Top 10 WordPress plug-ins for 2011
It’s a New Year and a good time to take the broom to your WordPress blog and see how you can improve it. A plug-in is a quick, simple way to help you increase the functionality of your blog, whether you want to increase the security of your blog, make it more search-engine friendly or to sell products online.
When revamping your WordPress blog, have a look at the following hot plug-ins:
Bad Behaviour is a plug-in that blocks link-spam and the bots used to deliver it. Its developers describe it as a ‘gate-keeper’ guarding against spam-hocking bots. Instead of just analysing the content of the spam, Bad Behaviour observes the delivery method as well as the software used by the spammer. This method means the plug-in can stop an attack even when it hasn’t encountered that particular spam before. Additional benefits include low site loads and cleaner site logs.
This plug-in records the IP address and timestamp of every failed login attempt by hackers trying to access your blog. If more than a set number of attempts are made from the same IP, the login function is disabled. Lockdown defaults to a one-hour lock out after three failed attempts within five minutes on an IP block, though admins can adjust this through the Options control panel.
WP security scan analyses your WordPress installation for security threats and suggests corrective actions to the user. It currently checks passwords, WordPress admin protection and security, your database security and file permissions, amongst other functions.
Very popular and extremely useful, the All-in-one SEO Pack optimises your WordPress installation for greater search engine visibility. If you’re a beginner, the default settings allow it to work straight away, but if you’re a more advanced user then the plug-in is fully customisable. Amongst other features, the pack offers optimised page titles, advanced canonical urls, automatically generated Meta tags and SEO integration for WordPress Commerce sites.
Another mainstay of the WordPress plug-in stable, Akismet checks the comments you receive against their web service to identify spam links. You can review the comments Akismet catches under the Comments admin section on your blog.
NextGEN is a fully integrated image gallery plug-in, which also features a slideshow option. You can take advantage of several popular effects in the plug-in, including Lightbox, Thickbox, Highslide and Shutter. The plug-in also gives you an AJAX-based thumbnail generator and support for image tags and meta data creation.
Social media is a great way to get your content read and spread across the net. Add To Any is a plug-in that places a share icon for each of your chosen social networks on each blog post you publish. Choose from over a hundred social networks and bookmarking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and StumbleUpon.
This plug-in generates and serves static html files instead of processing the heavier WordPress PHP scripts. This will decrease the load on your server, particularly useful for popular, high-traffic sites.
WP e-commerce is an easy to use plug-in that provides you with a fully featured shopping cart application allowing you to sell your products online. This application is ideal for artists, bands, clothing companies, booksellers or for selling CDs and DVDs.
This plug-in, once installed, creates an XML sitemap to help search engines see the complete structure of your blog and therefore index it better. The plug-in supports all types of WordPress-generated pages and custom URLs. Plus, when you create a post about new content, the plug-in notifies all the major search engines.
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