Friday, 20 July 2012

5 Must-Have WordPress Plugins

WordPress Plugins
Guest post by Wes Burns: I try not to rely too heavily on WordPress plugins, but there are five plugins that I install by default every time I start a new website. These plugins helps me run websites effectively without having to master the technical skill of coding. If I had to pick exactly five plugins to use for the rest of my career, these would be my choices.


1. Redirection

Redirection is a plugin that allows you to easily redirect links from within the WordPress backend. This comes in handy in two different ways. First, it makes it easy to move pages to new URLs. If you need to move an existing page to a new address, you can open Redirection's settings, add the old URL and add the new URL. Hit the "ok" button and visitors to the old address will be redirected to the new URL.

Second, Redirection comes in handy for affiliate websites. It allows you to clean up those ugly affiliate links and replace them with something that looks nice. For example, let's say your affiliate programs uses links that look like this:

Commission.affiliates-product-3282.htm=affID388229

Visitors tend to be distrustful of links that look like this. With Redirection, you can create a redirection and use links that look like this:

www.website.com/visit/productname

When visitors click on your clean affiliate link, they are automatically redirected to your affiliate link. Thus, you get clean looking links and still receive credit for sending sales to your affiliate program.

You can get the plugin at:
http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/redirection/


2. Google Analytics for WordPress

The name pretty much says it all. The Google Analytics plugin makes it easy to get site statistics on your WordPress blog. All you have to do is install the plugin, click a button to authenticate your Google analytics account and it's good to go.

After you have Analytics installed, you'll be able to see how many visitors you are getting, which pages are being visited, which search terms people use to find your site and more. I consider Google analytics a must-have for any website.

You can get the plugin at:
http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/google-analytics-for-wordpress/


3. GetSocial

GetSocial is my favorite social sharing plugin for WordPress. It adds a floating bar with social sharing options to the side of every page or post on your website. The bar includes a Twitter function, Digg button, Facebook button, Reddit button and more. The whole point of this plugin is to make it easier for visitors to share your content with other people.

GetSocial looks nice and it's easy to set up. I am not a technical person at all but I had no problems customizing the bar and getting it placed exactly where I want on my blog. This plugin is useful for you and your visitors.

You can get the plugin at:
http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/getsocial/


4. Image Zoom

Image Zoom is a purely cosmetic WordPress plugin but I love it. It lets you place pictures in your blog that zoom nicely when visitors click. All you do is insert pictures, leave the direct link in place (found in the picture settings when you add pictures) and Image Zoom will take care of the rest.

When visitors click on your pictures, they get one of those pretty flash boxes instead of going directly to the image URL.

You can get the plugin at:
http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/image-zoom/


5. WordPress SEO by Yoast

WordPress SEO by Yoast is the ultimate search engine optimization tool for WordPress. It allows you to customize title tags, URLs, meta keywords and much more. It can be complicated setting it up the first time around, but there are plenty of guides online that will get you up and going.

One of the things I like most about this particular SEO plugin is that it includes a simple tool that analyzes the SEO of each page. When you add a new page (or post), it will scan the content, description and title to make sure you have your SEO keywords in place.

You can get the plugin at:
http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/wordpress-seo/

One of the greatest advantages of WordPress is the wide array of free plugins that can be used to add functionality to any website. This post lists and describes five awesome plugins that I use on every website.


About The Author: Wes Burns runs numerous websites in the tech niche. His latest project is a file storage website that provides news, reviews and tips related to cloud data management.

Do you like this article by Wes Burns? What's your favourite WordPress plugin? Please let Wes and myself know by leaving us your valued comments below.


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Until my next post on Monday, have a fabulous weekend!



2 comments:

  1. The best SEO plugin is SEO Ultimate.....all in one plugin...

    ReplyDelete
  2. WordPress is having so awesome plugins I was not aware about.. I am using smush.it from a long time and happy with the image performance of my blog.

    I am using SEO Images plugin also which is very helpful too..

    church web design

    ReplyDelete

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