Reviews of top 10 wordpress plugins

October 13, 2011 · 27 comments

by Lars

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WordPress is one of the most popular and beloved CMS’s and it is hardly surprising that there are thousands of plugins for it. While it is an exaggeration to say that all these plugins are great, many of them are. In that aspect, creating any Top 5, Top 10, or Top N lists of WordPress plugins is a very difficult task because there is no way to include all great WordPress plugins.

Additionally, no matter how great a plugin is, different blogs and different webmasters have different needs and as a result, their personal Top 10s are different. Still, there are some plugins, which are more or less universal and can be used on any type of blog. Also in order to build a good looking site or blog you will need a theme. There are many options that are niche specific for example I think a wordpress photo theme can be great for creative people building an online portfolio. Also you can try out a wordpress theme generator as a good one will give you more power yourself over the look and feel of your site. Having the best wordpress plugins installed is your way to a powerful website.


ElegantThemes
ThemeForest

AdvertisementHere are short reviews of some of these universal plugins:

  1. All In One SEO Pack. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is too important to be neglected. While WordPress is by default SEO-friendly (or at least much more SEO-friendlier than those CMS that come with dynamic URLs by default), there is a lot you can do to improve it. All In One SEO Pack is one of the best SEO plugins ever and if you don’t have it yet, you do need to get it.
    All In One SEO Pack is a really comprehensive plugin. In fact, its functionalities are so numerous that even stand-alone SEO applications can’t compete. All In One SEO Pack allows you to take control of titles, descriptions, keywords, and duplicate content on your blog – virtually all the important stuff to rank well with search engines.
  2. Akismet. Akismet is another vital WordPress plugin. It is so vital, that it is one of the few plugins included in the default WordPress installation. Akismet is a noble plugin – it is your antispam guard. If your comments are enabled, you can’t do without Akismet. Akismet is smart and it is very precise in filtering spam from legitimate comments. Akismet is free for personal use and the commercial version is affordable, too.

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  3. Adsense Injection. Adsense Injection might not be on a typical Top 10 WordPress plugins list but it is a really valuable one. It is true that there are many Adsense plugins for WordPress and they are great but what makes Adsense Injection really cute is the fact that you can put Adsense ads in random places in your posts.
    Usually ads are placed in static places and soon users become ad blind. Adsense Injection helps to overcome this because it places Adsense ads in different places – i.e. before the first paragraph, after the first paragraph, after the 2nd, 3rd, or any other paragraph. This means that every time you load the page, Adsense ads are in a different place, which increases the chance to be noticed.

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  4. Advertising Mgr. Advertising Mgr (Manager) is another must-have plugin for WordPress. Many webmasters use it for Adsense only but it can be used for many ad networks as well. If you monetize your site with various ad networks, you will appreciate how cute this plugin is. Advertising manager can be used on a sidebar or inline posts.
  5. Most Popular Posts. There are a couple of WordPress plugins, which offer lists of your most popular posts. However, unlike this one, some of the other plugins don’t offer a lot of customization. For instance, not all WordPress plugins for popular posts allow to define how many posts to include in the list. Others don’t allow to include or exclude posts with/without comments or posts from particular categories. With this plugin, you can choose the number of posts, whether to show the number of comments per post, whether to include zero comment posts, etc. You can also choose posts from which categories to include/exclude from the list of most popular posts.

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  6. WordPress Backup. While the other plugins in the list are vital or at least very useful, this one is a life-saver. This plugin allows to backup your WordPress contents – i.e. uploads. It doesn’t backup your WordPress database, though, so you still need to do it separately. Anyway, when you have a current backup of your WordPress database, the backup this plugin performs on contents, comes very handy, if you need to recreate your blog from scratch.
  7. Sociable. Social bookmarking sites and social networks are vital for a blogger. If you want your content to become popular, you need to give your users the opportunity to share posts easily. The list of social bookmarking sites and social networks this plugin includes is hardly very impressive but since it includes many of the major ones and it doesn’t clutter your interface, it makes sense to install it on your site.

