10 WordPress Plugins We Couldn’t Live Without
So, we have just finished launching our latest WordPress site and wanted to share some of the plugins we have used and could not live without!
As a design and marketing agency we develop a large number of WordPress websites. As well as being one of the most popular blogging platforms, WordPress can also be used as a Content Management System and it can be used to help quickly and easily develop search engine friendly, user friendly websites.
Here are 10 WordPress plugins we have used and use on most site builds -
WordPress SEO – Yoast - http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/wordpress-seo/
WordPress SEO enables us to further extend the search optimisation capabilities of a WordPress installation. You can write meta tags and title tags, create and update sitemaps, configure robots.txt files, and analyse pages to further improve on your own optimisation efforts. In short, it does everything you need an SEO tool to do for you and it does it with a user friendly design making it a hugely powerful and essential tool for any WP installation.
Akismet is included as standard with every WordPress installation and it is, quite simply, the best plugin around for managing the deluge of spam that your blog or website will receive. If you allow comments on your posts or pages then you should definitely ensure that Akismet is enabled and that you have your API key (free registration is available for personal sites) so that it can manage your spam workload without manually checking every single comment that is left.
Digg Digg - http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/digg-digg/
Social media marketing is likely to become a major part of your online marketing strategy and with Digg Digg you can enlist the help of your own readers to spread the word on your content. A floating toolbar includes like and share buttons from all of the best known social sites including Facebook, Twitter, Google+1, Digg, and many others. It looks great and encourages the seeding of viral social marketing.
Facebook Comments - http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/facebook-comments-plugin/
Encouraging readers to engage with your blog content can prove a challenge but Facebook Comments for WordPress will help make the process easier and more effective. If a reader is logged in to their Facebook account when reading your blog they will be able to quickly and easily leave a comment on your page, post, or both. Facebook Comments enables users to get involved and removes any barriers that may dissuade them from conversing.
WordPress really can be used to develop any type of website. With Jigoshop you can quickly and easily add e-commerce functionality to your site without having to install shopping cart software. Add and maintain an online inventory of products, offer product options, and group products together while enabling users to quickly and easily purchase the products or even services that you offer. Jigoshop looks good and further extends the functionality of WordPress developed websites.
SEO Internal Links - http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/seo-internal-links/
Internal links can prove highly beneficial to an SEO campaign and to your user experience but they must be setup and managed well. SEO Internal Links enables you to automatically link keywords to specific posts, pages, or tags, while also enabling you to manage nofollow attributes and more. The SEO Internal Links plugin makes navigation more effective and will spread visitors around your website.
Contact Form 7 - http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/contact-form-7/
Customise your own contact forms, manage multiple forms, and limit the amount of spam communication you receive through Contact Form 7. You can quickly and easily create customised contact forms which will encourage your readers to get in touch and get involved in your website. It is the simplest and most powerful contact form plugin we’ve found.
Google Analytics For WordPress – Yoast - http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/google-analytics-for-wordpress/
The power of Google Analytics further extended specifically for use with WordPress sites. Not only can you track visit numbers and the number of unique hits your site receives but you can view visitors by category or author and even track outbound clicks. Another top quality plugin from the Yoast team that enables you to work smarter when creating content and managing your site.
WordPress Backup To DropBox - http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/wordpress-backup-to-dropbox/
Losing the whole of your blog means that you may never get your content back and an aged blog with daily posts could include tens of thousands of uniquely written words. With the WordPress Backup to DropBox plugin you can schedule a day and time to back up your data so that it is stored remotely on the DropBox servers.
WP Super Cache – http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/wp-super-cache/
Having your content on the front page of a major news site or social media site can be heart-warming but if your server can’t cope with the load it produces it can turn out to be heart-breaking as your efforts come to naught. With WP super cache, unregistered users and those that have not yet left a comment on your blog will be served a static HTML version of your blog page which is much less demanding than the PHP script that is normally served.
Depending on the type and specific requirements of a website we may use any of a large number of other plugins but these are the ones that we rely on most commonly and the ones that give the greatest results.
Try installing them on your next WordPress website and see the benefits they can bring you.
There are thousands of plugins available for WordPress and each developer has their own preferences – tell us your favourite WordPress plugins in the comments below