WordPress is one of the best website content management systems out there – and not just for blogs. What makes it work so well is the versatility it provides through plugins. Just browsing through the WordPress Extend database, you’ll find lots and lots of plugins out there that each change the functionality of your website in their own way. I’ve outlined the plugins I personally try to include in every website I develop. Obviously, you may not need all of these, but it’s a great place to start when you’re looking for great plugins.
The Absolutely Necessary
All In One SEO Pack – Search Engine Optimization is necessary to make sure your website ranks among the top results when somebody searches for something relating to your website. With All In One SEO Pack, you can take every aspect of maintaining strong SEO in your hands, by changing titles, keywords, meta tags, and other aspects of the site that can affect your ranking. Definitely one of the most popular WordPress plugins out there.
Also check out: HeadSpace, Google XML Sitemaps
Google Analytics for WordPress – It’s essential to track your website visitors, and Google Analytics is the best and easiest way to keep track of everything about your website’s population. The WordPress plugin makes it easy to implement the Analytics code and offers other options, such as not tracking when you’re logged in as the admin.
Also check out: Ultimate Google Analytics, StatsPress
Redirection – A must on every blog migration, Redirection is a simple manager of 301 redirects. Meaning, if you want one URL within your website to lead to a different page, it can take care of that. It also features a handy built-in 404 error monitor, and you can easily set up a redirect to take care of them.
Akismet – Included with WordPress by default and free to activate on non-commercial sites, Akismet stops spam from being posted in your WordPress comments. It’s definitely effective, head to their home page and you’ll see a running counter of how much spam they’ve stopped.
Simple Facebook Connect – Facebook is by far the most used social network on the web, why not add more usability to your website by connecting it with your WordPress? Add a “Like” button to your posts, allow people to comment with their Facebook identity, automatically publish posts to your Facebook account or fan page, and more. Definitely work checking out.
Also check out: SexyBookmarks
Simple Twitter Connect – Similar to above, this plugin allows you to add a Twitter “tweet” button, link to Twitter @names within posts, automatically tweet new posts, and even allows visitors to tweet comments that they post.
Also check out: TweetMeme Button
Subscribe to Comments – An effective way to bring visitors back to your website, this plugin allows commenters to opt-in to “subscribing,” which will send them an email with each reply to the post.
Also check out: Hikari Featured Comments, Greg’s Comment Length Limiter, Comment Relish
WP-Greet Box – Welcome a new visitor to your page by showing a special box that only appears to newbies. Take a few sentences to introduce them to the site or explain your services.
These are just some of the WordPress plugins out there that can make your website uniquely stand out, but these should get you started on your new website.