WordPress is a great content management system for many reasons. But one reason I want to focus in on today, is WordPress Plugins! WordPress plugins make highly technical work slam dunk easy.

There are probably more plugins available then daisies in a field. So, this can make finding the right plugins for your situation a difficult decision. Today, I’m going to give you a rundown on some of the best free plugins available for wordpress. In a later article, I’ll be doing a rundown on the best commercially available plugins.

WordPress plugins come in many forms. They can be loosely grouped into the following categories:

  • Look and feel – There are many plugins that can enhance your wordpress site. These types of plugins range from simple to the complex. Take a peek at www.christmasstockingcollection.com to view a plugin that causes quite the blizzard!
  • Mechanical – There are many plugins that may or may not add visually, but do add some mechanical feature. Some of these plugins can be automatic updates, content scraping, or backups.
  • SEO and SERP – I break this functionality from mechanical simply because this to me is in a field of it’s own. SEO stands for ‘search engine optimization’ and SERP is ‘search engine results page’. This is all about getting free search traffic to your site.
  • Other – There is a ton of other things plugins can add to wordpress, so to be simple let’s just call allllll the rest – other!

WordPress Plugins – My Free Favorites

Here’s my short list of favorite plugins for wordpress.

  1. Adsense-Deluxe – I love adsense. Not because I make a ton of money from it, but it is a consistent flow. Easy to setup and use, the plugin allows me to put ads into my posts and pages quick, quick.
  2. Akismet – Don’t leave home without this one. With all the lovely comment spammers, akismet is a must. It took me, oh, two weeks to search out a comment spam filter when I started working with wordpress.
  3. All in One SEO Pack – The title says it all. This plugin takes care of ensuring your title, keyword tags and the like are all in order. Real time saver!
  4. Cimy Swift SMTP – With the problems surrounding PHP spamming on hosting providers, many are shutting down the php mail function. This plugin comes to the rescue. It ties you into your email provider to re-provide this functionality.
  5. GoCodes – If you are performing any affiliate linking, you will want to use this plugin to protect your affiliate links and improve your link love. I’ll be writing an article on this one soon!
  6. Google XML Sitemaps – This puppy takes care of setting up your sitemaps for the search engines. Next to All in one SEO, this is the most important SEO plugin you could use.
  7. Google Analytics for WordPress – Another handy plugin that will lay in the code you need on your pages to track visitors with Google analytics. If your blogs are your business, then you will need this one.
  8. Moderate Pingbacks – Ties in with akismet to spam filter pingbacks.
  9. Moderate Trackbacks – Ties in with akismet to spam filter trackbacks.
  10. Sociable – Needed to permit others to social bookmark your sites. This will become more and more important over time for getting search engine rankings.
  11. WP Ajax Edit Comments – This give you more control over comment editing. Some times it’s of value to edit user comments to make them more ‘G’ rated or SEO friendly!

Well, there’s my short list of the free wordpress plugins that I use the most. I’ll get a little more detailed in future posts, but here’s a good start for you .

I’d love to hear about your favorite wordpress plugins, so please drop me a comment with your opinions!

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