As you may know, there are thousands of WordPress plugins out there. Some of them are fantastic, others, not quite so much. On this page we want to take a look at five plugins which we believe absolutely every WordPress blog out there should have installed. These are the plugins that are going to make your life a whole lot easier.
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- WordPress SEO by Yoast: Whenever we start a list off like this we ALWAYS have to mention Yoast. Why? Because it is without a doubt one of the best WordPress plugins out there. As you may know, Search Engine Optimization is vital if you want to draw in tons of visitors to your site. While WordPress is built fairly well for SEO, Yoast takes it to the next level. It will give you hints and tips on how to improve your SEO with your content and it will allow you to edit your meta tags and the like from one handy control panel. We could not possibly live without this.
- Contact Form 7: This is a pretty bland plugin for most people. We could not do without it though. This is because for most websites having a contact form is pretty much a necessity. This nifty little plugin just makes building those contact forms slightly easier.
- W3 Total Cache: There is nothing worse than having a site that loads slowly. Not only does it irritate your website visitors, but it can also reduce your position in the search engines considerably (search engines loathe sites which load slowly). This plugin will really boost the speed in which your site loads by ‘caching’ dynamic pages. This means when they are accessed again they do not need to be dynamically generated. They are in a ‘hard copy’ on the server. This is going to almost double the speed your site loads. If you are running to a bandwidth cap then it is also going to be useful as it will reduce the amount of bandwidth your site consumes.
- Google Analytics for WordPress: There are plenty of plugins out there which allow you to track for Google Analytics. This is our favorite though. This is because it allows you to track just about anything. All you need to do is install the plugin, copy and paste in the UA number that you were given by Google and you are ready to go. It is completely hassle free. This should ALWAYS be one of the first plugins you install on your site.
- Comment e-mail verification: When we first started running WordPress blogs we tended to get emails in my inbox every single day notifying us that people had posted comments on our blog. Was it because we were popular? Nope. It was because we were being spammed. We installed this plugin and that all stopped overnight. Of course, you don’t really want to make people jump through hoops when they want to post a comment, but it is going to keep your blog tidier.
Please add your favorite plugins to the list by leaving a comment below.
Charles & Susan
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