Plugins are add-on applications for your WordPress blog. Using the right plugins on your blog can add extra functionality and boost its performance. Currently, there are over 21,000 WordPress (WP) plugins available for download. But simply because you can use any plugin you want does not mean that you should do so.
Each plugin you include in your blog will increase the loading time and can have a negative effect on the loading speed of your website. However, there is some must-have WordPress plugins that every blog should have. As you read this article, you will discover some of the most vital plugins to include in your blog.
Search engine optimization is essential for all bloggers. It helps you to make your blog more visible on Google, Yahoo! And other search engines by boosting your ranking in search results. This will allow more people to read and follow your blog.
WordPress SEO is one of the best plugins for SEO. It gives you control over what your posts look like in search engines. For instance, it adds the “rel=canonical” tag to all pages and posts to prevent them from appearing as duplicate content.
WordPress SEO also adds the required Meta tags to create search-friendly snippets that are more Google-friendly. In addition, this plugin activates Twitter cards – a feature that enables people to see your site’s image and Meta description within Twitter. The latest release also integrates tags for Facebook Open Graph and Twitter titles.
Currently, you can get this spam blocking plugin automatically with every installation of WordPress. But you need to activate it to enjoy its benefits. It puts the spam comments in your spam folder, allocates the other comments that need your approval in the moderation folder and it allows the good ones to be displayed automatically. Up to 9 out of 10 times, this plugin handles spam accurately. If you fail to activate Akismet, you could end up with thousands of spam comments on your blog within a short period of time.
Another important WP plugin for SEO is Google XML Sitemap. If you want Google to know immediately after you make a new post, use this plugin. It automatically creates an up-to-date sitemap and posts it to the major search engines. It is better to use this plugin than to wait for search engines to come to your site to find your new posts.
This is very essential these days when many people subscribe to several good blogs in search of content they can easily take and post on their own site. Unfortunately, Google assigns more credit to the first instance of a post it finds and regards it as original content while it regards all other instances as duplicate content.
Your blog should have a contact page with a contact form on it. Gone are the days when you could put your email address on your website so your readers could contact you. If you try it, your inbox and spam folder will be filled with thousands of spam mails within a few days. So your best option is to use a contact form plugin that will send the messages written by your readers directly to your mail box. Contact Form 7 does a good job; it is light and compatible with other themes. But if you want a form plugin with more features, you can use Gravity Forms for a fee.
This is one of the best cache plugins for WordPress. It is designed to store a snapshot of your site so it can save resources and time, the next time it has to be loaded. This caching plugin can make your site run more than two times faster and make your readers happier. In addition, it allows you to compress scripts, add expiry headers to images and cache database queries.
6. YARPP – Yet Another Related Posts Plugin
This plugin pulls out 3 to 5 related posts from your blog and puts their titles at the end of each post. It also adds pictures. This will increase your page views as well as the time that your readers spend on your website. Since Google now monitors the amount of time that users spend on websites officially and credits sites on which users spend more time. It is vital to use a plugin that will make it easier for readers to spend more time on your blog.
Those are some of the most important plugins every blog must have. If you have not used any of these plugins on your blog, you should download them right away and start enjoying the functionality and enhancements that they offer.