WordPress is one of the famous blogging platforms available on the web. It has many great features like Plugins, Widgets and Premium Themes. Especially WordPress plugins help greatly in customizing your WordPress blog. There are many plugins available for different purposes. Often WordPress bloggers get confused choosing the best WordPress plugins. Assuming you are running self hosted WordPress in this post we will discuss the best WordPress Plugins which makes blogging easier.
Best WordPress Plugins
WordPress Plugins for SEO
As a blogger you want to implement SEO on your WordPress blog. Here we are talking about On-Page SEO, which means optimizing title, meta tags & images, creating XML sitemaps and blog speed and breadcrumbs.
WordPress SEO – One must implement search engine optimization on blog to get high ranks in search engines and thus drive more traffic. WordPress SEO Plugin eases your task of optimizing your blog for search engines with simple configuration changes. Checkout WordPress SEO by Yoast – How to Setup. There are many WordPress SEO plugins available, make sure you install WordPress SEO by Yoast developed by Joost de valk. These days WordPress is coming with this plugin by default.
WP Smush.it This plugin optimizes the images uploaded to the WordPress blog. Whenever you upload a new image it reduces the image size, stripes the image meta data and thus your blog images load faster. You can also bulk smush all previously uploaded images.
Google XML Sitemaps – After optimizing your WordPress blog for search engines we need to create an XML sitemap of the blog and submit it to search engine’s index. Google XML Sitemaps plugin builds an XML sitemap and pings major search engines whenever you publish a new post. All though WordPress SEO by Yoast plugin comes with XML sitemaps feature we recommend using this plugin for creating XML sitemap of your blog.
Google XML Sitemap for Images – This plugin creates an XML sitemap with all the image urls. You can submit the sitemap to Google and drive traffic from Google Images search too.
Breadcrumbs NavXT – This plugin generates locational breadcrumb trails for your WordPress blog. These breadcrumb trails are highly customizable to suit the needs of just about any website running WordPress.
W3 Total Cache – This plugin boosts your blog’s speed by page, browser, object and database caching. But the configuration part is a bit difficult for this plugin.
WP Super Cache – It is an alternative plugin to W3 Total Cache. 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 WordPress PHP scripts. Thus your blog loads faster.
WordPress Plugins for dealing Comment Spam
Using auto blog commenting software spammers comment spam links on your blog. It is highly recommended to filter the comment spam. You can control comment spam by using following WordPress plugins.
Akismet – As in our previous posts we told if you connect to spam you will be treated as spam. Akismet protects WordPress blog from Spam by automatically catching spam comments. WordPress comes with Akismet plugin by default. All you need to do is, visit Akismet Website to get your free API key and enter that key in your WordPress blog Akismet Plugin settings for the Akismet to start catching the spam.
GASP – Growmap Anti Spambot Plugin adds a client side generated check box to your comment form asking users to confirm that they are not a spammer. It is more convenient than entering a Captcha.
Simple Trackback Validation – This plugin validates all the incoming Trackbacks and filters spammy trackbacks.
Other WordPress Plugins
CommentLuv – CommentLuv integrates with your WordPress Commenting system and offers the user a backlink to one of his/her latest posts. Thus encourages visitors to comment on your blog posts.
Auto Excerpt Everywhere – The plugin shows excerpts instead of full post on your blog homepage, single posts and pages excluded. It tries to display your custom excerpt text or it will show an automatically generated excerpt. You can also define an excerpt length (default is 500) and a custom read more link.
Yet Another Related Posts Plugin – As a blogger you don’t want the visitor to read a single post and leave your website. You want to offer them more to read. Yet Another Related Posts plugin displays the Related Posts at the end of every blog post so that visitor can read more related content.
These are some essential plugins every WordPress blog should contain. Based on your requirement there are thousands of plugins available in WordPress directory.