Blog Setup – Blog Tools
I thought I would share today a bit which blogging tools I use here on hospitalera.com. in the hope that you find one or more of them useful for your own blog. If you know of something recommendable that is not included in this list, please feel free to add it with a comment.
Domain names bought from Godaddy and hosted by Hostgator. I use Godaddy only to purchase and to manage my domains, that they do with excellence. Hostgator is my preferred host because they allow me to host an unlimited amount of web sites on one account, they have live support via chat 24/7 and their uptime is great. They also offer free one-click installations via Fantastico of WordPress and the like. I use WordPress with the free Atahualpa theme. I chose this theme because it is so incredible versatile and every blog you build with it can look completely different. It is also a good theme for non-techie-savvy people as most of the customization can be done from the dashboard and without changing the code directly. So that is my basic blog setup for this, and other blogs I have and / or be the web master of.
I use a number of plugins and other goodies to run this blog. Google Analytics is my preferred method to keep an eye on my site statistics. Apart of that I have nine plugins installed on this blog.
Contextual related Posts allows me to display a customizable number of related blog posts at the end of my posts and on feeds. That is great for two reasons, first because it encourages readers to browse and read more of my blog posts and second because it deep links posts together and keeps Google happy 😉
Do Follow plus KeywordLuv , these two provide the option for my readers to add keyword optimized and do follow enabled comments on my blog. So for example instead of calling yourself “Coffee Machine”, you can put into the field John@Coffee Machines plus the url you want to link to and the plugin converts this to a keyword anchored do follow backlink. Important, to be do follow, you also need to install a do follow plugin, if not, you have keyword anchored NO follow backlinks in your comment section. And that would be really useless ;-(
The other, comment related, plugin I use is ““Subscribe to Double Opt In Comments””. This allows people to subscribe to single posts where they have commented on and get notifications whenever a new comment is posted. This is one of my most favorite comment features when I browse the blogosphere and leave comments on many blogs because it makes it so easy for my to keep track of my online conversations. It is called “Double Opt In” because you have to confirm that you really wanted to subscribe to those comments and makes it impossible for others to misuse your email address and subscribing you to other blogs.
For Sitemaps I actually use two plugins, one, Google XML Sitemaps to create a Google compliant sitemap and to submit it to Google Webmaster Tools and Really Simple Sitemap to generate and display a sitemap here on my blog. Having a sitemap submitted to Google helps the spiders to crawl and index all corners of your blog and having a sitemap on your blog gives your readers another possibility of browsing your contents.
Post Layout is a blog tool that allows me to add html or java script before, in the middle and / or at the end of my pages and posts without touching the template or having to modify the theme. That is the way I display my Google and other ads here on my blog.
Sexy Bookmarks are a little feature that allows my readers to bookmark and submit my ramblings with the help of the animated cuties below the content. I find them far more engaging then the static ones you see on many blogs.
And last, but not least I use ““TinyMCE Advanced” ” this one is a secret weapon against the most annoying feature or better said bug WordPress has. Ever tried to add empty lines to a paragraph only to discover that WordPress strips them out? Ever tried to align photos and text site by site and dreamt of having a table to make this easier? “TinyMCE Advanced” does all this and more. It allows you to change the annoying WordPress behavior that strips out the
tags and shows them in the html window. It allows you so to ad those extra, empty lines that help so much to structure your content. It also allows you to add additional options like “insert table” to your post editor.
So they are my favorite blog tools. What are yours? Care to share ;–) ?
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