WordPress is the most popular CMS in the world and as a result there are thousands of free WordPress plugins available to assist you in creating a dynamic blog or website. While it is difficult to pick just ten from this mammoth selection, we have picked the ones which we feel will assist you the most in building the best site you can from WordPress.
WordPress SEO By Yoast is quite simple the best SEO plugin for WordPress. The free extension allows complete custom control of your various on-site SEO components such as page titles and descriptions. You work on each page individually and you can customise the descriptions for Facebook and Google in case you don’t want to use your default description. The plugin will indicate to you how well your page is optimised and suggest improvements you can make. A must-have for all WordPress website authors.
Unfortunately spam is a problem that you will have to contend with on your WordPress site. Askimet is one of the top options for combating spam, is free for personal use and actually comes as part of the WordPress installation. Once you have registered with Askimet.com you are assigned a key, which you insert into the Askimet settings on your site and stop spam for good.
Website speed can affect SEO ranking and visitor retention on your website. If your WordPress website is heavy in images and different scripts then the W3 Total Cache plugin can assist you in speeding up the appearance of your site. The plugin offers an overwhelming amount of tweaks and features which you can go through one-by-one to ensure your site is more rapid.
The Smush.it plugin from Yahoo makes it extremely easy to optimise the images on your website to appear quicker and enable quick download. While it can at times be a little unreliable, Smush.it is a quick-fix solution which can really help you in ensuring that your website is not too slow and losing you visitors and SEO ranking.
404 pages are a website owner’s nightmare, but surprisingly are one website feature that business owners are lax to monitor. Broken links and pages make your business look unprofessional causing visitors to leave your site and have an adverse effect on SEO, with Google not passing PageRank to a 404 page. What the 404 redirected plugin does is show all the website URLs that are returning 404 errors and enables you to redirect them to actual pages displaying appropriate on your website.
Contact forms remain an important website feature for users to get hold of you. Due to email harvesting robots being used for spamming, people do not like putting their email addresses on their website. Contact Form 7 is a powerful reliable contact form author, allowing you to generate a custom contact form for your website and ave the results sent to your email address without having it displayed on the site.
WordPress has been a little notorious for a few poor security measures. Better WP Security is a plugin enabling you to heighten the security measures on your site for different users and levels. The plugin generates reports on site security improvements and allows to to itemise them one-by-one, as well as providing advise about the proposed improvement. It can be used as a simple tool or much more in-depth for advanced users.
Disqus is a commenting plugin for your WordPress site that replaces the default WordPress comments and improves the comment area into an easy-to-use elegant feature. It can also provide additional exposure for your website through the Discovery feature and offer you a chance to make revenue through advertising opportunities, should you desire.
Shortcodes are a WordPress feature that save you the time of writing in long areas of code on separate pages. My Shortcodes is a useful free WordPress plugin that makes creating and managing your own shortcodes a breeze from a clean simple-to-use interface.