WordPress is the most popular blogging software that almost every blogger is aware of. There are many reasons for WordPress popularity, one of them is the availability of so many plugins that users do not have to do any extra word to make an extra effort on their blogs. WordPress plugins are so easy to install that anyone can do it in few clicks. Users do not even have to have any programming knowledge.
Although, it is great that so many plugins are available to use, but it can also be confusing as to which plugins to use on your blog. For this reason, I have compiled a list of 10 must have wordpress plugins on any blog.
Yet Another Related Post Plugin
When I first started my blog, I tried out many many related posts plugins, but that one that I kept going back to was Yet Another Related Post Plugin (YARPP). This plugin uses an algorithm to determine which posts and pages are the most relevant to the current post. By using this plugin, you are giving your visitors an opportunity to easily read related content on your website, this in turn can increase your visitors’ time on your website, keeping them engaged in the content and thus decreasing the bounce rates on your website.
When you set up a blog and allow users to post comments, you need to protect your blog from comment and trackback spam. Akismet Worpdress plugin does exactly that. This plugin identifies spam comments with remarkable accuracy. When you set up your blog, and if it is set up for search engines to come find it, you will get a lot of random traffic and spam comments, the vast majority of which come from automated programs. As your blog grows, you will get more and more visits from such automated programs. But Akismet protects your blog from such spam comments and you won’t have to waste much time sorting through spam comments.
The pace that internet and technology is going, it is hard to predict the trend. One thing is for sure though that more and more users will be turning to mobile devices to access web. The WPTouch plugin recognizes mobile devices and changes the layout of your blog to one that resembles the phone menu. All you have to do is activate it to create an alternative mobile version of your blog for users browsing from their smartphone. With the changed layout, users are more likely to stick around and they may continue visiting it whenever they want to. It is just the matter of make it easy on their eyes.
Google XML Sitemaps Plugin
Presence of sitemap on any blog or website is very important in order to make sure that search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing find them and index them faster. If you are new to wordpress blogging and don’t know how to create a sitemap, Google XML sitemaps plugin will come in really handy as this plugin automatically generates XML sitemaps for your blog. Once created, you can then submit the same XML sitemap to Google Webmaster Tools to track your site’s performance. You can even get stats on how your website is performing, if there are any broken URLs, outgoing and incoming links and so much more.
WP Greet Box Plugin
I started using WP Greet Box after I was saw it in works on another blogger’s blog. I was quite impressed with how this plugin works. Usually, when you visit a new blog, you get those annoying pop ups to subscribe to their site’s updates. Why should I sign up for something I have no idea what it is about and if I want to get any updates. Whereas with WP Greet Box, every reader is addressed at the beginning of each post, letting them know about your RSS feed without popping up in their face. It also has custom settings so that if the reader came from Twitter, they are asked to tweet about it, if they came from Facebook, they are asked to like or share the post. I found this plugin to be most non invasive plugin that helps in increasing your subscriber count.
WP Smush.it Plugin
Do you sometimes see your website or blog taking forever to load? Sometimes, the pictures on your website may make the website slower, and you know how website load time is one of the ranking factors on Google. WP Smush.it plugin helps in reducing the size of images that you are uploading on your blog. After it is installed and activated in your plugins directory, it runs in the background and you don’t need to do anything. This plugin is really helpful in improving the speed of your blog by lowering the size of images available in your blog contents.
Broken Link Checker Plugin
Every now and then I see the notification that I have a broken link in my blog. This really helps me to fix my website in time before the search engines index them and report them as broken link in the search engine results. This happens because of the Broken Link Checker Plugin installed in all my blogs. This plugin can find all the broken links in a blog and helps in fixing them. It helps you get rid of broken links on your website easily and fast. Imagine the annoyance of your readers when they find the links that are not working on your blog. Not only that, but if your blog contains too many broken links, It many have such a negative impact on your blog rankings in search engines. For this reason, this is one of the must have plugins for wordpress blogs.
SEO Smart Links Plugin
SEO Smart Links Plugin helps in interlinking your blog contents in an optimized way. This plugin can be used to automatically link targeted pages and posts with their predefined anchor texts in your blog posts and pages. There are many other features that this plugin offers in order to make it easy on you when writing new posts. It helps in adding nofollow tag for external links and opening links in new window and much more.
Contact Form 7 Plugin
To make sure that your blog looks like a professionally set up blog, you need to have a Contact Us form so that people can get in touch with you regarding your blog. Contact Form 7 plugin can be used to add a contact form on your blog posts and pages. It can be customized to great level so that you can modify the number and type of fields you want to show on your contact forms. A captcha can also be set up through this plugin to make sure that spammers do not get through. When you get a notification of new comment via this contact form, you are also notified about the IP address this note came from.
All in One SEO Pack
All in One SEO Pack is one of the most popular SEO plugin that almost everyone has in installed and using on their blogs. This plugin helps in making your blog more search engine friendly. Title and meta tag descriptions for your blog home and posts can be easily optimized. You just have to install this plugin on your blog to see how much this plug affects your search engine rankings.
WP Super Cache Plugin
One of the problems bloggers face as their blog grows, is the loading speed of their blog decreases. WP Super Cache is a page caching plugin for wordpress blogs that will convert the dynamic pages of your blog into static HTML pages, and starts serving those static pages to your visitors. I have experienced such an increase in the loading time of my blog pages after using this plugin, I think it is worthwhile to give it a try.
Tweet Old Post Plugin
After writing a new post, you spend some time to market it, spread the word around and then forget about it after a few days. If the post isn’t highly optimized for competitive keywords, it goes off everyone else’s radar too. Tweet Old Post plugin helps in reviving your old forgotten posts by randomly and systematically sharing your archived content on Twitter. Options let you set the interval, exclude categories or individual posts. It benefits you by generating new fans by sharing your old content. IF you have more than 20 posts in your blog, it makes total sense to use this plugin.
Subscribe to Comments
Making a list of subscribers is important in Internet Marketing, and this is exactly what Subscribe to Comments plugin does in a very convenient and easy to use way. This plugin allows your blog readers to subscribe to incoming comments on blog posts of their interest. This plugin also helps your blog readers to manage their comment subscription on your blog easily. They can easily subscribe or unsubscribe to posts of their interest and they can also change their notification email address.
WP Page Navi Plugin
Having a pager on your blogger is important from readers as well as search engines point of view. Having a pager lets readers and search engines know that you have lot of content on your website. WP Page Navi Plugin adds a more advanced and sophisticated paging navigation on your wordpress site.
Comment Luv Plugin
Comments are an important part of blogging, as they are viewed as an important standard of social proof. Commenting on related sites is used as a way to make backlinks. Commentluv allows them get direct link back to their blog, link to their Twitter feed and link to their latest article on a contextually relevant page.
These are the 10 must have WordPress plugins that I love to use on all my blogs. They have proven their worth every time for me.
What are some of your favorite plugins that you absolutely have to use on your blog and cannot consider setting up a blog without them? Please do share!