By S. Higginbotham
With almost 75 million sites depending on WordPress, it is without a doubt the most popular blogging platform that exists. Today, not only bloggers, but ecommerce sites, businesses, schools and governments rely on WordPress. With this many users (and growing) it is no wonder that there are a staggering number of plugins, and unless you are a WordPress professional it can get overwhelming. Whether you are a designer, developer, business owner or part-time blogger, today we are going to show you 10 great plugins that everyone should be using now.
Top 10 WordPress Plugins
A quick note about plugins. There are so many, and they are so useful and easy (and free), it can be easy to just add plugin after plugin to your WordPress site without thinking of the consequences. Loading your site down with unnecessary or poorly written plugins can have an effect on your site speed. Lesson: Choose quality over quantity.
1. WordPress SEO by Yoast
Developed by SEO expert Joost de Valk, this free plugin is so great that some really big sites, like Mashable, Searchengineland and others use it. whether you are an old pro or an SEO novice, this plugin should be number one on your list of downloads. It not only simplifies your on-page SEO, it helps you be a better writer, with features like the Flesh Reading Ease scale that lets you know when your sentences are too complicated for your target readers. All in one dashboard, it allows you and coaches you through optimizing your titles and meta, checks your keyword density, and manages your index, follow/nofollow, and complete link analysis. In addition, there are a huge number of technical and advanced options for those so inclined. Yoast SEO is truly the ultimate must-have plugin.
2. Google Analytics Dashboard
Absolutely a must if you are concerned with tracking your traffic and site performance. this plugin gives you all of your Analytics performance data directly from inside your WordPress dashboard, with no hassles and no navigating away from your site.
Interacting with your readers is a great way to gain a following and grow your audience. Unfortunately, not all commenters to your blog are looking to interact. If you are tired of weeding through tons of spammy, irrelevant comments on your site then install Akismet. It is absolutely the best spam detection plugin on the market, and a must if you allow comments to your posts. Just set your custom settings and Akismet does all of the work in the background, leaving you with more time to interact with real readers.
The latest version of Jetpack has so many useful features that you will be amazed they are all contained in one plugin. From useful yet simple customization tools (custom css, carousels, galleries and more) to a lightweight mobile responsive theme, simple yet powerful content tools to enhance your on page content, and visitor engagement tools for everyone, this is an amazing download. Even with all of this, Jetpack manages to pull almost no load on your server.
5. NextGEN Gallery
If photos are your thing, the NextGEN gallery plugin is for you. With over 10 million downloads, this is one of the most popular downloads, and makes managing, uploading and displaying your images unbelievably quick and simple. Batch upload all of your photos, including metadata, then sort and display in two great display styles. gallery and slideshow. With an endless number of easy to use effects, this should definitely be on your list.
If your goal is to grow your traffic and monetize your site or blog, this is the plugin you have been waiting for. Share buttons make it so easy for your visitors to share your posts with only one click, to all major social media. The related content feature automatically increases page views and reader engagement by displaying related content that the visitor might have never seen. The social analytics feature gives you all of your social signals in one simple dashboard, so you know who is sharing your content and how. If growing your visitors is the plan, you need Shareaholic.
Learning WordPress has never been easier, Gain access to a comprehensive array of tutorials that you can use to become a WordPress pro. Sidekick is not just a bunch of youtube videos, it is a comprehensive list of tutorials that guide you through each step of learning WordPress, guided through the dashboard. A true learn-by-doing series, it also guides you through installing and using the most popular plugins and widgets, and adds hotspots that remind you how or when to do things in WordPress.
8. Share Button Mashshare
Improving your social authority has never been easier. install this great-looking set of social buttons, and you will display your total number of shares across both Twitter and Facebook, rather than separately. This gives you a much more impressive-looking social share number, and the buttons just look great. It also lets you add the buttons to the top, bottom, or both, of each page you insert them in. Share Button Mashshare buttons look identical to the Mashable buttons, making them familiar to users.
9. WP Twitter Feeds
Want a headache-free way to display your twitter feed on your site? Try WP Twitter Feeds. This plugin allows you to display your Twitter feed in any area of the page that you can insert a widget. With this plugin, there is no logging in to Twitter to copy code, and then paste it to your site. Just select the number of tweets, add any of the available effects, and go. Without a doubt the easiest Twitter plugin available.
10. Quick Featured Images
Do you want a quick and easy way to use and manage featured images in your posts and pages? Quick Featured Images is the plugin for you. Assign, remove, or replace featured images on all of your posts at once. Set a default featured image for any post type. Manage all of your featured images in bulk, rather than one at a time. This is a simple plugin that does one job very well.
Do you have a favorite plugin that we did not mention here? We would love to know which plugins you think everyone should be using! If you have a favorite plugin, or a comment about one we mentioned today, please let us know by leaving a comment.
About Pixel Theme Studio
Pixel Theme Studio is focused on designing professional WordPress themes. The goal is to design real world concepts for individual bloggers and business owners with themes that are not bloated with scripts and code. We create the best WordPress themes possible by keeping the designs simple and clean.
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