WordPress Plugins allow easy modification, customization, and enhancement to a WordPress blog. Instead of changing the core programming of WordPress, you can add functionality with WordPress Plugins. Here is a basic definition:
WordPress Plugin: A WordPress Plugin is a program, or a set of one or more functions, written in the PHP scripting language, that adds a specific set of features or services to the WordPress weblog.
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How to install a WordPress Plugin:
There are two ways in which you can install wordpress plugins
1. Using FTP
- Download the latest version of the WordPress Plugin to your computer.
- With an FTP program, access your site’s server.
- Upload (copy) the Plugin file(s) or folder to the /wp-content/plugins folder.
- In your WordPress Administration Panels, click on Plugins from the menu at the top.
- You should see your new Plugin listed. If not, with your FTP program, check the folder to see if it is installed. If it isn’t, upload the file(s) again. If it is, delete the files and upload them again.
- To turn the WordPress Plugin on, click Activate on the far right side of the list.
- Check your Administration Panels or WordPress blog to see if the Plugin is working.
2. Directly through the WordPress Admin
- Once a blogger is logged in, open the “Plugins” menu on the dashboard’s sidebar and click the “Add New” option.
- To find a specific WordPress plugin, enter the name in the search box, or the general type of plugin (i.e. forum plugins). There is also an option to search the newest and the most popular WordPress plugins – just click the “newest” or “popular” links at the top of the page.
- Once the desired plugin is located, click the “install” link on the right side of the page. A box will appear; click the orange “Install Now” button.
- A new screen will appear during the plugin installation process. Once installation is complete, a link will appear “Actions: Activate Plugin.” Click this link to immediately activate the plugin.
- Once a WordPress plugin is activated, the options and settings associated with that plugin can be managed by expanding the “Settings” menu on the dashboard sidebar; click on the name of the plugin to manage the various settings.
WordPress is mostly a popular CMS for the blogging platform amongst the bloggers. We know the flexibility of the wordpress. It is very easy to develop a customized blog on the wordpress with a very little knowledge and effort. This happens because of wordpress plugins and widgets. There are more then 8,425 plugins available for download on wordpress.org. WordPress plugins are very easy to install and use. For every purpose there are multiple types of plugins available with different features and functionality.
Most difficult part is how to choose plugins for your requirement. Every user has a different requirement and taste. To find best thing from a huge collection is tough.
In this list we are providing you some very essential wordpress plugins to enhance your blog.
1. Ozh’ Admin Drop Down Menu
As you start wordpress I will recommend you to install this plugin. The reason is that it provides a drop down feature in the wordpress admin panel. It provides a smooth navigation in the admin panel which will decrease the time and increase the work efficiency.
All admin links are available in a neat horizontal CSS driven drop down menu. No need to click on “Manage” then “Pages” to edit pages, go to any admin page from any admin page.
2. Google Analytics for WordPress
If you are running a website or blog you most know about its performance and statistics so it is most that you should use analytic feature. So if you are using Google analytics then you surely require this plugin.
The Google Analytics for WordPress plugin automatically tracks and segments all outbound links from within posts, comment, author links, links within comments, blogroll links and downloads. It also allows you to track AdSense clicks, add extra search engines, track image search queries and it will even work together with Urchin.
3. StatPress Reloaded
This plugin (a highly improved fork of StatPress) shows you real time statistics about your blog. It collects information about visitors, spiders, search keywords, feeds, browsers, OS etc.
Once the plugin StatPress has been activated it immediately starts to collect information. Using StatPress Reloaded you can see your visitors actions while they are surfing your blog or check which are the preferred pages, posts and categories. In the Dashboard menu you will find the StatPress Reloaded page where you could look up the statistics (overview or detailed). StatPress Reloaded also includes a widget you can add to a sidebar (or easy PHP code if you can’t use widgets!).
4. All in One SEO Pack
- Advanced Canonical URLs
- Fine tune Page Navigational Links
- Built-in API so other plugins/themes can access and extend functionality
- ONLY plugin to provide SEO Integration for WP e-Commerce sites
- Nonce Security
- Support for CMS-style WordPress installations
- Automatically optimizes your titles for search engines
- Generates META tags automatically
- Avoids the typical duplicate content found on WordPress blogs
- For beginners, you don’t even have to look at the options; it works out-of-the-box. Just install.
- For advanced users, you can fine-tune everything
- You can override any title and set any META description and any META keywords you want.
- Backward-Compatibility with many other plugins, like Auto Meta, Ultimate Tag Warrior and others.
5. FD Feedburner Plugin
Redirects the main feed and optionally the comments feed to Feedburner.com. It does this seamlessly without the need to modify templates, setup new hidden feeds, modify .htaccess files, or asking users to migrate to a new feed. All existing feeds simply become Feedburner feeds seamlessly and transparently for all users. Just tell the plugin what your Feedburner feed URL is and you’re done.
5. Google XML Sitemaps
This plugin will generate a special XML sitemap which will help search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo and Ask.com to better index your blog. With such a sitemap, it’s much easier for the crawlers to see the complete structure of your site and retrieve it more efficiently. The plugin supports all kinds of WordPress generated pages as well as custom URLs. Additionally it notifies all major search engines every time you create a post about the new content.
