all in onEspecially for beginners, Plugins can help you completely transform and improve your WordPress Installation. These sweet pieces of code can really help enrich your site and perform tasks that were previously impossible. Plus, they help many web-newbies achieve certain easy tasks without having to touch any code.
Personally I do not believe in having a ton of plugins as they can really slow down your site and increase the vulnerability of getting hacked, however, there are some REALLY awesome plugins (some of which I personally use) which are really great to have on virtually any blog. Here are ten of my favorite and what I consider to be the Top Ten Best WordPress Plugins. Enjoy!
1. All In One SEO Pack
All In One SEO Pack is the ultimate Search Engine Optimization plugin for WordPress. This plugin will allow you to make changes to all the meta descriptions and keyword tags on your posts, pages and even homepage. Plus, it allows you to make some adjustments to help avoid duplicate content across your blog. There are a few more really great SEO plugins, but I have always used and loved the All In One SEO Pack.
There is no spam-buster quite like Akisment. This plugin will automatically put what it considers Spam comments right into your spam folder so you do not have to deal with them. In some of my blogs I get hundreds of automatic spam comments everyday, this plugins makes my life so much easier when going through and approving comments.
3. Google XML Sitemaps
Have you ever tried coding your own xml sitemap? If so, than you know how much it sucks. It takes forever and is extremely repetitive. The Google XML Sitemaps plugin will automatically update your sitemap when you add content to your site as well as ping top search engines letting them know about your updates. This is a must when trying to improve your blog’s SEO.
4. Robots Meta
This is a plugin I discovered recently, but quickly fell in love with. Robots Metaallows you to easily add the appropriate robots meta tags to all your pages and feeds as well as to disable unused archives and nofollow certain links on your blog. This plugin will work in the background to help your site get indexed and rank properly.
5. Hyper Cache
WordPress Themes work by making certain calls to your database and returning those calls to your browser so it can render in HTML. This is great as it allows you to have an admin panel and back-end structure, however, every time someone loads a page from your blog your site needs to make all those PHP calls and get the appropriate content, thus slowing down your site. Hyper Cache will create cached HTML versions of your site and show these when visitors view your site, which will make your site load much faster. And as you know the big-G is now considering site-speed as a factor in rankings.
6. jQuery Image Lazy Load
You may have noticed that most blogs these days are filled with all kinds of images. “Everyone” has thumbnail images on posts and “everyone” is making giant lists of the “top whatever” (such as me) with these huge and beautiful images. The problem is that all these pretty images can make your site load a hole lot slower and no one likes waiting forever for a site to load. The jQuery Image Lazy Load Plugin uses jQuery to load the images on your blog as visitors scroll down the page. Awesome!
Everyone is blogging to make money, correct? Ok, not everyone, but definitely most people. WP125 is a great weapon to start making money on your blog. This wp plugin will allow you to easily add and track 125×125 pixel advertisement spots on your site. So, if you are into affiliate programs or selling ad spots on your site without going through a 3rd party, than this is the plugin for you.
8. Post To Twitter
Post To Twitter is a really simple plugin, all it does is it automatically posts a tweet to your latest blog post. As soon as you publish something on your blog the plugin will automatically tweet the post. If you are like me and don’t really care too much for Twitter, but like the SEO benefits and extra traffic it provides than this is a very handy tool. With Post To Twitter you will never really have to log into twitter to let people know what you are up to…just update your blog.
9. Subscribe To Comments
There is no better way to get some extra visits to your site and encourage discussion than to allow people to subscribe to the comments on your posts. Personally I will not subscribe to many posts, but every once in a while you find a pretty heated discussion or an awesome blog and it is irresistible. Subscribe to comments adds a little checkbox at the bottom of your comment form and if checked when a user submits a comment they will be emailed when new comments are posted to that specific post.
10. reCaptcha Form
The reCaptcha Form is probably the easiest and most basic wordpress contact form plugin that has a legit spam filter. Simply activate the plugin, add your reCaptcha keys in the settings panel than use a shortcode to show a basic contact form on your site. Great for creating a contact page on your blog.