Ten Popular WordPress Plugins
Here's a list of ten of the most popular plugins available for your WordPress blog. This list isn’t exhaustive by any means; hundreds of excellent WordPress plugins can, and do, provide multiple ways to extend the functionality of your blog. And if these ten plugins aren’t enough for you, you can find many more at the official WordPress Plugin Directory.
Jetpack is not just one simple plugin; it’s a suite of plugins that connects your self-hosted website running WordPress.org with the hosted WordPress.com service — and brings you many of the features that WordPress.com users enjoy.
Because Jetpack runs and is hosted on the WordPress.com cloud server, updates to this suite of plugins happen automatically — giving you fast and ready access to the latest and greatest bundle of plugins that Automattic has to offer.
In order to use Jetpack, you must have a WordPress.com account, and when you activate it on your Dashboard, it asks you to connect your site to your WordPress.com account.
Subscribe to Comments
Developer: Mark Jaquith
The Subscribe to Comments plugin adds a very nice feature to your blog by letting your visitors subscribe to individual posts you’ve made to your blog. When your readers subscribe to individual posts on your blog, they receive notification via e-mail whenever someone leaves a new comment on the post.
The plugin includes a full-featured subscription manager that your commenters can use to unsubscribe to certain posts, block all notifications, or even change their notification e-mail addresses.
Developers: Facebook and Automattic
This plugin was developed by Facebook for WordPress with a little help from the developers at Automattic. With the importance of a social media presence today, you’ll want to make sure that all your content reaches the eyes of your friends and followers on social networks like Facebook.
The goal of the Facebook plugin is to save you time by easily sharing your new content with your Facebook page and allowing your Facebook friends to discover that content and interact with your website seamlessly.
The Facebook plugin installs easily, and after you connect your Facebook account to your WordPress site through the Facebook plugin settings, you’re ready to go!
All in One SEO Pack
Developer: Michael Torbert
Almost everyone is concerned about search engine optimization (SEO) in blogs. Good SEO practices help the major search engines (such as Google, Yahoo!, and Bing) easily find and cache your blog content in their search databases so that when people search for keywords, they can find your blog in the search results.
All in One SEO Pack helps you fine-tune your blog to make that happen. It automatically creates optimized titles and generates HTML keywords for your individual posts. If you’re a beginner, this plugin works for you out of the box with no advanced configuration necessary. Woo-hoo! If you’re an advanced user, you can fine-tune the All in One SEO settings to your liking.
WPtouch iPhone Theme
Developer: Brave New Code
The WPtouch iPhone Theme plugin transforms your WordPress-powered website into an iPhone-compatible browsing experience. It’s designed specifically for visitors using an Apple iPhone. As an added bonus, it creates a nice interface for visitors browsing on an Android phone or Blackberry, as well.
Developer: iThemes Media
Starting at $75 for the personal user and $197 for its entire development suite of plugins, the folks at iThemes have hit a home run with BackupBuddy, which lets you back up your entire WordPress website in minutes.
With this plugin, you can also determine a schedule of automated backups of your site on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. You can store those backups on your web server, e-mail backups to a designated e-mail address, or store the backups in Amazon’s Simple Storage Service, if you have an account there.
WP Super Cache
Developer: Donncha O’Caoimh
WP Super Cache creates static HTML files from your dynamic WordPress content. Why is this useful? On a high-traffic site, having cached versions of your posts and pages can speed up the load time of your website considerably.
A cached version simply means that the content is converted to static HTML pages (as opposed to dynamically created content pulled from your database through a series of PHP commands) that are then stored on the server. This process eases the efforts the web server must take to display the content in your visitors’ browsers.
You can also read a very helpful article written by the plugin developer, Donncha O’Caoimh, on his website here.
Developer: Alex King
Social media networking is insanely popular on the web right now. One of the more popular services is Twitter.
One of the nicer things that came about shortly after Twitter hit the scene was Alex King’s plugin for WordPress called Twitter Tools. This plugin lets you tweet an announcement every time you publish a new post on your blog. The announcement appears on your Twitter stream and is read by all of your Twitter followers.
People can then click the link and read your article.
Google XML Sitemaps
Developer: Arne Brachhold
This plugin lets you create a Google-compliant site map of your entire blog. Every time you create a new post or page, the site map is updated and submitted to several major search engines, including Google, Yahoo!, and Bing. This plugin helps the search engines find and catalog new content from your site, so your new content appears in the search engines faster than it would if you didn’t have a site map.
Sucuri Sitecheck Malware Scanner
Developer: Dre Armeda
With the rise in popularity of the WordPress software came a nefarious group of anonymous hackers trying to take advantage of the vast number of users in the WordPress community by attempting to inject malicious code and malware into themes, plugins, and insecure and outdated files within the WordPress core code.
Protect your website by using the Sucuri Sitecheck Malware Scanner — an easy-to-install-and-use plugin that enables full scan capabilities — for both malware and blacklisting — from Sucuri, right on your WordPress Dashboard. The plugin checks for malware, spam, blacklisting, and other security issues hidden inside code files.