We already know that WordPress is one of most popular blogging platforms out there, with over 60 million people choosing to adopt the software to create their blog or website. If you don’t know already, WordPress is a piece of software that allows anyone to build websites about pretty much anything.
What started as a blogging system has evolved into a full content management system that allows anyone without technical no-how to create simple to beautiful looking websites with just a few clicks. And with many thousands of plugins, widgets and themes (free and paid versions) available, you can transform a simple website into a professional site.
Today I will talk about WordPress plugins, which can transform WordPress sites to do practically anything. In no particular order, here are my top 10 WordPress plugins I personally use for my WordPress blog:
With more and more people using tablet PCs or smartphones to browse the web, WPtouch optimizes your WordPress website into a more mobile friendly format. I highly recommend this plugin as it turns your website into an app-like theme that makes browsing on devices like the Apple iPhone, iPod Touch and Android smartphones more user-friendly.
2. Broken Link Checker
There is nothing more annoying when you visit a page and click on a hyperlink to find out you are being directed to an “404” or “Page Not Found” page. The Broken Link Checker plugin checks your website for broken links or missing images and notifies you if any are found. This is great to ensure all hyperlinks you include in posts are still active and if any are found, you can easily correct and amend.
With social sites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn changing the way we share information and communicate, the GetSocial plugin makes sharing blog posts easier by adding a lightweight floating social media bar to your blog posts. This is great for encouraging your visitors to share and promote your blog posts.
4. WordPress SEO
In order to make it easier for search engines to find your blog posts or pages, you need to ensure your website, pages and posts are fully Search Engine Optimized (SEO). This ensures users can find what they are looking for when they perform searches on search engines such as Google. This plugin is one of the most popular SEO plugins available for WordPress that makes optimizing for SEO easy for beginners.
5. Social Media Widget
The Social Media Widget provides icons that allow site owners to display icon links to their social media profiles such as Facebook, Google+, Twitter and LinkedIn. With social media sites becoming an important channel that allows webmasters to engage with their users, simply displaying social media icon links on your site will allow you and your users to connect and interact.
6. Lightbox Gallery
The Lightbox Gallery plugin provides a “lightbox” effect to photographs and images hosted on your website. The plugin certainly makes the user-experience of viewing photos beautiful by providing a professional “lightbox” effect.
7. Disqus Comment System
The Disqus Comment System makes managing all your site comments easier by providing a user-friendlier interface to view your sites comments. The system makes approving, deleting and marking spam comments a breeze.
8. Google XML SiteMaps
Continuing with how important SEO is to a website, this plugin helps you automatically generate an XML sitemap that helps search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo better index your site. With the XML sitemap, search engines can better crawl and find your site, which will increase the chance of users finding you.
9. cbnet Ping Optimizer
If you edit posts frequently, did you know that every time you save or updated your posts, your blog could be repeatedly pinging other sites? You can save your blog being flagged up as a ping spammer by installing this plugin and changing the intervals your blog should ping other sites.
10. Breadcrumb NavXT
A very simple and useful plugin, you can add breadcrumb navigation to display the current location that visitors are on, on your website. For example:
Home > News > Sport
The above example would show my current page location under “Sport”. This is very useful for improving the user-experience for your users.
Are there any WordPress plugins I’m missing from the list? What WordPress plugins do you use? Share in the comments below.
Why I run my blog on Thesis Wordpress Theme
Thesis gives my blog a very professional look with very clean, easy-to-read layout and SEO friendly design. Take a look at my post explaining why I chose Thesis for my blog. Get your Thesis Theme today!