WordPress offers a slew of powerful plugins to help bloggers pretty much anything imaginable on their website. With 16,500 total plugins and close to 220 million downloads it is pretty clear to see that there are plenty of options out there. However we are going to trying to highlight some of the best:
This is a complete out of the box SEO solution for any WordPress blog. Created by the search engine optimization mastermind Joost, this plugin has a wide range of tools that are essential to maximize your search engine traffic.
The download presents you with options on each page and post to change and create your page title and description. Also is show you a snippet preview of the chosen title and description combination so that you can see what it will look like in search engine results. Another tab on the posts and pages is the page analysis tool which you can use to measure how compliant your post is with SEO standards and how optimized it is for your chosen keywords.
The plug options page has options to control global settings for your blog as well as tools to create your sitemap and insert your webmaster/analytics code into your source code. Additionally, you can import all of your settings from other WordPress plugins like Headspace or All in One SEO.
So on top of all of the great unique features that WordPress SEO offers it also has features that completely remove the need for other plugins that are usually needed. This plugin is a must have in my opinion.
This is a plugin that is not often talked about but has a ton of potential benefits. Zemanta provides you with a side bar on your page editor to easily add pictures links and related posts to your articles.
The plugin analyzes your post and it exceptionally accurate in finding pictures and links that fit seamlessly into your blog. All of the pictures they provide have the proper attribution and you do not have to worry about copyright issues. This save you time by cutting out of the sometime tedious process of finding these links on your own.
There is an added link building benefit of using the plugin as well. By registering your blog with Zemanta your post will then be included into the list of related blogs when relevant. We use tactic on our blog and have been picking up around 5 links a month.
There are tons of contact boxes, side bars, widget, pop ups and other plugins of the like but this particular one is our favorite. The plugin has options to add the slick looking contact box contact to a side bar, a contact page or even a contact button tab on every page of the website.
You can customize the contact form to include a map view of your office, your social profiles and your logo. You can also change the color of the button tab and where you want it to be displayed on your website.
The ContactMe website even manages your inquires which is a great tool to have. They do offer a premium version of the service which allows you to remove the ContactMe branding, send automatic follow up messages and to receive text notifications of a new inquiry but the free version has been working just fine for us.
This plugin is similar to ContactMe but for blog comments. With it you can easily manage comments on your blog. It offers a seamless interface to approve and deny comment along with highly customizable options.
You can control how comments are viewed and valued on your site as well as showing the total number of time a particular post was mentioned away from your blog. This is a great way to promote the popularity of your website.
The plugin also offers benefits to your visitors. They can simply login with their social media profiles which make commenting a whole lot easier and whole lot more attractive than have to go through another signup process. User can also track how many comments they have made and reactions to their comments which will add a social layer to your blog.
These are four of our favorites and we would love to hear yours. What are some WordPress plugins that you cannot live without?