One of THE greatest things about WordPress are its vast repository of plugins that can add functions to your website in a snap (or a click). Here are 5 of the WordPress plugins we install in client websites most often, and why.
1. Akismet: PAY WHAT YOU WANT (Personal) / $5 – 50 / MONTH (Professional) – We were really disappointed when this simple, powerful spam filter starting charging for the service for professional sites, but all good things must end sometime, right? This plugin developed by Automattic (the company of WordPress founder Matt Mullenweg) has been an integral part of the WordPress ecosystem since 2005. As of the publication of this blog post, they say they have filtered 148,346,881,164 pieces of spam, at an average of about 7.5 million per hour. Wow.
2. NextGEN Gallery: FREE ($99 Pro Version) – This is the most popular WordPress gallery plugin and one of the most popular plugins of all time, with over 10 million downloads. While the default WordPress gallery has a lot of great, easy to use features, this plugin takes photo display to a whole new level. The most common thing we implement this plugin for is its automatic watermark, which can be applied with a few clicks to a whole series or gallery of photos.
3. WordPress SEO by Yoast: FREE (Premium from $89) – A new release of this plugin last year added some great features that make this plugin even more of a winner. You know how sometimes when you post a link to Facebook, the image that appears is something weird like an image from another page on that website? Yoast lets you edit the image, title and description of content you share on social networks. We also love the Page Analysis function, which provides a checklist of basic SEO guidelines for your post or page and measures how your content complies.
4. Contact Form 7: FREE – This plugin has been downloaded more than 18 million times, and with good reason. It allows you to easily customize and manage multiple contact forms. It is supported by some other great plugins such as Really Simple CAPTCHA (you know, those strings or letters and numbers that forms ask for to make sure you’re not a robot) and Akismet spam filtering.
5. Google XML Sitemaps: FREE – Only Google is in the title, but this plugin will create a Sitemap that will help your site get indexed by all the search engines. Creating an XML Sitemap gives the search bots a boost, helping them to find URLs that may not be discoverable by their normal crawling process.
Also Worth Mentioning:
Jetpack by WordPress.com: A large medley of powerful features such as email subscriptions for your blog posts and comments and social networking enabled comment system previously only available to WordPress.com users.
WP Super Cache: This plugin converts your whole site into static HTML files, as opposed to the heavier PHP WordPress files, thus making your site load faster.
Do you have something add? Something you would remove from the list? What are your favorite WordPress plugins? Leave them in the comments!