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Are You Using the Top WordPress Plugins?
If you are using WordPress as a blogging platform, chances are you’re also using plugins. And if you aren’t using plugins, you probably should be.
A plugin is a software component that adds a specific feature to your WordPress website or blog. Want to create a poll? There is a plugin for that. Want to add a list of rotating images or ads to your sidebar? There is a plugin for that. There is a plugin for anything you can possibly imagine. And if there isn’t, you can hire someone to create one for you.
I’ve been blogging since 2009 and have used a variety of plugins. Some I’ve kept along the way and some I’ve ditched. Following are some of my favorites that have stood the test of time. I consider these the Tops WordPress Plugins you should start with.
Top WordPress Plugins
Cost: Free for Personal Sites (Paid subscriptions are available for businesses and commercial sites.)
WordPress Rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars
Akismet is an anti-spam plugin. If your website is getting any amount of traffic, then you MUST download an anti-spam plugin.
Akismet checks your comments against the Akismet web service to see if it looks like spam or not. If a comment looks like spam, it will catch it and hold it for review under the comments admin section of your blog.
Why You Need It: If you are getting any amount of traffic to your blog, your blog will be a target for link spammers. These spammers will overrun your blog with comment spam linking to a variety of questionable websites. Akismet prevents those comments from going live.
Stop Spammers Spam Control
WordPress Rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars
Stop Spammers is another spam control plugin. This plugin stops registration/login spam in addition to comment spam. Stop Spammers protects websites from robot registrations and malicious attacks.
Why You Need It: Registration/login spam is also a big problem on popular blogs and sites. This plugin is very aggressive and capable of performing more than 20 checks for malicious events and can block spammers from over 100 different countries.
WordPress Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Yoast SEO optimizes your WordPress blog for SEO (Search Engine Optimization).
Why You Need It: If you want your blog or website to be found on the internet, SEO is a must. Not all WordPress themes are SEO optimized. If yours isn’t, you need an SEO plugin if you want to drive traffic to your site.
See my post: What is Search Engine Optimization and is it Necessary for more information, and SEO tips.
Better WordPress Google XML Sitemaps
WordPress Rating: 4.1 our of 5 starts
A sitemap is basically a map of your website or blog. Google and other search engines search your site looking for content to add to its search pages. A sitemap makes it easier for these search engines to find all of your posts and pages.
Why You Need It: You work hard on your website and posts. You want them to be listed on Google. Add a sitemap and link to it in the footer of your website. That way Google and other search engines with be able to find all of your great content.
If you choose to go with Yoast Seo, listed above, there is a built in sitemap option.
WordPress Rating: 4.4 out of 5 stars
WooCommerce is a powerful e-commerce plugin that helps you sell anything and everything. You can transform your WordPress website into an e-commerce store.
Why You Need It: If you aren’t selling anything, then you don’t. However, if you are selling any sort of products/goods (even e-books) WooCommerce is the plugin for you.
There are several other plugins that I am using. However, these are the current work horses on my site.
Do you have a favorite WordPress plugin? Share it with us in the comments section below and maybe we’ll add it to our list of Top WordPress Plugins.