5 Essential WordPress Plugins

When you’ve installed a fresh WordPress on to your blog, first thing you would like is to install a right WordPress theme or few important WordPress plugins. In this post we will guide you the most important and best WordPress plugins that we believe must be installed in any WordPress website.

1. Akismet:

Akismet is an anti spam plugin which is extremely essential in handling Spam on a blog. Akismet checks your comments against the Akismet web service to see if they look like spam or not and lets you review the spam it catches under your blog’s “Comments” admin screen.

Akismet is so much important that it is build into WordPress and you won’t need to install it, but you need to Activate it only.

After activation you need is an Akismet key, which we will show you in post below.

You can pay Akismet or get the key free if you select Personal Plan.

Akismet Signup Page

When selected Personal Blog, on the next page it will ask for “WHAT IS AKISMET WORTH TO YOU?”, at this point, if you don’t want to pay Akismet you can move the scroller below to the left where it says 0$.

Once The plugin is installed, it will ask for Akismet key, which can be obtained free here (http://akismet.com/get/?return=true)

After you place the key and activate plugin, you can go to Comments section and Filter/Check for Spam and existing Spam will be wiped out as well.

2. WordPress SEO by Yoast:

The second most important plugin would be an SEO Plugin. There are two most used plugins, one is All in One SEO and second is WordPress SEO.

You can install anyone of them, but in this post I would be talking about WordPress SEO by Yoast (WordPress SEO).

I have selected this plugin because of its powers and options, lets have a look at what it is capable of.

WordPress SEO is the most complete WordPress SEO plugin that exists today for WordPress.org users. It incorporates everything from a snippet preview and page analysis functionality that helps you optimize your pages content, images titles, meta descriptions and more to XML sitemaps, and loads of optimization options in between.

You can edit your .htaccess and robots.txt file, provide Google webmasters, Alexa, ownership link.

After you have installed and activate this plugin, you would need to configure it and then enable it as well.

The thing to look at carefully is the Titles of your Blog, sometime there will be duplicate blog name in title after installing WordPress SEO, and sometimes there will be other similar issues with the title of your blog after installing this plugin.

To overcome these issues, first you have to be sure that every SEO Section of your theme is OFF. This is the main point here, many themes comes with built in SEO section, and if you are installing an SEO plugin, then you would like to turn that SEO section of you theme off. Most of the themes will disable their SEO Section once they discover that the blog has an SEO plugin already.

Configuring WordPress SEO

After you have installed WordPress SEO, you need to go to the ‘WordPress SEO Dashboard’ and see what options you have, enable the plugin, provide Google Webmaster tools confirmation link, and you can also provide Alexa confirmation link that you own this blog. Once you have provided Google Webmasters link, it will link into your webmaster and submit a Sitemap automatically in your Google webmasters account. (how cool is that? huh..)

Next important step is to go to Titles of WordPress SEO plugin Section. and provide titles. In the titles page, at the bottom there is help available for Tags which can be included in your title area, for example if you would like that Post name should be visible on the “Blog Post’s HTML Title Tag” you can use %%title%% followed by a Dash (-) and your blog name.

For example if I use “%%title%% – Sizzling Magazine” it will show me “5 Essential WordPress Plugins – Sizzling Magazine” as post’s HTML title tag.

Once you configure proper titles, you won’t be needing to manually edit titles from Post edit area ( a functionality that Yoast’s WordPress SEO plugin provides).

 3. Faster Image Insert:

You’ve got to admit that WordPress buildin Upload/Insert tool is a very slow and painful procedure of inserting Media into your site. Therefore if the blog uses Media a lot, then your editors will need a better platform, hence comes Faster Image Insert.

Faster Image Insert aims to do one thing right:
Moves built-in Media Manager down in a meta-box, right next to main editing panel, so you have full control of the manager: opens it, makes it collapse or hidden from the interface completely.
Best of all, is now you can insert image(s) much faster, and precisely where you want them to be.

It is fairly easy to use, once you have installed and activated the plugin, you will see a new section in your Post/Page Editor area.

This will save you the time to open Upload/Insert again and again.

4. Quick Cache:

If your website is going to be heavy and a widely used website then you should care about the speed of your site. A cache plugin is required for that and there are two widely used plugin’s to achieve cache issue. One is W3 Total Cache and second one is Quick Cache.Anyone can be installed but we will focus on second one.

Quick Cache is one of those plugins that you absolutely MUST have installed in order to achieve that. Quick Cache takes a real-time snapshot ( building a cache ) of every Page, Post, Category, Link, etc. These snapshots are then stored ( cached ) intuitively, so they can be referenced later, in order to save all of that processing time that has been dragging your site down and costing you money.

The Quick Cache plugin uses configuration options, that you select from the options panel. In Config Options under Quick Cache, you can provide your cache time and other settings and enable the Plugin from there. Once a file has been cached, Quick Cache uses advanced techniques that allow it to recognize when it should and should not serve a cached version of the file. The decision engine that drives these techniques is under your complete control through options on the back-end. By default, Quick Cache does not serve cached pages to users who are logged in, or to users who have left comments recently. Quick Cache also excludes administrational pages, login pages, POST/PUT/GET requests, CLI processes, and any additional User-Agents or special pattern matches that you want to add.

5. Share This:

Last but not least, you would need a sharing plugin for your blog. There are many plugins available for this but we will focus here on ne only, and it is called Share This.

This is a very widely used elegant looking sharing plugin, but it is hard to configure for some people, this is why probably it has got lesser ratings.

This plugin is no doubt one of the Most customizable sharing plugins avaible. To use its full features, you should get Your Free Publisher Key from sharethis.com. Although this plugin will work without the key, it is better if you can customize the plugin according to your needs. Once done, you can place the code in Settings-> Share This->Click to modify other widget options.

Remember that the above step is not required and the plugin will work without publisher key as well.

2 Responses to “5 Essential WordPress Plugins”
  1. Kevin

    Hi Andy, Kevin Stacey here..

    First off, this post is extremely thorough! I don’t see too many
    bloggers going into detail like you have…that’s the mark of a blogger who knows their WordPress plugins. I’ve personally never heard of Faster Image insert until this post.

    For optimization, free plugins like Yoast SEO and even All in One SEO Pack are really great as they lay down the basic SEO foundation for a WordPress site, but every blog is different and nothing works best for everyone.

    I always suggest looking at a side-by-side comparison of the best seo plugins for WordPress in order to make an informed decision of what the best plugin is for that blogger and their website’s specific needs.

    Here’s my most recent write-up on the subject:

    SEO Pressor vs Easy WP SEO vs Scribe SEO
    http://www.bestseopluginforwordpress.com/wordpress-seo/the-best-seo-plugin-for-wordpress/

    Check it out and let me know what you think.

    Great article btw…I’ll be referencing this post on my main blog.

    • admin

      Thanks Kevin for such a detailed Review on our article appreciated :)

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