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  8. External Links. Hyperlinks are what makes the Web so exciting but when users click a hyperlink to an external site and leave yours, you might not feel very happy about it. The solution is to open external links in a new window. However, if you have many posts with many links, it might take you ages to make all the links open in a new window. Here is where this plugin comes to help you – it allows to make at once all external links open in a new window. You can also set a “nofollow” attribute for all external links.
  9. NextGEN Gallery. NextGEN Gallery is one really cute image gallery plugin. It uses jQuery and even though some of its most advanced features haven’t been implemented yet, it is still one of the best image gallery plugins you can get for WordPress. You can even watermark your images and this way make them less attractive to image thieves.

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  10. Zemanta. Zemanta is a relatively new tool and unlike the other plugins in the list, it hasn’t been developed especially for WordPress. Zemanta is a blogging tool, which allows to add links to related articles all over the web and to display free photos from Flickr and other sites. You can also include your blog in the list of sites and have other bloggers link to your articles. Once you try Zemanta, you will see how much it helps in driving traffic to your site.
    Zemanta is offered as a browser extension, or as a server-side plugin and one of the CMS it is offered for is WordPress.

This list of great WordPress plugins can easily be turned into a Top 100 because there are so many and so great WordPress plugins. Some of the plugins we discussed might be familiar to you, while others mean nothing but what all these plugins have in common is that they are very useful and that they allow to make your WordPress blog a really outstanding one.

The post has been done by Eva of web hosting search – a guide for users in finding the right web host on the net. Also some of the wordpress hosting services for your blog has been reviewed and listed in them. Optimize your search engine ranking easily with Traffic Travis and the little known loopehole technique.

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Hobert Smothers October 12, 2010 at 7:53 am

Thanks for the great variety with plugins, i have some favourites to, such as the all known “All IN SEO “as well as the easy privacy policy and also SEO friendly images (got some good results with it)and last but not least pretty links (great for cloacking) affiliate links…

Reply

Liongress February 18, 2010 at 7:10 pm

Hi, I found another cool flash photo galleries plugin for WordPress. Named GRAND Flash Album Gallery – multi category flash skin based photo gallery with powerful admin. I used it in my blog. There are so many different settings. You can adjust the color scheme for your blog as you wish. There are many different skins. You can present your photo gallery in a wonderful way, there is a full-screen mode. This is a very cool plugin.

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Mediajon February 4, 2010 at 7:36 am

Can you write an article about contact form plugins

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tripwiremag February 4, 2010 at 7:42 am

@Mesiajon, Thanks for your input. I’ll look into this as an possible theme for a futire post

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M.Craciun January 25, 2010 at 3:53 pm

Thanks 😉 !

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Florida SEO December 19, 2009 at 7:53 pm

I would like to recommend the Platinum SEO Pack, it has more useful options than the all in one seo pack. There are more nofollow selections, additional post, page and home headers, you can nofollow all of the outgoing links on just the front page, you can add the noydir meta tag, the noodp meta tag, you can use the option for noindex on sub pages and my favorite option of all is all of the options that it gives you on each individual post and page of your wordpress blog.

Those are just a few of the things that I can think of off the top of my head. The fact of the matter is that I have used both and have found that I am in greater control of my websites on-page seo than when I was using the All in One SEO Pack.

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Wes Goodhoofd November 21, 2009 at 10:57 pm

Wow, thanks for reviewing my plugin! I thoroughly enjoy hearing about users who use plugins I make, and really value their opinion. In fact, today I released a new version of Most Popular Posts based on feedback. Thanks again!

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Smashing Buzz October 28, 2009 at 8:27 am

helping review. thanks

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Al October 27, 2009 at 9:25 am

I love top 10 lists, thanks.

I am interested by the adsense injection especially and did not know what is was for.

Al

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designfollow October 27, 2009 at 9:11 am

thanks for this great opost

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