Some WordPress plugins you should know about

I’ve compiled a list of some great WordPress plugins that you should know about and have in your toolkit:

Security

Akismet – the ultimate spam blocker. Keep in mind this plugin is not free, but is a must have if you plan to include commenting on your blog. Akismet will save you from a lot of worry.

AntiSpam Bee – a free solution to Akismet. This plugin uses a honeypot method to counter spam and is very successful.

iThemes Security (formerly Better WP Security – this is one of the most recommended WP security plugins. It comes with great features such as forced SSL, bot detection, 404 detection (this feature also helps with SEO), away mode (ability to turn off the login feature completely), and more.

WordFence security – Another security plugin and a competitor to iThemes Security. I find this plugin easier to configure than the previous, but it is also bulkier. Recently this plugin has caught up with many of the features offered by iThemes Security, and more, such as the ability to monitor users, so it’s mostly down to personal preference between the two.

WordPress Backup to Dropbox – Pretty self explanatory. A nifty way to handle WP backups.

Limit Login Attempts – another self explanatory plugin. This will block users (or bots) from brute forcing your WordPress site. Keep in mind that this feature is included in the security plugins I mentioned earlier, so is not necessarily needed if you’ve chosen to use of them.

WordPress Importer – this plugin is the easiest way to import posts, comments, pages, attachments, etc. into your WordPress site. Along with WordPress Backup to Dropbox, these plugins make for a simple version control system.

SEO

Yoast – WordPress SEO – SEO is something that is difficult to get right, but it can make a huge difference to your WordPress’ popularity.

No Follow – this simple plugin adds the option to include the HTML nofollow rel tag to links on your site. This infographic helps explains how and when to use the nofollow tag.

Misc.

Google Analyticator – this plugin enables the use of Google Analytics (GA). It really is a must have plugin, as GA is invaluable to a developer looking to improve the popularity of their site.

Advanced Custom Fields – a powerful custom field editor.

Gravity Forms – the most versatile way to handle custom forms in WordPress. Great for creating contact forms.

Integrity – this isn’t a WordPress plugin, but is an alternative to one (the less plugins, the less bloated your site is). Integrity is an OS X app that will search your site for dead links. Xenu Link Sleuth is a Windows alternative

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