15 Must have WordPress Plugins to enhance your blog
Finding the right plugins for your wordpress blog can be tough, check out our 10 Must have WordPress plugins.
One of the greatest things I like about WordPress is the thousands of plugins that are available. If you need a plugin chances are someone has already covered it! Currently there are over 12,000 Plugins available in the WordPress Plugins Directory.
This is great and all, but how do you know what plugin to use to enhance your blog in every way possible? This is where we come in. In this round-up we will tell you exactly what to use to enhance your blog in a number of ways.
Now lets get back to the real reason you are here, the round-up! Please note that these plugins are listed in no particular order.
Askimet is a comment spam and trackback spam filter that should already be installed on your WordPress blog but you may need to activate it.
If you get any traffic on your site and you don’t have any spam filters you will more than likely result in a few spam comments once in a while. Nobody wants their site clogged with spam so there is no reason not to use this plugin. The only drawback to Askimet is you will need to create an account at WordPress.com to retrieve and API Key which is needed to active Askimet.
Google XML Sitemaps will generate a special XML Sitemap which help a lot of major search engines seach as Google, Bing & Yahoo to index your blog. By using this plugin you will make it easier for crawlers to see the complete structure of your blog thus making sure no pages are forgotten.
According to the Google Webmasters Central:
Creating and submitting a Sitemap helps make sure that Google knows about all the pages on your site, including URLs that may not be discoverable by Google’s normal crawling process.
Once you have activated the plugin it will automatically generate an XML Sitemap for your blog. Don’t misconceive this plugin, it will not generate you more traffic to your blog, but its nice to know that you’re site is being indexed a little quicker.
W3 Total Cache improves the user experience of your site by improving your server performance, caching every aspect of your site, reducing the download times and providing transparent content delivery network (CDN) integration.
Not only does this make your page load much, much faster it will also store static versions of your site. This is what makes it extremely eligible for this round-up!
This one was never not getting on the list, by far one of the best plugins for wordpress in terms of boosting your SEO rank.
For beginners, you don’t even have to look at the options, it works out-of-the-box. Just install. For advanced users, you can fine-tune everything.
This plugin allows you to edit and control the Title, Meta description, and meta tags for each article you write which are some of many key factors to Search Engine Optimization. It also comes loaded with extra features such as dealing with Duplicate Content which some wordpress users have a problem with.
Pagination is important, nobody likes the default ‘Older Posts’ and ‘Newer Posts’ links. It’s important that your site is user-friendly so it’s good to go the extra mile, it’s what can keep your visitors coming back. With WP-PageNavi you can get advanced page navigation at ease.
It’s easy to install, doesn’t look too bad and its not that hard to edit the styling (if needed).
Note: PHP5 is required since version 2.70
When creating a post, have you ever noticed the amount of revisions at the bottom? This good feature that WordPress has also has it’s drawbacks as it clogs your database which will begin slowing down your site over time.
With this plugin you can limit the amount of Revisions in storage made by each post you are creating, it’s a really great plugin for those who are keen to get their site as fast as possible. Some bloggers never check their database and fail to notice the thousands of unnecessary rows clogging it up. I highly recommend setting the limit to about 2.
Sharing is becoming an essential part of blogging and this is a great plugin to get you started. It enables you to add a nice little set of sharing buttons from 20 top social networking sites. It has some great features such as the ability to choose compact or normal for the size of the share buttons and the ability to float the buttons.
In addition it can be set to display at the top, bottom or side of the post or page. This plug-in has great potential to increase the amount of sharing on your posts substantially.
This is a great plugin for generating real related posts. This plugin is smarter than other related posts plugins I’ve came across as it uses custom algorithm considering Post titles, Content, Tags and Categories to determine the best related score. It also allows your related posts to be displayed in your RSS feed which is great so those who follow you don’t miss out.
Using a customizable algorithm considering post titles, content, tags, and categories, YARPP calculates a “match score” for each pair of posts on your blog. You choose the threshold limit for relevance and you get more related posts if there are more related posts and less if there are less.
It has great plugin control, you can control which categories or tags are eligible to be used in the plugin and it also has an advanced manual placement option for those who don’t want to use it as a Widget.
A post rating plugin is always a good thing to have on your blog as gives your visitors that extra bit to interact with. Not only that it will give you solid feedback on what articles are more popular than others.
WP-PostRatings is a great plugin for ratings, it will generate visitor/user logs so you can see who has voted on what and when. It has many options such as being able to change the way the user votes such as thumbs up, thumbs down, star rating and many, many more. It also gives you control on whether you want it so only registered members can vote or guests, or even both!
It comes loaded with ajax, so you don’t need to worry about having to refresh the page to see the updated result, you can turn this off if you wish to. It’s pretty customizable it allows you to edit the Ratings Templates so you can control what’s to be displayed before and after a rating has been made along with a few other options. Not only that it has a widget in which you can list the highest rated posts which is another one of the great things about this plugin.
Everyone knows RSS Feeds are pretty essential to a successful blog. Well with Feedburner you have more control over your feeds, you can even add adsense to your feeds to earn that little bit extra cash.
Feedburner redirects your main feed to your Feedburner.com account. There’s no need to edit any templates or files, just simply enter your Feedburner Feed URL into the plugin options and it does it all for you!
Redirects the main feed and optionally the comments feed to Feedburner.com. It does this seamlessly without the need to modify templates, setup new hidden feeds, modify .htaccess files, or asking users to migrate to a new feed. All existing feeds simply become Feedburner feeds seamlessly and transparently for all users. Just tell the plugin what your Feedburner feed URL is and you’re done.
You can also track your feed stats to see who’s viewing your feed and who’s reading what article. It also allows you to connect your twitter to your feed and automatically tweet any new feed entries.
If you don’t have a Google Analytics account, then I highly recommend you get one. It will give you extremely in depth information on your website such as visitors, browser information, resolutions, bounce rate, what page they land on, how long they stay for and many, many more.
With this plugin you can easily migrate your Google Analytics account to your WordPress blog with no fuss, it even comes with a video tutorial.
One of the greatest things about this plugin is the usage of Custom Variables. You can monitor Post Types, Author Posts, Logged in users, Categories, Tags and Publication Year. It’s a definite must have if you want to know more about who visits your blog.
Subscribe to comments is a great plugin which allows your commenter’s to sign up for email notification to subsequent entries. This plugin comes bundled with a Subscription Manager for your commenter’s which they can use to unsubscribe, block all notifications or even change their subscription email address!
It will generate a simple checkbox next to your comment submit button, nothing too hasty! You can’t really say no to this plugin as it will encourage your commenter’s to come back if they recieve an email notification. Give it a go!
Now this is the definition of a must have plugin. You don’t want to wake up one day to find that your server has crashed and along with that took your whole database with it! This plugin allows you to backup your database whenever you please, you can either back it up manually or even set it to send you a copy via email at regular intervals.
If you don’t have this plugin, I strongly recommend getting it now.
Everyday more and more websites are being viewed via mobile, this is why its important that your website is just as user friendly on an mobile as it is on a regular computer. With this plugin you can automatically transform your website into a powerful iPhone application style theme.
WPtouch automatically transforms your WordPress blog into an iPhone application-style theme, complete with ajax loading articles and effects, when viewed from an iPhone, iPod touch, Android, Opera Mini, Palm Pre, Samsung touch and BlackBerry Storm/Torch mobile devices.
If you haven’t already customized your blog for mobile web, then this is the plugin for you. It comes with a strong admin panel where you can customize the appearance. It also allows the visitor to have the option to switch between WPtouch view and your default theme. It’s a great all round plugin.