By Yip Bop
WordPress is a highly extensible application – big words that mean you can easily ‘extend’ the functionality of WordPress to do whatever you want it to do. The best and most common way of extending WordPress is by adding ‘plugins’ to it. Plugins are just bits of code that provide some specific functionality to your blog – all without you having to touch a single piece of that code yourself!
Plugins are probably one of the “Coolest” aspects of WordPress. With no more than one or two clicks, you can get your blog site to do things that would have taken months of intense effort just five years ago!
These days, there are literally thousands of available plugins available – some free and some for a reasonable cost. But, which ones should you start out with?
Here is a short list of the ten most popular (and useful) plugins that we feel you can’t really do without…
1) First and foremost would have to be Akismet – The anti-spam plugin that is automatically installed with every copy of WordPress. Akismet is free and does a better-than-tolerable job of dealing with all those nasty spam comments that every blog draws like flies!
All you need to do with this plugin is to activate it.
You will need a WordPress.com API key to make it work. This key is free and details for how to get it are in the Akismet plugin description.
2) WordPress stats – If you’re serious about blogging, then you’ve got to be serious about statistics! WordPress Stats will show you how many people are visiting your blog; per hour, per day, per month.
It will also tell you your most popular posts along with the sources of your traffic. Very handy, indeed!
You will need your WordPress API key for this plugin too. Fortunately, it’s the same one you used for Akismet.
3) For all you mobile phone users out there (and who isn’t?), there’s WordPress Mobile Edition. These days, many people are browsing the web – and your blog – using their cell phones. WordPress Mobile Edition renders your blog in such a way that your content fits the small screens available to cell phone users. This plugin is very highly recommended!
4) WP Super Cache – Without going into a long (and tedious) technical discussion, let’s just say that this really speeds-up the loading time of your web pages. And, a better viewer experience means more views!
5) Thank Me Later – A very handy little plugin that sends an email to first-time commenters thanking them for their post. This is a great way to interact with your audience and get them to post more often.
6) Headspace SEO – Search Engine Optimization is always necessary for a blog, and always annoying to have to mess with! Headspace takes care of the SEO details so that you can take care of the content.
7) WP-DBManager – The most important maintenance function for any blog is to regularly back it up – ’cause, if you lose your database, you’ve lost ALL your content! Unfortunately, so many blog owners fail to backup often enough. WP-DBManager automates this task for you and sends you a daily email with your backed-up files. Absolutely necessary plugin!
8) WordPress Related Posts – This plugin is darned handy! It generates a list of related posts that are based on the tags and categories you mark your posts with. It then presents those choices at the bottom of your post encouraging your readers to delve deeper into your blog!
9) WP125 – This allows you to place small, 125 x 125 pixel ads in your sidebar. Hey! You might as well get paid for your blogging efforts!
10) LazyLoader – If you have a bunch of images on your blog, loading times can get troublesome for your audience. LazyLoader solves this problem by loading images only as necessary as the reader scrolls down the page.
And there you have it… the top ten WordPress plugins that we feel will make your blogging experience much more enjoyable and productive.
There are many thousands more WordPress Plugins to choose from, of course, but these ten should give you a good start in developing a popular blog.
My name is Yip Bop and I write blogs about our World with stories and insights that may not be written in your daily newspaper. SEO Plugin – Top WordPress Plugins, SEOPressor, WordPress and SEO Blog is an informational material and resources blog that was launched so that you can have a clear understanding of the different SEO Plugins for WordPress.