7 Helpful WordPress Plugins

One of the reasons I made the switch to WordPress was all of the great plugins that are out there.  Almost any issue or problem you have – a WordPress plugin addresses them.

You do have to be careful, some plugins won’t play nicely with other plugins and/or your theme.  Luckily it only takes a second to deactivate any plugin that you use – so troubleshooting plugin problems is usually not a big problem.

If you have a wordpress blog, cms site or want to get one in the future – here is a look at a some plugins I love.

All in One SEO – This is a simple plugin that has a lot of great options.  I mainly use it to control my homepage title and post titles.  If you are a beginner, then you can simply install it and it will work right out of the box.  It will automatically optimize your titles and create your meta tags.  If you are an advanced user you can tweak it in a multitude of ways.

Contact Form 7 – This is a very simple plugin that addresses one need – it lets you create a professional looking contact us form and route it to whatever email address(es) you want.  You can have multiple forms if you need them as well.  The forms are completely customizable.  The contact forms you create support CAPTCHA and Akismet filtering.

Featured Content Gallery – There are a lot of image gallery plugins out there – but this is my favourite.  It is a fully customizable rotating image gallery that you can place anywhere.  You can choose the size, color and even the way the pictures rotate.  The thing I like most about it, is that each picture is a link to a different post.  If you want an example of how it works or how it looks, check out my homepage, you can’t miss it: The Man The Myth The Legend

Google Custom Search Plugin – I do not have this up and running on my site yet, but it will be a a part of my next site upgrade.  Here is the reality – WordPress search is a piece of garbage.  Quite simply it is shit.  Why not add a google search right to your page? Who does search better?  An added bonus to this is that you can monetize it – on the search results page your own adsense ads come up.

Google XML Sitemaps – This plugin creates a Google compliant XML sitemap of your log.  Every time you create or edit a post – the sitemap is automatically updated.  Better yet, all search engines that support sitemaps (Google, MSN, Yahoo included) are notified of the change.  Google especially loves sitemaps.

Shadowbox JS – I love this plugin – it is a really nice touch on a blog.  It simply presents your pictures in a unique way.  When you create a gallery you get a post or page of thumbnail pics.  If you have this plugin active, then the picture will pop up in middle of screen, while all around the pic will sort of be shadowed out. It is a cool feature – and will make people who don’t know how easy it is to go – “wow cool”.  Also when someone is checking out your pics, they never need to leave your site.  The plugin is as easy as activating it – nothing else needed.

WP-Cache – The best way for me to explain this is to copy the WordPress description: WP-Cache is an extremely efficient WordPress page caching system to make you site much faster and responsive. It works by caching Worpress pages and storing them in a static file for serving future requests directly from the file rather than loading and compiling the whole PHP code and the building the page from the database.  I have noticed a considerable drop in load times using this.

These are only 7 plugins I use – out of maybe 15. It seems like there is a plugin for everything you might possibly need.  If you have a Wordpres blog, I hope you are utilizing the power of plugins.

The Man The Myth The Legend



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