5 WordPress Plugins Every Site Should Use

Brendan Egan

5 WordPress Plugins Every Site Should Use

Do you have a WordPress site?  Well if not, then you should definitely get one, and if you do then you should definitely be taking advantage of one of the most attractive features of WordPress — plugins!
Plugins are extensions that are coded for WordPress to allow website owners and web developers to manipulate the features of the site.  There are tens of thousands of different plugins available for free, and thousands of paid or premium plugins available to do virtually anything imaginable.  The advantage of these plugins is that they save hundreds if not thousands of dollars in development costs, many times are easy to setup and integrate, and can be fully customized by a developer to make the plugin work for unique situations.
If you have a WordPress site, you should undoubtedly be using these 5 fantastic WordPress plugins:

1) Akismet For WordPress Spam

Anyone who has a WordPress site likely gets at least a few and up to several hundred thousand spam comments every single day.  Askismet is a fantastic plugin that is free for personal WordPress sites and extremely affordable for business WordPress sites that will help fight spam.
As a personal example, since we started using Akismet, our number of daily comments has gone from over a thousand to just 5-10 per day.  Yes, some spam still makes it through the filters, but it is MUCH easier to go through a dozen comments a day than a thousand comments a day.  Akismet is a must have for any WordPress site.

2) Social Media Posting

There are dozens of these, and I’m not going to name any specific plugins as I don’t want to write a book about them, but make sure you are using plugins to automatically update your social media profiles.
From Twitter to Facebook to LinkedIn to Google+, you can write a blog post and have your WordPress site automatically syndicate a link to your content across dozens of social media websites.  Not only is there an SEO value here, but it will save you tons of time and money by posting to your audiences on various sites with just one click.

3) WordPress Database Backups

There’s a few backup plugins available, but I personally like this one.  Imagine your server crashing, site getting hacked, or upgrading WordPress and your site going down.  This plugin will automatically backup your WordPress site on a set interval and handle all the complex database issues that can arise when taking backups.
Make sure you have a safety net in place and are backing up your WordPress site on a regular basis!

4) WPTouch Mobile Sites

There’s a free and premium version of this plugin, but if you have a website with a lot of mobile visitors and don’t have a mobile friendly theme, custom developed mobile site, or responsive theme, then you should try out WPTouch to create a mobile friendly site.  Even people with only a little WordPress experience can utilize WPTouch to create a semi-custom mobile site for their mobile visitors and help them get the information they need from their smartphones.

5) Shortcodes

Again not a specific plugin as there are a half dozen shortcode plugins available and each one is/isn’t compatible with certain themes, but you should install a shortcode plugin to help in formatting pages and blog posts.  Shortcodes are snippets that call upon a function, either javascript or CSS, that will assist in formatting pages and making pages more interactive and laid out properly.
So there you have it, get out and grab these five plugins and install them on your blog.  As always you should be cautious when installing new plugins, take a backup first, and if you aren’t familiar with WordPress functions and PHP then you may want to consult with a web designer such as Simple SEO Group first to make sure you don’t cause any problems or crash the site.  While plugins are fantastic, I have seen them crash sites from time to time so always stay on the side of caution when adding new plugins to a live site!