It’s difficult to imagine a WordPress blog without plugins.
It’s also true that most of the bloggers use excessive plugins on their blogs; even though they are not so essential to run their blogs optimally.
No doubt, for a WordPress blog “functionality means plugin.” But, that doesn’t mean – adding more number of plugins do good for your WordPress blog. 2 Important -Ve aspects of WordPress plugins are – Vulnerability (prone to hacking) & Slow Page-loading.
I’ve compiled a list of 14 Top WordPress plugins from their respective categories which are essential for your WordPress blog. I’ve excluded Akismet from the list, because we can’t call it an essential plugin; infact, I think – it (Akismet) is a part of WordPress software. The first thing I do after installing a fresh copy of WordPress is “adding Akismet” to keep the spammers at the bay. But yes, I use GASP along with Akismet for better results.
Akismet + GASP = Kick-ass Spam Control
1. WordPress Backup to Dropbox: Regular backing-up your WordPress blog is a must. And this plugin is by far the best in backup business. Compatible with the latest WordPress version, and a great support from the plugin author (Michael De Wildt) for any doubt makes it more interesting.
2. Better WP Security: Protecting your WordPress blog from hackers should be your top priority. This is an easy to use yet efficient plugin to secure your WordPress blog.
3. W3 Total cache: A fast loading blog ranks higher in search results. And it also makes your visitors happy. Whether you’re using this plugin alone, or with a premium CDN service; this is a must have plugin for your blog.
4. WordPress SEO by Yoast: It’s a great plugin for all your SEO needs. If you are blogging at least for 6 months or so – you should go for SEO by Yoast. It’s like a premium WordPress Plugin for FREE!
5. Jetpack: This is a great plugin from WordPress.com. Prepared by almost 42 authors including Matt Mullenweg – this free plugin adds multiple functionalities to your blog.
6. Slick Social Share Buttons: Providing an easy way to share your blog content in different social media networks by your readers is important for 2 things – Traffic & Ranking. I’m personally using this plugin on my WordPress blog (SEOHour) – you can see the plugin live on the left side of your screen.
7. Google XML Sitemaps: A sitemap helps crawling and indexing of your blog content easy for search engine bots. And this plugin do its job quite efficiently. If you’re not using “WordPress SEO by Yoast” then you should definitely go for it.
8. AdSense Click-Fraud Monitoring Plugin: Getting an AdSense account is not an easy job these days. And protecting it from click-frauds is even difficult. This plugin protects your Google AdSense account effectively.
9. Relevanssi: If you are using a search box for site search, then you should use Relevanssi to make your search results more relevant. It works out of the box – while showing search results from your own blog.
10. WordPress Related Posts: By using this plugin you can give your readers more choice to explore other related content on your blog. It increases your page views and decrease the bounce rate.
11. Redirection: Redirecting 404 Error pages to appropriate content by 301 Permanent redirection is really easy with this WordPress plugin. Without touching your Apache and .htaccess files you can fix the 404 Errors in minutes.
12. SI CAPTCHA Anti-Spam: Have you noticed – How spam-bots register themselves as users on your WordPress blog? By adding a CAPTCHA on the registration form make your life more easy. Though, adding a CAPTCHA to add comments is debatable.
13. Broken Link Checker: This plugin helps you to check your blog content for “broken links and missing images,” so that you can fix them ASAP. Improve the user experience of your blog by using this plugin.
14. DISQUS Comment System: If you want to make your blog comment section more interactive by leveraging a large Disqus Community – then this plugin is for you.
Do you use any of the above 14 WordPress plugins on your blog?
Wish you a Happy And Prosperous New Year May 2014 brings server-crashing traffic to your blog;)