by Ariane Griffiths
Hopefully your blog has seen a few posts since the beginning of the new year, and you are settling into your editorial routine quite nicely. Being a WordPress Developer, I have redone quite a few blogs already and one of the most asked question is, “What plugin should I use?”
I usually answer with “It depends on your blog’s function” or something technical of hat sort. Plugins are not made for EVERY blog and every blog does not need to use plugins.
With that said, here is the list that I use more often than not – my top 10 must-have WordPress Plugins:
1. Comment Luv
Comment Luv is a great plugin to not only accept and encourage comment on your posts, but also adds a little element of “Thanks” to those commenting by linking back to their last post.
Contact Form 7 is a fairly easy to use form plugin. You do need to build your forms, but the settings area of the plugin explains hw to do that with ease. You can build forms for anything; contact, reader questionnaires and pretty much anything else your imagination comes up with.
The Easy Favicons plugin allows you to put a little branded (or a generic) icon into the browser address bar, so that when someone bookmarks your website, it is easily located in their list of favourites.
4. Link Within
This plugin is the only plugin not directly found on the official WP Plugin Database. The Link Within plugin was recommended to us by a Client of ours (Spaghetti & Spanx) and suggests other posts that your readers may be interested in. It sits at the bottom of your post and features three small pictures to entice your readers to read the recommended posts.
Sexy Bookmarks has a strange name but it really is quite sexy in that it allows your readers to share your content on pretty much every social media platform there is. It features rollover icon capability and gives you complete control over which platform your readers can share your content on. It even includes the options to print out or email your content.
This plugin makes embedding video into your posts / pages really, really easy! You simply take the embed code directly from your YouTube video and plunk it into your post/page where you want it and BAM! Your video is in your content!
Stats, Twitter Widgets, Gravatar add-ons, oh my! This plugin does a myriad of fun stuff and enhances your site with details that you never would have thought of. It also has a really great statistics component that allows you to see where your readers are coming from and where they went on your site (plus many more features!)
Spam be gone! You have to sign up for this plugin only because it requires a special API key in order to work properly. Aksimet filters out the spam-bots and even non-bots and removes all of the spammy comments so that you don’t have to login to your control panel every time a junk comment comes along – it’s great!
Super easy SEO; HeadSpace2 is an all-in-one meta-data manager that allows you to fine-tune the SEO potential of your site. You can define tags/keywords, with suggested keywords, descriptions, page titles, custom ‘more text’, site name and site description and so much more!
10. WP Touch
Mobile compatibility at the touch of a button. This plugin lets you turn your stylized theme into a smart-phone compatible mobile site.
Special Mention – Widget Logic
Extreme control over your plugins – This plugin lets you control what pages your widgets show up on. You can even tailor the widgets to show up based on specific categories and tags that you specify. This plugin is extremely useful but requires knowledge of php coding language (syntax) in order for it to work. Usually when I set this up, I train our clients on how to best utilize this plugin.
So there you have it! My top 10 must-have WordPress plugins. Do you have any that you trust and use all the time? Share with me in the comment section (You’ll get some “Comment Luv” ).
Ariane Griffiths is the Principal of Ariane Griffiths ~ Web | Media | Design, a small design firm that specialises in Brand Development for small to medium sized businesses. For more information check out her website at www.arianegriffiths.com