One of the main reasons why WordPress is so successful is due to the support of its users. This is generally in the form of plugin development, with the platform boasting tens of thousands of different plugins that one can benefit from. However, while it’s certainly nice to be provided such an avalanche of choices, it can be daunting and there may be times where you have to select which plugin will be most beneficial to your site. Following on from this, I have compiled a list of my five favourite plugins for the system which I always install on all of my websites.
Contact Form 7
One of the most time-consuming issues when starting a new website is undoubtedly the implementation of a contact form. Fortunately, it’s now possible to do this almost completely automatically, thanks to the Contact Form 7 plugin. It’s possible to manage a range of different forms and as you would expect, you have complete control over how they appear. Moreover, the plugin implements various filtering options through CAPTCHA and Akismet.
There is no doubt that WordPress provides a superb platform for standard internet browsing. However, when it comes to accessing a WordPress blog on a mobile phone, it could be argued that the situation isn’t quite as flawless and some users will be subject to painfully slow loading times. Fortunately, WPtouch has been established and this converts your blog into a much more suitable format for mobile phone users. Whether a user is using an Apple device, Blackberry or Android, the website will be much friendlier for their phone. Moreover, WPtouch provides many settings that even allow customization of the mobile appearance.
This is a fantastically simple plugin for WordPress and while it isn’t quite as popular as others, it has still been received very well by those users who have decided to download it. As some may have guessed by the name, Top 10 arranges your blog posts into a top ten list based on the daily and overall visits to them. As well as this, the plugin will also permit you to display a basic tally of all the visits on each post – even if it isn’t one of the top performing pages on your website.
Google XML Sitemaps
This is another of my favourite plugins for WordPress, mainly because it makes a once-tiresome job much, much easier. Everybody knows the importance of including an XML sitemap for your website, as this makes it much easier for the search engines (especially Google) to pick up your website and index it. This plugin takes all of the hard work out of the situation and it’s not necessary to manually add each new entry by hand. Google XML Sitemaps automatically compiles the sitemap, leaving you with very little to do.
W3 Total Cache
This is one plugin that will be ideal for the larger blogs out there. It is charged with the task of improving the speed of the website, by implementing a caching system. The WordPress community also seem to be big fans of the plugin, with W3 Total Cache managing almost 1.3 million downloads as well as an average rating of 4.6/5.