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Top 10 WordPress Plugins

By: Geeb
On: April 21, 2011

After almost a years worth of WordPress plugins, I have amassed a collection of my all time favorites.  This comes after numerous updates, use, and research of other collections.  Enjoy, and let me know if I have left out your favorites.

Screen shot 2011 04 21 at 12.01.51 PM Top 10 WordPress Plugins

1. All in one SEO Pack

This plugin simply optimizes your WordPress site for search engines or Search Engine Optimization (SEO).  This plugin automatically optimizes your meta titles for search engine, generates META tags automatically, and and Avoids the typical duplicate content found on WordPress CMS sites.  Some features happen automatically after install, but includes an admin control panel in the sidebar for fine tuning and additional options.  Feel free to search other SEO plugins, they all do the same thing, but just slightly different.

2. Better WordPress Google XML Sitemaps

This plugin will make a detailed sitemap for your entire WordPress build.  This will help search engine bots better understand your site, help basic SEO, rankings, and load times.  It also allows for multi-site WordPress installs.  Very simply, clean, and comes with its own panel in the admin sidebar.  Very useful.

3. Akismet

One of the default must-haves for WordPress.  Have collaborative authors, bots, or hackers causing mischief on your site?  Akismet keeps spam in check, and makes your site squeaky clean.  What more do you want?

4. Lightbox Plus

Produces Jquery Lightbox scripting yo your site.  Gives you that cool blown-up image view when users click on an image. Automatically attaches itself to all images on your site and also gives you some options under the appearance tab.  You can select different styles, or just leave it at the defaults.

5. WP Super Cache

A very fast caching engine for WordPress CMS that produces static html files.  This allows pages/posts on your site to be cached as appose to being called from the database.  This might not seem like much, but on higher traffic sites, this plugin will help keep load times down and server stress low.  Gives you options on what to cache and how often, so you can make sure the homepage gets special attention.  Caching can be user defined as well, so you can remove caching for your most lucrative users.

6. Advanced Excerpt

Let’s be honest, the built in excerpt control for WordPress is lacking.  Any excerpt plugin should help.  I like this one because it is simple and east to manage.  Control excerpt by character or word count, remove and keep html markups, override custom excerpts, and control it all under the settings tab.

7. Broken Link Checker

No one likes broken links.  This plugin continuously scans your entire site and notifies you of links that have dropped off the deep end.  It will list the URL, the post, and all link son your site.  This is a nice little fail-safe plugin to have installed.

8. Easy Speak Mailing List

Creates a drag-able widget area where users can enter in their e-mail address to add it to a .CSV file located on your server.  Simply download the latest list with a link under the settings tab.  While e-mail seems old school, social networks have just now surpassed e-mails for overall traffic for peer-to-peer online communication.  Simple, and useful widget.

9. Share and Follow

Extremely powerful social plugin.  Adds share icons, follow links, Facebook likes, Twitter Tweets and other buttons on your site displayed exactly how you want.  In addition to adding buttons to each post and page, you also get access to drag-and-drop widgets that list social buttons for users to follow you.  This widget will grant you visibility on social networks, which is key for any growing blog.  Save yourself some time and install this plugin.

10. Widgets Reloaded

This plugin replaces all the default WordPress widgets in an effort to give you more options and control.  This plugin replaces the following…

  • Archives
  • Authors
  • Bookmarks (Links)
  • Calendar
  • Categories
  • Navigation Menu
  • Pages
  • Search
  • Tags

Honestly I could have made a top 20 list, but I wanted to keep in concise.  This is a pretty beefy list that really goes a long way in keeping work minimal and quality output high.  From SEO to powerful widgets, these plugins are sure to make your WordPress CMS a classy workhorse.

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