WordPress Plug-Ins: The Bare Essentials

This past weekend, I was a presenter at PodCamp Cincinnati. Many talented people in social media attended from the region, so I learned quite a few things myself. My favorite session was by Daniel J. Lewis, the event organizer, who gave a snappy session on essential WordPress plug-ins. I’m going to share a few recommendations from his session, as well as add a few of my own.

Must-have

  • Akismet. It should be installed for you, so don’t remove it. It blocks spam. If you don’t have it, add it.

Comment system

  • The WordPress default comment system isn’t bad, but you can do better. I currently use Disqus; after hearing Lewis’s presentation, I’m considering a switch to Intense Debate.

Social sharing

  • Social sharing plug-ins make it easy for people to tweet, “like,” or otherwise share your post on their preferred social network. I currently use AddThis, but after Lewis’s presentation, I may switch to ShareBar, which has more dynamic functionality.

Site speed

Mobile-friendly

  • According to Google Analytics, about 50% of my traffic comes from iPhone users. That means the site needs to be mobile friendly. WP Touch automates this. Once installed, it just works. Love.

Broken link checker

  • When links break on your site, it’s nice to know right away. I use Broken Link Checker to automatically scan my site every week. Through its interface, I can change URLs as needed, or remove the link entirely.

Social media widget

  • This plug-in allows me to easily build those appealing & visual sidebars that tell you where else I’m found online.
What WordPress plug-ins do you find indispensable? Share in the comments!

 

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