The Top 5 WordPress Plugins

The Top 5 WordPress Plugins:
Enhancing Your WordPress Site

Released in 2003, WordPress is a leading blog tool for both business and personal bloggers. For business bloggers, such as entrepreneurs, it is a particularly useful tool for promoting products and services to the masses. If you wish to customize your WordPress blog’s functionality, you can add plugins. Just note that, for WordPress, you can only install plugins in self-hosted WordPress sites. After choosing a  web host and sorting out your content, you can examine which added functions suit your needs. Below are the five best WordPress plugins to get you started.

1.  All in One SEO Pack
One of the best ways to reach your audience through the Internet is through Search Engine Optimization (SEO). The All in One SEO Pack enables you to automatically optimize your titles for search engines. Using this plugin, you can give your page a title, homepage description and related keywords. It will generate your metatags (HTML and XHTML) automatically, and you can set any meta descriptions and keywords as you see fit. If you are new to SEO, it’s very simple to install. Advanced users can customize anything they want as well. It is also useful for preventing duplicate content that might be on other WordPress blogs. It is backward-compatible with a lot of other plugins. One of the most useful features is that it has a built-in application programming interface (API), which enhances the SEO Pack’s functionality by letting other plugins and themes access it.

2.  Dagon Design Sitemap Generator
To make your site even more searchable, this plugin will create a site map for your WordPress blog. It has a dedicated options page in the WordPress admin panel. It is very customizable in that you can exclude certain categories, or pages, choose what to display and select the order in which to list your content. You can sort by post or page, show comment counts either after the post or after the pages and create permalinks for multiple site map pages. The thing to remember about permalinks, if you’re using them for more than one site map page, is to update the permalink structure whenever you change the page slug option. If you have an XML site map plugin in addition to this one, there’s a place for you to enter the path to the XML file, which will generate a link to it on your site map page.

3.  Akismet
As your site gains in popularity, spam becomes an inevitable side effect. This plugin is helpful for warding off these unsolicited comments. It checks your blog’s comments against the Akismet web service to determine whether or not they look like spam. Then the plugin filters these comments into your WordPress spam folder. It includes a dashboard that has a graph of the stats showing which comments are spam, missed spam, ham (real comments) and false positives (comments that Akismet thinks are spam, but that you can flag as legitimate). Akismet also has a “yummy pie” tab, which will show your ham vs. spam stats in a pie chart. Another feature is that moderators can look up the number of approved comments for any user.

4.  Network Publisher
Though there is a cost for this plugin, it could be worth the money if you are interested in publishing your content across many social networking sites. It is a quick and hassle-free way to keep your followers, fans and personal connections up to date. Network Publisher will automatically post your blogs to up to 30 of these platforms. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Yahoo, Google Buzz, Blogger, MySpace and the WordPress.com blog are among the networks that are currently supported by this plugin. Network Publisher also keeps track of weekly stats such as your total number of blog posts, Facebook comments and tweets. Additionally, you can view the publishing statuses of your blogs for each social networking site. This plugin can save you time and reach a bigger audience than ever before. It might help to generate so much traffic that you need to move your site to a dedicated server.

5.  WPtouch
With the increasing use of smart phones such as the iPhone, Google Android, Palm Pre and Blackberry Storm, it is becoming more important to have a site that is mobile-friendly. The WPtouch plugin lets you tweak your WordPress site’s appearance so that it is easily viewed by mobile users. Visitors can also switch between the site’s regular theme and the WPtouch view effortlessly. The best part is that you do not need to change any of your code. Ajax ensures that all of your text and graphics load quickly. With a theme that is similar to an iPhone app, WPtouch is user-friendly. If you want more options for themes, styles, colors and languages, then the WPtouch Pro might be a better choice.

About the Author:
Zac Kenni is a business developer and a senior writer from a trusted hosting reviews company.  Webhostingsearch.com , a leading provider of good quality webhosting reviews and web development resource. Lists and rates hosting services through a collaboration of thorough research and data analysis, performance and user feedback.