If there is one thing that bloggers can’t abstain from, it’s reading about the essential WordPress plugins that different bloggers use!
It’s almost like if you’re a professional chef and someone shares a killer recipe… you can’t simply not look, right? Or a woman sharing a bit of juicy gossip; it’s impossible for other ladies to be oblivious to.
It’s taken me the past 10 months of diligently trying to doctor up my blog to formulate this list. This isn’t simply some list that I Googled and haphazardly threw together; this is every single active plugin that I have on my blog right now.
Enjoy my list of essential WordPress plugins!
One of the most basic plugins for any WordPress user. If you’re not using this, you’ll be sifting out thousands upon thousands of unwanted spam comments. This plugin takes out the junk so you never have to see it!
All In One SEO Pack
Does all the crazy annoying SEO stuff for you. Gives you a manageable form to fill out with any article (title, description, tags) and then automatically optimizes it for you. I adore this one for the reason that my descriptions show up through Google the way I desire (and they rank FAST).
Broken Links Remover
This one may be a lifesaver. On blogs with dozens or even hundreds of posts, it’s a difficult task to click through every link and make sure they’re still going where they should. This plugin gives you a list of every single link on your site that’s not going anywhere. one more must-have!
Cbnet Ping Optimizer
So, every single time you update your blog, it automatically sends a “ping” (basically an update) to the search engines. This lets them know to send back their “bots” and index the new ideas.
But, if you’re updating a lot, your site is sending out a lot of “pings”, and the search engines might think you’re simply spamming them to get your site indexed. This plugin helps to optimize your pings plus make you appear less “spammy”.
very sweet plugin that promotes a more social, interactive atmosphere! Basically, when someone leaves a comment, they also leave their website URL. This plugin goes to their website plus automatically picks up their last blog post and shows it in the comment they just left. People are much more likely to leave comments if they’re getting love back to their own blog.
When someone leaves a comment, they’re automatically taken to a page of your choice. You can take them to a thank you page, or (if you’re bold) straight to a capture page… it only does this for the very initial comment they leave so it’s not annoying.
Puts all those cool little share buttons at the head of each document. Gives you a list of several social media sites and you choose which ones you want to show up. Also displays how many times your article has been shared, so your followers can see some proof that you are indeed popular.
Have you ever written something stupid, and then realized you couldn’t edit it? And it’s on the internet for everybody to see? This simple plugin lets readers edit their comments for up to 30 minutes.
Exclude Pages From Navigation
For when you want to build in a “secret” page within your blog that you don’t want the general public to see! You can make a page that is only accessible with a direct URL; it doesn’t show up as a post, tab, or even in your sites navigation. Perfect for exclusive ideas you only want to share with certain people.
Fast Secure Contact Form
Not only an easy way for readers to send you a message straight to your email inbox, but gets rid of the spam robots from leaving you messages as well.
It puts a tiny image in the tab in your browser. It gives your site a little more personality, and a little more recognizable as well. Plus, when a reader leaves a comment, it puts up a little image of them as well.
FD Feedburner Plugin
When a visitor wants to subscribe to your feed, this plugin redirects them to Feedburner.com. Within Feedburner, you may add pictures, allow your readers to share certain content, plus customize other features. It helps your feed to stand out among others that your readers may be following.
Feed Subscriber Stats
Shows through your dashboard how many people are subscribed to your feed on Feedburner.
Google XML Sitemaps
This is another SEO plugin that most humans don’t comprehend but Google and Yahoo loooove. Basically, it makes it easier for search engines to index your blog. That’s always valuable.
Keeps track of what posts are the most popular according to your visitors’ behavior. You can even change up the values to make commenting or visits more heavily “weighted” when figuring up the most popular. After you set up this plugin, head over to the widgets and drag the “Popularity Contest” widget wherever you desire it.
My favorite and one of the most essential WordPress plugins that I work with! It makes that extraordinary looking pop-up opt in form that comes up on my blog. It allows for really easy customization, and even allows you to decide exactly how often it pops up for each visitor. Costs $47, but well worth it to get higher opt-ins.
