Since it is easy to develop websites within the WordPress CMS (content management system), more businesses that are web savvy are beginning to develop their own websites using the WordPress platform. A lot of the functionality of WordPress sites come from using various custom plugins which were designed for open source CMS. You will find below, 7 of the more popular plugins that are essential and simple to use which can be included in your WordPress installation.
Site SEO and Functionality
Contact Form 7
It is essential to have an easy way for users to contact you quickly which will help with website conversions. An extremely flexible yet simple plugin for this is the Contact Form 7 which will allow you to add contact forms on your website. It is one of the more common plugins for WordPress probably because it is so simple to use.
It is easy to customize its functionality by combining it with other plugins like HoneyPot or Akismet. However, some types of customization such as forwarding to a custom-made thank you page might require a bit of tweaking and likely some Googling. But, there is so much you can do with the CF7. When it comes to support, the developer of this plugin is really active in the support forums of WordPress, therefore, any issues you might encounter are addressed fairly quick.
Yoast’s WordPress SEO
One particular plugin that comes highly recommended is WordPress SEO by Yoast. It is actually among the plugins with complete SEO functionality out there. This plugin will allow you to perform just about any type of SEO function, even direct editing of robots.txt and .htaccess. Because of this, however, a lot of newer webmasters tend to get confused with some of the features.
The All in One SEO pack is better for newcomers. The All in One SEO pack is definitely a better fit for people who think Yoast’s SEO plugin is a bit too much. All in One offers the most basic and essential SEO functions in the WordPress admin, all on one page.
Today, spam commenting to blogs is very outdated as well as considered a black-hat SEO tactic. However, you will still find numerous spammers out there attempting this action.
The Akismet plugin will filter out a great deal of this comment spam from your website and puts them into a specific comment folder where you can come back later and review them manually. The worst spam is blocked and deleted through the Akismet Web plugin which frees disk space and keeps your website running efficiently. This plugin is included with any standard WordPress install.
Contact Form 7 HoneyPot
The Honeypot is a simple addition to the CF7 and offers your basic spam prevention functioning to any of your website forms you create using Contact Form 7. Although this plugin doesn’t prevent spam that is hand delivered, it is good at preventing spam detected through spam bots which use scripts for sending spam to contact forms. There are special fields added to your Contact Form 7 which users are unable to see, however the spam bots can. Should a spam bot fill out this invisible field and submit, the form submission is not validated and the message will not go through.
Backup & Security
Although you can’t hack proof a website 100%, this plugin is designed to help keep your website up-to-date as much as possible to prevent hackers from getting access. It performs deep, automated server-side scanning of your site ensuring that your site is free of malicious scripts and malware.
WP-DB-Backup or WP-DBManager
There are many reasons why you would want to create quick and easy backups of your website to your WordPress database. Although you can usually do this through your hosting panel, in some cases, this isn’t always an option.
Both the WP-DB-Backup and WP-DBManager plugin will enable you to back your website’s database up from inside the admin area of WordPress. Both plugins work efficiently and basically do the same thing, however they do function slightly different technically.
The WP-DBManager was created by Lester Chan, a long time, well-known WordPress plugin developer. He has over far more plugins displayed in the WPMU Top 100 list of plugins than any of the other developers. This plugin remains very maintained and active. The WP-DB-Backup plugin is another solid choice and has been updated over 2 years ago.
Last, for the move advanced webmasters, the InfiniteWP is a superb plugin for updating, managing and backing up various WordPress websites. It is a multi-functional plugin which provides both duplication and backup so it does tend to be a little confusing to webmasters with little experience. Still a very amazing plugin.