There are a plethora of plugins out there for WordPress (WordPress.org currently shows 27,530 plugins), but some are in a class of their own. We thought we’d share our 6 favorite WordPress plugins that, more often than not, find their way into websites we create.
Does your website need commenting? WordPress comes with a commenting system built in, but you need to register with the system before you can comment. That’s a little inconvenient, and may stop people from commenting (not another username/password!). By using Disqus, you unlock your commenting system to people who can use different logins to now comment. So instead of having to remember which username and password they used on your website, they can use Facebook, Twitter, Google+. It also comes with other goodies like comment voting, nicely threaded comments, etc, etc. Awesome, right?
There are a lot of little finishing touches to do to a website to have great SEO, and they’re kind of all over the place. This plugin centralizes those settings and offers a lot of cutting edge SEO options. Want to verify your website with Google, Bing, and Alexa? No problem. Want Facebook to pull a nice image when people share your pages, Twitter card meta data, a nicely segmented Sitemap, and Google Publisher links? It’ll do that too. Within each post and page, you also get access to modify your title, perform some automatic analysis of the page, and enter in Facebook and Google+ sharing description information.
Do your form submissions generate a lot of spam? Akismet operates a network that automatically identifies spam and automatically filters out a ton of comments and form submissions. Akismet is a paid service, but well worth it in our opinion.
There are a lot of forms systems for WordPress and our favorite is Gravity Forms. It’s one of the most popular forms plugins out there, and offers integration with a ton of other online services like Paypal, many eNewsletter systems, Freshbooks, and more. On top of all that, it’s really easy to manage the forms on the backend. It’s a premium (paid) plugin and well worth it.
Can we toot our own horn? We’ve developed and released a free WordPress plugin to help move WordPress websites from a development environment to a production one by updating full URL’s in bulk, and identifying some common basic permission issues.
Have some plugins that are near and dear to your heart? Share them in the comments below!