Top Essential WordPress Plugins

One of the reasons people gravitate towards the WordPress platform, is the multitude of free plugins that can make a blog simple, unique and dynamic at the same time. In this article, I will present some of the most popular WordPress plugins that will certainly help your blog in many ways.

Disqus Comments

Disqus plugin makes posting a comment easier and more interactive, while connecting websites and commentators in a thriving discussion community. This plugin also has nice elements that support gravatar, feeds and more.

All in One SEO Pack

A very powerful solution for website optimization for search engines. This SEO plugin automatically generates meta-tags and allows you to override the page title and its description. Most importantly, you can optimize a post with minimal effort. It is a very effective solution, especially if you want to improve the organic traffic for your website (search engine traffic).

SEO Smart Links

Laying out a good structure for your website internal links is one of the most fundamental ways to optimize your website for search engines. SEO Smart Links can automatically inter-link to certain keywords, phrases or comments from your posts, to pages or categories that correspond to them. Moreover, the plugin allows you to set your own keywords pointing to the appropriate pages.

HeadSpace2 SEO

HeadSpace2 is a meta-tag data manager that allows you to set, up to the smallest detail, the potential of your website SEO. It allows you to control almost any aspect of meta data, and is very easy to use.

Google XML Sitemaps

This plugin will generate a special XML sitemap that will help search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo and Ask to index your site efficiently. With a sitemap, it is much easier for search robots to access your site structure, allowing them to download data in a more efficient way. Furthermore, this plugin will update your sitemap and notify search engines about it, after a new post, or by changing an existing one.

Socialize

This plugin provides an easy method by which you can add links to social networks. You can add links into any page or in a box located below the content.

AddToAny

This plugin helps you place bookmarks button so that visitors can share your posts and pages using any service, such as Facebook, Twitter, Buzz, Digg and Delicious and over 100 social networking websites as well.

Sexy Bookmarks

This plugin allows you to add over 100 icons (you will use around 10 most popular) at the beginning or end of a posting to popular social networks. Furthermore, compared to other social sharing plugin, it has a modern look, and also a more advanced control panel.

WP Super Cache

After you pass a certain traffic level, WordPress can become much slower. To pre-index your content is, as always, a great solution. This plugin is about that. It creates a static version of the content that is “served” interchangeably to your visitors, thus, increasing the website load speed. This plugin is good if your website traffic starts to dramatically increase.

WP Smush.it

An excellent plugin that automatically processes any image to your blog via smush.it, without user intervention, reducing file size and improving website performance.

WP-Optimize

This plugin, simply but effectively help to clean your database and to optimize your WordPress blog without using phpMyAdmin. Furthermore, you can change the admin username.

Continued Scissors

Continued Scissors offers cropping, resizing and rotating images in WordPress. Scissors provides automatic resizing of images after loading, and supports automatic and manual image watermarking.

NextGen Gallery

NextGen gallery plugin allows the creation of galleries and slide images. It is fully integrated into WordPress and provides plenty of options and features, all arranged in a simple control panel. You can also create several photo galleries.

Yet Another Related Posts Plugin

Yet Another Related Posts Plugin (YARPP) offers a list of posts or pages that are similar with the ones viewed. YARPP is using an algorithm of similarity between two posts. You choose the relevant limit, and if this condition is not met, a page suggestion will not occur.

Organize Series

This plugin helps you to organize an article or post that you write as part of a series. Make it easier for users to find your site posts that are part of the same series.

These would be the most important WordPress plugins. However, they are not even a fraction of the many good WordPress plugins that exist.