I am still working on the How to Create Your Own Website guide, that I have promised you and due to taking on just a little too much it may most probably be launched later than originally planned. (Rookie mistake on my behalf, everything always takes longer than you think it will!) Just to keep you as excited as I am about it, here’s another little sneak peek for those of you who are delving into the world of websites and blogging.
Plugins are pieces of code created with the purpose of expanding the functionalities of a software, in this case of WordPress. There are literally thousands of WordPress plugins already created, solving a wide range of problems and needs.
In real human lingo they are basically pieces of software designed and programmed to add functionality to the WordPress blogging platform.
These are the ones I use, love and swear by. You can download them by going to the plugins section of your wordpress admin section.
1. Akismet
Akismet is your wonderful 24/7 security guard protecting you from spam and in a way, hackers. You need him!As they say “Used by millions, Akismet is quite possibly the best way in the world to protect your blog from comment and trackback spam. It keeps your site protected from spam even while you sleep.”
2. BackupBuddy
This little guy makes backing up my site and keeping it all in top condition a breeze. Since my layout is created using Headway Themes, BackupBuddy goes hand in hand and they work together like magic.
3. CommentLuv
My comment-keeper of choice, CommentLuv takes care of my readers and thereby creates a community. Gotta love it!
4. Google Analytics for WordPress
If you want to be able to measure the impact that your beautiful website is having on the world then you need this plugin. This will keep a count of a myriad of factors including page views, geography, time spent on the site and generally give you an idea of your audience’s behaviour. So wonderful and well worthwhile. At the end of each month I receive an email with the most significant stats and I plug them into an excel sheet so I can compare the months and see what is working and what isn’t.
5. LinkWithin
This is a great way to get your readers curiosity raised and keep them looking through your site. Link within gives you options to show articles similar to the one currently being read which can be clicked on and followed through to new and fascinating articles. It’s a great way to encourage and engage your audience in a easy and fun format.
6. Maintenance Mode
Whenever I need to do a big lot of work on my site which means that it will be down for a few hours, then I use this great tool. It covers your site with a  message to readers that you are currently working on the site and will be back shortly. You can personalise the message to say whatever suits as well as include your logo to keep it all looking professional. Easy, breezy, maintenance mode!
7. Post Title Counter
According to some SEO geeks, Search Engines prefer titles to be 60 characters or less, so if you want to be found in the cyber-jungle of information it’s a good idea to play by the SEO rules. The Post Title Counter shows up in your post side bar in wordpress and tells you when you’ve gone over the limit. Ain’t that sweet?!
8. ShareThis
I LOVE ShareThis because it allows you, the community that has been created here to share pieces that inspire you with those you love. Tell me, what’s not to like about that!!? You can Facebook Like, Share, Tweet, Email and so on……
9. Viper’s Video Quicktags
Viper is awesome because it makes playing any type of video into the site so incredibly easy. You just have to choose Viper from the top bar of your backend wordpress post and then copy and paste the video url from it’s original location. Done. No coding and no confusing needed.
10. What Would Seth Godin Do
Those of you not familiar with Seth Godin, he is basically THE online marketing guru. I suggest you google him. This lovely plugin offers you the ability to place a little message to your readers anywhere on  your site, guiding them to subscribe to your mailing list and thanking them for their love and attention. It’s a great way to make sure you’re connecting with your audience, without any of the effort to continuously keep reminding people that they have the option to sign up and receive exclusive and delicious gifts from you.
Image: David Ehlers

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