Plugins: Optimal WordPress Performance
In the last few years I have installed over one hundred WordPress websites for clients and for my own needs. Over this time I built a list of “must have” WordPress plugins that will greatly improve performance and usability of your WordPress website. It is important to know that in most cases less plugins means better performance so only install the ones you really need. In my opinion SEO Ultimate and W3 Total Cache are a must, all others are optional. It’s time to stop wasting your time, so let’s start with the list of the best WordPress Plugins.
This is the best plugin for SEO control of your WordPress Blog. It will turn a default WordPress installation (which has poor SEO) into a website where you have complete control over title tags, noindex, meta tags, slugs, canonical, autolinks, 404 errors, rich snippets, and more. Tools like Title Tag Rewriter, Meta Description Editor, Meta Keywords Editor, Meta Robot Tags Editor, Deeplink Juggernaut, etc. will make your website SEO friendly and will help you increase your position in Google SERP.
This is basicly a must have for all WordPress websites since it decreases average loading time by quite a bit. If you own a website that uses a lot of bandwidth, then this plugin will help you decrease it, which means you can have more visitors for the same bandwidth limit. This can eventually even save you some money on web hosting.
W3 Total Cache improves the user experience by improving your server performance, caching every aspect of your site and reducing the download times.
If you are adding content on regular basis then this plugin will help crawlers retrieve content of your site more efficiently. Plugin will generate XML sitemaps for various search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo and Ask.com). Crawlers of those browsers will be able to see complete structure of your site and will index it better.
Page loading time is an important factor of every decent website. It is not only crucial for your visitors (no one wants to browse a site that is loading for 10 seconds), but it can also affect your position in SERP since Google penalizes websites that have excessive loading time. Plugin uses the Minify engine to combine and compress JS and CSS files to improve page load time, and since every KB matters, be sure to use it.
The worse thing that can happen to your WordPress Blog is a corrupt database and you do not have a recent backup. All your hard work can be lost instantly. You can prevent that with WP DB Backup plugin that allows you to create on-demand backup of your WordPress databas. Better safe then sorry fits perfectly here.
Spam is a problem every blogger will encounter at some point. The more popular your website gets, the more spam it will receive. My first advice is, never have auto approve for comments turned on. Second advice is, install Akismet. It checks your comments against the Akismet web service to see if they look like spam or not and lets you review the spam it catches.
Importance of social networks is constantly increasing and every blogger should be aware of that. If you write a good article it can spread over the web with the speed of light, if you promote it the right way via Twitter, Facebook, Stumble Upon, LinkedIn, etc. Sociable will help you do just that. All social networks that matter are included and all you have to do is select the ones you want to use. It comes with a convenient drag & drop backend that will allow you to select and order sites in seconds.
Almost every website owner will come to a point when he needs a contact form of some sort. With the help of this plugin, contact form creation is a breeze. It has captcha and Akismet support which will help you fight the spammers.
One would think that default WordPress installation would already have this function, but unfortunately it doesn’t. It is a great feature since it helps your visitor with content that might be related to the post he is just reading. It is also helpful for every blogger since it will increase page views of your website. It provides multiple options to show the via tags related posts of a post.
This concludes our list of the best WordPress plugins that are in my opinion a must have for most WordPress Websites / Blogs. They will improve general performance of your website, decrease amount of spam and save you countless hours of work. All plugins are tested with WordPress versions 3.x. Enjoy using them.