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.
Today I’m going to share with you the best WordPress widgets that I would recommend for each and every WordPress blogger. I personally use a few widgets on my blog to help my visitors easily browse all of my blog posts. A nice WordPress blog would have proper utilization of widgets, plugins and footer and header bars.
When I started blogging I had lots of widgets in my blog’s sidebar and never really bothered worrying about the performance of the blog. All I wanted was to make my blog look cool. But one fine day lightning struck me and I decided to delete most of the WordPress plugins and widgets which were not necessary to my blog and were intense on bandwidth and resources. Having lot of plugins and widgets on my blog resulted in too much bandwidth consumption and made my blog sluggish, bringing down my site’s overall performance. So keep in mind, too much of something can be as detrimental as too little. A slow website or blog can equal unhappy visitors and a low score for your site’s search engine ranking. A smaller number of widgets means less content visible on your blog to the visitors, ultimately leading to a high bounce rate and/or low page views. The solution is to find a way to balance the two.
Do not confuse yourselves with widgets and plugins though. WordPress plugins are easy to install and activate which helps you to improve your blog’s functionality. Plugins can include widgets as well. Widgets on the other hand are visible and interactive to your visitors. Usually these widgets are shown in the sidebar, but are not limited to only the sidebar. Fortunately there are many themes available now with widgetized footer and header space.
Have you ever noticed how many high profile bloggers like to offer a monthly review post at the end of each month featuring their top posts for that month? This is a common tactic used by bloggers to recycle some old posts and promote some of their best work.
If you’d like to do something like this, or already are, you might want to check out a new WordPress plugin called WP Best Posts Summary. The plugin will automatically generate a summary post daily, weekly, or monthly (you control this from the Options panel) and allow you to set how many posts to use. Here is an example of how it will look:
You can download or get more information about the plugin here.