Plugins are the life and soul of any WordPress site.
Imagine how awful WP would be without these tiny packages?
Just like any other blogger, I frequently install and remove plugins on the Writers Blog. But these nine free WordPress plugins have occupied their place since early days and they are not likely to go in the near future.
The rest of the post tells why I love these plugins and why you should also consider installing them!
1. WP Super Cache By Donncha O Caoimh
It’s by far the most important plugin.
It speeds up your blog MANY times by creating and storing static mirrors of your posts on the server. These static pages load in the browser more quickly as compared to a post full of dynamic content and scripts.
I was stuck when it came to choosing between WP Super Cache and W3 Total Cache.
W3 Total Cache gives you much more control and is more effective than SP Super Cache. But it’s a sheer pain in the neck to customize it.
Frankly speaking, initially I installed W3 Total Cache but quickly recognized it’s not for a technophobic like me.
2. WordPress SEO By Joost de Valk
I have used several paid SEO plugins for WP but this plugin is truly the best all-in-one, free SEO solution for bloggers.
It offers keyword suggestions, SEO titling, on-page content analysis, XML sitemaps and much more.
3. CommentLuv By Andy Bailey
This plugin is getting more popular with every passing day.
It rewards your commenters by automatically placing a backlink to their (usually the last) post at the end of the comment.
The premium version is much more powerful but the free one is good enough to attract commenters like magnet.
4. Dean’s Permalinks Migration By Dean Lee
What happens if you change the structure of your permalinks?
There will be countless 404s (Not Found Errors) and a steep decline in your PageRank.
Deans’ Permalinks Migration can be your saving grace as it safely changes your permalink structure without breaking the old links to your website.
5. Easy Popular Posts By Christopher Ross
It’s an extremely easy-to-use plugin that is showing you Top Articles in the sidebar.
6. Growmap Anti Spambot By Andy Bailey
I doubt if anything else attracts spammers like a WordPress blog.
I hate spammers.
But I hate Captcha even more!
It’s the annoying, almost unreadable code you have to enter when you are commenting on a blog. All you have to do is click a checkbox to confirm that you are not a bot – thanks to this plugin. On the flip side, it efficiently keeps the spambots (auto-commenting software) away.
Update July 19, 2012:
I’ve replaced Share This with Slick Social Share Buttons, because it offers more flexibility and added customization. The major reason to switch, however, was that the Slick Social Share Buttons encourages users to follow ME on Twitter whereas Share This would only ask them to follow the developer himself.
Furthermore, I updated my theme and don’t need Per Page Slide Bars as well as WP Threaded Comment anymore.
7. Per Page Sidebars By Brian Layman
The theme I am currently using, would only display the sidebar only on the homepage.
I had a headache for three days until I found this plugin that allows the creation and display of custom sidebars for each page and post on your site.
8. ShareThis By ShareThis
You will hardly find a blog without a social sharing option – my coder chose this one for me.
I don’t have any moan against it but the count of ‘tweets’ and ‘shares’ was reset to zero when this plugin replaced the previously installed social share plugin.
9. WordPress Thread Comment by *Some Chinese guy, I can’t figure out his name*
An easy means to keep the discussion in comments going on and on!
With the help of this plugin, users can reply to the comments. You can also choose to send the reply straight into the inbox of the commenter that may force him to return.
I am sure this list of free WordPress plugins will help you. Which plugins do you love the most – I would love to read it in comments.
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