Since May of 2009, I’ve been self-hosting this little web presence with Dreamhost using the WordPress platform. First of all, I stand to benefit financially from you signing up from Dreamhost, but I can’t more highly recommend them. Why? It’s cheap, and it’s novice-friendly setup for WordPress users is perfect for newbies like me. Seriously, cheap and easy. If you’re interested hit that Dreamhost badge over to your right, or just click HERE.
If you’re not currently on WordPress, then make it happen for yourself. It’s so much easier and tweakable than any other platform. And the added bonus of using WordPress is that you instantly join a community of people willing to help and offer input. Collaboration at it’s WordPress best!
The plugin feature of WordPress has been my favorite part of the experience. In that spirit, here are a few plugins that I’ve found to be highly beneficial since moving over to WordPress:
All in One SEO Pack
This little plugin easily ties SEO data into each blog post. As a newbie, I didn’t quite get it’s benefit at first; but now I see that it really makes my posts easier to find through search engines. I took the time to add SEO data to old posts, and it even drove traffic to those lost and lonely post from years pasts.
W3 Total Cache
I don’t totally understand this plugin, but I know that since I moved from WP_Super Cache to this my load times have been lightning fast. Fast is good in the web world, right?
Amazon Associate Filter
This little plugin is magic. It automatically ties in all Amazon links to my Amazon Affiliate ID. Cha-Ching!
I moved over from a Blogger platform to WordPress, and I found these three plugins to be life-savers:
When I migrated over to WordPress, I spent hours changing my categories and working to make old posts easier to find. Then I found this tool and did what had taken me hours in about 10 minutes. It allows you to do what the name of it is. Change categories of posts in a batch, instead of individually.
Blogger To WordPress Redirection
This is a great plugin that automatically moves old blogger permalinks to your new wordpress permalinks. This was important for me, because I changed my naming setup when I moved to WordPress.
Maintain Blogger Permalinks
This works in conjunction with the other plugin, and maintains all those original http://littlepastor.blogspot.com (Don’t ask!) links that exists in the Internets.
There are other plugins I use, like Askimet, Feedburner, Woopra, Google Analytics, and other WordPress tool plugins. It wouldn’t be an adequate WordPress blog help post, if I didn’t mention the help that John has provided at www.human3rror.com and www.churchcrunch.com. It was even from his site that I picked up the cool toolbar over on the right side of my blog!