One of the key features that has made me a true believer in the WordPress is the incredible library of plugins available for the platform. Of course with a large selection also comes a great deal of confusion as to which plugins are the best fit for your site.
This was a hard list to come-up with but after using WordPress for five years I’ve done my best to come-up with the top ten WordPress plugins available in 2012. Every year new plugins hit the market but I still find that some of the originals remain as some of the best. Even if you’ve heard of half the plugins on this list or more, it’s that one plugin that can make all the difference so make sure to read through the entire list.
Okay, enough rambling from me, onto the plugins!
The 10 Best WordPress Plugins To Use In 2012
- Akismet – I can’t stand spam comments, they can really waste your time and become unmanageable very quickly. Akismet is hands-down the best plugin to eliminate comment spam. I have this in the #1 spot for a very good reason and this really is essential for every WordPress site out there.
- All In One SEO – this plugin has become the standard for SEO in WordPress. You can make just about every tweak you’d ever need to make in order to make your on-page optimizations the best that they can be. If you want your site to rank well this plugin should be at the top of your list.
- WP Super Cache – as you probably know by now, Google uses page load time as a key metric in their ranking algorithm. This nifty little plugin turns your dynamic pages into static HTML so that your site loads incredibly fast. If you think this plugin doesn’t apply to you, think again, it will dramatically decrease your page load time which means you’re likely to see an increase in ranking before you know it.
- Widget Context– you can use this nifty little plugin to pick which widgets will show-up on your sidebar on a per-page basis. This is a great way to make customized sidebars on a per-page basis.
- PopUp Domination – if you are building a newsletter or mailing list this plugin is the best way to grow your subscriber list. While you may find pop-ups annoying there is an overwhelming amount of data showing that these can help you dramatically grow your subscriber list.
- VaultPress – this is hands-down the best plugin to keep your WordPress blog backed-up and secure. I’ve been using VaultPress since they first released the plugin and the peace-of-mind it provides is well worth the nominal monthly fee.
- Secure WordPress – this plugin does exactly what it says, secures WordPress. By patching some of the basic security holes that WordPress has with a standard install you can instantly increase the security of your site. This really is a must-have plugin so if you don’t have it, go ahead and install it now.
- SEO Friendly Images – most people don’t realize the massive amount of traffic that Google Image Search gets. This plugin will add the alt and title tag to your images so you can start getting some image search traffic to your site.
- Yet Another Related Post Plugin – keep users engaged by showing them similar posts to the one they just read. This plugin alone can create a very nice increase in the amount of time the average visitor spends on your site.
- Jetpack – last, but certainly not least is Jetpack, a whole set of features packed-into one handy and free plugin developed by WordPress themselves. You can do things like track analytics, check grammar, and much more.
Please feel free to share your own favorite WordPress plugins in the comment section below. Comment and let your voice be heard!