I am often asked what plugins are useful on a WordPress site. The main thing to determine is what you are using your site for. Sure there are a lot of plugins out there. I am amazed at what plugins can do for a site. But just because it is available doesn’t mean you should use it.
So here is my top 10 list of useful plugins that every blogger should have – whether a power blogger or beginner.
Contact Form 7: This is a very nice contact form that does allow for customization (I use it on my business site). You can also create multiple forms and use each one on your site. There are other contact forms available, but I like the ease of use of this one. (and it’s free)
WP Database Backup: Any blogger’s worst nightmare is to go to their site and realize it’s GONE! It can happen. Backups are so important. This plugin would be worth paying for if you had to (but it’s FREE!)
Tweet Meme Button: Allows users to tweet your post. Anymore, it is pretty much assumed that you’ll provide this option somewhere on your posts/pages/site.
Sexy Bookmarks: I love this plugin. I’m sure I’ll get tired of seeing it everywhere some day, but for now, I think it is an attractive fun way to allow your users to share your site on various networks (you get to select which ones are shown)
ShareThis: does the same thing that Sexy Bookmarks does, but in a smaller manner.
All-In-One-SEO Pack: This works “out of the box”, so it’s great for beginners. But advanced users will appreciate being able to tweak things even more.
WP-Touch: More and more web users are accessing sites via their smartphones. A site can look totally different on a mobile device. This plugin will allow the visitor to see your site on their device without you have to do any special coding or resizing. Another option is WP Mobile Edition.
WP Super Cache: Speeds up the time your users have to wait for your site to load. (explained via a lot of technical mumbo-jumbo… but all you need to know is FASTER!)
Yet Another Related Post Plugin (YARPP): Keep your readers on your site longer by showing posts they may have missed. This plugin will show posts that are related to the current post (obviously…)
Google XML Sitemap: Helps search engines better index your site, and notifies search engines when you create new content.
I’d add Askimet, but it is included by default now when you install WordPress. USE IT!! 85% of comments on the internet are spam.
To install a plugin:
You can install a plugin by either downloading it to your computer and then uploading it to WordPress OR install it directly to your site via WordPress.org.
Click on “Add New” via your “Plugins” page on your dashboard (see below)
Then decide whether to “Search” (WordPress.org plugin directory) or “Upload”. Or to really be adventurous, filter them by what is popular, featured or recently added.
Install the plugin by following the screen prompts. Once it is properly loaded it will ask if you want to activate. Activate and then be sure to change any setting necessary for the plugin to properly function (*Not all plugins have settings options)
What are your favorite plugins? Which one would you cry over if it suddenly stopped working on your site?
Need more info or help on this topic? Do a google search, or feel free to ask questions in comments or email me.