There are now close to 80 million websites that use WordPress as its framework. The reason for this is that it is easy to install, easy to configure, and easy to manage all of your content. The main use of WordPress is for blogs, but there are plenty of static, corporate websites that are also built on this content management system. One of the bright lights of WordPress is in the way it is easily configurable with the use of plugins. There are over 19,000 plugins available for use in WordPress and more are added to the catalog everyday. Most of these are free, but there are several paid plugins that have a wide range of functionality. If you have a blog, or a WordPress site, here are the top 10 most essential WordPress plugins you must be using today.
1. W3 Total Cache
For any WordPress website W3 Total Cache is the must have of all the essential must haves. The Total Cache plug in helps your website to load much faster. In itself this is a great plug in, but it goes further to save static versions of your website that it doesn’t use as much CPU when loading. The price is right at being free and it is easily installed through the WordPress dashboard.
2. WordPress SEO with Headspace 2
It use to be that All in One SEO was the must have in the do it yourself WordPress optimization. However, people have been asking for something that is more customizable and gives more options. The Headspace2 plugin is that answer to complete control over your SEO needs. Everything from defining your meta tags on separate pages to adding in Google Analytics and a whole list of other control measures.
The world has gone mobile. With that understanding, bloggers and website owners must work within this new world order. Making your WordPress site mobile ready means that you must have a lot of PHP knowledge. With the WPTouch plugin, though, you do not have to know anything other than how to install and activate it from the WordPress dashboard. Then, in an instant, your website is mobile friendly.
4. Google XML Sitemaps
One of the most important aspect of any website is its ability to be found on Google, Bing, Yahoo or other search engines. With this simple to use plugin, you can easily set up your site to be indexed by these websites and routinely crawled for new content. Any WordPress website that does not use this plug in is going to have a hard time getting any Google love.
Your website database is an important part of your online existence. Without it your website would simply fail to work. With the WP-DBManager you can have complete control over every aspect of your database. This plug in will seek out any repairs needed, to updates automatically, and even send you an email with all the information from your database each day. Again, this great plugin is free so there is no reason not to use it.
6. SEO Smart Links
Really good SEO means that you are doing a great deal of inter-linking within the pages of your website. Many times this can be daunting task as you try to remember relevant posts that you may have written years ago. The SEO Smart Links plugin will automatically link keywords and phrases in your posts and comments with corresponding posts, pages, categories and tags on your blog taking a great deal of the pain of blogging out of the picture. This is a perfect, free, solution to having relevant links as well as affiliate links on different pages.
Ask anyone who blogs today and they will tell you that the most annoying aspect of blogging is the comment spam. This incredible annoyance takes a lot of time to weed through the real comments from those that are robot generated. However, with the use of Akismet your blog is protected from this onslaught. The plugin works through a larger database to check each comment made on your blog to see if it is spam or not. A great time saver and stress reliever.
8. Broken Link Checker
The Internet is ever changing and websites tend to come and go. If you have a lot of links going out from your content to other blogs, websites, or articles it can be a tough job keeping track of them all. In all actuality, it is an impossible task to stay up on your links and make sure they are working. The Broken Link Checker plugin continually monitors your links and lets you know when any of them are no longer working. Once you are notified you can then make the necessary changes and save your blog from an unprofessional look.
9. Adsense Stats
Most of the WordPress blogs that are in operation today have some sort of monetization process on it. In a great majority of these sites it is through the use of Google Adsense. The only way to keep track of your daily earnings is to log into the Google site and check the reports. However, with the Adsense Stats plugin you can now do all of this at your WordPress dashboard. Making slight changes according to the rise and fall of your earnings can now be done on the fly and as things happen.
10. Social Sharing Toolkit
The most successful WordPress sites are those that are easily shared from within each page. Through give your visitors to share your pages through Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Digg, StumbleUpon, Reddit, or any other sharing site, you can reach thousands more people without having to actually advertise. The Social Sharing Toolkit is a free plugin that is customizable for which sites you would like to offer your visitors.
A WordPress website has really taken the tough process of creating a website and made it easy for just about anyone to do. With the use of plugins you can then configure a lot of different aspects of your site, automate certain things, and even add a lot of functionality. Get started with these top 10 essential WordPress plugins and expand from there to suit your needs.