WordPress, created in 2003, has become the most popular content management system on the Internet with over 1 million actual users and influencing tens of millions. Many programmers, both amateur and professional, have augmented the power and usability of WordPress by creating plugins that enhance the user experience and make it easier on the blog or site owner to create and manage content.
Adding a WordPress plugin is easy and can yield great benefits. Plugins are unique in that they can be a great solution to a problem you’ve been actively trying to solve, or a “Why didn’t I think of that” tool to improve your website or blog without any programming knowledge necessary. Consider how you or your business could employ one of the 10 great WordPress plugins below:
1. WP Super Cache: A very fast caching engine for WordPress that produces static html files. WP Super Cache is a static caching plugin for WordPress that generates html files which are served directly by Apache without processing comparatively heavy PHP scripts. After an html file is generated your web server will serve that file instead of processing the comparatively heavier and more expensive WordPress PHP scripts. By using this plugin you will speed up your WordPress site significantly.
2. My Review Plugin: With My Review you’ll be able to add a ratings element to your site which allows visitors to rank anything from new products to poetry. You can even upload thumbnail images of what’s being rated; use a star, a letter grade or a pass/fail ranking system. Best of all, users can easily customize the formatting by modifying the template found in the plugin's directory.
3. Mobile Press: Mobile Press fully optimizes your site for access by mobile devices, which are easily outpacing desktops and even laptop computers as access points. Right now there are over 5.3 billion mobile users worldwide. Astoundingly, about 25% of Americans only access the web on their mobile devices. Mobile Press is also SEO enabled so you’ll build traffic no matter the access point.
4. WP Auctions: If it’s auctions you’re looking for, this plugin can help. WP Auctions allows you to set up an auction directly onto your website or blog. Privatize your auctions to allow only trusted bidders, set a reserve price, or create a “buy it now” feature. PHP Bay Pro also integrates existing EBay auction ads into WordPress.
5. Google XML: Just because your site has excellent video doesn’t mean it’s getting you more traffic. Google XMLmakes sure your video content is recognized and indexed by both Google and other search engines.
6. Styles with Shortcodes: This site features over 100 shortcodes that allow you to add fonts, highlighted elements, Facebook likes, Twitter buttons, and much more to your site without any coding knowledge! Styles with Shortcodeswill make your site more functional and professional looking with a simple click.
7. Simple Press: Do you want more feedback and greater discussion generated on your site or blog? Add a forum to your site quickly and easily using Simple:Press. You can choose the forum’s color and style, grant rankings for users, and even link your forum topics to blog posts.
8. Twitter Widget Pro: A better way to manage your site’s Twitter feed. If your site or blog has multiple contributors, each with their own Twitter account, Twitter Widget Pro can help keep things straight!
9. WPGeoTagger: This practical plugin allows you to embed maps, so your events and posts can literally point people in the direction they need to go! Best of all, WP GeoTagger is integrated with GoogleMaps.
10. Gravity Forms: Another super-practical plugin, Gravity Forms creates contact forms, order forms, contest forms, etc., all with your choice of template-based forms that are available for immediate use or completely customizable forms and fields. You can set a limit on the number of contest entries or the length of time certain forms should appear on your site.
WordPress Email Newsletter: Create informative newsletters for your business with WordPress Email Newsletter. Don’t let your email lists go to waste while you’re pursuing social media. This plugin makes it not only cheap, but easy to communicate with your email contacts as often as you like. These WordPress Plugins are a great start to exploring the over 15,000 plugins that have been created for WordPress. Enjoy!