6 Essential Wordpress Plugins

by nichehunt

A list of 6 plugins that everyone using wordpress should consider installing.

Wordpress is the most popular blogging platform. Its versatility, expandability, and ease of use are just some of the reasons it became so popular. It can be used for personal blogs, small sites, big sites and even business or e-commerce sites. Although it is a really feature rich platform out of the box, there are literally thousands of plugins (both free and commercial) that either add more features or enhance the already existing ones. Below I am going to list 6 of the most useful Wordpress plugins.

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Comment Spam Fighting Plugin

Akismet is a plugin by the creators of Wordpress. It does one thing and it does it well, it protects your blog from spam comments. Anyone that has ever created a blog knows how frustrating and annoying spam comments are. It is not uncommon for popular blogs to receive hundreds or even thousands of spam comments per day! Akismet automatically takes care of them and allows you to spend more time creating content rather than deleting all the annoying spam.

Note: You will need a free API key that you can get here

W3 Total Cache

A caching plugin to speed up your blog.

The loading speed of a site is really important. It can influence how long visitors stay on your site, how many pages they view and generally a faster site provides a better user experience. Additionally, Google representatives have stated that site speed is one of the many ranking factors they use in their algorithm. As a result slow loading times can damage your search engine rankings.

W3 Total Cache is a plugin that can help you improve the speed of your site. It is not just a caching plugin it is a complete performance framework for wordpress.

Some good alternatives are:

Contact Form 7

Feature Rich Contact Form

Every blog should have a contact form. It allows your visitors to get in touch with you and build relationships that might prove to be important for the future of your blog. A contact form allows you to receive feedback, partnership proposals, guest post requests, advertising inquiries and a lot more.

Contact Form 7 is one of the best Contact Form Plugins. It is easy to use, available in a large number of languages and actively maintained.

Some alternatives include:

BulletProof Security

Improves the security of your wordpress installation.

Wordpress is a very popular platform and as a result it is a prime target for hackers. Bulletproof Security is a plugin that helps you protect your site against a variety of different malicious attacks like XSS, RFI, CRLF, CSRF, Base64, Code Injection and SQL Injection hacking attempts.

Have You Ever Used Wordpress?

XCloner - Backup and Restore

Three words backup, backup, backup

There are many reason why you should always have a recent backup of your site. As I mentioned earlier hacking attempts are a frequent occurence. Also you can never rule out hardware failure, software conflicts or other unexpected occurrences that might cause loss of data or damage your site's database. XCloner not only allows you to backup your site but can also help you restore it from a backup file if you ever need to.

WordPress SEO by Yoast

Optimize your site for the search engines.

WordPress SEO by Yoast is a plugin that will help you optimize you site for the search engines. It has many useful features. Some of the most notable include the complete control over the metadata (titles, description, keywords) across your site, full indexation control, xml sitemap generation, use of breadcrumbs, easy implementation of Facebook OpenGraph metadata and quite a few other features.

Some alternatives include:

Do You Use Wordpress SEO by Yoast?

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Updated: 04/04/2012, nichehunt
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Telesto on 10/16/2014

Very useful, thank you. I use most of these but a couple are new to me.

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