WordPress is the best content management system for blogging. It can in fact be used for many other purposes which we will look at in future articles.
To harness the full power of WordPress you would need some plugins. Plugins enhance the usability and get difficult things done with just a few clicks.
Here is a list of must have plugins which you would definitely need with all of your WordPress installations.
Being the best often comes with a few drawbacks. Being a widely used tool WordPress falls prey to a lot of spam comments. Akismet will help you clear the clutter easily.
Akismet checks your comments against the Akismet Web service to see if they look like spam or not and lets you review the spam it catches under your blog’s “Comments” admin screen.
More info: Akismet Plugin Page
Major features in Akismet include:
- Automatically checks all comments and filters out the ones that look like spam.
- Each comment has a status history, so you can easily see which comments were caught or cleared by Akismet and which were spammed or unspammed by a moderator.
- URLs are shown in the comment body to reveal hidden or misleading links.
- Moderators can see the number of approved comments for each user.
- A discard feature that outright blocks the worst spam, saving you disk space and speeding up your site.
It will back up your entire site including your database and all your files on a schedule that suits you. Try it now to see how easy it is!
- Super simple to use, no setup required.
- Works in low memory, “shared host” environments.
- Manage multiple schedules.
- Option to have each backup file emailed to you.
- Uses zip and mysqldump for faster backups if they are available.
- Works on Linux & Windows Server.
- Exclude files and folders from your backups.
- Good support should you need help.
- Translations for Spanish, German, Chinese, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Lithuanian, Italian, Czech, Dutch, French, Basque
This plugin supercharges your self-hosted WordPress site with the awesome cloud power of WordPress.com.
- Simple, concise stats with no additional load on your server. Previously provided byWordPress.com Stats.
- Email subscriptions for your blog’s posts and your post’s comments.
- Social networking enabled comment system.
- Likes, allowing your readers to show their appreciation of your posts.
- Monitor and manage your site’s activity with Notifications in your Toolbar and on WordPress.com.
- Simple, Akismet-backed contact forms.
- The WP.me URL shortener.
- Hovercard popups for your commenters via Gravatar.
- Easily embedded media from popular sites like YouTube, Digg, and Vimeo.
- The ability to post to your blog from any email client.
- Integration with and automatic posting to your favorite social networks including Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Path, and LinkedIn.
- For the Math geeks, a simple way to include beautiful mathematical expressions on your site.
- A widget for displaying recent tweets. Previously provided by Wickett Twitter Widget
- Your readers can easily share your posts via email or their favorite social networks. Previously provided by the Sharedaddy WordPress plugin.
- Your writing will improve thanks to After the Deadline, an artificial intelligence based spell, style, and grammar checker. Previously provided by the After the Deadline WordPress plugin.
- With Carousel active, any standard WordPress galleries you have embedded in posts or pages will launch a gorgeous full-screen photo browsing experience with comments and EXIF metadata.
- A CSS editor that lets you customize your site design without modifying your theme.
- A mobile theme that automatically streamlines your site for visitors on mobile devices.
- Mobile push notifications for new comments via WordPress mobile apps.
- The ability to allow applications to securely authenticate and access your site with your permission.
- Creative formats for your image galleries: mosaic, circles, squares, and a slideshow view.
- Add post sliders and other highlights to your theme with Featured Content.
- Search once, get results from everything! A single search box that lets you search posts, pages, comments, media, and plugins.
- Configure widgets to appear only on certain pages with the Widget Visibility module.
- Upload and insert videos into your posts thanks to VideoPress.
- Link Jetpack and your Google+ Profile to add mutliple Google features to your site.
- Sign in to your self-hosted WordPress site using your WordPress.com log-in credentials.
- Jetpack Monitor will keep tabs on your site, and alert you the moment that downtime is detected.
- and many more to come!
4. WordPress SEO:
If you are not well versed with search engine optimization and you want someone to handle the SEO for your site, hand it over to this plugin.
Wordpress SEO by Yoast is one of the best plugins to manage anything to do with SEO.
- Write better content with WordPress SEO.
- The WordPress SEO plugins Page Analysis functionality checks simple things you’re bound to forget.
- This WordPress SEO plugin guides you through some of the settings needed, for instance by reminding you to enable pretty permalinks.
- With the WordPress SEO plugin you can control which pages Google shows in its search results and which pages it doesn’t show. By default, it will tell search engines to index all of your pages, including category and tag archives, but only show the first pages in the search results.
- Yoast’s WordPress SEO plugin has the most advanced XML Sitemaps functionality in any WordPress plugin. Once you check the box, it automatically creates XML sitemaps and notifies Google & Bing of the sitemaps existence.
- RSS Optimization.
- Edit your .htaccess and robots.txt file
- SEO and Social Media are heavily intertwined, that’s why this plugin also comes with a Facebook OpenGraph implementation and will soon also support Google+ sharing tags.
- The Yoast SEO plugin, unlike some others, is fully Multi-Site compatible. The XML Sitemaps work fine in all setups and you even have the option, in the Network settings, to copy the settings from one blog to another, or make blogs default to the settings for a specific blog.
- If you have multiple blogs, setting up plugins like this one on all of them might seem like a daunting task. Except that it’s not, because what you can do is simple: you set up the plugin once. You then export your settings and simply import them on all your other sites. It’s that simple!
5. WP Super Cache:
If you are looking to improve your site page load times, this is a perfect plugin for you. It increases the site speed considerably and at the same time it is easy to setup.
This plugin generates static html files from your dynamic WordPress blog. After a html file is generated your webserver will serve that file instead of processing the comparatively heavier and more expensive WordPress PHP scripts.