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7 Must Have Plugins for Any WordPress CMS
Posted by Cameron Francis on July 13, 2015 in WordPress

WordPress is perhaps the most popular content management system available. With well over 30 thousand plugins, coupled with its high level of adaptability, a webmaster has all the support he needs to make his work seamlessly easy.

If you are an Internet user, then you have encountered these plugins. Everyone has. In all that you do online, be it surfing through your favourite newswire or checking through a set of blog posts, you often come across a suggested list of other similar posts ‘you might also want to check’. These basically appear without you searching for them. They may appear as ‘related posts’ at the end of the item you are reading.

At times, you may come across a prompt, asking you to enter some code when you want to comment or register an online account.

Have you ever wondered how those related articles get sampled up for you? Or have you considered how long they make you stay on the same page?

Every WordPress developer knows exactly what works for them. There is a plugin for each purpose. A webmaster has a list of these plugins he literally cannot do without. WordPress offers a rich base of solutions for security, caching and adding different improvements built on WordPress core.

Yet with the wide choice of available plugins comes the problem of selection. How do you know which plugins to use? Outlined below is a list of plugins that ensure you and your site visitors will get the most out of your website.

1. WordPress SEO by Yoast

wordpress seo by yoast input meta data

While many WordPress plugins are great, hardly any of them can beat WordPress SEO. This is the full package for website optimisation, and not simply an SEO plugin. This package allows you to include Open Graph and various Metadata besides adding content titles and descriptions.

WordPress SEO allows page analysis, XML sitemap publishing among a host of other options. The WordPress SEO tools will enable you to make great wording selections, get optimum leverage from keywords, and get easily found by search engines.

This plugin also assists you through the process of creating your posts. You can be assured of better rankings on your blogs when you use WordPress SEO.

You may be a great writer, but if your site is not optimised for search engines, no one will find your posts. You need some good plugins to help you get such an optimisation. WordPress SEO by Yoast takes care this concern. It caters for all the needed on-site SEO related tasks. These include preparing a comprehensive sitemap of the blog for search engines that include Bing and Google. It also allows you to create Meta descriptions and custom titles for every blog post you make.

Even better: for bloggers who are not necessarily SEO experts, Yoast has made it easy to understand the plugin. You have access to their step by step tutorial videos which will teach you everything you need to know to achieve maximum SEO impact from the plugin.

2. Contact Form 7

contact form 7 on contact us page

The Contact Form 7 plugin allows you to manage multiple contact forms. You can also customise and mail its various contents. In addition, this plugin can be integrated with others like CAPTCHA and Akismet to help with spam filtering and other related functionalities.

It is the plugin to use to obtain feedback from their readers, as well as assist clients who want to learn more about your products and services.

Contact Form 7 makes it easy for visitors to contact the site admin. They can easily send you a message to your WordPress site, which can relay your response and initiate the necessary actions.

You may be tempted to expect page visitors to contact you via mail if you publish your email address. This is however not always the case. Few page visitors are likely to take the initiative to use your email address to communicate.

The contact form, on the other hand, has numerous benefits:

• Reduces the chances of becoming overrun by spam emails.
• Ensures that you receive only important information
• Prompts site visitors to leave feedback
• Create custom forms with the fields that you need
• User-friendly anti-spam verification component
• Ensures user security and satisfaction

3. Disqus

Disqus comment system after a blog post

WordPress has a default commenting system. But while it works well for low-traffic sites, it is inadequate for a website with significant traffic. That’s why you need to consider using Disqus commenting system.

This plugin is a third-party system for commenting. This means that the discussion and commenting activities will have no effect on your server whatsoever.

Disqus is highly recommended for WordPress webmasters since it does not impact the loading speed and comes with anti-spam filters. It is a powerful and useful commenting system that helps webmasters to build a big community of active users. It has user-friendly features and effective tools. It supports real-time commenting through its Realtime Comment System. Its other appealing features include Social Integration and The Community Box.

