It’s an easy task to extend your website’s capabilities using free WordPress plugins; they can do virtually anything, from creating contact sheets to managing analytics. The trick is determining which ones will work for you and your website.
There is no set rule to choosing which ones to use. Different sites require different functions and applications. Here’s the breakdown of a few we use regularly.
The internet is plagued with spam and it can quickly clog your inbox and comments list. The go-to anti spam plugin, Akismet checks against the Akismet web service determining what comments and trackbacks on your site look like spam. Those that do are automatically shuffled into your spam folder. The stats information located in your Dashboard shows how much spam was filtered by Akismet. Spam is easily deleted with the click of the “empty spam” button.
WordPress SEO by Yoast
With an extensive feature set, it is considered by many as the best SEO plugin for WordPress. Some of the great things about WordPress SEO by Yoast:
- Titles and descriptions can be customized. Yoast offers many variables that can be configured so every page and post title is automatically SEO-friendly.
- Creates breadcrumbs. Google likes breadcrumbs and they are useful for navigation and linking.
- The ability to noindex subpages. This prevents pages with duplicate descriptions and titles, a huge bonus for SEO.
- Add data for Facebook open graphs, Google authorship and publisher tags, and Twitter cards. You can also turn off Google authorship tags for the homepage. This is a nice feature as authorship tags should be used for articles only.
Creating conversations and engaging your audience are keys to gaining leads and sales. One way to do this is to make it easy for site visitors to share your site on their social media channels. With the user friendly ShareThis plugin, you increase your site’s interaction, which is a key signal for Google search rankings. You can choose from small or large button sizes and numerous styles. You can opt to include counts – showing how many times a page has been tweeted or shared. With access to over 120 sharing channels, it has one of the largest selections of social sites, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Google+.
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