Today 16% of websites available on internet are powered by WordPress platform reason being ease of use and DIY (Do it yourself) module. When i created my blog, i hired a website designer for managing my blog but then i realized its a costly proposition. I decided to move my blog on WordPress platform which is the most simplest way to run a Blog or Website. Today i don’t have any dependency on 3rd party to run my blog and i run my blog on my own.
Now after shifting on WordPress, my Blog was looking plain vanilla i.e. without any functionality as such. There was need to add plugins to add functionality on my blog. I created a list of functionality i need for my blog & then my search for best WordPress plugins started. I struggled a lot to find right plugins for my blog. I experimented a lot and spent sleepless nights to create best mix of plugins. Just to add that u can find list of popular plugins on WordPress admin but it is not necessary that plugins suggested by WordPress are best suited for ur blog. Also note that more no. of WordPress plugins installed can slow down your blog therefore be careful in your selection. As i understand that optimum no. of plugins for any blog is between 20-25.
Most common issue faced by me were incompatibility between plugins i.e. if u install Plugin A then Plugin B start malfunctioning. Anyways after lot of research, i have created the list of 21 best WordPress plugins which you should have for your WordPress Blog. The plugins are listed in Alphabetical order. All these plugins are free and can be downloaded from http://wordpress.org/
1. Add Post Footer: Its very useful & multipurpose plugin. By using this plugin u can insert by default advertisement or any other text or communication at the bottom of all the posts. Besides adding footer, you can also enable Related Post List / Related Articles (Alternative to Yet Another Related Post Plugin). Besides this you can also add “Optional Text” and “Technorati Tags” at the bottom of Post.
2. Ad Injection: One of the best plugin in this category. It is not necessary to use this plugin to insert ad but u can also cross sell other content on your blog by inserting visual link in posts or you can create links to your various Social Networking profiles to promote your blog through Facebook, Twitter, Google + etc
3. Akismet: World is full of spammers & this Plugin is required to protect your blog from spammers. This plugin is best as after i installed the same, my blog is free from spams.
4. Auto Excerpt Everywhere: Whenever a reader visit ur Blog, he would like to view the information available in a clean and compact manner. Any clutter on blog can increase bounce rate. When you publish any post then complete post is visible on the 1st page therefore Front page become too long and create monotony. This plugin create an Excerpt of post, which act as summary. You can decide the Excerpt Length therefore 1st page will contain list of 10 posts along with excerpts & readers can decide, which content piece they would like to read by going through excerpt or summary.
5. Broken link Checker: This plugin check for any broken link on ur blog and also send notification, if any broken link is detected. It makes blog error free.
6. Disqus Comment System: Must have plugin & much better then other comment plugins like Default WordPress Comment, Luv Comment or Facebook Comment. Disqus interface can be accessed through WordPress admin panel.
7. Facebook: Integration of your blog with Facebook is critical for success of your blog. This is official plugin of “Facebook” for WordPress. This Plugin contain all the Facebook related plugins in single plugin including Facebook Comment Plugin. My personal favorite are “Recommendations Bar” plugin & “Facebook Recent Activity” Widget available in this plugin. Recommendation Bar appears on the Right hand bottom of your webpages and create personalized recommendations based on what your readers are reading on your Facebook Timeline. Only plugin missing in this official Facebook plugin is “Facebook members” plugin
8. Facebook Members: This widget is very useful to gain likes for your Facebook Page. It shows link to ur Facebook Page, Count of No. of people liked your page and also show sample list of members.
9. Facebook Page Promoter Lightbox: This plugin display Lightbox, whenever any visitor open ur blog page. The Lightbox display a preconfigured Facebook Page – Like Box inside a Lightbox.
10. Fast Secure Contact Form: The contact form lets your visitors send you a quick E-mail message. Super customizable with a multi-form feature, optional extra fields, and an option to redirect visitors to any URL after the message is sent. Includes CAPTCHA and Akismet support to block all common spammer tactics.
11. Google Analytics for WordPress: Many WordPress themes support Google Analytics Tracking but i observed that this inbuilt feature is not sufficient and only track visits on Home Page. This plugin inserts tracking code on all the web pages and ensure that all the pages visited on your blog are tracked
12: Google XML Sitemaps: This plugin is required to index your blog on various search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing etc. In layman terms this plugin makes webpages of your blog searchable on search engines, which is critical to get more traffic on ur blog.
13. My Link Order: My Link Order allows you to set the order in which links and link categories will appear in the sidebar. Uses a drag and drop interface for ordering
14. Redirection: This plugin manages all 404 error. Whenever a page is not found on the your blog, it throw 404 error i.e. page not found. This error impacts search-ability of ur blog through search engines. This plugin helps to redirect pages not found to pages selected by you as target page therefore fixing 404 error
15. SI CAPTCHE Anti-Spam: CAPTCHA anti-spam methods are added to WordPress forms for comments, registration, lost password, login, or all. This prevents spam from automated bots.
16. Sociable: Automatically add links on your posts, pages and RSS feed to your favorite social bookmarking sites
17. Social Media Widget: This widget adds links to all of your social media and sharing site profiles. Tons of icons come in 3 sizes, 4 icon styles, and 4 animations
18. Twitter Facebook Social Share: This plugin add Floating Social Networking Bar on the Left Hand Side of the Post
19. WordPress Protection: WordPress Protection Plugin provides complete security for your wordpress website, so that the plagiarists could not copy the content and steal data or images from your wordpress site Pages. By using the WordPress Protection Plugin (Basic), you can disable the text-selection and block the use of right click on your website
20. WordPress SEO: This plugin by Yoast is much better compared to All In One SEO. I have written a review on same, you can check out following link
21. WP Greet Box: This plugin shows a different message to your visitor depending on which site they are coming from. For example, you can ask Digg visitors to Digg your post, Google visitors to subscribe to your RSS feed, and more! Best of all, this plugin is compatible with various WordPress cache plugins.
Hope u liked this post and you can suggest any other important plugin which i missed out through comments section.
Copyright © 2011-2012 Nitin Bhatia. All Rights Reserved.
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