The viability of WordPress (WP) as a blogging tool is non-existent without the existence of WordPress plugins. These are part of the features that enable bloggers to extend the abilities of their blogs beyond their base installs. Plugins are integral in the addition of widgets. They are also useful in undertaking SEO activities. Currently, WordPress boasts of 18,000 plugins in its database. The following are ten of the most popular WordPress plugins:
1) Contact Form 7
Contact Form 7 allows web developers and bloggers alike to manage numerous contact forms. They can also undertake a customization of WP’s mail contents and form. This is usually a flexible process that involves the use of simple markups. Contact Form 7 supports CAPTCHA, Akismet-based spam filtering and Ajax-oriented submitting.
This plugin uses the cloud power from WordPress.com to supercharge self-hosted WordPress sites. It boasts of numerous features that comprise email subscriptions for comments and blog posts. It also allows users to submit comments via social networks. Jetpack comes embedded with widgets that display the most current tweets while commenters can benefit from Hovercard popups via Gravatar.
3) WordPress SEO
The Yoast-made plugin allows bloggers to preview the appearance of their posts in search results. As such, they can adjust certain features of their posts to their liking. These include the title and meta descriptions. WordPress SEO also analyzes the post to check for availability of images, subheadings, meta descriptions and alt tags among others. This enables bloggers to add anything that they may have forgotten.
Its packages do not end there; WordPress SEO also creates XML sitemaps automatically before sending a notification to various search engines. Bloggers can also increase their SEO rankings. This is usually possible through the addition of links to RSS feeds.
4) WordPress Importer
Thanks to WordPress Importer, bloggers or web developers can transfer content from WP export files. Examples of such content include comments, authors, post metas and custom fields. It is also possible to import pages, custom posts, tags and categories.
5) NextGEN Gallery
For those who possess a photo-driven blog, NextGEN gallery is the perfect plugin for their blogs. It boasts of a powerful ability to manage and upload image galleries. Within this feature, bloggers can import data, batch upload, sort, add, rearrange or even delete images.
Bloggers can also enjoy the two types of display designs in the form of thumbnail and slideshow galleries. NextGEN Gallery enables users to edit their galleries and organize their photo albums. It allows for the addition of watermarks to galleries or batches.
6) Gtrans (GTranslate)
Downloading Gtrans comes with a plethora of features. For instance, users have the option of translating their pages on fly. The plugin also facilitates mouse over effects and allows for operation through Pro versions. It boasts of various styles, which comprise flags, dropdown or flags with dropdown.
Akismet has duly proven to be a top WP plugin. This is clearly evident in its ability to detect spam comments. Using its web service, Akismet reviews comments on the blog to detect whether they are spam or not. The recent release of Akismet 2.5 boasts of new features.
Some of these features include a display of the history of spam comments. Users can also unearth misleading or hidden links through this plugin. Akismet provides moderators with numerical statistics of approved comments for every user.
8) Ultimate TinyMCE
The Ultimate TinyMCE caters to the needs of people who are allergic to the CSSs and HTMLs. It is a visual-oriented plugin that provides over 30 buttons for the visual creation of posts and pages. Users can simply manipulate their font sizes, styles, fonts and colors among others. Ultimate TinyMCE also enables bloggers to post YouTube videos to their blogs by pasting the URL of such videos.
9) All in One SEO Pack
The All in One SEO Pack plugin contains numerous features that enhance the optimization of WP blogs for SEO purposes. These characteristics include sophisticated canonical URLs, support for Google analytics, Nonce security, automatic generation of meta tags and SEO integration for e-commerce sites. Also, users can automatically optimize their titles and extend functionality of the blog through in-built APIs.
10) Google XML Sitemap
Google XML Sitemaps generate special XML sitemaps to assist search engines in indexing blogs. It works compatibly with WP-generated pages and customized URLs. The plugin sends a notification to the search engines upon the creation of new posts.