Top 5 Free WordPress Plugins for SEO, Social Bookmarking and Images

There is a sea of plugins for WordPress and for those only vaguely familiar with how they work, here is a top 10 (5 more to come in next post) list that tells you the good and the bad about the user end of these magical scripts. The links in this article all go to great YouTube tutorials or demonstrations for this plugin. Since I’m a visual person, I find it easier to sit for 5 minutes and watch rather than pour through lots of text and try to figure out how it relates. I hope you find this helpful and benefit from my experience.

SEO – All In One SEO

This handy plugin installs and activates without any fuss to your WP site. Very few users find trouble with install and Google seems to respond well to this plugin. Google already likes the WP setup and this plugin helps you title, describe, and choose your keywords in a simple, straightforward way to any page or post to your site. I haven’t found any great disadvantages to this plugin and I highly recommend it.

Images – The The Fly Image Slider

This is a relatively new plugin on the scene but it works like a charm. It’s a bit ore involved than some plugins but it’s still easy to use and worth it for the visual output. You can easily have captions on your slides, add SEO and choose the speed and way the slides change over. The only confusing part is that you have to make a general sideshow for each page you want slides on and then edit/add slides within that new slideshow and it’s a bit tricky to see the link to do so until you get used to it. The reason it’s tricky is because there is a hidden menu for each pages slideshow that you create that’s hidden until you hover over the presentation you created. I can’t tel you how many times I just clicked the main slideshow link and wondered where the heck to put the pictures! You have to hover over the link and see the text that appears to add/edit slides. Other than that it’s pretty straight forward.

Images – Next Gen Gallery Plugin

Next gen is different than a slider presentation and this gallery plugin displays thumbnails of your images that will display wherever you paste the shortcode into your WP page. Shortcode is a small snippet of text that tells the page which gallery to display after you have created it. Uploading images is easy and simple. Choosing where to post images is simple as well but there are 2 main drawbacks. For one, you will need to make folders manually in your sites directory and you can’t do that through a plugin so you will have to go through your sites content management system or FTP connection and find it. If you can’t do that, don’t use this plugin. The other drawback is that you can’t choose photos that are already uploaded to your WP site through your media gallery. You must separately upload each image (in single or bulk) to the plugins folder again, even if they are already uploaded which is a bit annoying. Other than that the function is beautiful, easy and straightforward.

Ads – Datafeedr Random

Datafeedr Random is a fantastic plugin for making any widget box ad or adsense ad space to randomly display different ad images with hyperlinks and all. You will have to understand a bit of CSS but the basic code is pasted all over the net and the tutorial above is fantastic. The one main drawback to this plugin is that it can’t sense if its displaying more than one instance of the same ad on your page. For example, if you have a sidebar with four 125 x 125 ads that are all coming from the same folder (which is the way you would do that) it sometimes displays 2, 3 or all 4 of the same ad! The more ads you put in the image folder the less likely this is to happen but I’m hoping that someone creates a fix for this obvious shortfall soon or perhaps I have overlooked it! Easy to use and highly recommended.

Social Bookmarking – Share Buttons by Lockerz / AddToAny

Yes you should probably get an individual plugin for Twitter anf Facebook but this little bookmarking button will easily do the rest. It come preloaded more sites that you will know what to do with and is “smart” because it can “sense” what the user likes for social bookmarks and offers them those choices. It’s super easy to install and even easier to use. The only drawback here is that it is kind of unattractive in my opinion but you can’t beat the functionality and the number of downloads for this plugin prove it. You can set it to 3 basic sizes and have it appear on the top or bottom of your pages or posts. Super easy, super powerful.

These are but 5 powerful free plugins and I will be posting a follow up for the next 5 plugins next week.

Patty Farmer, “The Networking CEO” is a multi-award winning and highly sought after marketing professional, public speaker, radio show host and author. As the CEO of Patty Farmer & Associates, Inc. she has been the Recipient of 2011’s International Women’s Day Business Service Award as well as 2010’s “Best Business Connector in Dallas” award and a 2010 and 2011 “America’s Most Influential Business Connector” nominee. Patty has created a network of over 100,000+ connections while teaching thousands of business owners how to effectively network and market to grow their businesses using a non-competitive and dynamic collaboration strategy.


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