Plugins are website add-ons that increase the functionality of your WordPress website.
Often times, plugins become so popular that WordPress will include them by default in a new website installation. Over the years, I’ve used quite a few plugins for various purposes – every site has a different need. Here are a few plugins that I use in almost every WordPress website I build, and why.
Search Engine Optimization is an important part of any website or blog – at least being search engine ready. What All-In-One SEO does is it lets you set the title, descriptions, and keywords for your various blog posts. This isn’t just helpful for bringing up your website’s Google rankings – but also for sharing your blog posts, too. If you set up your own title and description, when you share your blog on Facebook, it will default to your given title and description.
Google Analyticator, tied in with Google Analytics, makes it easy to monitor the traffic to, from and within your blog.
My Page Order
This plugin makes ordering the pages on your site simple. Want the contact page to be last? Simply drag and drop the page titles in the plugin to make it happen. It’s one of the simplest plugins I use, but one of the most helpful.
Social Media Widget
There are tons of different social media widgets out there – what this type of plugin does is add a bar with buttons for your various social networks – and your RSS feed too. It’s great for connecting with people in various ways – and engaging with them on other platforms. If you’re running a small business or consulting type of blog, it also helps increase your overall credibility. People like knowing that they are dealing with other people.
Of all the things on the Internet that annoy me (arguing on the internet being one of them) Spam is up there at the top. Spammy comments on my blog? Ick Ick Ick. Akisment, a donation-based plugin, helps SIGNIFICANTLY reduce the number of spammy comments on a site. It’s so popular and helpful, WordPress now includes it as a standard feature (though you have to activate it with an Akisment code.)
Well, there you have it. Some of my most favorite general WordPress plugins. Are you a WordPress blogger? What are your favorite plugins to use?
Jamie Schumacher is Bicycle Theory’s Internet Marketing & Nonprofit Strategist. She’s also our resident blogging expert! To find out more about creating or improving your blog, contact Bicycle Theory!