Open source blogging platform WordPress is one of the most popular blogging platforms worldwide, and it is what powers many, many websites as well. One of the reasons it is so successful and well-loved is that there are so many amazing plugins available.
There are a lot of plugins available, and there are so many that it can be hard to determine which plugins are ones that you need to try right now and which ones aren't worth the time it takes to read their descriptions. There are some like the All in One SEO pack that everyone has heard about, but there are some excellent ones that haven't gotten so much buzz. This list should hopefully help, as these are five great WordPress plugins that you should try right now.
1. Dagon Design's Site Map Generator
This is a super useful plugin because it quickly and easily generates a customizable sitemap for your web site or blog. You get to choose what links to display, comment counts, post dates and more. This makes your WordPress blog or website be more easily searchable both for actual people and for search engines. This means that this is a great plugin if you are thinking about SEO.
2. Jet Pack
If your WordPress blog or website is self-hosted, you pretty much need this plugin. Jet Pack gives your self-hosted blog a lot of great extra features including, but not limited to visitor statistics, a grammar and spelling checker, and social media sharing options. This plugin makes self-hosting even easier.
3. SEO Friendly Images
If you don't know very much about SEO, you need to know that having a search engine optimized blog or website is super important for you're the success and longevity of your pages, particularly if you have any hope of making money from them. This great plugin will update the images you upload with the proper ALT and TITLE attributes. The former gives and imaged description to search engines, letting your image pop up in search results, and the latter makes associated text visible when a visitor's mouse hovers over the images. Having your images be easily searched is reason enough to get this plugin.
4. Simple: Press
While forums aren't as big of a deal as they used to be, but they are still pretty darn popular. Depending on what your blog or website is about, a forum may be just the ticket to making your WordPress powered pages super successful. This plugin creates a forum and lets you customize it.
5. WP Greet Box
If you want your visitors to become loyal, visiting your site again and again, this is just the plugin for you! The Greet Box welcomes new visitors with a greeting to new visitors depending on the referring URL. If your new visitor comes from Digg, for example, you could ask them to Digg your post. New visitors coming through a search result or from no matching URLs might be encouraged to subscribe to your site's RSS feed.
This guest post is by Tim Edmonds, a freelance technical writer currently writing for DVD ripping software.