that enhance your photos and social media presence. Here are a few that should come in handy:

*One-click WordPress installation, unlimited hosting, and name.com’s legendary support, all for $30? Yeah, it’s pretty badass.

1. All-In-One SEO pack

All In One SEO Pack

If you’re new to blogging, chances are you’re new to Search Engine Optimization. SEO helps your blog get noticed in the big churning sea of internet blogdom. The All-In-One SEO pack helps optimize your posts’ titles and meta tags, making it a great tool for newbies. Learn more …

2. NextGEN Gallery

WordPress’s default image options can leave a lot to be desired. NextGEN Gallery gives you a bunch of photo management options (watermarks, image editing, advanced thumbnail features, centralized gallery control) and creates beautiful photo galleries. Learn more …

3. Share Buttons By Lockersz / AddToAny

If you’re going to be publishing all these awesome blog posts, you want people to spread the word, right? Share buttons make it easier for your readers to post about your blog on social media sites, share links via their preferred email clients, and bookmark their favorite content. This plug-in even prioritizes sharing options based on each user’s browsing history. So if a user prefers Hotmail and Google+ (in other words, if a user is a bit of an oddball), those sharing options will appear first. Learn more …

4. Google XML Sitemap for Videos

Is your blog heavy on original video content? This plug-in creates a search engine-friendly map of your videos, making it easier for Google, Bing, and the rest of the search engine crowd to index your content. Any video you add to your posts gets inserted into the video site map. Aside from the SEO benefits, it’s a great way for users to find all of your videos in one place without having to leave your blog entirely. Learn more …

By the way, if you’re posting a lot of videos, a .TV domain might be right up your alley.

5. Broken Link Checker

Blog maintenance can be a pain. As your blog grows, it gets pretty tough to keep track of all the links you’ve included in various posts. Inevitably someone will find an old post and click on a link that has gone bad. Link Checker parses your site for links, then tests to see if those links are still working. An especially cool feature is that you don’t have to return to the original post to fix a broken link. You can update (or remove, or ignore…) the link from a “broken links” tab that is added to your WordPress admin panel when the plug-in is installed. Learn more …

Got some suggestions for WordPress plug-ins? Let us now in the comments section!