A few weeks back, (Ok… I really need to write more!) A few months back, I wrote my first Blogging as an IT Pro post and I’ve been planning several followups since then… Better late than never, right!?!?!
I tend to get a lot of questions about how to get started blogging: what software I use, how I decide what to write on, etc. I have a tendency to give different answers depending on the conversation or I forgot something and remember hours later and have to track the person down (which tends to drive me crazy… I hate giving partial or incomplete answers when people take the time to ask questions!).
I think the WordPress vs. $OtherBloggingPlatform discussion has been had so many times that I probably can’t add much to the discussion. Since I’m a big fan of WordPress (which runs this site), I’ll be covering which WordPress plugins I use and why you might want to consider using them on your blog if you decide to go with WordPress as your platform.
VaultPress is a subscription service that provides regular backups of your WordPress site. VaultPress has the ability to perform automated restores in the event an update, plugin, attacker, or something you do breaks your site. True, it isn’t free, but for $5 a month, you can have the security of knowing a daily backup of your site is being taken and stored in a different location than your web hosting provider.
JetPack has so many features that it isn’t possible to fully do it justice in just a few sentences. It’s basically 30+ plugins rolled into one. It adds enhancements like Related Posts, Infinite Scroll, Publicize (automated sharing to social networks), Sharing buttons, spell check, and much, much more.
Crayon Syntax Highlighter
If you’re going to have any kind of code (PowerShell anyone?) and you’re using WordPress, you need to have Crayon installed. See:
Get-ADUser -Identity kyle
My favorite feature is the ability to set a default language so I don’t have to remember to set PowerShell every time I insert code. Crayon gives you all sorts of different ways to display your code and makes it very easy for visitors to copy/paste your code and re-use it.
Rublon adds two-factor authentication to user accounts on your WordPress site. The biggest thing I like about Rublon over other 2FA providers for WordPress is that they have an app for Android, iOS, and Windows Phone.
You can see what the Organize Series plugin does at the top of this page. It gives you the ability to link similar posts so that your blog visitors can see that there are other posts that may be of interest to them.
Lightbox Plus (Image Presentation)
If you’re going to posting images like screenshots, Lightbox Plus allows you to show the images in an overlay instead of having to pop-up a second window/tab or force visitors to navigate away from the site. See:
All in One SEO Pack
If you want your content to be found on search engines, All in One SEO Pack makes the process of getting your content noticed way easier. It does things like generating XML sitemaps, adding Google analytics, meta tags, optimizing titles, and much, much more.
Starbox generates the really swell Author Box you’ll see at the bottom of the posts. (Scroll down and see for yourself!) Starbox allows you to show the author’s picture, recent posts, bio, and social media links. It’s a very cool way to put a face with the content.
WP Bitly uses the Bitly API to automatically create Bitly links for posts on your blog. You can also plug in your authorization token to get analytics on links to your blog.
What about you? Do you have any WordPress plugins you can’t live without on your technology blog???
Kyle is also the Vice President of the Atlanta Windows Infrastructure and Virtualization User Group (WINVUG).You can find additional articles he's written on 4sysops.com.
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