In the world of self-hosted WordPress content management system websites, having the additional power and flexibility of these 5 plugins is the absolute, minimum requirements for anyone desiring successful online operations. By Brian Harris
Photo by albir
Assuming one has invested time, money, effort and energy into creating an online operation, it is safe to conclude they are looking for many successful returns on their investments. While there are a plethora of solutions for serving websites to the public, this article presupposes the content management system of choice was the widely popular WordPress self hosted application.
Even if the actual work at procuring a web hosting provider and the upload/setup of application files was done by someone else, having clearer understanding of what should be added to ones site install in order to maximize effectiveness is valuable. The following list sets out five of the more universally recognized WordPress plugins which should be a part of daily operations.
Without these add-ons, the site will of course operate in the manner prescribed, however, some of the extra functionality gained by the plugins will be missing. This, in turn, might make for less effective overall online operations. All of the plugins on this list are free for the taking, which means they are a click or two away for easy downloading. If the responsible party for the business website can be made aware of this list, the work at upgrading ones site is nearly done.
From the plugin repository site, “Akismet checks your comments against the Akismet web service to see if they look like spam or not and lets you review the spam it catches under your blog’s “Comments” admin screen.”
Without a good plugin for catching comment spam, the amount of legitimate user comments tend to get swallowed up by the blog spammers of the world.
“Automatically optimizes your WordPress blog for Search Engines (Search Engine Optimization).”
The All in one Pack provides a complete suite of search engine optimization tools that take advantage of WordPress’ built in optimized design. This one plugin has the power of several individually functioning extensions.
“Contact Form 7 can manage multiple contact forms, plus you can customize the form and the mail contents flexibly with simple markup. The form supports Ajax-powered submitting, CAPTCHA, Akismet spam filtering and so on.”
Nothing beats getting constant feedback from ones website. Use of Contact Form 7 allows the site operator to create complex inline forms which protect the business email address from being harvested by online spammers. Additionally, being able to authenticate a visitor via the use of computer generated text images provides for additional security in online communications.
“Track your WordPress site easily and with lots of metadata: views per author & category, automatic tracking of outbound clicks and pageviews.”
Every website owner should have a Google Analytics account. This plugin simply brings the information being collected by the search engine giant right into the administration area of the site’s WordPress install. Quick, easy, and informative one stop information acquisition.
“This plugin will generate a special XML sitemap which will help search engines to better index your blog.”
The name of the game is to get the pages of the website indexed by search engines like Google. The sitemap is simply a listing of all the pages within a website, associated with their respective web addresses. Plugins like this sitemap generator provide for instant, automated map making. Every time a new post is published the XML Sitemap adds the new title and URL to the existing XML file. Quick, easy, automated.