Top 5 Plugins for Getting Your WordPress Blog Started

by on 28/02/12 at 7:14 pm

WordPress is a very powerful and flexible blog/content management system, but the thousands of plugins really help to extend the basic functionality and exposure on social media. Here are 13 essential plugins that you should immediately install after finishing the WordPress installation.

1) Akismet – This one should be a no-brainer. Akismet uses their web service to check the comments on your blog to see if it looks like spam. The plugin is developed by the creators of WordPress, so it’s integrated nicely and is included in the WordPress install. All you need is a WordPress.com API key to get it up and running.

2) Google XML Sitemap – While the plugin is called “Google” XML Sitemaps, the automatically generated sitemap is actually also supported by Ask, MSN, and Yahoo. It’s nice to be able to customize a few settings and then never having to think about your xml sitemap again.

3) WP DB Backup – Backup your WordPress database on demand or schedule recurring backups. It is always good to have a backup plan in case anything goes wrong, so setup a recurring backup and be done with it. You may not ever need to use the backups, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.

4) Simple 301 Redirects –Simple 301 Redirects provides an easy method of redirecting requests to another page on your site or elsewhere on the web. It’s especially handy when you migrate a site to WordPress and can’t preserve your URL structure. By setting up 301 redirects from your old pages to your new pages, any incoming links will be seemlessly passed along, and their pagerank (or what-have-you) will be passed along with them.

Note: The format for requests is ‘/about.htm’ and the format for redirects is ‘http://www.domain.com/about/’ in order to emulate the way Apache handles 301 redirects and because while you can only accept requests to your site, you can redirect to anywhere.

5) Contact Form 7 – If you value simplicity and flexibility, Contact Form 7 is a great choice. It allows you to flexibly design the form and mail. You can manage multiple contact forms as well. In addition, it supports many features including AJAX submitting, CAPTCHA, Akismet spam filtering, file uploading, etc.

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