Need a new plug-in?
A plug-in is a software component that adds a specific feature to an existing software application. When an application supports plug-ins it enables customisation. Some of the reasons for plug-ins are to add new features, reduce size, separate source code if an application has incompatible software licenses, process and analyse sound, decrypt emails, process images and support files, apply filters, process data from third parties, support programming languages or support and play video presentations. The host application provides services which the plug-in uses since a plug-in cannot operate alone and data between the two is exchanged and combined. Plug-ins first appeared as early as the mid 1970s and today they are widely available and a very positive and useful addition for enhancing programmes and applications. There are over 22,000 plug-ins available for WordPress; all of them are useful in their own right and any number of plug-ins can be added without affecting the host application providing they are coded correctly. With so many plug-ins for WordPress being available it is difficult to limit the choice to only ten. However, below is a list of the most popular and widely known plug-ins which are invaluable for WordPress.
1. Google Analytics – http://wordpress.org/plugins/google-analytics-for-wordpress/
One of the most popular plug-ins since it allows for tracking your WordPress site giving access to metadata including automatic tracking of clicks and page views along with views per author and category. Features include simple installation and integration, search engine tracking and easy connection to Google Adsense along with many more which are listed and can be viewed using the link provided.
2. W3 Total Cache – http://wordpress.org/plugins/w3-total-cache/
This WordPress plug-in helps load pages faster and increases the performance of the server. After configuration, the overall speed is up to ten times faster which can increase visitor time allowing them to view more pages. A long list of features can be found including shared hosting compatibility, mobile support, caching of feeds, caching of objects in memory as well as minimising posts, feeds and pages. More than two million users have downloaded W3 Total Cache making it the best web performance optimization for WordPress.
3. Redirection – http://wordpress.org/plugins/redirection/
Redirection makes it possible to manage 301 re-directions and keep track of 404 errors without requiring knowledge of Apache. It is particularly useful for migrating pages from an old website or for changing the directory of your WordPress site. Features include full logs for all redirected URLs and redirection statistics with a full list of features being available to view using the provided link. Redirection is available in several languages and has recently been updated to version 2.2.13 to eliminate bugs in previous versions.
4. Vaultpress – http://www.wordpresshost.nl/wordpress/wordpress-vaultpress/
VaultPress makes backups of your blog, checks your site for weird anomalies and fixes them automatically as you continue to blog. It is the only restoration service built on the Automattic grid and also protects other plug-ins, your dashboard, themes, comments and post revisions too. It continuously monitors and stores updates on your blogs and sites in real-time as well as being flexible and easy to install and use.
5. Blackbird Pie – http://wordpress.org/plugins/twitter-blackbird-pie/
Blackbird Pie makes it easy to refer back to your tweets in blog posts by adding simple short codes. Some of the features include an editor button to search and embed a tweet, supports various languages, allows for multiple ‘pies’ in a post and auto-links hash-tags, URLs and usernames. The new version of Blackbird has better styling for images, colours and texts and the custom fields used to store the tweets are now hidden which was not available in previous editions.
6. All in One SEO – http://wordpress.org/plugins/all-in-one-seo-pack/
Even though this plug-in is still in beta it is already one of the best SEO plug-ins on the market. Some of the features include Google analytic support, page navigation links, SEO integration for e-commerce sites, automatic Meta tags, advanced Canonical URLs and many more besides. An upgrade to the Pro version is available, but backing up your data is advised before downloading.
7. Headspace2 – http://wordpress.org/plugins/headspace2/
HeadSpace controls practically every aspect of your site’s meta-data including advanced tagging, analytics and plug-ins. It allows you to fine-tune the SEO potential on your site. It comes with a very long list of features for configuring meta-data, defining and adding and it is available in many languages. It also provides an import function for many other plug-ins and comes with easy-to-install instructions. Many reviews about this plug-in are available to read and it promises to be one of the best.
8. Gravity Forms – http://wordpress.org/plugins/tags/gravity-forms
This is without question the best WordPress plug-in for forms. It creates posts, allows image and media uploads, allows conditional logic, send submissions, rejects disposable email addresses, forms multi currency, stops spam and offers an alternative to free Captchas. It is the all-in-one form plug-in for WordPress.
9. Thank Me Later – http://wordpress.org/plugins/thank-me-later/download/
This plug-in sends an email to all first-time visitors to your blog thanking them for their comments. You can create the text for the email yourself and simply select the time you want the email to be sent. Features include short-codes, auto HTML email transformation and category targeting. You can send notification emails for discounts, reminders and invitations and full details are provided for installation. Change logs, screenshots and statistics can be viewed and further information is available in the review section which can be found by using the attached link.
10. SEO Links – http://wordpress.org/plugins/seo-automatic-links/
SEO Links provides automatic SEO benefits to your site. The new pro version is now available with re-written codes and more features. The plug-in can automatically link keywords and phrases in your posts and comments with corresponding pages, tags, posts and categories. You can set-up your own key words as well as open links in new windows and everything happens completely transparent along with the option to edit from the administration panel. It’s the perfect solution for getting your blog posts interlinked or adding an affiliate link to other sites.