WordPress is a brilliant platform for bloggers and webmasters of all levels of experience. Even a vanilla install of WordPress can be used to put together a clean and interesting blog, and if you add the right plugins and choose a good theme you can have a unique and attractive website that most average internet users would never recognize as being powered by a free-to-download script.
With so many themes, plugins and other tools available, it can be hard to decide what to install and what to avoid. Which SEO plugins are the best? What do you use to update your blog? Here is quick look at some of the best tools available for:
Windows Live Writer
Windows Live Writer is a free tool that is part of the Windows Essentials 2012 kit. It can be used to manage multiple blogs, allowing you to edit and save posts offline, and upload them to the blogs at a later date. The software supports WordPress, Windows Live Spaces, SharePoint, Blogger, TypePad, and most other blogging platforms as long as they support XML-RPC. This tool can be handy if you travel frequently and need to prepare posts while you don’t have internet access.
Another useful tool for mobile makers is WordPress for mobile devices. This free app is available for Android, Windows Phone and iOS, and has much the same features as the browser version, but with a much better designed interface tailored for your mobile device of choice.
CSS Plus is a special WordPress CSS editor that allows you to make changes to the CSS of a post while you are editing it. The contents of the CSS file is compressed and added to the header of the page. This tool is useful because it allows each page to have its own CSS. If you want to make changes to the whole site, use the built-in WordPress CSS editor, which can be found under the Appearance tab.
If the thought of editing WordPress CSS is a little intimidating, why not try a theme editor such as Artisteer? This editor has a simple interface that looks and feels a bit like Microsoft Word, making it easy for anyone to create professional looking themes.
The All In One SEO pack is a must-have plugin for all WordPress users. It allows you to set the title, description and keyword meta tags for each post. The downside of the plugin is that you have to edit the fields manually for each post or page, however this takes only a few seconds, and it will pay off quickly by making your site far more search-engine friendly.
Smartphones are incredibly commonplace now, so it makes sense to cater for mobile users when planning your website. This plugin will automatically detect the sort of browser that your visitors are using, and offer users on mobile devices the chance to choose between the standard desktop theme, and a mobile-friendly one. The plugin comes with a set of themes designed for Nokia and WebKit based devices, and also has themes and colour schemes that will look good on other mobile devices.
This post was written by James Harper on behalf of Themeover who produce an excellent WordPress CSS editor that will help blogger and webmasters alike to improve their site.