WordPress provides web developers with a great framework to design and develop websites with relatively more ease. Not only that the core WordPress is a powerful piece of software –it can further be extended by a number of plug-ins available. Here, I am giving you a list of 10 very important WordPress plug-ins.
In these times when spam is one of the biggest problems that Internet is facing –Akismet is perhaps the most important and the very first plug-in that should be used with any WordPress installation. I have mastered the art of doing WordPress customization over the years –and my experience tells me that in absence of Akismet, within a couple of months after you start the website or blog; the comment spam catches up. Automatic bots will begin to comment on your posts. These auto generated crap comments are aimed just at filling up your database and self-advertisement. You definitely need Akismet to keep spammers at bay.
Akismet is free for non-commercial websites. It comes pre-installed with WordPress. You just need to activate it. Thereafter, you need to register on www.akismet.com to get an API key. You would need to enter this key in your Akismet installation to make it functional.
If you have hierarchy among your website pages or posts, this plug-in is very useful as it can easily produce the breadcrumb trail of any page/post. Your visitors will not get lost in the depth of hierarchical structure. Navigation becomes simple, quick and beautiful.
You need XML sitemap for submission to the Google Webmaster. A sitemap contains names, links and other meta information about pages/posts in your website. Such a map helps search engines to crawl your website. This plug-in can automatically notify search engines about the changes on your website. You can find more information about XML sitemaps on sitemaps.org and Google's list of sitemap programs.
It's a great plug-in to automate basic SEO stuff for your blog. It inserts essential meta tags that increase your website’s visibility in search results. Very easy and straightforward to use – just like Akistmet, this plug-in is a must for your website.
This plug-in produces a simple contact form that can be easily modified and inserted in any post or page of your WordPress website. Clean-Contact is designed to give you only basic and easy-to-use functionality. It lacks advanced features like captcha. But there are other plug-ins available if you want to integrate captcha in your forms.
As the name suggests, this plug-in injects ad codes in posts or pages. The plug-in is important for those who wish to monetize their websites through programs like Google AdSense. Armed with lots of options, Ad Injection makes the ad code management very easy. You can choose to display ads on top, bottom or at random places within post/page.
If you want to get real-time information about the visitors of your website, this plug-in is a good one. Feedjit is a popular widget that people use on their blogs to track traffic. Feedjit also offers this widget wrapped in the form of a WordPress plug-in. Once this plug-in is installed –the Feedjit widget will be available in your widget pool. You can simply drag and drop the widget in your sidebar wherever you like. The drawback is that this widget takes a lot of space in sidebar. So, it’s best to put it at the end of the sidebar.
If you need more detailed data about traffic on your website you can use StatPress. This log analysis plug-in produces information in the form of charts and tables. The information can be accessed through your WordPress Dashboard.
If your website is acting slow or causing server overload, you may consider caching the older posts/pages. W3 Total Cache creates a cache copy of all the specified posts/pages and visitors are served with these pages. With the reduction of database queries –the overall performance improves.
YARPP analyses similarity among your posts and displays a list of posts that could be related with a given post. It also assigns a similarity score –the higher the score –higher would be the similarity. YARPP is, however, consumes a lot of computing resources. So, it may slow down your website a bit.
Even if you don't post a lot of YouTube videos -it is hard not to post any at all! YouTube has proved to be such a treasure. A video can say millions of words and that's why one orthe other time bloggers tend to use videos from YouTube. This plug-in makes it easy to embed YouTube videos in your posts/pages. You can also set the width and height of the video.