12 Must Have WordPress Plugins For 2012

12 Must Have WordPress Plugins For 2012

When setting up your WordPress blog, installing plugins means adding more functionality and features…making your website easier to use. WordPress Plugins come in several different categories, but the main idea is to help you get a good user experience and create a good website.

The number of plugins available is endless. You can search for any plugin at the WordPress plugin directory ranging from simple to very complex ones. The best part is that all of the plugins are free to use. All you need to do is a little research, download the plugin, then add it to your site

While it’s best to have as few plugins as possible to speed up the load time of your site, we had no problems running up to 20 plugins at one time (depending on blog requirements) on a regular shared server, but you will want to test the load time of your site after installing a plugin to make sure it is not adversely affecting your site’s performance.

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12 Must Have WordPress Plugins For 2012

We already highlighted the Best SEO Plugins for WordPress before, make sure you check that out if you missed it. This article will highlight 12 must have WordPress plugins for 2012: plugins that every blog or website owner should install. We’ve used all of them and highly recommend that you check each of them out. In no particular order, below is the collection of 12 must have WordPress plugins for 2012.

Akismet

Akismet is such an awesome plugin and very useful tool as your blog becomes popular. It’s great for stopping spam and works really well without having to annoy your commentors with unreadable CAPTCHAs. To use Akismet you need to sign up for an account first and obtain the API which will then insert at the WordPress plugin admin panel.

All In One SEO Pack

This is an incredibly valuable SEO plugin that still works today for SEO in 2012, and it is completely free. This plugin automatically creates meta-tags on each post and page, allowing you also to pre-establish any meta-titles or meta-tags you want included.

All In One SEO is one of the best plugins available and being use by millions. Even if you’re new to WordPress and know next to nothing about SEO or WordPress development, all you need to do is install, fill some details to set up as your site meta description, and this plugin will go to work.

HeadSpace2 WordPress SEO Made Simple

HeadSpace provides you with the features you need to drive your site to the top of search engine results. People spend way to much time working on SEO and too little time writing great content. This plugin let’s you put your focus back where it belongs. It takes care of all the SEO work that your blog will need. Using this SEO plugin is a little bit tricky, but if you take time to set up all the options and modules available, the SEO benefits will be noticeable.

WordPress SEO by Yoast

Another top SEO WordPress plugin available is WordPress SEO by Yoast. It is very easy to use and provides you with an SEO checklist while creating a post. That not all, WordPress SEO by Yoast also provide the ability to create a XML sitemap, edit robot.txt and you also can edit your .htaccess files using the WordPress SEO plugin panel (if you don’t know what that means…don’t worry about it now, it probably isn’t something you need at this point…but when you do, it’s there waiting for you).

But remember, there is no SEO plugin will bring your site on top of search engines..your content will!

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Redirection

Adding redirects in WordPress is, well, impossible if you don’t use any plugin. Redirection makes it possible and for that reason you need to install and use this plugin. Redirection is a WordPress plugin to manage 301 redirection, keep track of 404 errors, and generally tidy up any loose ends your site may have. This is particularly useful if you are migrating pages from an old website, or are changing the directory of your WordPress installation.

Changing or migrating web hosting can also create trouble sometimes. For example, if you use shared web hosting with company ABC before and would like to migrate and upgrade your site to a dedicated server maintained by InMotion hosting, then you can use this plugin to manage all the redirection and errors.

Contact Form 7

This is the best plugin to build your own contact page form. This plugin is completely configurable and easy to set up, and you can make any amount of forms you wish and send it to multiple users as well.

Google XML Sitemaps

Google XML Sitemaps automatically creates a new sitemap and submits it to major search engines every time you add a new page or post to your site. Install it, set it up, and you’re done. There is no need to tweak or modify it, just install and leave it there.

Important: Don’t forget to submit your XML sitemap to Google Webmaster after you build the sitemap. There are steps to do this from within the plugins admin panel in your WordPress dashboard.

CommentLuv

The idea of this plugin is to increase blog commenting and conversation by offering an easy way to give those readers a little something extra for commenting on your blog by pulling their most recent blog post from their RSS feed, and displaying it right below their comments.

Installing this will attract spammers out there for sure but the other times, these comments are insightful and delivered by peers who actually deserve a link back (as your readers will likely benefit from their knowledge).

WordPress Database Backups

What person wants to wake up one day and find that their server crashed and took all of your site content with it? WordPress Database Backups is a must–have plugin. You can use it download copies of your database manually, or set it to automatically email you a copy at whatever interval you’d like.

WP Minify

WP Minify is one of several plugins designed to speed up the loading of your site. It basically takes all of your CSS and JS files and removes all of the extra space and combines them into one file, making it both smaller to download and requires less HTTP requests.

Comment Reply Notification

When a reply is made to a comment the user has left on the blog, an e-mail shall be sent to the user to notify him of the reply. This will allow the users to follow-up the comment and expand the conversation if desired. One of the biggest challenges in growing a website is creating something that people want to come back to. With this plugin, if someone has left a comment, you now have an incentive to get them to come back!

Jetpack

Jetpack is a official Automattic WordPress Plugin. It includes several very handy features to improve your WordPress website – all of which are already found on WordPress.com websites. Jetpack adds several WordPress widgets to your WordPress website, many social sharing features, subscription options, stats, and valuable SEO metrics.

The Jetpack WordPress Plugin adds a great deal of features handy for just about any site. Thanks to the “Enhanced Distribution” feature to help notify search engines of new comment, there isn’t really a reason to not use Jetpack.

Your Favorites Plugins?

Share with us what is your favorites plugins are for 2012 using the comment section below.

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Comments

  1. ThemeDutch

    April 14, 2012

    We share almost the same list. My top 2 favorites will be Akismet and CommentLuv. We used to have a blog before in another blogging platform. We had to shut it down because we can no longer control the spam. Akismet sounds and looks simple, but it’s extremely powerful. I love the feeling of not letting those spammers get the most out of my blog and website. It’s like having the last laugh because you outsmarted them.

    As for CommentLuv, it’s a great way to share my new posts and letting other readers out there know what’s waiting for them if they’re going to click it. I’ve already talked to many who have found my blog or site through CommentLuv.

    • Admin

      April 16, 2012

      Thanks for the comments (and you’ve got some nice looking WordPress Themes there)! Great job!

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