Automatically add links to your favorite social bookmarking sites on your posts, pages and in your RSS feed. You can choose from 99 different social bookmarking sites! WordPress 2.6 or above is required.
7. Twitter for WordPress
Twitter for WordPress displays yours latest tweets in your WordPress blog.
- Widget support
- No options page (yes, it’s a feature)
- Uses WordPress resources (no extra files needed)
- Detects URLs, e-mail address and @username replies
8. WP to Twitter
The WP-to-Twitter plugin posts a Twitter status update from your WordPress blog using either the Cli.gs or Bit.ly URL shortening services to provide a link back to your post from Twitter.
9. Twitter Tools
Twitter Tools is a plugin that creates a complete integration between your WordPress blog and your Twitter account.
10. Yet Another Related Posts Plugin
Yet Another Related Posts Plugin (YARPP) gives you a list of posts and/or pages related to the current entry, introducing the reader to other relevant content on your site. Key features include:
An advanced and versatile algorithm: Using a customizable algorithm considering post titles, content, tags, and categories, YARPP calculates a “match score” for each pair of posts on your blog. You choose the threshold limit for relevance and you get more related posts if there are more related posts and less if there is less.
11. Post-Plugin Library
The Post-Plugin Library does nothing by itself but must be installed to provide shared code for the Similar Posts, Recent Posts, Random Posts, Popular Posts, and Recent Comments plugins.
12. Register Plus
Enhance your Registration Page.
- Custom Logo
- Password Field
- Invitation Codes
- Captcha Validation
- Email Validation
- User Moderation
13. WP FollowMe
WP FollowMe is a wordpress plugin that allow you to add a twitter “Follow me” badge on your wordpress blog.
Evermore automatically abbreviates all posts when they appear on a multiple-post page such as the main blog page. It has the same effect as putting <!–more–> after the first paragraph of every post. All formatting and HTML tags are preserved in the abbreviated post. You can manually set word count for read more.
15. Advertising Manager
This plugin will manage and rotate your Google Adsense and other ads on your WordPress blog. It automatically recognizes many ad networks including Google Adsense, AdBrite, Adify, AdGridWork, Adpinion, Adroll, Chitika, Commission Junction, CrispAds, OpenX, Shopping Ads, Yahoo!PN, and Widget Bucks. Other ad networks can be used as well.
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.
17. Secure WordPress
Remove Error information on login page; adds index.html to plugin directory; removes the wp-version, except in admin area.
- removes error-information on login-page
- adds index.php plugin-directory (virtual)
- removes the wp-version, except in admin-area
- removes Really Simple Discovery
- removes Windows Live Writer
- remove core update information for non-admins
- remove plugin-update information for non-admins
- remove theme-update information for non-admins (only WP 2.8 and higher)
- hide wp-version in backend-dashboard for non-admins
- Add string for use WP Scanner
- Block bad queries
18. WP Security Scan
Scans your WordPress installation for security vulnerabilities and suggests corrective actions.
- file permissions
- database security
- version hiding
- WordPress admin protection/security
- removes WP Generator META tag from core code
19. NextGen Gallery
NextGEN Gallery is a full integrated Image Gallery plugin for WordPress with a Flash slideshow option.
Adds a more advanced paging navigation to your WordPress site.
21. Contact Form 7
Contact Form 7 can manage multiple contact forms, plus you can customize the form and the mail contents flexibly with simple markup. The form supports Ajax-powered submitting, CAPTCHA, Akismet spam filtering and so on.
22. reCAPTCHA WordPress Plugin
The reCAPTCHA WordPress plugin uses a CAPTCHA to prevent comment spam and also uses Mail Hide to prevent email spam.
WP-DB-Backup allows you easily to backup your core WordPress database tables. You may also backup other tables in the same database.
24. Broken Link Checker
This plugin will monitor your blog looking for broken links and let you know if any are found.
- Monitors links in your posts, pages, the blogroll, and custom fields (optional).
- Detects links that don’t work and missing images.
- Notifies you on the Dashboard if any are found.
- Also detects redirected links.
- Makes broken links display differently in posts (optional).
- Link checking intervals can be configured.
- New/modified posts are checked ASAP.
- You view broken links, redirects, and a complete list of links used on your site, in the Tools -> Broken Links tab.
- Searching and filtering links by URL, anchor text and so on is also possible.
- Each link can be edited or unlinked directly via the plugin’s page, without manually editing each post.
Help readers share, save, bookmark, and email your posts and pages using any service, such as Facebook, Twitter, Digg, Delicious, and over 100 more social bookmarking and sharing sites. The button comes with AddToAny’s customizable Smart Menu, which places the services visitors use at the top of the menu, based on each visitor’s browsing and usage history.
26. TwitterLink Comments
This plugin will add an extra field to your comment form so a user can add their Twitter username. A user configured ‘follow me’ link is then displayed along with their details on all their comments.
WP Super Cache
This plugin generates static html files from your dynamic WordPress blog. After a html file is generated your webserver will serve that file instead of processing the comparatively heavier and more expensive WordPress PHP scripts.
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