These are the top five things that have made by blogging experience richer/better/easier in 2006. I recommend you try these out (if you haven’t already) in 2007.
- Akismet – I heart Matt and the rest of the WordPress crew for coming up with Akismet. I’ve gotten 829 spam comments (vs. 220 real comments) since this blog launched and Akismet has filtered out 99% of spam properly with just a few false positives and false negatives. I hope they add a local whitelist in 2007. There’s a hack by Dillsmack if you need one.
- Feedburner – Feedburner is awesome for automatic RSS feed formatting, syndication, and statistics tracking. It gives you a nice breakdown of daily readers as well as information about what feed readers they are using. Feedburner’s Feedflare is a great add-on that lets you add social bookmarking links (Digg this, post to del.icio.us, etc.) as well as useful tools like comment counts, “email this”, and email subscriptions to your RSS feed easily.
- MyBlogLog – Not to be confused with Bob Loblaw, the MyBlogLog widget is a community in-a-box type of widget that lets you connect with your readers and their blogs. I hope in 2007 they make the widget more attractive or add some stylized skins.
- Google Analytics – Aside from the “all your data are belong to us” implications, Google Analytics is a powerful easy-to-use analytics package. It gives you tons of useful information in an easy-to-understand format: visits, sources, referrers, keywords, popular content, browser types, and much much more. Did I mention it’s free?
- Crazy Egg – Crazy Egg lets you visualize what your visitors are doing on your site and what links and parts of pages they are clicking. The UI is very intuitive and the heatmaps feature is very useful (and fun). Neil Patel (really smart guy) is behind that project, so I’m sure we’ll see even more cool features in the future. My wish for 2007 – a way to track dynamic pages, since at the moment Crazy Egg can only track static pages.
There are more add-ons that I personally use, but the above 5 are my favorites. Soon I’ll post about the best ways to supercharge your WordPress blog – so subscribe to the RSS feed. Have a happy 2007!