This blog post is about my experience with using WordPress plugins. WordPress is an excellent blogging platform that is used by millions. It has an enormous number of plugins that are maintained by people all over the world. You can find a WordPress plugin for just about any function you can imagine. WordPress has evolved from a blogging platform to an application platform, content management system and more. Plugins such as Buddypress can transform your WordPress into a full featured online social community or even company intranet.
I found the following WordPress plugins useful:
This is an excellent plugin that keeps your WordPress secure. With increase in popularity, WordPress has become the target of hackers and bots. There are several viruses that target WordPress core and WordPress plugins.
Wordfence scans your WordPress files and emails you if it finds a suspicious file. WordFence compares the WordPress files with the ones from wordpress.org. If it sees a changed file, it sends a notification email. It also emails you when someone logs in to your WordPress site.
Wordfence also sends newsletters to its users by email. These contain important security related information for WordPress such as new WordPress viruses. One of their newsletters that I found interesting is titled "WordPress Security: Nulled Scripts and the CryptoPHP Infection". I recently had to recover a hacked WordPress website and found "How to Clean a Hacked WordPress Site using Wordfence", from Wordfence very useful.
This is an excellent plugin that can help you boost your rankings on search engines. It lets you specify the meta keywords and description for each blog post. This allows you to set the blog information that would appear on search engines like Google.
This plugin collects and displays statistics about your blog posts, such as the number of visitors, duration of visits, number of page views etc. There are other analytic plugins for WordPress but I found this one quite useful since it integrates well with WordPress. It provides a nice dashboard from where you can view detailed statistics about your website visitors. One drawback of this plugin is that it can slow down your website.
This is a useful plugin for high lighting source code. If you are a developer like me and want to share code snippets then you will find this plugin useful. It displays your code in a nice highlighted box. You can change the style of the box. The plugin supports around 15 programming languages.
Shareaholic | share buttons, analytics, related content
This plugin allows you to add share buttons on your blog articles. It allows your site visitors to share your content over different social networks. It currently supports several social networks including Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin and Pinterest. It even shows you how many users shared a particular blog.
Google XML Sitemaps
This plugin allows you to submit your blog posts to Google, Bing, Yahoo and other search engines. It does this by automatically generating sitemap files. It also automatically informs search engines in case blog posts change.
This plugin replaces the next/previous links on your blog with automatic scrolling. When the user reaches the end of the page, the next set of blog posts are automatically displayed. The user can view all your blog posts on one page.
NextGEN Gallery by Photocrati
This plugin allows you to embed photo galleries inside your blog posts. It allows fine grained control over gallery style. It also allows setting meta information for gallery images.
NextScripts: Social Networks Auto-Poster
This plugin allows you to submit your WordPress blog post to a large number of social networks. e.g Twitter, Linkedin and Facebook. The plugin has excellent documentation on how to connect social network accounts to your WordPress blog. It also gives a lot of options for posting to social networks. e.g you can choose to include images in your twitter posts.
WordPress has thousands of plugins. You can find several plugins that perform a required functions. e.g there are dozens of plugins for sharing on socials networks. Finding the right plugin for the job usually involves trial and error. You may have to try out several plugins before finding the one that best matches your requirements.