Wordpress is one of the best publishing platforms out there today to create an amazingly designed website, whether you know tons of code or none at all.
The beauty of WordPress is that it is open source, which has lead to the creation of thousands of awesome plugins that can be utilized to enhance your site, improve its functionality and make operation much more efficient.
Below is a list of five of the best WordPress plugins around, all of which are completely free.
In no particular order:
Wassup is an amazing and feature-rich plugin that allows you the ability to track your website visitors in real-time. Along with showing where the visitor is from, you also get a statistic of how they were referred to your site, along with how many visitors are currently on your page at that moment in time. With access to this type of demographic data, you can get a much better idea of who your viewers are and what they are doing on your site.
All in One SEO Pack
This plugin may be a given for many of you seasoned WordPress users, but if you don’t have this plugin, you should. If you want search engine traffic to your site and don’t want to wait two billion year for search engines to index your site, you need this. This plugin does exactly as it states in the title. It optimizes your site for search engines by doing things such as:
- Optimizing the title of pages and posts
- Gives you the ability to set any META keywords and description to any page or post that you desire. This especially helps if you are trying to rank for certain keywords.
- Works well with beginners as well as those well-versed with plugins so even if you have no clue how to go about optimizing your site, all you need to do is install it and you are done.
Better WP Security
Better WP Security is one of the best plugins available to secure your site from any potential threats or attacks. Without this plugin, your site is like a small town without any law enforcement. Citizens can run free, attack others, steal whatever they desire and get away with it! You wouldn’t want your site to be like this town and have a complete lack of security, would you? With Better WP Security, it can scan your site in seconds, point out any potential threats, and fix them automatically. It can also strengthen your server settings and is always running, so it can quickly and easily detect any potential attacks to your site along with banning potential spam bots. There are too many awesome security features to list, but you get the idea. You need this plugin.
Do you find the comment section of your site particularly dry and boring, feeling like an ongoing wall of text with no real feeling of conversation? Well person with a boring comment section…there is an awesome solution to your problem! With IntenseDebate, you get features like: threaded comments, an enhanced user profile complete with a simple biography as well as links to their social streams and website, comment voting, and a points system. With this plugin, users are actively encouraged to comment instead of moving on to another page. By making your commenting section more social, more of your readers will feel like chiming in with their own opinions.
Broken Link Checker
Have a site with hundreds of pages of content with various links that may be dead? This is a very important issue that many site owners seem to overlook. If a visitor comes to your site and tries to visit another link, only to find that link to be broken, it decreases the credibility and value of your site. Within five seconds of that happening, your visitor may close out of your site and look for the information somewhere else. In order to fix this problem, there is no need to go through each page individually and check every link. With Broken Link Checker, all that tedious work is done for you. Broken Link Checker reads through all your posts and scans for all links. This may take anywhere from a few minutes to an hour depending on how much content your site has. After all links have been found, this plugin checks to see which links work and which do not. If any broken links are discovered, they are displayed in a new tab on your WordPress admin panel, allowing you to easily unlink, change the URL, or mark the link as “not broken.”
There are hundreds of fantastic and free WordPress plugins out there and these are five of the best. By installing any one of these, you can drastically improve your site, allowing for a better user experience and many more visitors.
Written by Jim Evers for EverSpark Interactive, an Atlanta SEO company, many of whose clients use WordPress and the multitude of free plugins available to great success.