Sanat Singha is a technical writer, an editor, a blogger and a web marketing consultant. Contact him at wsigmas@gmail.com

Are you using WordPress as a CMS for your blog? Do you want to integrate useful web-applications into it? You may hire a SEO guy or a web developer to continue the job.

But, is it worth investing so much if you can manage the same job for free?

Yes, you made a right guess. Having a WordPress-based site has several advantages. You can easily install WordPress plugins for free and avail all services that professionals will give you. The idea is to take help of automation, yet scientific and result-driven method.

wordpress plugins

The biggest advantage of using ready-made Plugins are that you

  1. Don’t have to pay a penny most of the times
  2. Don’t have to wait a long to see the results
  3. Don’t have to ask anyone to show you monthly reports
  4. Don’t have to monitor marketing performance
  5. Don’t have to spend on any valuable resource

There is nothing better than using ready-made plugins for a number of high-end and labour-intensive functionalities.

Today I will show you a list of WordPress plugins that will really come handy. You need not to be a techie to understand their features and usability. Just by following simple instructions you can do it all on your own.

A. For Search Engine Optimization benefits –

All in One SEO Pack – For Meta Title, description, keywords of your page

WordPress SEO by Yoast – For Meta Tags, XML sitemaps, breadcrumbs & much more

Google XML Sitemaps – For automated sitemap generation. The plugin system is supported by major search engines like Yahoo, Google, MSN, and Ask.com

B. For Data security purpose –

Akismet – For protection against comment spam. However you need to enter your API key which is a paid scheme. For personal blog, it will cost you $0 to $120 a year. For enterprise websites it is $50 per month.

WordPress Database Backup – This gives on-demand backup service for all your valuable WordPress data

C. For Blog statistics –

Google Analytics for WordPress – Now you can access to your Google analytics data just by copying the tracking code. You can easily download and track traffic movements for your WordPress blog. Isn’t it a time-saving tool?

WordPress.com Stats – You can track regular visits, post/page views, referrers, and number of clicks. However, this needs a WordPress.com API key to be activated.

D. For Blog security –

LoginLockdown – It records IP address and time stamp of every failed WordPress login attempt. If there are a certain number of illegal attempts within a short period of time from the same IP address, the login function will be disabled automatically for that user. Thus, the illegal user won’t be able to request for password recovery.

E. For Membership facilities –

WordPress eMember – It can turn your existing WordPress site into a membership site easily. Thus you can save good money from spending on WordPress developers.

F. For quick caching –

WP Super Cache – This is a static caching plugin that generates HTML files served directly by Apache. Now there is no need for processing heavy PHP scripts.

W3 Total Cache – This is the fastest and superior WordPress performance optimization plugin.

G. For RSS subscription –

FeedBurner FeedSmith – This will detect all your WordPress original feeds and redirects them to Feed Burner. Thus you can track your feed subscriber list.

Add to Any: Subscribe Button – This is the commonest and most-used plugin service for RSS feeds.

H. For Contact forms –

WP Contact form – Very popular and most-used plugin for new bloggers.

cforms –  Plugin for customized, flexible and powerful Ajax supporting Contact form

I. For Social Networking –

Sociable – This is an excellent pack of social media buttons. Facebook, Twitter, Linked IN, Delicious, Digg – Just think of any button you want to add in any form in your blog and blog feed.

Share This – Very useful plugin that support email and posting to social bookmarking sites.

J. For affiliate marketing –

WP Affiliate Platform – Right from affiliate recruitment, management and tracking to running your own affiliate program to getting your payment commission – everything is possible through this multipurpose plugin.  Enjoy driving affiliate campaigns for referred sales.  Have you tried it till now?

WordPress Affiliate Link Cloaker – This is a great tool to use. It will automatically convert certain keywords from your blog posts and pages into your affiliate links.

K. For e-commerce and payment gateways –

WordPress Simple Paypal Shopping Cart – Now you can sell products and services online just from a click on your WordPress hosted blog.  This plugin is a perfect WordPress shopping cart solution. By activating it you can sell e-products, digital books from any number of posts and pages.

WP Easy Paypal Payment Accept – This plugin accepts Paypal payment, donation for a service or product in just one click. You can place it in your blog sidebar and customize donation options.

WordPress eStore – This popular plugin can sell digital products securely.

There are many other WordPress plugins in great use. For example, No Self Pings, Exclude Pages, Simple Tags, WordPress Newsletter subscription etc.

Request to my readers –

If you know anymore handy plugins that you are using or you know others using it, please let me know. I will include them in this post. I hope you will help me to extend the current list. If you are a WordPress developer, I will be looking forward to your suggestions and new plugin developments.

Your valuable feedback is highly appreciated.