Plugins Archives

Dealing with WordPress and the robots.txt file

It’s funny to me that there seems to be so much foolishness around sitemaps and robots.txt files, especially when it comes to wordpress.

And this is vitally important to get this straight! If you are considering monetizing your wordpress site, you need to get your on-site SEO perfect!

Well, I’ve been using xml sitemap generator for some time and it works quite well with one exception. If you try to make the setting for robots.txt to display your sitemap location, well, it doesn’t work. Now, I don’t blame this on the sitemap plugin, but wordpress itself.

It seems that wordpress doesn’t create the dynamic robots.txt file. Maybe I have file permission issues, but I’m not sure.

And I want to be sure! And I want it to be automated! Why would I have to fool around and wonder if something as important as a robots.txt file be left to chance?

Now, the robots.txt file is important in that it is a file that is available to search engine robots as a starting point for reviewing and indexing your site’s information. If you have problems here, it could cause adverse issues. At worst you are not indexed properly. At best, you don’t rank as well.

Back to my story. Because I couldn’t properly depend on the robots.txt file to protect my site from getting same pages indexed as duplicate content and have it display the location of my sitemap.xml file, in an automated fashion, I’ve just skipped the sitemap.xml file listing.

After some reading, it seems that this is a fairly important component of onsite SEO. So, I had to find a better solution. Well, I believe that I have! Peter Coughlin on his website has created a magic plugin!

Take a cruise over to and check out his plugin, Robots.txt WordPress plugin. Now, this is a simple but slick plugin. And does it work well!

Within 5 minutes of downloading it, I had it installed, activated, modified and running! Next, I check to see if the robots.txt file was been written. All I have to say is, two thumbs up!

There was one small change that I did make to the robots.txt file. Oh, didn’t I mentioned that you can actually modify your robots.txt within wordpress? Well now you can!

Below is the lines that I added near the bottom of the plugin configuration:

User-agent: *
Disallow: /cgi-bin
Disallow: /wp-admin
Disallow: /wp-includes
Disallow: /wp-content/plugins
Disallow: /wp-content/cache
Disallow: /wp-content/themes
Disallow: /wp-login.php
Disallow: /wp-register.php
Disallow: /tag
Disallow: /author
Disallow: /wget/
Disallow: /httpd/
Disallow: /i/
Disallow: /f/
Disallow: /t/
Disallow: /c/
Disallow: /j/
Disallow: /*?

Now, I apologize, you’ll have to look and see what lines I’ve added. It took me about a minute to add the extra lines in the disallows.

My recommendation? Give it a try. Just make sure you’ve removed any manually made robots.txt file and then you should be golden!

So, Peter, 5 stars mate!

Free WordPress Plugins

Things change and here’s a change for you. I was reviewing in the recent past after posting about the redirect issues, my decision to use the redirection plugin. I’ve had issues with it in the past and after starting to change my permalink structure for better SEO, it was causing me issues again. (Promise to post about this soon.)

I was reviewing a wordpress site setup by one of my mentors in the affiliate marketing realm, and notice that she was using two plugins, Platinum SEO Pack and Broken Link Remover. Both of these plugins are created by the same group as I soon found out.

The nice thing about these two plugins, is they kinda work in tandum to provide excellent SEO options including SEO options directly on pages plus link auto-redirection! Very nice.

I’m pleased to say that I’ve been running both plugins and I’ve purposefully moved posts to see if it can track the changes and it works 100%. So, I’m going to change my plans and stop using redirection and All in one SEO for the dynamic duo of Platinum SEO Pack and Broken Link Remover.

You can check out these plugins here.

Cheers!

Best Commercial WordPress Plugins

There are a ton of great and free wordpress plugins, but you know, there’s also some very excellent commercial, pay-for plugins that don’t have free alternatives. Sometimes the free alternatives just aren’t as good.

I’m going to dispel a myth right here and right now. It’s OK to charge for something! I’ve seen so many flame sessions for people who dare charge for good software. I’ll never figure that out. Enough said.

Just so you know, I do try to support good software when I find it. Regardless if it’s free or not. Ok, enough about me being on my soapbox. Let’s get on with this!

I’ve tried many commercially available plugins from several developers and I’ve found some real winners. Here’s my short list of time saving plugins that I think you’ll like!

Article Import

This plugin is provided by Val Petruchek on his website, http://webous.com/. I’ve tried several article importers to all me to import several articles at once quickly and easily and I believe that this is the winner of them all. It works, doesn’t need any cron jobs to be setup to time out the articles and I haven’t had any problems at all with it.

This is one plugin I’d recommend if you want to post multiple articles at one.

Auto Social Poster

This plugin is an expensive one, but worth every penny. The company, Mass Automation, is an innovative company that has put out and publish several wordpress plugins and website automation software.

The job behind Auto Social Poster, or ASP for short, is to post your new blog posts from wordpress automatically to 30-40 social networks. If you want to put your wordpress blog on steroids and get traffic to your blog and your blog indexed and ranked much, much faster, you need to use ASP.

I’ve ran several wordpress blogs and if you’ve done everything else right, then ASP will help. On some of my earlier blogs before ASP, even after 3 months or so, I was seeing less then 50 visitors per day.

