Essential WordPress Plugins

essential wordpress pluginsWith the WordPress system now being the foundation stone of many websites there has been an explosion in the number of add-ons and plugins available to developers and web designers to allow you to perform almost any function imaginable through your website.

In fact the choice of WordPress plugins has become so great that in regards to many tasks you are left wondering which one to choose.

Although it’s not possible to check and review every single plugin available on the market, and would take an absolute age to cover every single task you might want your website to perform here is a list of some essential WordPress plugins that you should seriously think about installing:

1. All In One SEO Pack

This fantastic plugin provides you with extra customisation options for headers, menus and more to ensure that your site is fully SEO optimised.

However don’t worry if you’re just a beginner because it works straight out of the box too.

Other great features include auto generated META tags, support for custom post types and over writing of page and post titles with custom META data so you can have differing titles (for your readers) and keyword filled META data (for search engines).


2. XML Google Sitemaps

Nothing much to say about this plugin, it just does what it says on the tin.

Create a site map in seconds in order to help search engines better understand the layout of your website. This helps to ensure that everything there is to index is indexed.

Be sure to recreate your site map when you add new content, and the plugin will notify all major search engines for you in order to speed up the process.


3. Contact Form 7

Contact Form 7 is in my opinion the most customisable contact form plgin available.

Create a contact form with custom fields that can be added to a page, post or even a widget on your WordPress website sidebar.

The plugin is easy to use and opens up a world of possibilities.

There are also a number of great add-ons available such as the Campaign Monitor add-on which allows you to have a newsletter signup form on your website that links directly to your Campaign Monitor mailing list.

The plugin also allows you to add your sites Google Analytics tracking code so you can keep an eye on how well your site is doing!


4. Mappress

If you are creating a website which needs one (or more) embedded Google Maps then Mappress is the plugin for you.

Mappress allows you to create custom Google Maps with multiple points of interest, and you can embed them straight into your site with a neat little short code.

You can play around to your hearts content to set the level of zoom and the positioning of each individual map you create so that it opens just how you want it to every time.


5. Wordbooker

Wordbooker integrates your Facebook profile or page and your WordPress install so that when you post to WordPress, you can also notify your Facebook followers.

You can choose a fixed structure to notify Facebook followers, or you can also customise it each and every time you post. If you have more than one page tied to your Facebook account you can also post to multiple pages at the same time.

No longer will you have to try and remember to update Facebook after updating your blog or website!


6. WP to Twitter

Similar to Wordbooker, WP to Twitter plugin for WordPress allows you to send a customisable tweet to your twitter followers every time you update your website or blog.

Unfortunately Twitter does not make it too simple to set up any application, but it should only take ten minutes and simple instructions come with the plugin.

The plugin also has custom tags that allow you to insert the date (#date#); URL (#url#); and author (#author#) name amongst other things rather than retyping them and risking getting them wrong.


7. Share And Follow

In order to give your readers a nice easy way to share your site information you need Share and Follow.

The plugin allows you to set which social media channels your readers can use to either subscribe to your site or share your information with their friends and family.

Share and Follow also allows you to choose from a number of different styles so that you can place your social media icons in page, in a widget and elsewhere depending on what you’re looking for.

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