Given the huge variety of plugins available for WordPress I thought it would make sense to discuss my top WordPress plugins which I believe you should install right away. A plug-in is, simply put, a small software add-on with a specific functionality which will make building your site much easier and, not unimportant, optimize your money-making opportunities as well (often free of charge). Here are some my key picks:
* Google XML Sitemap – 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. A must have plugin in my view!
* All in one SEO Pack – Optimizes your blog/site for search engines, hence will increase the chances of getting good traffic to your site. Another must have plugin!
* Cbnet Ping Optimizer – This one will prevent your site from becoming marked as a ping spammer by the likes of Google. Every time you edit a post/page and hit the “save” button WordPress will normally send out an unnecessary ping to the search engines. This will plug will prevent that from happening.
* WordPress DB Backup – Makes it easy to make a back-up of your WordPress site. Highly recommended to have in your plugin collection!
* Microkid’s Related Posts – Enables you to manually select related posts to your posts to increase the chance your readers stay on your site and check out some of your other content.
* Kontera ContentLink – This plugin will automate your Kontera links across your blog and will make you money (don’t forget to put in your Kontera Publishing ID in the settings!)
* Amazon Reloaded for WordPress – A great plugin if you are planning to promote Amazon products on your site through their affiliate program. You can browse Amazon products in WordPress and directly create affiliate text links and images for your site.
* Under Construction – A nice and simple plugin that will enable you to show an under construction” sign on your domain when you are still in the process of building your site.
* Sociable – Adds icons at the bottom of your posts through which your readers can share your post through social media like Facebook, Digg, del.icio.us, e-mail, Twitter, RSS, and dozens more.
* Akismet – Deals with spam comments and acts like a filter. Really recommended if you have comment boxes, something you should have to promote interaction with your audience. This Plugin comes automatically with the latest WordPress versions.
* Recent Comments – This plugin enables you to show the most recent comments on your site in the sidebars. In my view a good way to promote interaction with your readers while also showing your blog is alive and kicking!
* SEO Friendly Images – this is another plugin for search engines optimization, automatically updating all images with proper ALT and TITLE attributes.
* Blog Copyright – Blog Copyright injects a copyright notice into the blog footer. The copyright notice automatically updates the year range as time goes on removing the need to ever revisit your copyright once the plugin is put in place.
* Subscribe to Comments Reloaded – This is a good plugin that enables people leaving comments to sign up for e-mail notification of subsequent entries. The plugin includes a full-featured subscription manager that your readers can use to unsubscribe to certain posts or suspend all notifications.
* Broken Link Checker – The plugin monitors your blog looking for broken links in posts, pages, comments etc, making sure everything works like it should be so your site works as it supposed to be.
* Popularity Contest – Popularity Contest keeps a count of your post, category and archive views, comments, trackbacks, etc. and uses them to determine which of your posts are most popular. Other Widgets exist to also display the ranking in your sidebar (like Popularity List Widget).
* WP-Email – WP-Email allows people to recommend/send your posts/pages to a friend, colleague, etc. Great plugin to let other people promote your site and its content.
* WordPress Firewall 2 – Keeps those hackers out of your WordPress blog/site so make sure this one is installed before you have to regret it.
To add any of these plug-ins, just go into WordPress, go to the Plugins section and press “add”, look for the plugin and simply install!
These top WordPress plugins will optimize your site and make it easier for you to make some money with it as well. Let me know what you think, if I missed any good plugins in your opinion or if you disagree with my choice of top plugins.