What are the top WordPress plugins for your new site? Well, if you’re new to web-mastery, first of all–WordPress is the most popular choice for a Content Management System (CMS). It comes loaded up with some really great features, but there are many more quite useful features that you can readily enable by installing WordPress plugins. With hundreds of different choices out there, choosing the right ones for the right features may seem like a daunting task.
Below we’ve broke down some of what we think are the best (and also free) WordPress plugins available for specific functions.
Top WordPress Plugins for SEO & Traffic Building
1. Yoast SEO – This plugin is one of the most popular choices, if not the most, when you’re talking about on-site Search Engine Optimization (SEO). It gives you a wide range of function for making sure your SEO is on the right track, in a very streamlined yet efficient manner. From allowing you to customize all of your content, to making sure none of it is duplicate, this top WordPress plugin is easy to use. It allows you the option to customize title, description, and keywords for either each individual page or each post. This plugin is free, but there is also a paid, Pro version of it as well. There are many guidelines within the UI of Yoast SEO that allow you to get your SEO literally perfect, if you know exactly what keywords you want, it also has linguistic analysis in order to determine how ‘readable’ your content is based off scientific linguistic factors, which, signs point to Google taking into account pretty well.
2. Google XML Sitemaps – This plugin is very helpful with your traffic-building and search engine placement efforts. It creates for you a special XML sitemap, which will aid in search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo, and Ask.com to index your blog. 3. SEO Friendly Images – This top WordPress plugin is pretty neat and serves a simple purpose. It automatically makes sure that all of your images are equipped with the correctALTand Title, two very key factors you wouldn’t want to forget about as a part of your SEO plan.
Top WordPress Plugins for Analytics
1. Statcounter – This is a great plugin for keeping track of your blogs’ analytics. Statcounter hands over all of the real-time statistics you will want to know about your sites visitors. Not only that, it collects stats on spiders, feeds, search term, browsers, OS, and more. You can check IPs, see where visitors came from exactly, IE a specific tweet or FB post. Statcounter and its stats are all very easy to digest, and it is even multi-lingual, available in more than 10 different languages. I’ve used this service since ’12 and it’s by far my favorite for traffic still.
2. Google Analytics – The other top stats-driven plugin is Google Analytics. You could also check out Google Analytics for WordPress. Many people opt for this plugin and, of course, it is free! Google Analytics is invaluable for any sort of serious SEO/marketing campaign. But, sometimes it can be unnecessary and Statcounter can be used if SEO is less of an issue.
Top WordPress Plugins for Social
1. Twitter Tools – Plugin that allows for integration between your blog and Twitter. It gives you the option to automatically send posts to your Twitter account.
2. Sociable – A great choice for social sharing buttons.
3. Digg Digg – A very popular and simple choice for social sharing buttons. Digg Digg displays the number of shares next to each icon as well. You can see the Ajax floating feature for this top WordPress plugin right on the side of this very post.
4. WP-PostRatings – This plugin is a great social and interactive plugin for your blog. It allows your visitors to rate your article. Which, then allows you to get some very valuable feedback on your content and what your visitors are thinking. You can choose from many various kinds of rating styles, like up and down thumbs, stars, and numbers.
5. Old Post Promoter – This plugin chooses random, past blog posts and re-publishes them, changing their publication dates so that they will appear on your front page or in your RSS feeds.
Top WordPress Plugins for Design
1. WP Super Cache – The most important thing in the design of your site is how fast it loads. This plugin is a static caching plugin. This will greatly increase your blog’s speed by compressing scripts and other assets as much as possible, while retaining quality.
2. Lightbox Plus – This plugin is very cool if you have many photos on your site, whether on your homepage or within your blog. Lighbox Plus generates beautiful CSS for you in a lightbox format. It’s a very nice looking lightbox that pops up over your page’s content when a picture is clicked on. From there, you can flip through all the images that are found on that page.
3. Contact Form 7 – Simple and easy-to-use contact form generator.