I had a chance to chat with my apprentice Kelly Kilpatrick from Rancho Santa Margarita Lifestyles this afternoon – we spent quite a while talking about the competition and our strategy for the contest. I’m really impressed with the quality of her posts and she’s definitely shown a real passion for blogging. Please have a look at her site if you haven’t already.

Reading tonight that Automattic has released a new Stats plugin for WordPress, reminded me I had been meaning to add some more plugins to Kelly’s blog, so I got to work.

Here’s a quick rundown of what I added tonight:

Statistics

*NEW* Automattic Stats – I’m interested to see how well this works out of this… currently using Clicky to track visitors.
Popularity Contest – keeps a count of what pages and posts are most popular.

Search Engine Optimization

SEO Title Tag – optimizes RSMLifestyles’ title tags.
Google Sitemap Generator for WordPress v2 Fina – create a Google Sitemaps compliant XML-Sitemap of RSMLifestyles.
WordPress WWW Redirect Plugin » Justin Shattuck – redirects rsmlifestyles.com to www.rsmlifestyles.com.
Permalink Redirect WordPress Plugin | FuCoder.com – ensures there is only one URL associated with each blog entry.
Head Meta Description – adds dynamic meta descriptions to each post.

More here WordPress Plugins needed to Optimize your Blog for Search Engines

Functionality

WP-Polls – Nice AJAX poll for Kelly’s site so she can add some “Sticky” features.
Kramer – adds inbound links to a post as pingbacks by checking Technorati and monitoring incoming referrers.
WP-PostRatings – Adds an AJAX rating system for your WordPress blog’s post/page.
WordPress Contact Form with Spam Protection– drop in form for users to contact Kelly.
Subscribe to Comments – allows commenters to subscribe to e-mail notifications of subsequent comments.
Related Entries – displays related posts on single pages, based on keywords.
Brians Latest Comments 1.5.5 – displays threaded and weighted comments in the sidebar.

More later as we begin to modify Kelly’s template.

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