When it comes to creating a new WordPress-powered Blog the first thing you need to do after installing the software is to configure the basic settings so that they suit your requirements, then choose a new template over the default one and finally you need to upload and activate some essential plugins. So far there are quite a lot of plugins for Wordpres that do just about everything you can think of, but there are some essential ones that are a must for a good and successful blog. Here are the essential plugins you should start with along with a description what they do and why do you really need them…

1. Google XML Sitemaps


What: This plugin will create a Google sitemaps compliant XML-Sitemap of your WordPress blog. It supports all of the WordPress generated pages as well as custom ones. Everytime you edit or create a post, your sitemap is updated and all major search engines that support the sitemap protocol, like ASK.com, Google, MSN Search and YAHOO, are notified about the update.

Why: With the help of the Google XML Sitemaps plugin your blog will be indexed more quickly and recently not only by Google, but also from other major search engines. With the help of the Sitemaps plugin every time you publish new content Ask, MSN, Google and Yahoo will be notified to come and index it as soon as possible.

Download Google XML Sitemaps WordPress Plugin

2. WP-SpamFree Anti-Spam


What: Comment spam has been a huge problem for bloggers since the inception of blogs, and it just doesn’t seem to go away. The worst kind, and most prolific, is automated spam that comes from bots. Well, finally there is an effective solution, without CAPTCHA’s, challenge questions, or other inconvenience to site visitors. The WP-SpamFree plugin virtually eliminates automated comment spam from bots, including trackback and pingback spam. Most of the spam hitting your blog originates from bots. Few bots can process JavaScript. Few bots can process cookies. Fewer still, can handle both. In a nutshell, this plugin uses a combo of JavaScript and cookies (on steroids) to weed out the humans from spambots, preventing 99%+ of automated spam from ever getting to your site.

Why: With the help of the spambot protection plugin you’ll get rid of all the annoying spam comments, trackbacks and pings that usually you have to remove by hand. These SPAM comments annoy not only you as am author of a blog, but also all the visitors that come to read what you write… and if a visitor sees too much spam comments he might think that your blog is not maintained well enough or you don’t care. But with the help of the WP-SpamFree Anti-Spam plugin this should never happen.

Download WP-SpamFree Anti-Spam WordPress Plugin

3. Global Translator


What: Global Translator is a free and open source WordPress Plugin which is able to automatically translate your blog in 41 different languages: Italian, Korean, Chinese (Simplified & Traditional), Portuguese, English, German, French, Spanish, Japanese, Arabic, Russian, Greek, Dutch, Bulgarian, Czech, Croatian, Danish, Finnish, Hindi, Polish, Romanian, Swedish, Norwegian, Catalan, Filipino, Hebrew, Indonesian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Serbian, Slovak, Slovenian, Ukrainian, Vietnamese, Albanian, Estonian, Galician, Maltese, Thai, Turkish, Hungarian. The number of available translations will depend on your blog language and the translation engine you will choose to use (Google Translation Engine, Babel Fish, Promt, FreeTranslations.com). The plugin is also Search Engine optimized so it uses the permalinks by adding the language code at the beginning of all your pages, making their translated versions like a real a part of your website.

Why: You can attract more visitors to your blog that are unable to speak English or any other popular language that you use for your blog by providing them with an automated translation in their language. With the help of this plugin you can also turn your small localized blog that uses a less common language to an international blog in English and other widespread languages so everyone will understand what you write about. The only drawback is that the automatic translations are not always the best and sometimes the results are not that good as you might expect, but at least the text will still be understandable after being translated in other language.

Download Global Translator WordPress Plugin

4. StatPress Reloaded


What: This plugin is an improved version of StatPress that shows you real time statistics about your blog. It collects information about visitors, spiders, search keywords, feeds, browsers, OS etc. All the information is available on one main statistical overview page that is easy to read and understand and then you can go into deeper details about what your visitors do when they come to your blog. StatPress Reloaded also includes a widget you can add to a sidebar (or easy PHP code if you can’t use widgets!) that allows you to make public some of the blog statistics. You should have in mind that if your blog has a lot of visitors this plugin might become a problem, because it adds quite a lot additional load to the server because of a lot of communication with the database.

Why: The StatPress Reloaded plugin gives you the most important information about how many people visit your blog, where and how they come and what they do once they arrive on the website. It is not an alternative to services such as Google Analytics and other web based counters, or scripts that use the webserver’s logs to create detailed statistics, but still gives you the most important statistical information in an easy to read and simple to install an use package.

