WordPress remains the most popular blogging and CMS platform on the Internet, and with plugins, a WordPress blog can be expanded to provide excellent functionality. Here are five must have plugins to improve your WordPress blog.
1) W3 Total Cache
Despite WordPress’ numerous advantages, it falls short in performance. Since its pages and posts are rendering dynamically each time a visitor loads an article, the increased load in CPU and RAM can slow a WordPress blog down considerably.
W3 Total Cache renders pages when they are first created, allowing the blog to instead send a simple static page. This greatly increases performance by reducing database calls and computational requirements to your server – hence, faster pages and response times.
2) Vaultpress Premium
Vaultpress Premium is a backup tool created by the developers of WordPress. Costing $15 per month, it is not the cheapest backup plugin out there. But for those who do not want to risk losing their pages and posts, it is very well worth it. Its interface is straightforward and backups can be restored as soon as the server is fixed.
Analytic tools give WordPress operators valuable insight about who is accessing their site, how long they are staying, as well as what pages they are reading. The most popular Analytics platform is Google Analytics, a free service from Google. Setting up Google Analytics, however, can be a bit of a challenge.
Wassup provides the capabilities of Google Analytics in a plugin that is much simpler to administer. Veterans of Google Analytics will find Wassup’s functionality to be remarkably similar to Google’s, but with a much easier interface to manage.
4) Disqus Commenting
WordPress has its own commenting system, but it doesn’t have as much functionality as a third party system – that specialize on just that: Comments. Disqus Commenting allows operators to completely replace their comment section with the Disqus platform, a popular platform that allows users to use the same account on any site that utilizes it. Disqus provides so many commenting features such as “comment as”, follow discussion, dashboard etc.
Readers are far more likely to leave a comment and interact with a blog if they can simply use their Disqus account, and it have several features that the WordPress comment system lacks.
Akismet is a spam-blocking plugin that has been in existence for quite some time now. WordPress is notorious for attracting spammers, and even the newest blogs will become overrun by spam within days of launching. Akismet’s sophisticated algorithms can greatly reduce the amount of spam that ends up on WordPress blogs. Akismet is almost always – a must have for all WordPress blogs.
One of the greatest strengths of WordPress is its large selection of plugins. The above mentioned are just the tip of the iceberg – though they are at minimum, what’s required to have. Not to mention – these 5 plugins are some of the best and well known plugins out there. Note that we still encourage for blog operators to encounter new plugins that will make its name one day.