There are several simple and complicated ways to do it for a common blog based on platforms like Joomla and Blogger, but you really need not to worry if you have a WordPress blog.
If you are having a blog with WordPress, you have the ability to customize it in whichever way you want with the help of a few clicks. You can create a social network, redirect your website to some other URL, use a different theme for visitors from a specific location, display random greeting message and do whatever you can think to experience on the Internet. WordPress database currently has over a million plugins designed and developed by WordPress as well as other freelancers. This collection of plugins on WordPress database and the ease to use that makes it the best content management system and a blogging platform on the web.
In this post, I am going to write about 10 most important WordPress plugins which should be used by every single blogger. Almost all the plugins in my list have different purposes. Let’s have a look
10 most important plugins for WordPress
Usually this plugin comes pre-loaded with the WordPress package, still, if you miss it somehow in the base package, you can search for Akismet in your plugin search page and install this. Post installation, this plugin will ask you to enter Akismet API key that you can get for free after signing up at Akismet website.
The internet has become a place for spams and the spamming rate is increasing day by day. Akismet makes your blog free from all kinds of spam comments. It automatically detects the level of threat a comment can have on your blog and acts accordingly. If a particular comment contains two or more links to any suspicious website, Akismet automatically deletes that comment and if some comment is less harmful and contains several links (trusted or nontrusted), it is automatically moved to the spam folder in comments. This functionality makes it one of the best free WordPress plugins.
WP Super Cache / W3 Total Cache
These 2 plugins perform almost the same tasks. Either of the two plugins is highly recommended for your blog because the right implementation of a cache plugin can boost the speed and load time for your blog. If you have installed either of these plugin, your blog can speed up by up to 10 times. However, these plugins are suitable for different hosting types and different needs.
WP Super Cache is best when you are using shared hosting. It allows your server to cache the web pages and it lowers the requests sent to the server by a particular user. Your server needs not to request for a huge amount of data from your database and hence the connecting as well as responding time decreases and finally it results in a better page load time.
W3 Total Cache is best if you have a dedicated server or a VPS (Virtual Private Server). It works in the same way as WP Super Cache, but it has a better CDN (Content Delivery Network) support which allows you to place your media file (Images, videos and other attachments) on a cookie free domain so that your blog does not save these cookie files to the user’s computer. This plugin serves as a virtual server by caching your pages and delivering them to the user’s computer in a very short span of time.
WordPress SEO by Yoast
WordPress SEO is one of the best packages WordPress has to offer. This is a complete package to manage all your on-page SEO. There are many features this plugin has and it just makes it easier for you to manage meta data (meta title, meta description and meta keywords) for your blog’s home page and other page types. It also manages the title and description settings for every single page of your blog. While writing a blog post, you get a box right at the bottom where you can write the metadata for every post which you want to be sent to search engines.
Google XML Sitemaps
This plugin automatically generates an XML sitemap for your blog and then pings all major search engines about any changes made to your blog. Your sitemap can always be viewed at yourblog.com/sitemap.xml . Sitemap is a basic need if you want to monitor indexing and search engine ranking data using Google as well as bing webmasters tool. Simplicity to generate and regenerate plugin, ability to change the refresh rate for your home page, sub pages and blog posts make it one of the best WordPress plugin in business.
CommentLuv is one of the most popular plugins for every blogger today. It is because it has changed the way people used to comment. CommentLuv enables the visitor to leave a comment with an extra link pointing to the latest post on his blog. If you have a high authority blog, people will love to visit and comment on your blog posts just to get backlinks to every single post they write. It makes them regular visitors to your blog, if not for your content, then for backlinks. The premium version provides you the ability to add a widget to your sidebar which shows your most engaged visitors having highest comment count. Which is again a benefit to your visitors. You can choose in settings whether you want to give dofollow or nofollow backlinks to your visitors.
Thank Me Later
This is one more plugin related to blog comments. Whenever someone leaves a comment on your blog, this plugin automatically sends an email to that person reminding him to check back for replies and for new posts on your blog. On the settings page, you can change the settings and the message which is sent to everyone who leave a comment. This is a very simple yet powerful plugin and it can help you in getting more returning traffic to your blog.
Comment Reply Notification
This is the third comments related plugin on the list of must-have plugins for WordPress. This is also a simple yet very powerful plugin which can boost traffic as well as your reader’s interaction. This plugin sends a mail whenever a comment gets a reply by the administrator or other users. This helps in getting your visitors back to read the replies to the comment and then to reply again if possible. This creates a very interesting scenario sometimes and your readers also enjoy having a great discussion in groups. This ultimately results in more backlinks to the visitor, more exposure to your website and more satisfaction to you.
Digg-Digg & Socialize
Digg-Digg and Socialize are 2 different plugins, but I have included them as one just because I am using both of them on my website and the combination of both these plugins can make your website very attractive with social sharing buttons and options.
Digg-Digg is one of the most popular plugins which places a vertical widget on your post pages. This widget follows you throughout your navigation to the page and it looks really nice. It keeps reminding the visitor to share your content on different social platforms. You can choose which all buttons you want to display and what should be the order of display. You can also create a custom button using your own written code. The simplicity and the feature of placing it wherever and however you want makes it one of the most popular social sharing plugins.
Socialize is also a popular social sharing plugin which places a banner below your post asking visitors to leave a comment and to subscribe to RSS feed of your blog. You can also display popular social buttons to remind the visitor again to share your content in case he missed.I will advise you to use both these plugins and configure them accordingly to get a perfect look as well as performance. When combined and configured well, these plugins can be a great factor behind your social media presence and hence fetch you a great amount of referral traffic from social networks like Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.
I will advise you to use both these plugins and configure them accordingly to get a perfect look as well as performance. When combined and configured well, these plugins can be a great factor behind your social media presence and hence fetch you a great amount of referral traffic from social networks like Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.
Facebook for WordPress
\nThis plugin is developed by Facebook developers and it provides the complete Facebook integration for your WordPress blog. It just asks you to create a Facebook app for your blog and then to integrate it with your blog using this plugin. Facebook for WordPress posts on your profile as soon as you make a new post on your blog, it also gives an option so that your readers can subscribe to your public updates while reading your posts. One more integrated feature is Facebook comments for WordPress. With a few clicks, you can change the default comment system on your blog to Facebook comments so that it becomes easier for your visitors to start a discussion on your blog without entering much info like Name, Email and website.
Advance Social Widget
This plugin does not have any impact on your website performance as such, but it allows you to place all your social buttons in a single widget in your sidebar. Using this widget, you can place your RSS subscription form, Facebook like and Google +1 button, twitter follow button and links to your social media profiles in very less sized widget. This saves a lot of space from your sidebar and gives a professional look to the visitors. Also, you need not to take much headache in configuring this widget. It just asks you for your username of Feedburner, Facebook FanPage, Twitter and YouTube. Just 4 fields and your widget is perfectly ready to be displayed on your sidebar.
This was a list of 10 must have plugins for WordPress. All these plugins have been downloaded and used by millions of webmasters and have a great impact on your website. In my later posts, I will be sharing tips to configure plugins like WP Super Cache, W3 Total Cache, Facebook and other important plugins which need special instruction for configuring.