This is a guest post from the author of www.sleeplessblogger.com, a blog where you can find blogging tips from a four figures blogger.
Starting a new blog is like a ritual. The first steps are always the same: buy the domain name, create a twitter account, install WordPress, install the a professional theme, and a few basic plugins. Since the release of WordPress 3.0 the Akismet anti-spam plugin is installed automatically but there are three others that I consider as standard and install on all my blogs. And they are all three for free.
WP-Twitter Retweet Button
This plugin adds a “Tweet” button to all your posts and pages. This makes easy for your visitors to tweet a link to your post. It also displays the number of visitors who already did tweet a link. This gives a good indication how popular the post is and it is a great way to leverage the power of Twitter. You can find a similar service on www.tweetmeme.com.
I hate loosing ideas. This is why I always carry a notepad and a pen in my pocket, and why I use the Dashboard Notepad plugin on all my blogs. This very simple plugin displays a notes window on the WordPress dashboard. I use it to collect post ideas, to-do items and all what goes through my mind. I also use to create draft posts but this plugin is a great productivity tool. Just one trick: you have to click “Save notes” after writing. No autosave feature. May be in the next version?
WordPress Database Backup
My background is in IT, so I know what a backup is. My hosting company does backup my files, my databases, everything. But there’s never enough backups, particularly if you consider your blog as a business. The WordPress Database Backup plugin provides an easy solution. This plugin sends database backups per mail. I created a special address for my backups and I use the scheduling feature of this plugin to get daily database backups sent there. This is a set-up and forget operation that brings extra safety to my blogs. When you configure it, don’t forget to check all the database tables you want to include in your backups. By default some are not included. This is particularly important after installing Thesis or other plugins that use their own tables.
I’m always looking for more free plugins to make my blogging better, easier and more efficient. Let me know which one are your favorites in comments here or on my home blog,www.sleeplessblogger.com.