WordPress has become the hottest blogging platform on the market. However, due to the fact that blogging has become such a huge success, having the right features for your blog is paramount to success. To make sure your blog is performing at its best, make sure you have these fifteen features in your blog or WordPress theme.
1. Mobile Site
A mobile site is something most blogs don’t even consider. With more people using their iPhones, Blackberries and other cellphones to access the web, you might be losing a lot of traffic if your site isn’t ‘mobile’ ready. You can either get a custom mobile site developed for your blog or can use a free plugin (http://mobilepress.co.za/) to make sure your blog is WordPress ready.
Footers are generally underused by new bloggers. Don’t let this amazing space go to waste. You can add an assortment of widgets to utilize the space properly. The most popular blogs use their footers to give twitter updates, popular posts, recent comments, about us information. Make sure your footer space is used constructively. Every part of your website should be a call-to-action.
3. Contact Us Page
It sounds silly but you won’t believe the amount of people that don’t have contact pages on their blogs. This is essential if you want to create any type of online networking relationships. You can be missing out on tens of opportunities for people to contact you with ad campaigns, guest blogging requests. Also try and make the contact page a little more ‘esthetic’. The easier and more versatile your contact page, the more people will want to contact you.
4. About Us Page
People connect to people. People trust FACES and STORIES. Even if your About Us page is a small little blurb about how you grew up in the country, that’s fine. Just make sure you humanize your site. Blog readers always like to know who they are getting their content from. You don’t need to have amazing qualifications but your about page can endear your readers to continue to come back.
5. Author Box
If you have multiple people posting on your blog, then it’s essential you have author boxes. This way your blog readers can become intimately acquainted with each of your writers. A author box gives a little information about the writer and what they do.
6. Social Networking
Social networking is one of the most lucrative markets on the internet. Make sure your WordPress block has social networking and social bookmarking enabled on your website. You want people to share your articles so that they can become viral. Once your blog post becomes viral, you’re pretty much set.
7. Popular Posts
Use a popular post plugin to create website users out of your blog readers. Sure, a reader was brought to your site by one specific blog post but would you prefer someone spending two minutes on your website or ten minutes? Advertise yourself and your blog content by installing this plugin. There are quite a few that can be found online but the most popular plugins is Popularity Contest.
8. Related Posts
Keep your readers flicking through your blog by installing a related post plugin. Basically what the plugin does it show off posts that are related or have similar tags to the current article they’re reading. This is an easy way to keep readers longer on your blog. By giving them topics you already know they’re interested in, you can keep on drawing them in by providing new content.
One of the best ways to liven up your blog is to install a gravatar plugin into your wordpress theme. This will show any gravatars that people have enabled. It’s the perfect way to spice up your comments. It also creates a sense of community in your blog.
10. Threaded Conversations
Creating a sense of community is important in your blog. For this reason one of the most essential comment plugins is to have threaded comments. This way someone can reply directly to something someone else has said. If you don’t have threaded conversations, it can be slightly more difficult for your readers to keep track of conversations. Which in turn, will make them leave your blog quicker.
11. Subscribe to Comments
People want to know that their comments and voice are being heard. We’re also curious by nature. If I comment on a blog post I’m interested in, I’d generally like to see if someone had an opinion on it. Sometimes we’re lazy though and we won’t go back. Unless we have a reminder. This is were the plugin subscribe to comments comes in. People will have the opportunity to subscribe to comments so they can get updates every time someone posts. Perfect to get repeat traffic.
12. Subscribe! Subscribe! Subscribe!
Make sure that your RSS feed is available at least three times on your blog. People use RSS feeds to get all of their blog posts directly to their email or RSS account. To get back links and more traffic to your blog, you can also submit the RSS feeds to certain directories.
13. Clear Navigation!
Clear navigation is essential to your website. Make sure that people can easily get to where they want to on your site. Don’t give them too many options. You should try and keep the categories to your blog to a maximum of ten. You can have subcategories within these categories but try not to over do it. Remember, in the blogging realm simple is best.
14. Advertising Space
Make sure you make some money off your hard work. Every blog should have between six to eight advertising spaces you can use to sell to prospective buyers. This is a quick and easy way to make more money while doing something you’re passionate about.
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and do tell us What feature do you think is essential for a WordPress theme?!