It doesn’t matter what you want to accomplish on your blog, there is probably a WordPress plugin that will allow you to do it. One of the reasons why this platform became so successful is because blog owners are able to find a large variety of plugins to extend the functionalities of the core WordPress engine. There are a handful of plugins are widely used and are very important for a newly started WordPress blog. The list of WordPress plugins below is my favorite plugins that I us on all my blogs.
Akismet is the de facto standard in spam prevention. It’s easy to set up, included with WordPress by default and is all that’s needed for many blogs. This plugin identifies spam comments with remarkable accuracy, much like a junk mail filter for your email. Akismet checks your comments against the Akismet web service to see if they look like spam or not and lets you review the spam it catches under your blog’s “Comments” admin screen. Generic, unrelated comments on your site do not look good, so if you might be thinking “well at least it is a comment” you should stop. You are putting yourself and readers at risk.
WordPress is considered as one of the best search engine optimized blogging platform, but still you need to optimize it for search engines. Joost de Valk, one of the most popular blogger in the field of WordPress optimization has bring you a complete search engine optimization pack in the form of WordPress SEO by Yoast. It incorporates everything from a snippet preview and page analysis functionality that helps you optimize your pages content, images titles, meta descriptions and more to XML sitemaps, and loads of optimization options in between. The plugin is feature rich and very user friendly making it an effective choice for beginners and experienced users alike.
Sitemaps make navigating your site easier and having an updated sitemap on your site is helpful for both your readers and for search engines and it is an important way of communication with search engines as well. Google XML sitemap plugin will generate a special XML sitemap which will help search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo and Ask.com to better index your blog. With such a sitemap, it’s much easier for the crawlers to see the complete structure of your site and retrieve it more efficiently. The plugin supports all kinds of WordPress generated pages as well as custom URLs. Additionally it notifies all major search engines every time you create a post about the new content and will help you get all your posts indexed faster.
WP Optimize is a simple but effective plugin allows you to clean up your WordPress database and optimize it without phpMyAdmin. There are many actions which loads database automatically and this happens continually. Cleaning and optimization of database tables are must in case of WordPress. An optimized database with minimal overheads can improve the speed at which your blog loads. Another notable feature of WP Optimize plugin is the ability to change the WordPress username very easily which otherwise a complex process.
Do you know the worst thing that can happen in your blogging life? It is the situation in which you lose all your posts and other stuffs from your blog. It can be due to hackers, site crashes or may be due to your idiotic mistakes. WP-DB-Backup allows you easily to back up your core WordPress database tables. The plugin enables you to schedule WordPress database backups. Generated backups are sent to the email address that you specify. You can schedule hourly, daily, and weekly backups. There is also option to take an immediate backup, and store on your server, send to some email address, or simply download to your computer.
W3 Total Cache is the most complete WordPress performance framework. It improves site performance and user experience via caching. Each time you visit your blog, WordPress will go through a sometimes lengthy process to build everything you see. First it will process the PHP code which will make numerous calls to your database and finally output HTML for your web browser to display. If you enable caching only the first visitor will go through this entire process. The caching mechanism will save the data and then serve every subsequent visitor the final result. W3 Total Cache improves site performance by leveraging browser, page, object, database, minify and content delivery network support.
An image is worth more than many words. Adding images to blog posts is a good practice to improve user experience but adding many images will slow down the page loading speed. WP Smush.it is a free WordPress plugin which will automatically optimize all images already uploaded or new images for better page loading speed. Every image you add to a page or post will be automatically run through Smush.it behind the scenes. You don’t have to do anything different. You can also run your existing images through Smush.it via the WordPress Media Library.
Nowadays who can avoid social media? Sharebar Plugin adds a hovering or floating bar of social networking links that enable easy sharing of your posts. It will add a dynamic and fully customizable vertical box to the left of a blog post that contains links/buttons to popular social networking sites. If the page is resized below 1000px (default), the vertical bar disappears and a horizontal Sharebar appears under the post title.
Pretty Link enables you to shorten, track and share any URL on the internet from your WordPress website. Unlike other link shrinking services this plugin allows you to create short links coming from your own domain! Pretty Link tracks each hit on your URL and provides a full, detailed report of where the hit came from, the browser, OS and host. It will make your external and affiliate links appear to be on your site, and your internal links to be shorter and sharable.
Broken Link Checker plugin will monitor your blog looking for broken links and let you know if any are found. Broken links frustrate readers and make Google think you are a bad blogger. As much as we would like for every link we set in our articles to be alive forever, you know this is not going to happen, links get broken, pages get taken down; sites get moved and they close down. It will be insane to check each and every link manually. But broken link checker will make your task easier. This plugin will check your posts, comments and other content for broken links and missing images, and notify you if any are found.
These are the top 10 plugins which should be part of any blog powered by WordPress. All the blogs managed by WordPress Buddy will come with these plugins pre-installed and configured.
What are your favorite plugin? Please share your comments.