8 WordPress Plugins You’d Be Immensely Foolish To Not Be Using
WordPress is easily the largest and most popular blogging platform on the planet. Not just because it‘s super easy to use, but also because it can be installed and ready for filling out with content within just a matter of minutes. It‘s ridiculously easy.
It‘s also hugely popular because of its support for plugins and the massive number of them which are increasingly available which help us to save on development time and money among other things. Plugins can be installed through the WordPress administration panel with just a couple of clicks – it really couldn‘t be any easier.
Akismet is a SPAM fighting ninja which comes with every fresh install of WordPress and, in my opinion, activating this is the first thing you should do before anything else. It‘s essential – unless you enjoy being knee-deep in comments containing hundreds of links to the darkest parts of the internet, which I‘m sure you don‘t.
Simply grab an API Key from the Akismet website and enter it in the settings page of the plugin to activate it and begin destroying that SPAM like an assassin.
Akismet can be downloaded here.
2) WordPress SEO by Yoast
Oh SEO – that frustrating yet rewarding method of marketing that the majority of website owners can only dream of understanding at a level required to dominate in their respective industry. Great news… This plugin is about to make your life a whole lot easier and more rewarding with a whole lot less effort than ever before.
WordPress SEO by Yoast makes it easy to optimise page, post, tag and category titles using templates or on the editing page when writing a post or page, or whilst creating a tag or category, depending on what is best for you and your website.
It also enables you to add a breadcrumb, Sitemap and a few other things which are great compliments for on-site SEO as well as the structure of your website.
This plugin also makes it easy to add social metadata to your site – linking your site to your Google+, Facebook and Twitter accounts and making for easier and more descriptive sharing on those platforms which is very important for most sites today!
WordPress SEO by Yoast can be downloaded here.
3) Google XML Sitemaps
The Google XML Sitemaps plugin does exactly what it says on the tin and, although the WordPress SEO by Yoast plugin enables you to add a Sitemap, I much prefer this separate plugin to add that functionality as it provides better control and a nicer layout when accessed by a human. It‘s entirely up to you, though, of course.
The sitemap will update automatically when new posts, pages or categories are created or edited depending on your chosen settings.
Google XML Sitemaps can be downloaded here.
4) WP to Twitter
WP to Twitter automates the process of updating Twitter with your latest posts, pages and links depending on the settings you choose when setting up the plugin. It also makes use of link shortening services such as Bit.ly and Goo.gl, which are brilliant for measuring clicks. It also allows you to mention the author of each specific post if you have a multi-author blog – after all, a little credit never hurt anyone.
You may have to tweak your settings a little so as to ensure that you‘re not annoying your followers with too many links. I usually only have new posts tweeted.
WP to Twitter can be downloaded here.
5) Add Link to Facebook
Add Link to Facebook is a similar plugin to that of the WP to Twitter plugin above – this one makes it easy to share all of your latest content to Facebook without ever having to leave your WordPress administration panel which is super convenient.
You can choose whether to post your latest content to your personal Facebook profile or directly to a Facebook Page for your business during set-up.
Add Link to Facebook can be downloaded here.
6) W3 Total Cache
W3 Total Cache is a fantastic plugin for big or fast-growing websites as WordPress can slow down considerably once traffic levels reach a certain point.
W3 Total Cache can be downloaded here.
7) Yet Another Related Posts Plugin (YARPP)
This plugin is a personal favourite of mine. It‘s simply brilliant.
YARPP uses a scoring system, which can be altered by yourself, to work out which posts are most likely to be closely related to the one a visitor is reading. The score is based on titles, content, tags, categories and other things which can be turned on or off by you.
It‘s such a simple plugin yet so very effective, and I know that visitors appreciate the touch when browsing and reading your blog. Related posts will automatically be inserted below post content unless you‘d prefer them somewhere else. It‘s very easy to change.
YARPP can be downloaded here.
Sharing is caring – Shareholic understands this more than anyone else.
This plugin is, for me, the best for providing social sharing options to your blog readers. It‘s extremely easy to use (for you and visitors) and highly customisable.
You can define which sharing buttons you‘d like to show and where you‘d like them to be displayed; posts, pages, index and categories. There are also a couple of different styles and designs that you can use – with and without imagery – I do prefer the ‘sharing is caring’ and ‘sharing is sexy’ ones, something I‘m ashamed to admit.
Shareaholic can be downloaded here.
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