WordPress is my platform of choice. I’ve installed multiple sites and I currently host ~20+ sites. Needless to say I’ve reviewed several plugins and so this is a list of some of my favorites. Some of these create a better user experience and others function on the back-end to support the functionality of the website itself.
13 Essential WordPress Plugins:
Akismet comes packaged in every new WordPress install. It’s an awesome spam protection plugin that functions on the back-end to fight against spam comments without annoying readers with Captcha codes.
For those looking to optimize their sites for SEO, the All-in-One SEO Pack allows for unique title and meta tags for each page and post. It’s a must-have for any real estate blogsite.
This is my contact form plugin of choice! You can create unlimited forms, customize them in any which way you’d like, and you can send data to multiple users as well. What I love about this plugin is that by being able to create custom web forms, I can track where on my website leads are converting (whether someone signed up from my homepage or a page within my website).
The Google XML Sitemaps plugin automatically creates a new sitemap for your blogsite and submits it to major search engines. Every time you add a new page or post to your site, it’s submitted. It’s not automatically packaged into every WordPress install, but it should be!
Your content should be easily sharable and the Tweetmeme button allows readers to do just that. The plugin allows your blog posts (and pages) to easily be retweeted and it keeps a running live count of how many times your content is shared through twitter.
The Facebook Like plugin is another social feature. It adds a Facebook Like button to every single one of your blog posts! I’m using the version that the HomeQuest Team rolled out.
This is my new Twitter WordPress widget of choice. Some themes have their own Twitter widget built-in and others don’t. If you’re looking for a good Twitter Widget, Tweet Blender supports multiple authors, lists, hashtags and keywords all blended together in one frame. You can hi-light and show tweets from a single user or a list of users. This makes it great for multi-author blogs and or event blogs.
This plugin gives readers (commentators) the option of subscribing to each new comment submitted after their own. All you have to do is click on the checkbox next to the “submit comment” button to receive updates.
This is a widget that allows you to show the top commentators on your blogsite. It’s a great way to reward new readers/commentators by featuring them on your site.
The WordPress database backup plugin can be used to download copies of your database manually. This should be performed frequently (better safe than sorry). You can also set it to automatically perform backups and email you copies during whatever intervals you’d like.
11. Feed Statistics
If you’re annoyed because FeedBurner tends to be unreliable in it’s reporting then you should download Feed Statistics. You can check your subscriber count (and info) right from your admin panel. You can track what reader they use to subscribe to your content and you can track what links they’re clicking on. It’s a pretty neat and accurate way to keep a tab on your subcriber count.
12. Nextgen Gallery
If you’re using WordPress as a listing publication tool (or if you’re a stager), then you want to be using the Nextgen Gallery to upload and organize your photo content. It’s a fully integrated image gallery plugin for WordPress. Here’s a great example of how you can use the nextgen gallery plugin to organize your photos and display your portfolio of properties that you’ve listed or staged.
The WordPress related posts plugin generates related posts via WordPress tags. This is a great way to showcase and share dated but related content through every fresh new article you write. It’s a great way to drive traffic to older blog posts.
How About You?
What are some of your favorite WordPress plugins?