This post may seem little late in this wordpress plugins series. But if you remember we already discussed some best comment plugins, and if you really care about your users then you should check them out first.
Listed below are plugins, which will improve your blogs navigation and thus will result in higher page-views.
1. Similar Post Plugin
This plugin as name suggests, displays contextually related posts. I strongly feel one should use related post kind of plugin, replacing wordpress default next & previous post links, that many themes show on single post pages.
Most of our visitors come from search engines and related posts list can get them engaged for more time on your site compared to probably unrelated next & previous posts. Also this way your old posts may get some exposure to visitors as well as search engines.
There are plenty of plugins which offers this kind of functionality. They differ is their logic to calculate related posts, customization options, etc. I use Similar Post Plugin by Rob Marsh, which also takes care of similar posts in feed items.
2. Sensitive Tag Cloud Plugin
If you have like hundreds of tags and you blog on many different topics, then wordpress’s default tag cloud may not be a good option to you. But tag clouds is web 2.0 way of navigating a site.
This plugin makes your tag cloud more relevant to the context of the page being displayed. Actually relevance turned out to be much lesser than I expected, but better than wordpress default tag cloud widget. I just wish this plugin get more sensitive!
3. Breadcrumb Navigation Plugin
If breadcrumb is not familiar word, then recall some site/forum which always display on every page something like “You are here: Home >> WordPress >> Plugins”.
This is very old but still cool way to make your blog easily navigable as it gives users a way to keep track of their location within your blog. As of now I do not use this plugin, but the reason is, this blog is highly unorganized. I would love to use this plugin in future for sure.
4. Paged Navigation Plugin
This plugin affects categories, archive type pages. Many themes by default show previous and next link on such pages.
This plugin allows you to show paged navigation links like “Go to page: 2, 3, 4, .., Last” as shown in forums. This is better approach as this gives user many alternatives to browse a particular archive. Check this screenshot, to get better idea about this plugin.
5. Navigation Tree Plugin
This plugin can generate navigation trees for your posts, pages, links and categories which you can add in your blogs sidebar.
The final effect is similar to windows explorer files & folder tree on left. If you blog heavily about Windows OS, then this type of navigation can grab your users attention!
If your are still confused, what I am talking about, check these screenshots.
Link: WP-dTree plugin by ulfben
6. In-Series Plugin
This plugin is good for series writing. If you want to write a series like this, then its better to have a plugin link all posts in the series automatically. Using this plugin saves a lot of time and generated series listings are highly accurate and consistent.
Use this plugin only if you plan to write a series of articles. Its not necessary, that you write articles in a series on daily basis. You can also bundle some of your old articles into series using this plugin.
The Table of Contents you see on this post page, is because of In-Series plugin.
That’s all for navigation! Look at these plugins as your helper. Your blogs navigation and user experience is highly dependent on your choice of theme. Also it depends on your motive. If you are blogging just for money then eventually you will end up putting so many ads on your site that it will become hard for your visitors to find real content
Tomorrow we will move to back-end of a wordpress blog. So that you can turn your self-hosted wordpress blog into self-administered blog… 😉