If you use WordPress for your blog software or content management system (CMS) than I am pretty sure that you use a lot of WordPress Plugins to improve the functionality of your website. There are tens of thousands of useful WordPress Plugins available and tons of great developers, but how do you know which ones are useful for you and which ones are not?
While you will find tons of different opinions and lists of useful WordPress Plugins all around the internet here are some plugins that I have found that are useful for a wide range of bloggers and webmasters.
8 WordPress Plugins you needed Yesterday
- Akismet: Getting hit with spam comments really sucks but Akismet makes having to delete and sort though spam comments a thing of the past. Akismet monitors millions of blogs and forums and will decided whether a pingback or comment is good or bad. While a spam comment is going to get through here and there for the most part it should take care of most spam comments. Since the service is run by Automattic, the company behind WordPress, the spam filtering and blacking capabilites is one of the best I've seen. I use Akismet even on a MyBB forum I run. The best part about Akismet it is free for personal bloggers and there are reasonable plans for businesses with multiple WordPress sites. I haven't found any other spam plugin that is efficient and accurate as Akismet.
- Cookies for Comments: This plugin, like Akismet, should help you reduce the amount of spam comments you are getting. When a user visits your site a cookie will be dropped and it will check the cookie if they leave a comment. If there is no cookie it's probably a spambot trying to get a link from your blog. Cookies for Comments also checks how long it takes for a user to enter their information which also helps stop spammers. This is plugin is co-authored by Automattic.
- WordPress SEO by Yoast: I've been using this plugin since before it was even popular and it's the best thing to happen to happen to WordPress ever. (Since Matt Mullenweg invented WordPress of course.) Joost de Valk made this plugin so you can format all your articles to be written so that search engines will like your articles. You get a green dot if they are formatted correctly for a certain keyword but you can also get a yellow, orange, or a red dot if your articles are not good for SEO (search engine optimization). Wordpress SEO has a bit of a high learning curve though so be aware of that when you install it and start using it. It is not going to be straightforward and you will have to learn how to format articles properly for the best SEO. Wordpress SEO has a lot of other features which I have to even really use to it's full extent.
- Digg Digg: See that floating sharing bar that follows you as you scroll down (or up) on this post? That is Digg Digg and it's a great plugin to encourage social media sharing. If you have't shared this article yet, you know you should with Digg Digg by the way!
- SexyBookmarks by Shareaholic: Another great social media sharing plugin. This places icons on the bottom of your posts and you choose from a wide variety of different social networks and social boomarking websites to display. I wouldn't overload your WordPress blog with too many social media sharing buttons but it doesn't hurt to have them a few places on the posts to encourage more sharing.
- Yet Another Related Posts Plugin: This plugin displays related posts on the bottom of articles so that a visitor might read more of your articles and posts. It even grades the relevance of other articles you have written to what the user is currently reading. It shows text links as well as picture links to other posts.
- Schema Creator: I recently found out about this plugin during BlogPaws 2013 and I really wish I knew about it sooner. Schema markup helps you add more meta data to Google search results. For instance when you see a movie review on Google and there are stars rating the movie that is Schema markup. This plugin lets you automatically add that markup without having to manually insert code yourself. The plugin has several different categories and types of Schema markup you can use.
- Broken Link Checker: This plugin checks your WordPress site for broken and dead links. A post your wrote a year ago about a cool website may no longer be active and Broken Link Checker will send you an email to let you know. It's great for SEO too as too many dead links on a website will tell search engines your site hasn't been updated in awhile. The plugin is not perfect as it will send false positives once in awhile. I do recommend it since it has been helpful catching dead links as I can't recheck ever link on all my WordPress blogs.
While there are literally thousands of other useful WordPress plugins out there available, these are just some I have found useful for myself and my own Worpdress blogs.
If I you think I forgot to include any useful WordPress plugins please leave a comment below and suggest a cool plugin to others. I always love discovering and hearing about new and fun plugins and what developers are doing.