There’s been a lot of conversation recently about managed WordPress hosting plans being rolled out by the big web hosting companies. But one of the best qualities about WordPress as a content management system is that it is very user-friendly and you can easily add additional functionality to your website simply by installing plugins.
A lot of the experts caution you not to overdo it with the number of WordPress plugins you install in order to reduce the chances of security threats or having your system get bogged down. However, some of the functionality you can get with plugins is not only helpful but absolutely necessary as far as I’m concerned. As long as you carefully choose those plugins that will benefit your website, you should be fine. Here are 10 of the top WordPress plugins that I’ve been using with my websites.
Akismet is great for handling those annoying spam comments and trackbacks. Once you install and activate Akismet, it will flag that bogus stuff and put them into the spam section of your comments. You can have the spam automatically deleted or keep it to review and delete manually.
All in One SEO Pack
By Michael Torbert
There are a number of excellent plugins that will help with your website’s SEO. I’ve used this plugin for some time now with excellent results. The All in One SEO plugin will help you configure many on page SEO items.
W3 Total Cache
By Frederick Townes
WordPress “out of the box” isn’t always the fastest software available. However, there are a number of caching plugins that can speed up the load times of your site. W3 Total Cache is what I’ve been using and is also recommended by web hosts such as WP Engine.
Limit Login Attempts
By Johan Eenfeldt
Security is always a primary concern with websites. This plugin will prevent malicious programs from repeatedly trying to login to your WP site and guess your password.
Page Links To
By Mark Jaquith
Do you want to have a menu option that links to an outside website URL? With this plugin, you can create a page, specify a URL, and have it appear as a menu item that takes the user to that site when selected.
Exclude Pages from Navigation
By Simon Wheatley
If you use custom menus, you might not need this plugin. However, some themes by default automatically display your pages as menu options. If there are certain pages you don’t want to appear as menu selections, you can use this plugin to specify whether a page appears in the menus or not.
Fast Secure Contact Form
By Mike Challis and Ken Carlson
This plugin allows you to configure a contact form that your site visitors can use to contact you. You include a shortcode in your page to display the contact form.
While sitemaps may not carry as much SEO weight as they once did, it’s still important to include one for your website. Again, there are a number of good plugins you can use for this task. I like the Google Sitemap plugin from BestWebSoft.
Sooner or later you’ll probably want to move your website to another location or web host. In the past, I use to have to do the whole thing manually. But with the excellent Duplicator plugin, the process is greatly streamlined and automated. The authors of the plugin caution that only more experienced webmasters should use it. However, I didn’t find it that difficult to follow.
Instagrate to WordPress
And finally, with smartphone photography exploding, I found this great plugin that lets you snap a photo with your phone and have it automatically appear on your WordPress site. You just need to connect the Instagrate plugin with your Instagram account and you’re good to go.