Mission Critical Social Media PluginsThe WordPress community consists of thousands of software developers who create free software for your blog, called plugins. And there are hundreds of social media plugins, designed to display your Twitter friends, pull in your Delicious tags or even import comments on a Facebook Note back into the blog post.

Don’t go crazy with plugins

A word of caution with plugins. If you’re like me, you want to add the latest shiny plugin to your blog. And before you know it, your blog looks like downtown Tokyo.

Two problems with adding too many plugins:

  1. You could drive away visitors who get blinded by an abundance of shiny objects.
  2. Too many plugins can cause performance issues on your site.

The good news about plugins is that you can try them out for free, and deactivate them if you run into any problems. The important thing is to focus on your blog strategy and not the latest cool gadget.

Mission Critical Social Media Plug-Ins For Your Blog

I used the word “mission critical” not to get your attention (well maybe just a little bit), but to point out several plugins that are important and why you should consider using them.

Mission Critical Social Media Plugins

    • AddThis – This lets folks bookmark your post on pretty much any social media site. This plugin is critical to help you see how people share your content (which sites they’re sharing on, which posts are shared the most…). Social Bookmarks, Sociable (100+ different social bookmarking sites), ShareThis, SexyBookmarks are also great bookmarking plugins, but don’t have the reporting that AddThis does. Why mission critical? Because you need to be active on the sites where your content is being shared.

Mission Critical Social Media Plugins

    • WPtouch iPhone Theme – This plugin turns your blog into an iPhone application-style theme when viewed from an iPhone, iPod touch, Android or BlackBerry touch mobile device. Why mission critical? Because more and more of your readers will be reading your blog on their smart phones.

Mission Critical Social Media Plugins

Other Social Media Plugins I Use

Below are a few other plugins I use to make my blog more social.

These are plugins that I’m using, but chances are I’m missing some good ones. What social media plugins are you using? Why? Please share in the comments.

Other great posts about social media plugins:

Finally, ask other bloggers you trust what plugins they use. And again, don’t be afraid to scale back the number of plugins you use.

What social media plugins are you using and why?

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  1. I've been directed toward Wapple for the mobile version of your blog; how does this compare with others?

    I love the other plugin ideas, thanks for sharing.

  2. Great post, John. I think the Tweetmeme has become an important plugin as it tells a lot of readers the level of interest on a particular post.

    Love the iPhone theme plugin. Don't think I have that one yet! But you're right, you have to think about mobile because that's where everything is headed.

    Looking forward to tomorrow's installment.

  3. John, Aweber integrates into feedburner also. I will have to look and see what the difference is. I am also testing the Blubrry PowerPress Podcasting Plugin and it seems Podpress is alive again so I need to look at that also.

    I don't see a sitemap plug in for Google webmaster integration. Also Pretty Link to track and turn those ugly affiliate links into branded URL's of your site.

  4. Another point about not using too many plugins is in addition to creating “shiny object syndrome” and being distracting, too many plugins can also slow your site *way* down. I think Mashable and Huffington Post both suffer from too many bells and whistles to the point of not loading quickly. If I go to a blog and a plug-in chokes, I'm likely not to visit again.

  5. Hey John, I have a question for you- I just added Tweetmeme to my blog post. I use squarespace- would recommend that I had this code to each blog entry or add it to the blog header? If added to the header, I am guessing it will show an ongoing count of time the blog in general is retweeted versus specific blog posts?

  6. Many thanks for this great series. I've finally sat down to start reading them and the whole series is full of gems. It makes life so much easier to have large pieces of the jigsaw puzzle pulled together in one place.