Blogs sure are great, and owners are doing everything they can to optimize them for search engines, but what about people? There are a few usability plugins that make it easier for visitors to interact with your site.
Optimal Title / SEO Title : Good title tags are not just for search engines. They also appear in the users history and possibly bookmarks. Title tags should be specific -> generic. So, don’t start all your tittle tags with your blog name please.
Subscribe to Comments : Getting comments is one trick, keeping the people up to date on the comment discussion is important. I can’t think of how many times I’ve posted and then I couldn’t remember where I made my comments. Email notifications is a great way to get updates on comments and keep your visitors connected.
Chicklet Creator : A big feature of blogs is the syndication abilities. Having a feed is great, but making it easy to subscribe to is even better. (This is one of my projects.)
Spam Detection : Reading a blog full of viagra and casino comment spam is not fun. Chances are, it’ll annoy your users too and they’ll stop visiting.
– Spam Karma
Post Teaser : One extremely long home page is enough to drive some visitors nuts. This is usually an issue if your posts have a tendency to be quite long. Providing a summary on the homepage makes them easier to skip over if a user isn’t interested in that post but want to see older posts.
WP-Print : I haven’t tried this out, but it provides a print friendly version of your blog posts. This is good if you write tutorials. However, a good print CSS file works too.
Social Bookmark Plugin : Make it easy for users to bookmark your posts in del.icio.us or one of the many other social bookmarking services. Great information is hard to find, finding it again after you forget to bookmark it is even harder.
– Social Bookmark Creator – (This is one of my projects.)
Needed, but not plugins.
Permalinks/Post Slug : Yes, good URLs make your blog easier for users. Take those ugly, and sometimes intimidating, URLs and make them short and clean. It’ll just make people feel better.
iFeedReaders.com : Much like the Chicklet Creator and Social Bookmark plugins, iFeedReaders gives you one button and then it takes the visitor to a page full of RSS buttons or social bookmark buttons. This gives the blog owner all the button choices without cluttering up the blog theme. (FYI: That’s one of my projects too.)
What plugins do you use that you feel makes your blog more usable for visitors?
This post is part of ProBlogger.net’s Lists – Group Writing Project.