Don't worry this is not another one of those posts that talks about WordPress plugins that every body has heard before, or are already using.
I am talking about plugins like "All In One SEO Pack" , "Akismet", "Jet Pack", "Google XML Sitemaps", "WP-DBManager", "WP-PageNavi" that bloggers usually list in posts like this one.
The problem with most of these posts is that they include plugins that nearly everybody is already using, and therefore does not really add much value for the reader.
I have picked out the plugins that I believe are essential for any blog, but are not as commonly known as the plugins above. Now, obviously I can't guarantee that the readers have not heard of the following plugins, but I doubt many of them will know all of them – and therefore most people should get some value out of this information.
Here is my list of the seven essential, but relatively unknown plugins for WordPress.
1. Dean's FCKEditor For WordPress
Dean's FCKEditor for WordPress has a lot more features than the default WordPress editor. I could never go back to using the editor that WordPress gives you now.
It's features make creating content just as easy as using Microsoft Word, and is very easy to get used to. With this editor you do not need to know any HTML, and you can basically do anything that you want with ease.
In my opinion it is easily the best WordPress HTML editor to use, and it is worth at least giving it a go. You can play around with an online version at http://www.quackit.com/html/online-html-editor/
2. Improved Plugin Installation
If I had multiple plugins to install before, I used to do it one by one manually – and it really frustrated me. This was until I came across Improved Plugin Installation.
This plugin requires you to type in the exact names of the plugins that you want installed, one after another on separate lines (or you can use the plugin URL's if you know them).
Then with the hit of a button it automatically installs all of them for you.
Once you have made your list it is a good idea to copy that list in case you need to install these plugins again later. That way it is just a simple copy and paste operation for next time.
Other than site cloning, this is the easiest way to fill a new website with all the plugins it needs as quickly and easily as possible.
3. nrelate Related Content
I have always been a believer in giving people as much reason as possible to stay on your site, and visit another page that they may be interested in. I used to use the popular plugin "Yet Another Related Post" for this.
But that was until I was introduced to nrelate Related Content. If you scroll down to the bottom of this blog post, you will see some related content with links. In my opinion, I think it looks fantastic with a thumbnail image and the title underneath it.
It very customisable and you can choose from a few different options to suit your own personal preferences.
You are also able to choose between low, medium and high relevancy to the content of the post. The problem with choosing high relevancy is that it is based on the amount/type of content on your website, and unfortunately higher relevancy settings may return little or no posts.
4. Ozh' Admin Drop Down Menu
If you would prefer to have your WordPress dashboard menu displayed horizontally on top of the page, then look no further than Ozh' Admin Drop Down Menu.
Personally, I don't like how WordPress puts the menu vertically on the left side, because it makes the dashboard too squashed. This plugin solves that problem to perfection.
The menu bar is laid out neatly and is extremely easy to follow. The menu items are placed in the same areas as the default menu, only there are displayed horizontally instead. This is one of the first plugins that I install onto new sites.
5. Tweet old post
If you are creating valuable content that is timeless (or close to it), then you need to be using Tweet old post.
Tweet old post does exactly what the name says it does – tweet your old posts. It picks a random post at time intervals that you specify, and tweets it automatically. This is an awesome way to drive more traffic to your website using content that you have already created.
Obviously it will be a lot more successful if your content is useful and people get value out of it. But, if your posts are self centred spam, then it will have the reverse effect and turn people off.
If your site's content is based on current news, then obviously there is no point in using this plugin either.
If you want to take action to prevent people from copying and using your content, then WP-Protect is a must use.
If you try to right click on this page or select the text, you will notice that it is disabled – and therefore you can't copy the text or images on the page.
Now, I wouldn't go as far as saying that people will not find other ways to rip off your content – but this plugin will certainly make it a lot more difficult, and should put off the amateur content thieves out there.
As content publishers we should be taking as much action as possible to protect our content, and WP-Protect is definitely worth installing on your site.
7. WP Smush.it
If your website has a lot of images on it then WP Smush.it will reduce your image file sizes, and improve the general performance of your site.
Quite often large images will really slow down your page load time, and people will not bother sticking around because it is taking too long. Page load time is crucial for a site that is serious about keeping it readers, and for this reason it is imperative to install WP Smush.it.
Personally, I recommend that you install all of these plugins and see how you like them. If they do become annoying or if they are not compatible with other plugins on your site, then simply uninstall them. But, for me these seven plugins are worth their weight in gold, and would be worth paying money for.
You never know how plugins are going to synchronise with the the other existing plugins and the code on your website. But, if you do experience any problems then don't panic, simply work out which new plugin has caused the conflict and remove it.
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