One of WordPress’ greatest strengths is its Plugins*. In fact, your website or blog could be managed far more efficiently with the addition of carefully selected plugins that either solve a specific problem or provide an essential function. Below, we’ve briefed the top ten plugins based on number of downloads from WordPress.org—the raves, the rants and the reason why you are better off with or without them.
As a comment spam filtering service, this plugin comes pre-installed. Activation is very simple, the only requirement is an API key which is obtained on the plugin’s website. Akismet is free if your blog is for personal use, but if it could be deemed as a business tool, you will need to purchase an Akismet plan. The major advantage of Akismet is that it will save you hours on comment moderation. According to wpbeginner.com, the amount of spam comments on popular websites could reach 85 percent! With the help of Akismet, your time and energy can be spent on moderating comments made by real users. Tom Ewer, author of ManageWP Blog vouches for the plugin, saying that it “blocks almost every single spam comment” that his blog receives. However, he comments that, “it can get a little overzealous,” a concern of many other users. Akismet has been criticized for giving false positives, or legitimate comments that get marked as spam.
This contact form plugin is boasted to be extremely user friendly and easily customized. Best of all, it’s free! With a fast set up, Contact Form 7 allows you to tailor form fields, appearance and mail contents. For ultra-specific tweaks, the website offers many tutorials for users who aren’t so code-savy. The plugin supports Akismet and CAPTCHA spam filtering and is also available in multiple languages. But be warned, some users report that they never received some inquires, which sat in FTP files or landed in spam instead.
What’s the use in posting content to your blog if it isn’t seen? Enter SEO. Search Engine Optimization is essential to having a successful blog, and All in One is an helpful plugin to boost traffic to your page based on optimized content—the fundamental elements of search engine optimization. Reviewers praise All in One for it’s efficiency and seamless integration. Above all, the plug in has been highlighted for its excellent support which often goes, “above and beyond the call of duty” according to one user. However, others have expressed frustrations with the lack of additional features in the plugin’s free package.
An XML sitemap is a list of pages from a website that are indexed and made accessible to search engines. This plugin provides an XML/HTML formatted page allowing spiders and bots to gather a list of pages comprising your site so it will be properly indexed by search engines. The installation process is fairly straightforward, and the plugin has been regarded as effortless and powerful. “It does its job quietly,” one user writes. While WordPress SEO by Yoast features sitemap controls, this plugin allegedly does allow more options and more customizability.
Though it has been designed with the same purpose as the All in One SEO Pack, users believe WordPress SEO by Yoast outperforms in the categories of accessibility, indexation, titles and descriptions. One reviewer gives credit to this plugin for her website’s super rankings, taking it “from nothing to the first page of Google,” she writes. Two excellent attributes of this plug in is that is it regularly updated to sync with the demands of various search engines and the module in the editor provides the user with several recommendations in order to make post content more clear and concise.
An all in one kind of package, this Swiss Army Knife of a plugin will supercharge your website. In the WordPress community, one recurring topic of conversation is the importance of knowing when you should install a plugin. The main concern driving this topic is the contention that the more plugins running on your blog, the slower it will be. JetPack solves this problem. Through different modules, JetPack creates optimal experiences for your viewers. A few examples are the immersive full screen photo galleries, simple sharing with social media accounts and the option of implementing a blog theme that is mobile compatible.
Sure, all blogs allow you to display your images in a pre-installed gallery module, but this plugin is well worth investigating. NextGEN Gallery comes with a wide array of options for controlling size, style, timing, transitions, controls, lightbox effects, and more. There are also lots of useful management features and additional capabilities like setting a watermark on your images. On top of everything else, this plugin is mobile friendly, making your breathtaking galleries viewable to everyone.
This plugin uses an export file in order to import posts, pages, comments, custom fields, categories and much more. Users frequently utilize it in order to move their content to another host site. The reviews for WordPress Importer are very mixed. For some, the plugin has never presented a problem and always delivers. For others, there are countless problems with importing media, with many reviewers claiming that the plugin, “could not be more painful.”
Is your website plagued with a slow load time? Than this is the perfect plugin for you. WP Super Cache produces status html files, which allows data to be processed and to be served without heavy PHP scripts. Multiple reviews shared success stories of the plugin. In one instance, after WP Super Cache was installed, the user’s website went from a load time of 15-30 seconds, to a load time of less than 2 seconds! In spite of this, other reviews hinted at a lack of support with the plugin for issues such as blank pages, a common complaint in recent reviews.
WP Touch automatically enables a mobile theme those that use a mobile to access your website. The administration panel allows the appearance to be customized all while delivering a fast and accessible version of your site without affecting the regular desktop theme. With this plugin, you can also determine which browsers use mobile and which still use desktop display. One reviewer writes that WPTouch showed him the value of mobile. He says, “If your blog isn’t responsive already, this plugin will immediately create better mobile experiences with virtually no effort. Mobile traffic and engagement took an uptick after we installed.” However, nearly 20 percent of the reviews found on wordpress.org rated the plugin with one star for issues relating to redirect errors and poor functionatliy.
So, there you have it. The rants, the raves, and the reasons why you should investigate more on the Top 10 WordPress plugins! But don’t take our word for it! Do your own digging, and discover for yourself what would be the best additions to your website. But remember to carefully selected plugins on the basis that they plugin must either solve a specific problem or provide an essential function. Let us know what you find!