Pretty Link (Lite Version)
A very, very useful plugin! It lets you cloak links and then tracks how many clicks have been made. It’s not a super-detailed tracking system, but it’s without charge! It’s appropriate if you have some long, ugly affiliate link that you want to track as well. Your links are your domain, followed by whatever ending you choose to put in. For example, mine look like who-is-erin-smith.com/FP or whatever else at the end. very nifty (plus people are more likely to click on it if the link looks like a blog.)
Related Posts Thumbnails
This one is great for keeping visitors on your log much longer. At the end of every post, pictures and descriptions for six other related posts are displayed. I’ve had many comments from followers that they couldn’t leave my blog for the reason that they kept clicking on those thumbnails and jumping to other posts.
When somebody leaves a comment, they have an option to be notified of follow-up comments. Normally, this denotes they will be notified of every single comment that comes after theirs. But, with this plugin, they are only notified if someone replies to their specific comment. Helps keep your visitors from receiving a bunch of unwanted mail, and just obtaining one or two useful messages when they get a reply.
one more lame SEO plugin… It simply cleans up unnecessary stuff.
SEO Friendly Images
Zzzzzzzzz… more SEO. Helps your images get found by search engines (like in Google Image Search)
Another SEO plugin… except NOT dull! maybe the most essential plugin I own for the reason that it makes all the “on site” SEO junk super duper easy. It makes a list of all the things you should do inside your document to make it rank (like certain tags, keyword density, no follow links, etc) and gives you a percentage out of 100. This one costs $37 for one domain, or $97 for unlimited domains… has been worth every penny for how many posts I’ve had rank on Google.
dull! (but darn useful) Cleans up the URL for individual posts (takes out words like “a” “and” “an”) so the search engines like it better.
SexyBookmarks (by Shareaholic)
Comes up with a bajillion distinct share links to social media and social bookmarking sites. They show up at the bottom of any article and they look snazzy.
Thank Me Later
This plugin automatically sends out a Thank You email to everyone who leaves a comment. It allows for some variation on the message. Overall, exceptional for reader satisfaction plus keeps them coming back!
Top Level Categories
More SEO stuff. It takes the category out of the document URL’s. It makes it look cleaner, plus it focuses more on the keyword in the post URL.
WordPress EZ Backup
decidedly ESSENTIAL WordPress PLUGIN!! Sorry for the all caps… but one of the worst days I had last year was when I went to my blog and the only thing that was there was the shell. All my posts, pics, videos, EVERYTHING was gone. Helps you recover a disappeared blog in no time flat. Helps keep blood pressure down, too.
WordPress Thread Comment
Allows you to reply to a single comment. When you encounter a specific comment you choose to reply to, your reply will show up in the same box as the original comment. Basically, it makes it obvious who you’re speaking to.
WP Frame Breaker
Have you ever clicked through from a 3rd party site to a blog, and the 3rd party site’s header takes up half the page? Well, you don’t want that happening to you. This plugin gets rid of the frames that referring sites sometimes put on your blog when sending visitors through.
WP Google Analytics
Google Analytics is a tracking resource that keeps track of everything you desire to know concerning your visitors: where they come from, which posts they enter and exit on, how many unique visitors, plus a million other things. This plugin makes it easy to incorporate Google Analytics on to your blog.
WP Greet Box
one more “reader satisfaction” plugin that in essence greets every visitor who shows up. It puts up a separate message depending on where your visitor came from. If they found your site on Google, a message pops up saying something like “Welcome Googler…” You can edit these messages.
WP Super Cache
Makes your blog super duper quick! Not only is it less of a pain for your visitors, but it also helps your blog rank better.
Whew! I realize that’s a bunch of plugins! Like I said above, this list of plugins is taken directly from my back office and I use every single one of these. If you use all of these, I promise you’ll be able to generate more opt-ins, get your followers to stay longer on your blog, have more repeat visitors, and have more posts indexed by Google. Sound fantastic?
Hope my list of essential WordPress plugins helps!