by David Wallace

While plug-ins for the WordPress blogging platform are in abundant supply, I try
not to depend on too many of them due to the fact that I don’t want to have to
worry about them breaking every time a new version of WordPress is released.
That being said, there are four plug-ins as well as one adjustment (or hack) to the post
template itself that I feel are essential in order to have a great WordPress
experience.

Dofollow

Created by Semiologic, the
Dofollow

plug-in for WordPress allows you to remove the “evil nofollow attribute” from your
comments. By default, the WordPress blogging platform adds the “nofollow”
attribute to any links within comments added to posts. The original idea behind
adding nofollow to blog comments was to thwart comment spam. However, nofollow
hasn’t done anything to slow down comment spam on blogs. In fact the only real
way to battle comment spam is to either moderate all comments or use some kind of CAPTCHA function to at least stop “automated” spam.

So, if you wish to reward your commenters with a “followed” link as I
do, simply install
this plug-in and activate it. All comments will now be free of the “nofollow”
attribute. It is as simple as that.

SEO Title Tag

Created by Netconcepts, the
SEO Title Tag

makes is easy to optimize the title tags across your WordPress-powered
blog.

Features include:

  • Override a page’s or a post’s title tag with a custom one.

  • Includes a title tag input box in the “Edit Post and “Write Post ”
    modules.

  • Allows for mass editing of title tags for all posts, static pages,
    category pages, tag pages, tag conjunction pages, and archive by month pages.

  • You can define the title tag of 404 error pages.
  • Handles internal search result pages too.
  • Title tags of category pages can optionally be set to the category
    description.

  • If you choose to keep the blog name in your title tags, the order of the
    blog name and the title are automatically reversed, giving more keyword
    prominence to the title instead of the blog name. There is also an option to
    replace your blog name with a shorter blog nickname.

WP Mobile

Ever visited your blog on a mobile phone and then gasped at what you saw?
WP Mobile

is a nifty plug-in that creates a PDA friendly interface for your blog. You can
see it in action by visiting your site in a mobile browser. I am able to view a
mobile version of every site I installed this plug-in on via my Blackberry Curve
but others have reported various issues. Therefore use at your own risk. It
seems like it either works or doesn’t work. There are no settings — just
install and activate. You should then be able to automatically see a clean mobile
version of your blog when visiting it with a mobile device.

WordPress Automatic Upgrade

Of the few plug-ins I do use, this one is by far the most valuable to me. In
fact, I wish I would have discovered this plug-in a few upgrades ago! The

Wordpress Automatic Upgrade
automatically upgrades your WordPress version to
the latest files provided using the 5 steps provided in the upgrade
instructions.

Here is what WPAU does:

  1. Backs up files and makes available a link to download them.

  2. Backs up the database and makes available a link to download it.
  3. Downloads the latest files from http://wordpress.org/latest.zip and
    unzips them.

  4. Puts the site in maintenance mode (a ‘maintenance’ screen will appear
    to your users).

  5. De-activates all active plug-ins and remembers them.
  6. Upgrades WordPress files.
  7. Gives you a link that will open in a new window to upgrade installation.
  8. Re-activates plug-ins.

The plug-in can also can be run in a automated mode where in you do not have
to click on any links to go to the next step.

I ran it in a step by step mode in which it worked beautifully with the
exception of reactivating plug-ins. However, seeing that I use so few plug-ins,
reactivating them manually was easy as cake.

Customizing the “Read More Tag

Finally, not a plug-in but more of an “adjustment” to the way WordPress
works

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