A top 10 list of any sort is purely subjective, for instance the top 10 music charts are based on sales following a set of criteria, they don't necessarily relate to all the music people are actually buying, and there are top 10 charts for every genre. In fact there are literally 100's of top 10 music charts. In much the same vein there are 1000's of top 10 WordPress plug-in charts.
In all honesty, maybe the title of this post should be Top 10 WordPress plug-ins for a freelance software developer blog, but I feel that loses some panache and besides Google doesn't like long titles. So I've gone with the punchy title.
If you're going to be running a blog, one of your goals will be to interact with your audience. Adding a Comment section, is a great way to enable people to interact with you, but adding a comment about the subject and let their opinions be heard. Unfortunately, there are some morons and real idiots think that by abusing this functionality but adding non-sensical random blabberings and url links to websites peddling some cheap tat, is a great way to boost SEO performance. This can inadvertently lead to increased maintenance effort on your part, having to daily moderate and delete comment spam.
Akismet, automatically does this for you. Leaving you to concentrate on the real focus of your blog. There is a free version, for personal blog sites, and like so many plugins there are alternative subscriptions available. Personally I decided to donate to this project, primarily it is extremely useful and I don't tolerate internet idiots, so will contribute to any project that seeks to eliminate them.
Jetpack adds over 30 powerful features to your site. In the form of some great widgets, plugins and enhanced functionality. It really helps you to supercharge your blog.
A couple of the features really like are the Enhanced Distribution which enables you to automatically post to all your configured social media accounts when you post a new post on your blog. Which is a real time saver, and essential when building traffic.
Spelling and Grammar help me to review content on my post before I post it, to ensure my spelling and grammar somewhat correct. Due to the fact that I am not a natural writer, I need all the help I can get in this department!
There is loads for functionality jetpack provides I would ensure you install and take a look at all the functionality before proceeding further. You'll find the features that jetpack provides will be extremely useful as your blog progresses.
When writing content for your blog, the last thing you want to be doing is worrying about remembering which tags and styles you have available for HTML display formatting etc. That's where ShortCodes Ultimate comes in. It has a number of display options already pre formatted, enabling you to pick and choose quickly. They all look pretty cool, and make adding a little extra pizzazz to your posts very easy.
The key thing about having a blog and ensuring it is successful, is that you have to be continually monitoring which articles and posts on your blog are achieving results expected. You have to constantly be monitoring reach and impact. By doing this will ensure you only focus on the areas of your blog that have most impact, and you constantly explore what elements can be improved on. Google Analytics is the defacto tool to help analyse your web traffic statistics. The Google Universal Analytics helps you to integrate Google analytics very easily.
Although WordPress is an extremely good platform and it is already really good technically when it comes to SEO, there are still a few things you can do to improve upon it. It also helps you to write better content, which will further improve your sites SEO. It's kind of like having your own SEO consultant sitting with your as you write your content. The free product is extremely good, it has helped me to achieve some really good rankings on my other blog.
One of the biggest problems with WordPress is its ubiquity. It is because of this a lot of the same idiots I mention in first item, try and brute force entry into your blog by targetting the login page. One way to overcome them and to foil most ametuer wannabe's is to simply hide your login page. This plugin achieves this with ease.
This plugin is the easiest way to add a customizable author bio below your posts. The plugin works right out of the box with WordPress built in profiles. This plugin also expands your profile page by adding popular social media fields so it's easier for readers to follow your authors.
On my blog I plan to show a number of Code samples, in order to showcase my skills. I also want to ensure my code samples look great. Crayon is a Syntax Highlighter built in PHP and jQuery that supports customizable languages and themes. It can highlight from a URL, a local file or WordPress post text. Crayon makes it easy to manage Language files and define custom language elements with regular expressions.
A key objective of my blog, is to promote my services as a freelance software engineer. Clients always want the facility to review my CV (Curriculum Vitae) - as we know it in the UK - or RÃ©sumÃ© - as our cousins over the pond like to call it. Having the facility to easily edit and update my CV is essential. This plug-in is packed with features that making editing and presenting a professional quality CV extremely easy.
Lucky Orange is an incredible tool that lets you quickly see who is on your site and interact with them in many ways. With Lucky Orange, you can chat with visitors on your site, actually watch their mouse move around the screen and click in real time or as recordings (as well as keystrokes), generate beautiful heat maps of clicks, mouse movements (eye tracking), and scroll depth, create quick insightful polls, and more
Disclaimer & disclosure
This list includes a mixture of premium and free plug-ins, which I have installed on my blog. I have no affiliation or interests in the plug-ins mentioned, therefore I do not guarantee their stability or performance or any other assurances.
I do not guarantee the effectiveness of the plug-ins. I therefore only provide personal recommendations, based on the results I have on my blog by making use of the plug-ins.