Top 10 Must Have Plugins For Every Modern WordPress Site
Owing to the fact that WordPress is open source software, it has become the most popular platform for blogging besides being an excellent Content Management System (CMS).
It has a dedicated world wide community who has led to its popularity besides its developers who are working hard to improve it on a regular basis.
In order to enhance the default functioning of WordPress, it has a lot of free plugins which can not be exhausted on this article hence; here a few of the plugins which are essential to any WordPress.
Regardless of your experience with WordPress, you will find this easy to follow along.
Before you start with plugins, you will require to successfully install your WordPress by carefully following the instruction given to configure all that is required.
Here are the top ten plugins you can not avoid;
This is not a plugin but is the most crucial thing that you will need to install. It is responsible for giving your blog posts an appealing URL, friendly to the eyes and to SEO. It includes keywords into the URL.
It may seem a simple task changing its settings but be careful because; some web hosts’ “.htacccess” file require manual updating in order for it to work properly.
It will be easier updating your permalink structure if you make use of the setting tab located at the admin area.
ii. Permalink Redirect plugin
It does not come with WordPress but it is related to Permalink. Its settings are similar to those of Permalink though it has an advantage over it because it ensures that the URL does not have extra characters.
If it happens that there are excess characters, it is its responsibility to find the correct URL and send users to it.
The best thing about this plugin is that its installation does not require configuring anything since it is taken care of behind the scene.
iii. Akismet plugin
If you are running a WordPress as a blog as opposed to a simple CMS, this plugin is crucial in order to filter any spammed comments.
It is designed to learn what spam is and filter it from you comment enabled blog.
By configuring this plugin, you will be doing away with the irresponsible tendency by people who post spam comments besides the irritating spam bots.
It works well when you install it with WordPress API Key. After you have installed it, it will be your responsibility to view al the spam received in order to ensure that a genuine comment is not caught.
Though it is not common to catch a real comment, do not ignore your responsibility and if you happen to find a real comment filtered as spam, you should mark it as “not spam” and hit the “delete all” to delete all other spammed comments.
Otherwise you can manage your comments easily by using the API key which is to be entered under the plugin tab. You can use FeedBurner to keep track of the number of subscriber your blog is attracting.
iv. Email Feed Subscription and FeedBurner RSS.
Visitors to your blog will need to subscribe to updates. You should keep in mind that you will be receiving different personalities to your blog, hence; you should give them the liberty to use their preferred RSS Feed Reader.
In order to provide this necessity, WordPress creates a feed address to your blog by default.
The only limitation that this feed address faces is; it can not allow you to monitor the number of subscribers hence you need something more than this.
You can find the solution to this limitation through FeedBurner which gives an opportunity to keep track on the number of subscribers and giving your subscribers an option of signing for updates using their emails.
You will require creating a free FeedBurner account by submitting your default feed address to your WordPress blog (Yoursite.com/feed can be good option).
In return, you will be provided with two distinct URLs which will enable visitors to subscribe to your blog updates.
Another important aspect of this plugin is that it keeps a daily record of the number of subscribers who update.
v. FeedBurner FeedSmith Plugin
This complements FeedBurner in that, it closes the vulnerability crated by FeedBurner.
People with malicious intention can click on your FeedBurner subscription URL and others will be tempted to manually type your default WordPress feed address.
Even if they will end up subscribing to you updates, it will not be a good idea because their subscription will not be counted in you subscriber count.
FeedBurner FeedSmith Plugin automatically redirects any feeds channeled through FeedBurner to ensure that every feed is included in the subscriber count. On the other hand, your FeedBurner feed can be entered under the Setting tab.
vi. Google Analytics
This is the most popular stat program that which is used in tracking information about visitors to your website.
In most cases, you will be interested in information like; the count of visitors to your site, how they managed to get your website and maybe the browser they are using among other triggering information.
This is an important tool for web site owners because it gives them an opportunity to inquire about most content in your website, pages that people are linking to your site and finding the terms people are searching in order to find you.
With good view of your visitors, optimization of you website becomes an easy task because you will be at a better position to find out what kind of information people are looking for in your website.
This helps to provide helpful contents besides helping you to optimize your site for SEO. The greatest benefit that comes with using a blog as a website is that it is frequently updated and this provides a better platform for SEO.
vii. All in one SEO pack Plugin
If you are a WordPress expert dealing with blogging, you must be familiar with All in one SEO Pack. It provides numerous essential items that are responsible for controlling the admin area.
There are some things like tags which are hard coded into HTML in static websites; hence, you need this plugin to set them from the admin area minus cracking your head if you lack HTM knowledge.
Besides this, it is beneficial because you will be at liberty to set specific tags to individual pages and posts without struggling.
It is designed to pull text from the post by itself if you fail to update it manually.
If you will be capable to hand-craft appropriate tags for individual posts, it will be a better practice.
If you need a shortcut, you can use the Setting tab to update information pertaining individual posts.
viii. Google XML Sitemaps.
XML Sitemaps with special format are required in order to index the pages of you website. Google XML Sitemaps automatically installs a file responsible for indexing pages in your website.
You will not require performing any management tasks on it because it updates itself regularly through adding new pages and post to the Sitemap.
Besides this, it comes with other benefits like: the generated page comprises every URL on your site, specific dates when a page was last modified, priority of the pages and other relevant information.
Although you might be having XML Sitemap on your site, it does not give you an absolute guarantee that your website will is automatically but it raises the chances of your website being found and making your contents easily available.
Incase your website has pages that you do not wish to have them indexed; you are required to mark them so that they do not appear in the Sitemap.
ix. WP DB Backup
Like other websites, you need frequent back up. In order to achieve this, you need the WP DB Backup plugin responsible for backing up your entire MSQL database.
With this plugin, you will either back up by downloading your file into the computer, have it saved in your server.
Alternatively, you can save it or have it sent to your email. This plugin is convenient to work with because you can set it to run automatically in order to have your database back up in a specified time interval.
It acts like an insurance to your website because if any accident and loose your contents, you can restore your website to the latest back up you have.
x. Exec –PHP
For those willing to incorporate any PHP code in their posts or side items, you require Exec-PHP plugin to help you in putting PHP codes to your pages, sidebar items and posts.
This is very important because when ignored, you are likely to get a blank space, an error message or <PHP>.
This points it clear that you need to customize your code in order to have your website functioning properly.
Take your time to use these plugins and you will appreciate the functions they perform as you fish out for more plugins.