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5 Best WordPress Plugins

5 Best WordPress Plugins

All database-driven website publishing software depends on plugins for features and often even functionality, so WordPress plugins are important - they determine what you can do with your blog or micro-cms. Here is our list of the vital five best WordPress plugins we couldn't do without:

Akismet anti-spam plugin

This incredibly effective anti-spam plugin is now included with WordPress and it's a tremendous boon. Very little gets past this effective spam block. You just need to enable the plugin, which you can do in the WP admin backend. You'll need an Akismet key though, which is simple to get when you know how. However it certainly isn't obvious how to get this, so here are the details you need. Go to:

...and sign up for a free account there. Once this is done, go to Personal Settings and near the top is a link to Akismet - the 'API key' is what you want. The serial number comes in your Akismet signup email. Note that this is the hosted blog site but you are not signing up for that, of course - just check the box that says 'No hosted blog please, just an account', and you can have the Akismet API key without the hosted blog.
You can now go directly to Akismet, you don't have to go through Wordpress. Go to: https://akismet.com/signup/ and create an account. Your API key will be emailed to you. It's free if that's what you choose (pull the $$ slider all the way to the left). The service is worth paying for though.
In your WP admin backend, enter the serial number in the box where the application asks you to enable the Akismet plugin. You're good to go.

If you want to try an alternative, the best one we know is the Mollom anti-spam plugin, which does the same job. In some circumstances it may be a better choice. It certainly works well on major CMS such as Drupal for example, and contributes in a big way to maintaining a spam-free Drupal site. Go here:
Mollom download

...and get the plugin. Then go to:
register for a Mollom account

...and get your Mollom free account, for an API key just as for the Akismet plugin. Enter it in the same way.

Platinum SEO Pack plugin

We have found that the best SEO plugin is the Platinum SEO Pack, which we find preferable to the All-in-one-SEO plugin. It's a matter of taste and preference of course, but the fact is that the Platinum plugin does more than the All-in-one plugin. Go here to get it:
Platinum SEO at WordPress.org

Once you've installed it (it doesn't need an API key or anything, it's all built-in), then enable the plugin as usual. Then go to Settings in the left column within the backend admin, scroll down, and set the configs as needed.

You will probably want to set up your metadata for each post, and this plugin allows you to do that in a very comprehensive fashion. It also fixes a bunch of other things like duplicate content and permalink issues.

What does permalink mean ?
This is a useful term that originated with blog apps, meaning the single canonical URL for a content item. It is the main (and preferably only) page address for an item or page. It is a way of eliminating the multiple page address issue that most database-driven website engines suffer from before they have a solution installed.

HTML extension for pages plugin

As we use a .html file extension on all pages, we need this, as WP fixes it for blog pages but not static pages.

Not sure what this is all about? OK - the view of many of us in the SEO business is that pages get better search results, are more accessible, and are likely to work better in most browsers on most operating systems, if they are clearly marked as pages, and of a known code type. However if a page has no file extension then a browser or visitor may not be sure exactly what they're looking at. In particular, a page may appear to be a category or directory, if it has no file extension.

Perhaps this may simply be a matter of taste - but it certainly does no harm, and we strongly believe that standards should be applied and kept to for all things related to website code. It doesn't hurt us to take this attitude and it also strongly relates to the quality aspect we emphasise so much. It's just - simply - the right way to do it. Go here to get the plugin:
HTML page extension plugin for WordPress

Trailing slash inserter plugin

If you use the HTML fileformat plugin as described above, then the logical thing to do is also make sure that directories and categories are represented correctly. This means they need a trailing slash, so they appear correctly as containers and not pages. Again, this is a matter of taste, but once more it relates to overall quality control and that's something we feel strongly about. Get the Smart Trailing Slash inserter plugin:

[rebuild the URL above as one line with no spaces]
Sorry, we can't find any link to a WordPress.org page for this plugin, or even on the author's website. As we don't link directly to a download file, the direct link above is broken deliberately, and you just need to rebuild the line.

DoFollow plugin

If you want to maximise your comment numbers, and give the best value you can to your valuable commenters, then you should remove the NoFollow attribute that WordPress automatically adds to all commenters' website links.

It's true that the nofollow protects you from dangerous or irrelevant links in the eyes of the search engines, but on the other hand if you can take the time to check out the links on WOT then the DoFollow plugin will help everyone. Since you're running the Akismet or Mollom anti-spam plugin then you shouldn't have too much trouble with bad links. Go here:
DoFollow WordPress plugin

As stated, it's probably best if you check out some or most of the resulting links with WOT. This is an online safe-surf site checking service, and you can get the plugin here:
Firefox plugin for WOT

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