Download StatPress Reloaded WordPress Plugin

5. Theme Tweaker


What: Theme Tweaker displays the existing colors from your current theme, and gives you a color picker to replace them the easy way, without needing to modify the CSS style. It also lets you change the colors in bulk, like invert all colors, use grey scale etc. Furthermore, Theme Tweaker allows you to preview before activating your changes. Finally, you can save the modified stylesheet locally and upload it into your blog server to deploy your new color scheme. The plugin will generate a fully functional child theme for your blog with the custom colors you selected, thus allowing you to leave your original (parent) theme untouched.

Why: This plugin is a great and very easy to use tool for all people that found a great WordPress theme for their blog, but want to change some colors in it and are not too familiar with creating or modifying templates. You don’t have to know how to use or modify CSS code anymore in order to customize the colors of any theme with the help of the Theme Tweaker plugin.

Download Theme Tweaker WordPress Plugin


The next stage of the evolution of the web services allowing you to upload files for free and then share them with your fiends or visitors of a website gives you the opportunity to earn some money by making a file download blog or website. If you register as an uploader at a service such as Uploading you’ll be able to get some money from each file you upload and them somebody downloads from your new site or blog. And if you already have a website or blog you can quickly turn the downloads it has into money in no time by transferring the files to the new service. You should know that these services by showing ads to the visitors who download file and by subscriptions by people that want to be able to download without any limits. Thus the company behind such a service can share some of their profit for every visitor you attract to their website, because of a file you’ve uploaded – it is a win-win situation for both sides…

What you can expect is to earn $10 for every 1000 downloads from United Kindom, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Austria or USA, Canada; $5 for 1000 downloads from Russia, Holland, Greece; $2 for 1000 downloads from Polland, Ukraine and Czech Republic. And when you reach $30 or more you can request a payment by either Epese, Epassporte, Wire Transfer, Webmoney or PayPal which is the preferred method. You should have in mind that the files you upload should be no less than 1MB in size and should not be illegal in any way, otherwise you might not get any money.

For more information about Uploading’s services…

Here is a list of 5 good WordPress themes that are mostly white and grey, look very stylish and yet are quite simple and clean looking. They are a great start if you plan to develop your own WP theme, but you don’t want to start from scratch. Nevertheless these themes are also good for use directly in your blog without modifying anything, especially if you are planning to focus on the content of the blog and not only on how it looks. The following five themes are suitable for any kind of blog, they can be used for just about any content – form a personal blog where you share your life and experience with friends to a specialized web design, programming, automotive, it or just about any other specialized topic…

1. Carrington Blog


Carrington is a free CMS theme framework for WordPress that makes it easy to create unique looks for different categories, posts and comments just by creating custom templates. This is a developer friendly theme with atomic templates and an elegant override hierarchy. Carrington Blog supports WordPress 2.7 threaded comments even when comments are being pulled via AJAX and there is also a paginated comments support. The theme supports easy color customization for all the main theme elements through simple color pickers on the settings page. There is a built-in preview feature as well, so you can check your changes before you make them live. You can also personalize the header with your own custom background image. The theme also comes with some other nice and useful features and it is quite easy to modify in order to fit your personal needs…

Download Carrington Blog WordPress Theme

2. Fusion


Fusion is a free WordPress template with 2 columns (right sidebar), and fixed or fluid width. The theme offers beautiful and yet light and clean design and comes with a lot of functions built in, making it an incredibly flexible for any project. The theme is mostly white and grey with just a few graphic elements that add just about enough to make it look stylish without being too colorful or full of things. The Fusion theme fully supports WordPress 2.7 so you should not have any problems using it even with future versions of the platform.

Download Fusion WordPress Theme

3. iNove


iNove is a lightweight WordPress theme inspired by MacZone.sk. It is very stylish, supports widgets and doesn’t require any additional plugins. The theme is mostly white and grey in colors with a techy looking header image and as little graphical elements just enough to make it look nice. The iNove theme is easy to modify and to make it look and perform just the way your new blog project requires is. iNove requires WordPress version 2.5 or higher in order to work and doesn’t have problems running on the latest versions of the blog platform.

Download iNove WordPress Theme

4. Thematic


This is the ultimate in SEO-friendly theme for WordPress. Thematic is a highly extensible, WordPress theme framework featuring 13 widget-ready areas, drop-down menus, grid-based layout samples, plugin integration, shortcodes for your footer and a whole lot more. Perfect for any blog and the starting point for theme development, because of it’s clean and simple look. The minimalistic look uses just white, grey and black colors which make it very easy for customization and modification to suit your every need.

Download Thematic WordPress Theme

5. Minimalism


The Minimalism is minimized and professional designed SEO-ready WordPress theme based on the famous Kubrick. It is compatible with WordPress 2.7.x and offers completely validated CSS and HTML code. The theme is highly extensible and ready for localization and customization, making it a perfect starting point for theme development.

Download Thematic WordPress Theme