4. All in One Schema.org Rich Snippets

all in one schema.org rich snippets setting

All in One Schema.org Rich Snippets basically refers to a brief summary of a given site’s page in the search results of different search engines including Yahoo, Google and Bing. It applies sometimes to Facebook Newsfeed in good format that comprises author photograph, star ratings and image. The Rich Snippet tool is essential for a WordPress site as it identifies only the relevant information and gives it to search engines in precise informational format. The precise information is displayed in snippets of search results.

Rich Snippets are also highly interactive and help your site stand out from the rest. The photos, price, star ratings, author, are all involved. This engaging nature of the snippets makes a notable difference on your click through rates (CTR) on search results. Search engines are also likely to rank you higher in their search results with these snippets.

All in One Schema.org Rich Snippets are also useful on Facebook. The feature helps Facebook to display appropriate information when Facebook users share your various links on the site.

5. SEO Redirection

SEO redirection setup

This is the ultimate redirection tool for any WordPress site. You can easily build redirections for your website with this plugin. It allows you to set up all forms of redirection that include 301, 302 or 307 redirects.

SEO Redirection enables you to also monitor 404 error pages which you can then redirect in just a single click of the mouse.

This WordPress plugin is designed to help webmasters control all site redirects. Redirects normally play an important role in enhancing search engine optimisation work. By using redirect 301 for instance, you can direct the search engines appropriately regarding different pages. This way you can prevent search engines from indexing any two pages with the same content type as duplicate. That will help you evade Google penalties pertaining to duplicate content in your marketing.

You are allowed to set up redirects 301, 302 or 307 using different approaches, you can set up custom rules and additionally monitor all 404-error type pages with this SEO Redirection plugin.

The plugin also adds auto-redirects when the Permalink of any page or post is changed. It then reflects the changes to the respective rules. You will have a complete and detailed history of the redirects you make. You also get an advanced control panel which manages all the plugin functions.

6. WP Smush.it

smush it images

You may agree that little can be as bugging as a slow page. Well, images are appealing and are essentially a fundamental aspect of any blog post. Large sized files however can slow down the loading speed of your page and impact negatively on the user experience.

It is not just the site visitors that are affected by slow loading speeds of your site. Your site’s slower loading time can also affect your search engine ranking.

This is where WP Smush.it plugin comes in. It is a free plugin whose aim is to eliminate the adverse effects of non-optimised images.

The plugin reduces different file sizes (images) through the Smush.it API offered by WordPress. The plugin compresses images automatically with little to no loss in image quality. It can also compress multiple images in bulk.

Each newly uploaded image; be it a screenshot, photo, or any other form of graphic is run through the WordPress Smush.it service. Their file size is reduced in the process without altering the appearance or graphic quality of the image.

Most webmasters who have used this service love it because there is little additional effort required on their part. The whole optimisation process takes place in the site background. This plugin is perfect in increasing page loading times for any website.

7. SI CAPTCHA Anti-Spam

SI CAPTCHA Anti-Spam

This is a security service that adds CAPTCHA anti-spam elements to WordPress forms. These elements are placed on registration, comments, password recovery, and WordPress login forms. Users have to type in given codes normally shown to them via an image before they can be allowed to post comments or proceed with the registration.

SI CAPTCHA Anti-Spam helps prevent spam generated by automated robots. It adds protection to the site and works well with Akismet. The service is fully compatible with WordPress, WPMU, as well as BuddyPress.

Conclusion

With these WordPress plugins installed free of charge or at a premium fee, your blog will be free of the effects of spam. You can now shift your focus to creating great content for your readers. You don’t have to worry about finding the most appropriate way to keep in touch with your viewers anymore. Neither will you need to worry about making content shareable or secure.

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Cameron Francis

Co-Founder

Cameron Francis is the CoFounder & Managing Director of ETRAFFIC, Melbourne's #1 Creative & Digital Marketing Agency. For over a decade Cameron has been providing growth marketing and digital strategies for over 2,000 small businesses, start-ups & entrepreneurs around the country.
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