Without a doubt WordPress is one of the best content management systems (CMS) available in the world today. Given it’s free and open source its saved me countless hours of coding and customization. I remember back in the late nineties/early 2000’s when I had to do the majority of my coding by hand some of the simplest tasks could end up taking all night. No matter how complex or simple your website is, WordPress is an excellent solution, even for your basic landing pages. There are a number of different plugins we’ve talked about here on IMGrind but I want to mention the ones I couldn’t imagine life without.
StatPress – Instantly see information about the visitors hitting your website. While I also like to use Google Analytics their reporting isn’t in real-time so I don’t know until the next day important traffic data such as unique visitors, page views, search engine queries, referring URLs, browser agents, operating systems, and spiders. The install process is painless and literally takes less than five minutes.
cForms – Easily insert a customized feedback form into your pages and have the data sent directly to your email. I remember back in the 90’s having to install Matt Wright’s formmail script, customize my code by hand, CHMOD, etc. It wasn’t a lot of fun. This takes all the grunt work out for you and provides several professional pre-designed templates.
Akismet – Comment SPAM is just plain out annoying. Shame on you blackhat SEOs that try to link build with this type of crap. Akismet is a simple solution that 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. Time-and-time again it’s saved me countless hours of having to go in a filter out what’s real and what’s not.
All in One SEO Pack – Instantly place all the necessary SEO elements on your pages to begin ranking high in Google and other search engines. The plug-in allows even beginners to have a fully SEO’d website within minutes of installation.
Facebook Comments for WordPress – As Mark Zuckerberg continues with his world domination, Facebook now allows blogs, such as this one, to utilize the same commenting script users of the social-networking powerhouse users are already used to. Given it also posts the comments to the user’s wall, it’s a great way to begin generating organic traffic instantly. You also don’t have to worry about hosting the loads of comment data or worry about the annoying SPAM I mentioned above.
Redirection – As you develop your site you’re going to eventually rename a page or two. Without proper redirection you risk losing your search engine rankings, so this takes the effort out of hunting for the 301 redirect code. Simply install, type in the new page location, and go about your day.
ShareThis – Every webmaster out there wants more traffic. With ShareThis you’re easily able to integrate social media into your website regardless of experience level. A couple of clicks and your visitors can instantly begin sharing your content expanding your organic reach.
WP-Table Reloaded – By default WordPress doesn’t allow you to use their WYSIWYG editor to create table in your posts and pages. Using this plugin you can easily do this without all the HTML/CSS headache. Just started using this one recently and it’s allowed us to create amazing looking tables in a rather short period of time. Every WP install should have this one.
I could get into more advanced paid plugins but I’ll save that for another post. The list above are plugins I use every time I install WordPress and I simply couldn’t imagine life without them. Time is money and the amount of time these have saved me is astronomical. Feel free to recommend some of your favorite ones below!