WordPress is just so popular not because it’s free (sure, that’s one reason) but because it is so robust and has so much functionality. WordPress plugins allow you to do just about anything with your blog!
Below is a list of my 7 top WordPress plugins, what they do, and why you need them. While there are some plugins you need to pay for, all of these plugins are totally free.
1. Advertising Manager
Advertising Manager allows you to easily monetize your blog by placing contextual ads from different advertising networks. Some of these networks include Google AdSense, Yahoo!PN, adBrite and Commission Junction.
Spam comments are a BIG problem. The reason for this is because there are clever people that misuse their programming skills to come up with ways to spider the Internet for blogs and leave comments on them automatically.
One of my blogs gets over 50 spam comments every single day!
Having to wade through these spam comments in search for the good ones would be a huge waste of time. Fortunately, Akismet will automatically trash the spam comments for you.
3. All in One SEO Pack
If you could only have one plugin, this would be it. All in One SEO Pack helps you to make your blog SEO-friendly.
Why would you want to do that? The more the search engines (e.g. Google) like your blog, the better you’ll rank and the more free, targeted traffic you’ll get.
There are two types of links; dofollow and nofollow. Google will not credit nofollow backlinks when ranking a website.
WordPress comments links are, by default, set up as nofollow links. The DoFollow plugin changes the comments links attribute to dofollow thus encouraging more visitors to leave comments on your blog.
5. Facebook Like
The more you can integrate your blog with Facebook, the better. This plugin puts a Facebook ‘like’ button on every post and when visitors ‘like’ your posts, their Facebook friends will see it and you’ll get more, free traffic!
Facebook traffic can be very viral. This is a powerful plugin that you definitely want to have on your blog.
6. Google XML Sitemaps
This plugin auto-generates a sitemap for your blog and keeps it up to date. Google loves sitemaps.
7. Pretty Link Lite
If you need to shorten a long link (to make it look prettier) or if you have an affiliate link you want to hide, this is the plugin for you.