This guest post is by Eric Siu of Evergreen Search.
WordPressers are always looking for helpful plugins for their blogs, and if you’ve been following today’s posts on ProBlogger, especially Install Your First WordPress Plugin, you’re probably in the same boat.
So I thought I’d compile a list of the most popular to get you started. To make things simple, the plugins in this post have been broken into different categories.
- WordPress SEO: If there’s one plugin from this list that you should get, this is the one. It sets up title tags, breadcrumbs, meta robots control, XML sitemaps, Google Analytics, Google Webmaster Tools, and much more.
- Broken Link Checker: This handy plugin will tell you which links on your site are broken – an automated problem spotter.
- WPTouch: Easily create a mobile version of your site.
- nRelate Related Content: Make it easy for people and search engines to find related content around your site.
- WP Editorial Calendar: Make blogging more manageable by setting up a blogging calendar with this plugin. Very simple drag-and-drop editing on a calendar.
- SEO Auto Links & Related Posts: Autolink words to URLs of your choice—great for internal linking.
- WP Super Cache: This plugin will speed up your blog—and site speed is an SEO factor. While not necessary for smaller blogs, bigger blogs will definitely want this plugin.
- Blogging Checklist: Sometimes you might forget to include some important steps while blogging. Blogging Checklist allows you to add a list of helpful reminders before you place a blog post. Forget no more!
- Social Analytics: Want to see which users are logged in via Google, Google+, Facebook, or Twitter? You can do it with this plugin.
- Social Sharing Toolkit: This flexible plugin allows you to add “social bling” to your posts or pages. You can add buttons from various social networks in a clean and minimalistic manner. Here’s how it looks:
- Tweet Old Post: If you have content that you’d like to resurface to your audience every now and then, Tweet Old Post lets you do it.
- Google Analytics Dashboard: Adds a Google Analytics dashboard as well as a graph for every one of your posts.
- Subscribe to Comments: Gives your audience the option to subscribe to comments so they will be alerted when people are posting new comments.
- Outbound Links: Automatically makes all outbound links open in new windows. Helpful in the sense that you don’t lose your audience completely. These clicks can be tracked in Google Analytics.
- Post Ender: Add a message at the end of each post—think email subscription and RSS subscription opt-ins, like this:
- Akismet: Eliminate comment spam. This plugin is already installed—all you need to do is enable it and get an API key.
- Widget Context: A custom sidebar widget. Sometimes you might need to rotate in different ads or use different widgets for various pages or posts. This plugin helps you accomplish that.
- WP Database Backup: Backing up your blog is extremely important—you don’t want a freak accident to destroy all your work. This plugin allows you to schedule backups. I personally send them to different gmail accounts for each blog.
- WordPress Backup to Dropbox: Back up your WordPress files to your Dropbox account.
There are a ton of great WordPress plugins out there—this list is intended just to help you get a head start. You’re sure to find some incredible plugins that suit your needs down the line. What are some other essential WordPress plugins that you use?
Eric Siu is the Vice President of SEO at Evergreen Search, a digital marketing agency in los angeles. He’s also written about Minimum Viable SEO: 8 Ways To Get Startup SEO Right and 10 Immutable Laws of SEO. In his free time, he likes watching football, playing poker, hiking, reading, or eating ice cream. Feel free to follow him on Twitter: @ericosiu :)