35 super useful wordpress plugins that you may ever need

You will never have to search for a wordpress plugin again. All that you need to do is bookmark this page. That is a promise.In this post I shall be listing most useful plugins that will help you in

  1. Search Engine Optimization (8)
  2. Effective Internal Linking (3)
  3. Commenting (Including spam protection) (8)
  4. Social Media Marketing (Digg, stumbleupon, plain email) (6)
  5. Caching (1)
  6. Navigation (3)
  7. Advertisement and Monetization (6)

WordPress plugins for Search Engine Optimization

  • Google XML Sitemaps: Slap yourself and slap hard if you do not have it already. The plugin creates a sitemap for your blog and keeps updating it automatically everytime you make a new post. Super useful plugin that needs to be installed immediately.
  • Sitemap Generator: Highly useful for effectively passing link-juice to the important blog-posts. It produces an html sitemap for your blog that your human visitors can see. You can see it in action here. It provides you with the ability to group your posts into categories, choose which posts to show in the sitemap and which ones to hide. Use the plugin to list your most important posts and then build significant links (internal and external) to this page.
  • Canonical URL Plugin: Makes use of the canonical tag feature supported by Google, yahoo and msn and thereby avoids the dreaded duplicate content issue. A must have plugin right in the category of Sitemap generator and All in one SEO Pack.
  • All in One SEO Pack: A super useful and most popular wordpress plugin. Automatically optimizes the title,meta description and meta keywords for your post. Allows you to customize them if you want.
  • Platinum SEO Pack Similar to the All in One SEO Pack. However some bloggers seem to prefer this one
  • Ultimate Tag Warrior : Tags are extremely helpful for targetting long-tail keywords. I know keywords in the title are important. However I can not write a title as “wordpress plugins for seo | wordpress plugins for comment management | …………..” even though I want this post to rank for all those keywords. The best solution is then to add those keywords as separate tags and then I shall have one url pointing to this page with title wordpress plugins for seo and another url with title wordpress plugins for comment management.
  • Plugin to solve canonical url issue : Google treats http://binaryday.com, http://www.binaryday.com, http://binaryday.com/index.php and http://www.binaryday.com/index.php as 4 different urls !!!!!!! This splits the external link juice amongst the urls and creates problem of duplicate content. The www-preference (linked above) solves the issue by doing a 301 redirect of all 4 urls to a single url.
  • Permalink Migration plugin : Permalink structure determines the format of url for individual posts. The structure of your permalink has significant impact on seo. The problem is if you change your permalink structure then old bookmarks and external links will stop working. This plugin solves the problem and allows you to optimize your permalink structure for best seo result.
  • Search Meter : Your blog is the best place to conduct keyword research. It tells you what are the keywords yours users are searching for so that you can create content that satisfies their need.
  • SEO Friendly Images: More people search for images than you think. Image search has become even important after Google’s universal search roll out put image into standard Google SERP. It is common knowledge that having good alt and title tag helps a lot in image search. The seo friendly images plugin will autmatically assign an alt and title tag in situations where you have forgotten to put one.

WordPress plugins for Effective Internal Linking

Internal linking is very often the most neglected SEO aspect. Considering that this is the single most important reason for wikipedia pages ranking so high, I am surprised that not many bloggers use it. Effective internal linking keeps your olders posts fresh on google index and builds new links to them, thereby protecting flow of traffic to them.

  • Yet another related posts plugin Shows related posts at the bottom of each post. Increases number of pageviews per user.
  • Show your best work to visitor: It calculates popularity based on pageviews, comments and trackbacks. Helps you display the most popular posts to visitors thereby increasing the probability of them getting impressed and subscribing/ linking to you.
  • Internal Linking: The plugin lists the most widely used words and against them you can specify a url to link to. Then whenever you use any of those words, it automatically inserts a link to the relevant post. Great for keeping content fresh in Google-cache.

WordPress plugins for better Commenting and spam protection

  • Akismet: You can not allow commenting on your blog without installing this plugin.
  • CommentLuv This plugin shows a link to the latest blog post of the commentator. Definite encouragement for other bloggers to leave a comment on your blog especially if your blog gets decent traffic.
  • Top Commentators widget Shows the top commentators of your blog. You can select the duration over which the top commentator is calculated. Avoid the temptation to set it to 1 day as then only spammers will show up. If you set the time period to 7 days or a month, regular commentators on your blog get a free link from you.
  • Show an email to first time commentator : It does exactly what it says i.e sends an email to the first time commentator on your blog.
  • Most recent comments Displays the recent comments on your sidebar. Keeps the discussion alive by getting attention to posts where discussion is going on.
  • subscribe to comments plugin lets a user know when someone has replied to a comment that she has posted. Works like a charm in getting some passionate discussion going.
  • Nested comments is a great way to keep different threads of discussion among the users separate. Not necessary for smaller blogs with less than 10 comments per post though.
  • comment highlighter allows you to make the comments by the author stand out by highlighting the same in a different color.

WordPress plugins for Social Media and plugins to help your blog go viral

If you have a relatively new blog, then you will do well to focus more on social media sites like Digg and Stumbleupon, rather than waiting for google to start showing you some love. Social media tends to treat each individual post on its merit. Hence if you can write good and interesting topic then you can attract traffic.

  • Addthis : This is one of the few plugins that I use on Binaryday. Adds a button to the post. As the users clicks on the button, it opens a page with large number of social media sites links. Keeps your site clutter free while providing the user an option to add your site to any social media he likes.
  • diggZ-Et : It puts the familiar digg button on your posts. Works like a good reminder to your visitors to digg up your post. Hope you will remember to digg this post by seeing that big digg button at the bottom of this post. :)
  • Stumble-It : Puts a stumble button at the bottom of your post. Great for reminding users to stumble you.
  • Stumbleupon for wordpress : It allows users to read more similar posts from your blog. Really helpful at increasing pageviews/user.
  • WordTwit: Highly useful plugin for publicising your blog on twitter. It automatically pushes your published post to your twitter account.
  • email this: Allows users to email your post to their friends. You will be surprised by how useful it can be.

WordPress plugin for efficient caching

If you have done the above steps (SEO, internal linking and social media marketing) correctly then there is a good chance that your server will be having tough time serving up your blog to the massive traffic that is flowing in. Wp-Super-Cache reduces the load on your server by caching your blog pages and then serving static html pages to subsequent users.

WordPress plugins for Better Navigation

  • Pagination Plugin : Display clear and beautiful links to the inner pages of your blog. Offers the ability to style the page bar according to your choice with little bit of coding.
  • Horizontal Dropdown Menu : This is not a plugin. Rather this is a code sample explaining how to create a magazine style horizontal menu. I could not find a good plugin for this functionality. If you hate coding, here is a plugin. But then the fact is the demo looks little messy.
  • Sticky Post : Adds a sticky post feature to your blog.

WordPress plugins for Advertisement and Monetization

WordPress plugins for Everything else

  • Contact Commentators : It allows you to contact the previous commentators on your blog. You can now thank your new commenters for their comment, appreciate long term active commenters for their continued support, inform all commenters about new services, send greetings on special occasions or events, analyze the commenters’ contribution etc
  • Wp-Security-Scan It scans your wordpress installation for security vulnerabilities like 777 file permission and offers corrective measures
  • Wp-DB-Manager: Automates the backup, repair and all other admin functionalities related to wp database.

Author: Kunal Kumar

Kunal Kumar is the editor of BinaryDay. An avid geek, he is usually found browsing through the Interwebs to get the latest news in the world of technology and gadgets.

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