If you are looking to add more functionality and features to your WordPress site, look no further than the thousands of WordPress plugins that are available. Nearly every plugin can be found at the WordPress Plugin Directory, and they are easily searchable and categorized.
The latest versions of WordPress allow you to search for plugins via the Plugins section of the administrator area of your website. Once you find the plugin you want to install, it takes only a few seconds to install and activate it. You don’t need to upload the files anymore! Future plugin updates are processed by the same function.
Important plugins you should install to any WordPress site:
Akismet – this plugin checks your comments to see if they are spam or not.
WordPress sites are commonly attacked by spammers, so it is best to keep your comments area protected. You can also review any comments caught by the plugin to make sure that legitimate ones to get published to your site. Akismet is pre-installed with each WordPress version and requires a (free for personal use) WordPress Api Key to get activated.
All in One SEO Pack – SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, meaning this plugin will optimize your WordPress site so you get noticed by search engines giving you a better chance of being found by others.
Google XML Sitemaps – a Sitemap is a list of all the pages on your website, including ones that may not normally be discovered by search engines. This plugin will automatically generate a Sitemap and submit it to the major search engines every time you edit or create a new post, so you don’t have to worry about it again.
Subscribe to Comments – once you have new readers, one of the most important things you can do is make sure they keep coming back to your site. The Subscribe to Comments plugin makes this easier by enabling those that have commented on a post to be notified of future comments and keep up with the discussion.
Shareaholic – if you want to make sure that your readers can easily share and save your articles, then you definitely need to look at Shareaholic. With just one click, your readers can share any post instantly to some of the most popular social sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Digg. Who knows? Your post might even turn viral, bringing hundreds or even thousands of new readers to your website!
Related Posts for WordPress – one of the main goals of any website is to keep readers there for as long as possible. If they run out of content that they find interesting, there is a very good chance that they will start to look elsewhere, away from your website. Related Posts for WordPress automatically displays a list of other pages on your site that are relevant to the current page, giving you a better chance of keeping readers around for longer.
These are only a few of more than 45.000 plugins that you can install to your site today. While this was a list of plugins that are useful and even essential for most WordPress sites, there are many other ones out there that will allow you to customize your own site virtually any way you want. They are so easy to install, so try a few plugins out today!