Top 10 WordPress Plugins
If you like Toptenz.net you can thank the wonderful content management system we use which makes this site possible. WordPress. You may know it better as a blogging software application which houses many of your favorite sites, or you may use it yourself to share your personal thoughts or even a few top 10 lists of your own.
One of the many reasons we like using WordPress is the ability to add functionality to your site through the addition of plugins. There are literally thousands of plugins to choose from, so making this list of only 10 is a bit adventerous and bound to get many differing opinions of which WordPress plugins are really in the top 19. In any case, we present a good starting point for most bloggers using WordPress who aren’t sure which plugins to choose.
10. WP FollowMe
WP FollowMe is a wordpress plugin that allows you to add a twitter “Follow me” badge on your wordpress blog. It’s a beautifully elegant way to add a Twitter badge to your site. You can customize virtually everything about the badge – the colors, the font, and even the Twitter icon. This is a very simple plugin and that is the beauty of it. It’s the best Twitter badge and gets the most click throughs from any Twitter badge we’ve found.
9. Wickett Twitter Widget
To help build up a following on Twitter, one thing you want to do is broadcast your tweets in as many ways as possible. The Wickett Twitter Widget is an awesomely simple way to get your most recent tweets on your WordPress site. It installs as a sidebar widget and you can specify the number of tweets to display and whether or not you want to hide “reply” tweets. There are several other Twitter related plugins, but this one makes the top ten list because of it simplicity and elegance. You go to a lot of trouble to find interesting links and comments and so it is great to be able to share your tweets on your blog.
8. WP Logic
Perhaps a tad technical, but well worth mentioning, the WP Logic plugin gives every widget an extra control field called “Widget logic” that lets you control the pages that the widget will appear on. Suppose you have a WordPress site that acts as both your main website as well as your blog and you only want to show your blog categories on your “posts” and not on your “pages” – it’s easy to do with this plugin. This is one of those plugins where your friends will be saying, “Wow! How did you do that?”
7. Page Mash
This is a simple WordPress page management plugin. The Ajax interface allows you to drag-and-drop the pages into the order you like, modify the page structure by dragging a page to become a child or parent and toggle the page to be hidden from output. You can also see the id of the page which is often helpful for theme developers. If you have a WordPress site with more than just a handful of pages, PageMash is extremely helpful.
6. All in One SEO Pack
The All in One SEO Pack plugin automatically optimizes your WordPress blog for Search Engine by allowing you to fine tune things like your page title and meta tags. This plugin is extremely easy to use as it works great straight out of the box. If you are an advanced user, you can customize virtually everything. And if you are a developer, this plugin has an API so your themes can access and extend the functionality of the plugin.
5. Google XML Sitemaps
Perhaps the most downloaded WordPress plugin, the Google XML Sitemaps plugin not only automatically creates a site map linking to all your pages and posts, it also notifies Google, Bing, Yahoo, and Ask.com when you make changes to you site. If you want to include pages that are part of your site but not part of you WordPress managed content, you can do that to./p>
4. WP Super Cache
If you have a popular WordPress website you should seriously consider running WordPress Super Cache to improve the performance of your website. If you are not caching your pages, then every time a visitor comes to your site, WordPress has to pull together various pieces of information out of a database to put your page together. If you have a high traffic site, this is can really become a problem. WP Super Cache will store a copy of each of the pages on your website so that after the page has been assembled from the database once, WordPress can rest and just keep serving the static html copy of the page. This might be a bit techie, but the idea is you can dramatically speed up your site and reduce the load on your server by using WP Super Cache. If for no other reason, use this plugin so you don’t have to panic when your friend says, “I just Dugg your site.”
3. NextGEN Image Gallery
If you want to display a photo gallery, show a series of product images, or just publish a slide show from your most recent vacation, the NextGEN image gallery is the plugin for you. NextGEN Gallery is a full integrated Image Gallery plugin for WordPress with a Flash slideshow option. Among the many features, NextGEN Gallery includes a thumbnail generator, sortable albums, and a water mark function. There are also plenty of add-ons as well including the NextGEN FlashViewer and NextGEN ImageFlow.
2. cformsII Form Plugin
If your looking for a free form management plugin, cformsII is an extremely powerful plugin for setting up contact forms on your WordPress site. You don’t need to know any PHP or write any code. You can visually build forms in the WordPress admin panel. Then, navigate to the page or post where you want to use the form and there is a button in the WYSIWYG editor that you click and up pops a list of forms that you have made. Simply click on the one you want and your form is inserted into your page. Update your page and you the form is live. You can specify required fields, default values, and there are plenty of styles to make your form blend in perfectly with your site.
1. Gravity Forms
If you want the best forms plugin WordPress has to offer, you need Gravity Forms. Gravity Forms is an amazing plugin for managing online forms. Some of the incredibly useful features include conditional form fields which means you can show or hide a field or entire sections of the form based on a value selected in another field. You can pre-populate form fields using querystring, shortcode, function or hooks.You can even schedule when forms are available by assigning a start date and end date for when your form is live on your site. Supposed you want to run a contest where the first 50 people that fill out the form win a prize. Gravity Forms lets you set a limit on the number of entries a form can receive. Pretty much anything you ever wanted a form to do, Gravity Forms can do it.
Written by Lee Blue, a WordPress plugin developer, who has written is own top plugin, PHPurchase. Looking to add a shopping cart to your WordPress site, try out the plugin – see details below.
Cart66 – WordPress Ecommerce Shopping Cart
Since this plugin can actually make you money, it get’s the #1 spot. Cart66 let’s you sell anything you want, digital products or physical products. It is incredibly simple to use and the support and documentation is great. There are screencast tutorials to help you get set up and if you run into any trouble, the developers are very responsive and often available via live chat. Cart66 stands out from the other ecommerce plugins because it let’s you use WordPress, and all of the other plugins on this list, to configure your online store exactly the way you want it. Cart66 is very easy to use and extremely flexible WordPress e-commerce shopping cart.
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