Free WordPress Plugins that gives life to your blog
WordPress plugins are very necessary to make a WP blog run better. Plugins simply makes a blog more productive and efficient. WordPress has a variety of plugins for a variety of purposes. Having the right plugins can help your blog become better. And having the wrong plugin can land you in serious trouble. In this article, I will be describing to you 10 plugins. These plugins are very important. You must have all of them. These plugins are unavoidable and very much useful. And yes, these plugins are free WordPress plugins and not at all premium plugins! So, you don’t have to worry about financial matters and soon start productive blogging on WordPress platform!
But before that, let me say something more about the vast world of WordPress plugins. WordPress is open source software. Anyone who has sufficient coding skills can create new themes and plugins. Now, this situation has advantages as well as disadvantages. The advantages are- there is a wide variety of themes and plugins (loads of them are very useful and free!)and the WordPress support community is awesome, large and active! Now, let us come to disadvantages. Since almost anyone can code and create plugins, there arises security vulnerabilities.
So, before installing and using a plugin, you must know whether the plugin is a trusted one or not. I hope this article will help you out. Here I’m going to write about the most important and trusted WordPress plugins, and all of them are free, I repeat, all of them are free!. Enjoy the list:
Akismet is a free WordPress plugin which stops spammers from using your site. This is a must have plugin for every WordPress blog. Akismet is basically free for personal bloggers. However, for businesses, they charge a small amount. Akismet is the best spam fighting plugin according to millions of WordPress users (including me). There are other spam fighting plugins available on WordPress. But they often mark legit comments as spam too.
But Aksimet does its job well and separates spam and legit comments very well. It is easy to set up and doesn’t involve any difficult configuration. You just have to activate the plugin and then the plugin will manage its duty on its own. So, if you have started a new WordPress blog, then I highly recommend you to install and activate this plugin. Deleting spam comments manually is a difficult and boring job! So, why not let Aksimet deal with spammers?
Search engines are the biggest source of traffic for any blog. It is this organic traffic that every blogger craves for. Using WordPress for blogging has its own SEO advantages. One of the advantage is the availability of top quality free SEO plugins like All in one SEO and WordPress SEO by Yoast.
All in one SEO is a very good SEO plugin with an easy to use user interface. It is relatively easy to set-up when compared to Yoast, but offers less features than Yoast. I recommend this SEO plugin for WordPress newbies. All in one SEO also has a premium paid version. But, the free version is good enough for SEO purposes of beginners.
WordPress SEO plugin by Yoast is more advanced than All in one SEO. It is difficult to set-up for beginners. But it offers more features and insights. It offers exciting features like keyword density, image optimization etc.
WordPress blogs perform better and faster when a caching plugin is used. This free WordPress plugin reduces the load on server and serves the user a cache page very fast. This plugin is very important for blogs with huge traffic. There are other caching plugins available on WordPress, but, this one is very easy to set-up and does a good job. It has features like compression of page, mobile support etc. It’s configuration is also quite simple and there are lots of tutorials available online.
Another good caching plugin that you may try is W3 Total Cache. It offers more features than good old WP super cache. But, WordPress newbies will find its configuration difficult and confusing.
#4 WP Minify
Jetpack plugin uses the cloud power of WordPress.com to enhance the performance of our site. Jetpack bring with it loads of exciting features. The list of features it offers is very large. I’m going to mention the main ones here. It provides us access to ‘site stats’, the traffic stats of blog. It provides useful features like post subscription, image CDN service called ‘Photon’, social widgets etc.
Jetpack literally nitro-charges your blog! A must have plugin! Read the entire list of features on the plugins page. Link is provided on the heading.
WordPress has its own default comments system. But, to be honest, it is quite boring. Disqus is a commenting system with a difference. It gives us much more control over the comments and discussions going on in our blog. Spam filtering is easy. Users have to sign in to start commenting. They can sign in through various accounts like- WordPress, Disqus, Facebook, Google+ etc. Features like up-voting and down-voting of comments are also available.
Another important feature that Disqus offers is ‘Discovery’. Using this feature, you can earn money! Disqus will place some links of its clients at the end of your post, above or below the comments. If your readers click on the link, you get paid for it! Another reason to install this awesome free WordPress plugin!
It is necessary to submit our ‘sitemap’ to major search engines. This will ensure that the search engines index our pages and our pages are present in search engines’ search results. Google XML sitemaps plugin will make sure that your sitemap is regularly submitted to search engine giant Google.
The plugin is easy to set-up. Once you set it up, it will automatically generate and submit the sitemap regularly.
This free WordPress plugin will assist you in placing AdSense/other ads on your blog. After installing this plugin, all you need to do is copy and paste the ad code onto various slots on the plugin and place them according to your choice. Once you install this plugin, you will understand how easy it is to manage ads using this plugin.
If you use AdSense ads on your blog, then place 3 ad units per page. Not more than 3 ad units on a page. For other ad provider’s ad units, you may place as many as 10 ad units using Quick AdSense plugin.
Social networking sites can improve your blogs traffic. But it depends on how ell your WordPress blog is integrated with social networking sites. AddThis Social Bookmarking plugin is a complete solution to social network integration. Once you install and set-up this plugin, it shows buttons of social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ etc. This encourages users to share your content on these social networking sites.
This plugin is slightly different from the above one. Let me describe how this plugin works once you install it and configure it. Suppose a visitor finds a link to your site on Facebook and he click on it. He lands on your site. Now, this plugin, on realizing that the user has landed from Facebook, prompts the user to share the content on his Facebook timeline. And if he shares, it means your site will get more reach!
So, these are the 10 free WordPress plugins that you must have on your blog. These plugins enhance the productivity of your blog and are free! They won’t cost you a penny! As I said before, you must be really careful while using plugins. Before installing any WordPress plugin, check out the reviews it has got. Lots of bad reviews mean bad plugin! Bad plugins will ultimately compromise the security of your blog. In some cases, the entire blog gets deleted due to plugin error! So, choose wisely. All the 10 plugins mentioned in this list are safe and awesome. Please give your valuable feedback in the comments section.