WordPress is very powerful software on its own, but there are also a wide range of different plugins available that extend the functionality even further. There are currently over 11,000 plugins available in the official WordPress plugin repository. It can be difficult to pick through all of them and find the ones you need. Luckily, I have compiled a list of the most popular WordPress plugins that WordPress users cannot seem to live without, in no particular order.
1. All In One SEO Pack — This plugin is invaluable if you are interested in making your website more visible on the web. It has an overwhelming amount of options available for advanced users, but at the same time, it works right out of the box for users who may not have much experience with Search Engine Optimization.
2. Askimet — Spam poses a huge problem on the Internet. It is pretty hard to avoid it, and you will undoubtedly receive spam on your website over time. Askimet takes care of the majority of spam without any help from the end-user. Having a high-traffic website that receives lots of comments makes it difficult to moderate all of them without investing a huge amount of your own time into it. Askimet takes care of this problem for you by automatically blocking comments that are spam-related.
3. Broken Link Checker — Over time, a website develops a large amount of outgoing links. It can be a monumental task to keep track of all of them and actively monitor them to see if they are still functional links. This plugin takes care of all of that for you, and notifies you when it has discovered a broken link.
4. Top Commentators Widget — Comments are great for a website, not only do they make your website appear more active to the visitor, but they also help provoke the search engine robots to crawl your site more frequently. This plugin encourages users to comment more often, it gives them a sense of reward by displaying their user-name on the front page if they are a frequent commenter.
5. Sociable — Social media can bring your website a great deal of traffic, and this plugin adds social networking links below each of your posts so that your readers have the option to bookmark each post that you create.
6. WordPress Related Posts — This will automatically generate a list of related posts at the end of each of your articles. This can prove useful for keeping visitors on your website for a longer period of time.
7. Google XML Sitemaps — Sitemaps helps search engine crawlers get a more accurate picture of your website. It will also help to allow the search engines to find your new posts and pages quickly as it automatically notifies them when your website has been updated with new content.
8. Advertising Manager — Monetizing your website with advertisements from many difference sources can become a challenging task. This plugin simplifies the process and recognizes most of the major advertising programs out there.
9. WP-Super Cache — Search engines take into account the speed at which your pages load when it comes to ranking your website. This plugin generates static HTML pages, which helps decrease load times significantly.
10. Gravatars — If you want to allow users to have a more personalized option when commenting on your website, then this plugin will fit in well. It allows users to use their own icon next to their user name when they comment on your posts. Many WordPress sites are now adopting this plugin, and it seems that it is only getting more popular as time goes on.