On blogs that use ASP, after 1 months, I”m seeing anywhere from 25 – 150 visitors per day in comparison. To me, that’s the kind of time boost my blogs need. Well, using ASP is considered a ‘black hat’ method. But I call it a smart plus. Don’t over advertise your blog, but posting a couple selective ‘hey, I’m here’s’ is, in my opinion a perfectly acceptable practice.

Let your conscience be the guide.

WP VideoTube

This plugin put out by WordPress Labs is a quick and dirty way to get some good videos from YouTube onto your wordpress blog in an automated fashion. Neil Harvey, the owner of WordPress Lab, states some pretty impressive figures to traffic growth.

In my own experience, the growth is not as ‘good’, but this plugin excels in two areas:

  1. It runs automatically. Gotta love hands off.
  2. It creates nice looking posts complete with comments. Sometimes you’ll find comments will bring you great leads to keywords that you would have never guessed. To me, this is worth it.

In the end, the experience for the user is great! This is why I recommend this plugin.

FasterIM Opt-In

This is one of my favorites, right next to ASP. And to boot, the author, Seree Woradechjamroen, is probably the best internet marketer that I’ve met to date. Seree has been extremely helpful even when things go wrong.

From my experience, most don’t complaints, but Seree jumped right on top of my problems and help me to make them go away! Oh, back to the plugin…

Faster IM opt-in is a plugin that will bring up an opt-in box on your wordpress blog to get your prospective visitor to join your email list. You may think that pop-ups that ask you to join or sign up to be annoying, but from my experience, it works well. If you’d like to see a demo of this, just take a peek at www.besthondurasvacations.com. The opt-in form should pop up after about 10 seconds.

If you are trying to create a mailing list, (and if you aren’t I ask you why not), you need Seree’s plugin. It works very well.

Well, that my reader’s is the short list of commercially available wordpress plugins that I’d recommend. In the near future, I hope to share more great plugins, but these are the ones that I use the most.

If you have a wordpress plugin that you enjoy, please leave comments! I’d love to hear what you’ve found to be useful and useless.

Best Free WordPress Plugins

WordPress is a great content management system for many reasons. But one reason I want to focus in on today, is WordPress Plugins! WordPress plugins make highly technical work slam dunk easy.

There are probably more plugins available then daisies in a field. So, this can make finding the right plugins for your situation a difficult decision. Today, I’m going to give you a rundown on some of the best free plugins available for wordpress. In a later article, I’ll be doing a rundown on the best commercially available plugins.

WordPress plugins come in many forms. They can be loosely grouped into the following categories:

  • Look and feel – There are many plugins that can enhance your wordpress site. These types of plugins range from simple to the complex. Take a peek at www.christmasstockingcollection.com to view a plugin that causes quite the blizzard!
  • Mechanical – There are many plugins that may or may not add visually, but do add some mechanical feature. Some of these plugins can be automatic updates, content scraping, or backups.
  • SEO and SERP – I break this functionality from mechanical simply because this to me is in a field of it’s own. SEO stands for ‘search engine optimization’ and SERP is ‘search engine results page’. This is all about getting free search traffic to your site.
  • Other – There is a ton of other things plugins can add to wordpress, so to be simple let’s just call allllll the rest – other!

WordPress Plugins – My Free Favorites

Here’s my short list of favorite plugins for wordpress.

  1. Adsense-Deluxe – I love adsense. Not because I make a ton of money from it, but it is a consistent flow. Easy to setup and use, the plugin allows me to put ads into my posts and pages quick, quick.
  2. Akismet – Don’t leave home without this one. With all the lovely comment spammers, akismet is a must. It took me, oh, two weeks to search out a comment spam filter when I started working with wordpress.
  3. All in One SEO Pack – The title says it all. This plugin takes care of ensuring your title, keyword tags and the like are all in order. Real time saver!
  4. Cimy Swift SMTP – With the problems surrounding PHP spamming on hosting providers, many are shutting down the php mail function. This plugin comes to the rescue. It ties you into your email provider to re-provide this functionality.
  5. GoCodes – If you are performing any affiliate linking, you will want to use this plugin to protect your affiliate links and improve your link love. I’ll be writing an article on this one soon!
  6. Google XML Sitemaps – This puppy takes care of setting up your sitemaps for the search engines. Next to All in one SEO, this is the most important SEO plugin you could use.
  7. Google Analytics for WordPress – Another handy plugin that will lay in the code you need on your pages to track visitors with Google analytics. If your blogs are your business, then you will need this one.
  8. Moderate Pingbacks – Ties in with akismet to spam filter pingbacks.
  9. Moderate Trackbacks – Ties in with akismet to spam filter trackbacks.
  10. Sociable – Needed to permit others to social bookmark your sites. This will become more and more important over time for getting search engine rankings.
  11. WP Ajax Edit Comments – This give you more control over comment editing. Some times it’s of value to edit user comments to make them more ‘G’ rated or SEO friendly!

Well, there’s my short list of the free wordpress plugins that I use the most. I’ll get a little more detailed in future posts, but here’s a good start for you .

I’d love to hear about your favorite wordpress plugins, so please drop me a comment with your opinions!