The Complete Guide to Data Feed Sites Continues (finally!). It’s October 13 and there is still time to cash in on the holiday season. So with that, we continue with…
Data Feed Site WordPress Plugins
The following plugins are what I specifically use when creating data feed sites. Each one has a specific purpose and are totally worth adding to your sites.
1. Link Cloaking Plugin
This plugin will automatically cloak all of your external links. Instead of:
Your links will look like this:
This is mainly to make things look nice and make your site more legit.
Settings: Default settings are fine.
2. Yet Another Related Post Plugin (YARPP)
This plugin will generate links at the bottom of each post to other related posts. With this plugin you can mimic how Amazon and other e-commerce sites work. It will make your site stickier and encourage more click thrus should the visitor not find what he wants on the given page.
Settings: Default settings are fine. However, you may want to change “Related” to “Customers also like” to give it more of an e-commerce feel.
3. Configurable Tag Cloud Plugin
This plugin let’s you reformat your tag cloud. As is, the jumble of tags in a cloud are not very helpful for navigation. However, this plugin lets you configure your tag cloud so it displays in list form. You can then populate your tag cloud with sub category data and make it great for navigation and SEO. This is especially useful for data feeds which have lots of sub categories.
Settings: Add the CTC Widget to your side bar. Then set it to display tags in a list.
4. Old Post Promoter
This plugin will rejuvenate your blog and bring in more traffic. Each day, it will re-date a small number of posts, re-insert them in the RSS feed, and re-ping your RSS ping sites. These posts will move to the front page of your blog. It is AWESOME for data feed sites as it encourages spiders to keep returning to your otherwise stale site. The only downside is that it’s pretty much been abandoned by its developer. One of its great features was the ability to tweet the promoted posts. This functionality hasn’t worked in a long time. I wrote a patch for it myself, but recently Twitter has stopped accepting simple posts and now requires OAuth authentication. Don’t hold your breath that the guys who make Old Post Promoter are ever going to get that working. One of these days I will get around to coding in a patch to get this to work with another Twitter plugin. But even without this functionality, this plugin rocks!
Settings: Don’t set Enable Tweet on Promotion since this hasn’t worked for a year. Minimum Interval Between Old Post Promotions: 6. Randomness Interval (added to minimum interval): 6. Post Age Before Eligible for Promotion: 30, Show Original Publication Date at Post End? No. Give OPP Credit with Link? No.
Note: Because this plugin changes dates, make sure you don’t use dates as part of your permalink structure. You shouldn’t ever be doing that anyway, but it’s especially important you don’t do it when using this plugin. It will result in 404’s.
I recommend you use this as your Custom Permalink Structure: /%category%/%postname%/
5. Tweet This
Automatically tweets out new posts. It’s up to date the the latest Twitter OAuth requirement and is able to use bit.ly links as well.
Settings: Defaults are fine. But you will need to do a bit of setup for each Twitter account.
Note: Depending on your level of Google paranoia, you might want to forgo this plugin and simply used Feedburner. Feedburner has a feature that will handle tweets for you. Personally, I use this over Feedburner for these types of sites.
6. W3 Total Cache
This plugin is bad ass and will speed up your blog by caching pages, database queries, and more. Not only will it make things speedier, it reduces resource usage so much you will be able to put more sites on each hosting account. Saving money is cool.
Settings: Defaults are fine. If you are hard core and are hosting images locally (like I recommend you do to get even more link juice and traffic from image search), go big and setup S3 and CloudFront for even better performance. Sweet!
7. All-In-One SEO Pack
This last one is optional. I use it because it helps populate meta tags, etc. The lame thing about it is that these retards release an update about every 9 minutes.
Settings: Defaults are fine.
Did I Miss Your Favorite Plugin?
Post in the comments if you have a plugin you specifically use for data feed sites. We can add it to the list.