Important WordPress plugins for web designers in 2014

WordPress is being used by millions of websites out there because of its simplicity and user- friendliness. However, when you are designing a new WordPress site or thinking of making your current site even easier to manage, there are some essential plugins that you will need to get the work done.

I have tried to list them below (In no particular order of preference) but every blogger on WordPress should consider using them on their control panels!

1. Akismet

Bloggers and web masters need Akismet because it is the best plugin for moderating comments on the website or blog. This is how the system works; when users post comments on your website, they are filtered by Akismet web service which is configured to detect spam which it isolates under your blog's 'Comments' admin screen and lets you physically countercheck before you can take any action to delete or approve for the case of those which were flagged mistakenly.

The new features in Akismet 2.5 include:

  • A comment status history, so you can easily see which comments were caught or cleared by Akismet, and which were spammed or unspammed by a moderator
  • Links are highlighted in the comment body, to reveal hidden or misleading links
  • If your web host is unable to reach Akismet's servers, the plugin will automatically retry when your connection is back up
  • Moderators can see the number of approved comments for each user
  • Spam and Unspam reports now include more information, to help improve accuracy

2. Jetpack

Jetpack is a popular WordPress plugin that supercharges your self-hosted WordPress site with the awesome cloud power of WordPress.com.

Once you have the plugin installed, you will have access to Features such as:

  • Simple, concise stats with no additional load on your server.
  • Connect your site to popular social networks and automatically share new posts with your friends.
  • System that enables users to subscribe to your posts and comments and receive notifications via email.
  • Monitor and manage your site's activity with Notifications in your Toolbar and on WordPress.com.
  • A new comment system that has integrated social media login options.
  • Simple, Akismet-backed contact forms.
  • Publish posts to your blog directly from your personal email account.
  • Improve your spelling, style, and grammar with the After the Deadline proofreading service.
  • Gravatar Hovercards to Show a pop-up business card of your users' Gravatar profiles in comments.

Tiled Galleries to create elegant magazine-style mosaic layouts for your photos without using an external graphic editor.

3. Google XML Sitemaps

This plugin will generate a special XML sitemap which will help search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo and Ask.com to better index your blog. By using the sitemap, it becomes much easier for the web- crawlers to see the complete structure of your site and retrieve it more efficiently. To spice things up, it notifies the major search engines whenever a new post is updated on your site.

4. WordPress SEO by Yoast

This WordPress SEO plugin goes the extra mile to take care of all the technical optimization, to enhance the optimization of your WordPress site.

It will guide you to write better content by guiding you on how to choose a focus keyword when you're about to publish a new post.

It will also guide you to improve the frequency of your focus keyword by searching and indicating to you how many you have scattered in your post. Using a snippet preview you can determine how your post will look like in the search results, how long your title will be and how logical your meta description is in the context of a search result.

Of course there are plenty of other useful elements to this optimizer and you will do well to try it out and find out more.

5. Social Media Widget

Social Media Widget:- It is a simple sidebar widget that enables your website to be fully interactive with icons that enable your users to connect to you using social media.

All major social media sites are supported by the widget whose icons also come in several different sizes for you to choose from.

6. NextGEN Gallery

It is the most popular WordPress gallery plugin with reportedly over 6 million downloads and counting.

It provides a powerful engine for uploading and managing galleries of images, with the ability to batch upload, import meta data, add/delete/rearrange/sort images, edit thumbnails, group galleries into albums, and more.

WordPress gallery plugin is very handy when you want to attach images from your computer to your blog or website. Upload batches of images via a standard WordPress-style uploader has become much simpler with this new plugin. Other compressed files such as zip files can also be easily uploaded.

What is more you can see and manage all your galleries from a single location using WordPress gallery.

You can also add watermarks to batches or galleries of images and do plenty other editing and manipulation functions using this great plugin.

7. W3 Total Cache

It is a WordPress plugin designed for Performance Optimization. It is designed to improve users experience and reduce the amount of time a page takes to load.

By speeding up the process of loading pages for your site, W3 Total Cache improves the user experience. The designers purport that your server will be less engaged by improving the site's performance by at least 10x when fully configured.

When your page loads fast, you have the advantage of making your site rank highly on Google. It is also compatible with shared hosting, virtual private / dedicated servers and dedicated servers / clusters

Remember when your users are happy, you will be too. WordPress makes the work of designing websites easy and the above listed plugins will ensure that you have an even easier time.

Category: Web Development Viewing 1154 | Added in January 25, 2014

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