WordPress is a great open source blogging platform. Beginning bloggers love to use WordPress because it is easy to use and offers a free hosted blog for those just getting started. Experienced bloggers adore WordPress because of the flexibility, customization options, and all of the possibilities that it offers.
Many bloggers, even those just getting started, say one of the best things about WordPress is the plugins. These are what let you tweak, customize, and optimize your blog without being a CSS wiz, an HTML expert or a professional coder. Plugins let you have a professional blog with almost every possible feature, facet or layout with minimal effort and few headaches.
There are quite a few plugins out there, and for many functions there seems to be an endless assortment of plugins to choose from. This can make it almost overwhelming to decide which ones are right for you and your blog.
To make the choice a little easier, you should know that there are some must-have plugins that can make blogging much better. These plugins help to power some of the best blogs in the world, and you can use them too. The following are just a few of the WordPress plugins your need for your blog.
1.) All in One SEO Pack
If you haven’t heard of SEO or search engine optimization, this may be your first time on the internet. Just because you have heard of it though, doesn’t mean that you know what it is or how to do it.
SEO can be tough, and it can also be quite time consuming. As a blogger, you probably want to spend your time writing, not scouring the web for articles about SEO so that you can climb up the search rankings and get more eyes on your site. This easy to use plugin needs you to provide just a bit of information and it is more than happy to take care of the rest.
2.) WordPress Tweaks Plugin
Everyone is after the best WordPress tweaks. People want to customize and optimize their blogs as much as possible so that they are unique and effective.
Usually this means CSS edits. Often done with a browser extension, there are lots of web tutorials that can help a blogger to do these changes. However, if the wrong thing is changed, this could mean major problems for your WordPress blog.
This is why WordPress Tweaks is such a necessity. It makes these tweaks that could be big trouble if messed up manually into a piece of cake. You get to check off boxes and select items from drop down menus to have these tweaks executed. The only way it could be easier is if you could update your blog telepathically.
3.) Contact Form 7
You NEED a contact form on your WordPress blog. Your readers want to get in touch with you so that they can give you feedback, ideas, job offers, free stuff to review and more. You could simply put your contact information up on the blog, but then every spammer could simply copy your email onto your list.
Don’t be one of those folks who awkwardly write out their email address. Unless someone really wants to get a hold of you, they probably won’t take the time to open a new browser tab and transcribe your coded email address. A contact form makes getting a hold of you quick and easy and it keeps your email address out of the public eye.
4.) Askimet Plugin
You hopefully have comments enabled on your blog so that you can encourage reader participation and foster repeat visitors. You also hopefully have comment moderation on so that you can filter out the crazies, the scammers, and the spammers.
Speaking of the spammers, blog comments can get a lot of spam. The bigger the blog the more spam it will get. This is an antispam comment for your WordPress blog, giving you a spam filtration system much like your email has.
Easy to configure, WordPress has decided that this one is must have as well. It now comes standard with WordPress. Just make sure you keep it turned on.