We all know that WordPress is the easiest way to create your website or blog, but are you making the most of WordPress plugins? While you will definitely not want to add excessive plugins to your site to keep it running smoothly, there are several must have plugins that will make your site a pleasure to maintain and a pleasure to read. With so many to choose from, how do you know which ones will benefit your site the most?
Akismet – This advanced host comment anti-spam service helps keep your site free of mass comment submissions by efficiently processing and analyzing masses of data from millions of sites and communities in real time. Block even the most proficient of spammers with this service and maintain your site’s credibility. Manual comment filtering can be a time-consuming and exhausting process. With Akismet, you’ll be able to rest assured that the comments appearing on your site are valid user submissions and will let you focus on only the submissions which make it through the filters.
Yoast – This plugin is a search engine optimization (SEO) tool which is great for all SEO tasks.This tool can handle meta descriptions or any other SEO related tasks quickly and easily and can help you to control things like your robots.txt file or generate your site map. Submitting your map to Yahoo, Google, or Bing on a regular basis has never been faster or easier. This service even provides you with suggestions or flags when you’ve missed something important to help you ensure your content is SEO optimized.
WP-DBManager – This great plugin takes the headaches out of running your own site if you are not that great at database management. WP-DBManager allows you to optimize your database, repair it, back it up, restore or delete it, and drop or empty tables and run queries. It also supports automatically scheduled tasks related to backups, optimization and database repair.
Disqus Comment System – You want to provide your viewers with content they get the most out of. Disqus is a plugin that makes it easy for users to login with their Google+, Facebook, Twitter or Disqus accounts and leave comments on your content. Users can also vote for other people’s comment, which promotes a sense of community. These interactions between the visitors of your site and draws more people to it.
WP Smush.it – Nothing annoys people and drives them away faster than slow loading content. Images which have not been compressed for site optimization can leave your site loading so slowly that viewers give up and move along before they have the opportunity to see your great site. This plugin allows you to optimize and compress your images contained on your WordPress with one simple click. This can have a drastic effect on your site’s loading time, can reduce size by 30-40%, and means less bandwidth used overall.
VaultPress – You want your site to be secure and safe. This plugin performs real time syncing and security scans and takes advantage of WordPress hooks, and is optimized for WordPress-powered sites. Provide FTP or SSH information and VaultPress can automatically restore a backup to your site. Their dashboard allows you to manage your backups and review security threats right on its dashboard, and can restore backups automatically.
Contact Form 7 – This plugin provides a customizable contact form for your WordPress site. Not only are the individual fields customizable, this tool allows you to insert your contact form wherever you want it on your site using only a simple code.
Contact Form DB – This plugin is a contact form submission information gatherer which allows you to collect information from your user submissions, compile it, and save it in a spreadsheet for later use.If you should decide you need to organize this information somehow or make use of it, you only have to export the data as a CSV file and open it in your spreadsheet program. This plugin works with Fast Secure Contact Form, Contact Form 7, Jetpack Contact Form, and Gravity Forms plugins.
These are only a few of the fabulous plugins which can help make your WordPress site a success. Try to keep addition of plugins to a minimum. The more things you have running on your site the slower it will be. Take advantage of optimizer plugins but make sure you are not adding a bunch of plugins which all manage to do the same thing. This will not have a stacking effect and add an exponential boost to your page, they will just bog down the site with unnecessary processes.
The main things you should focus on when choosing a great plug in are those which revolve around SEO or site optimization, security, comments. While every WordPress site is a little different, they all operate on the same principles and have many of the same needs. If you have started using a plugin but find the functionality or speed of your site has been negatively affected, visit the plugin provider’s website for further instruction or remove it. Plugins should be adding to your site, not taking away from it.