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Top 5 WordPress Optimization Plugins You Don’t Want to Miss

Wordpress Plugins

With over 4,000 plugins, beginners can often get confused when trying to pick the best WordPress plugins. Some of the Built-in plug-in functionality includes (but is not limited to) the following: Google integration, Site stats (their version of Google Analytics), Akismet anti-spam, Social Media buttons for sharing content on Facebook, Twitter and other services. Galleries and carousel slideshows, Webmaster Tools, Import and Export functionality, Built-in security, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Eventbrite widget, Facebook Integration, Contact forms, Flickr widget, Tag Cloud, Music players and podcasting, Likes, Follow button, Twitter Timeline, and Upcoming Events via a Google Calendar. We have received a lot of questions about what’s the best plugin for WordPress SEO, Performance, Social Media, etc. So, here is a short list of some of the most popular free and some not so free plugins.

Yoast

Yoast SEO WordPress

Yoast SEO is the most comprehensive plugin that exists today for the WordPress.org users. It integrates everything from a snippet editor to a real time page analysis function that helps you optimize your page content, image titles, meta descriptions, XML sitemaps, and tons of optimization options in between. WordPress out of the box is already technically a very good platform for SEO, but that does not mean that you can’t improve it further! This plugin was written from the ground up, to improve your site’s SEO on all necessary aspects. While this Yoast SEO plugin goes further to take care of all the technical optimization, it first and foremost helps you write better content. Yoast SEO makes you choose a focus keyword when you’re writing your articles, and then it makes sure that you use that focus keyword everywhere. Premium Support for Yoast does not provide support for the Yoast SEO plugin on the WordPress.org forums. One on one email support is accessible for people who bought the Premium Yoast SEO plugin only. Note that the Premium SEO plugin also has several extra features so it might be well worth your investment! You also might want to check out the Local SEO, News SEO and Video SEO extensions to Yoast SEO, these of course come with support too.

Contact Form 7

Contact Form 7 WordPress

Contact Form 7 is capable of managing multiple contact forms, plus you can also customize the form and the mail contents adaptably with simple markup. It also supports Ajax-powered submitting, CAPTCHA, Akismet spam filtering and so on.

Contact Form 7 4.4 is scheduled to be released next month. Since Contact Form 7 doesn’t have any ‘paywall’ around it, anybody who wants it can get the source code for free. Also, third party developers have developed a lot of add-on plugins for Contact Form 7. This plugin, while not being hard to learn, does require a minimal knowledge of HTML and some other code. If you’d like to create more fields, it’s quite a bit of work to both create those fields and to make sure that the form sends all of its information to the right places. There are shortcode generators that can make this a lot easier, but if, for example, you want to disable the JavaScript or CSS of the plugin, you’ll need to know how to work with the wp-config, and other PHP files, which is not a beginner’s piece of cake.

Jetpack

Jetpack by WordPress

Jetpack is a fantastic and free plugin that brings tons of features from Automattic to your self-hosted WordPress site. Some features that only use to be once accessible to WordPress.com users can now be retrieved on self-hosted platforms thanks to Jetpack. It simplifies managing WordPress sites by giving you the visitor stats, security services, speeding up images, and to help you get more traffic. Jetpack tells you how many visits your site gets and helps you get more traffic with instruments like Related Posts, Publicize, Enhanced Distribution, and Sharing. Jetpack protects your site against unauthorized logins and brute force attacks. We also monitor your site for downtime and keep your plugins updated. Jetpack automatically enhances and speeds up images using the global WordPress.com content delivery network. This saves you hosting costs by reducing bandwidth. With Jetpack comes a centralized dashboard on WordPress.com. You can manage menus; publish posts, plugins, and view enhanced site stats for all of your sites. A few more things that users love, Jetpack has other features that help you customize your site with Custom CSS, Contact Forms, Galleries and Carousels, Subscriptions and Notifications, Configurable Widgets, and a lot more. They have an entire team of engineers ready to help you. Jetpack is open-source and is actively encourage community contributions.

W3 Total Cache

W3 Total Cache WordPress

The WordPress Performance Optimization (WPO) framework; designed to improve user experience and page speed. W3 Total cache is a Performance Optimization framework made for WordPress that is designed to improve user experience and page speed. It is suggested by many web-hosting providers, and used by countless major websites such as mashable.com as well as many others. W3TC greatly improves the user experience of your site by increasing web server performance by reducing website loading times, and providing content delivery network (CDN) integration. Some of the features are as follows:

Significant increase in overall site functioning, improved conversion rates and “site performance” which affect your site’s ranking on Google.com. It also includes browser caching and instant page view results. Optimized progressive render: pages start rendering faster. Reduced page load time: increased visitor time on site, visitors view more pages. Improved web server performance; sustain high traffic times. Up to 80% bandwidth savings via minify and HTTP compression of HTML, CSS, JavaScript and feeds. W3 Total Cache improves the user experience of your site by increasing server performance, reducing download times and also providing transparent content delivery network (CDN) integration.

NextGEN Gallery

NextGEN Gallery WordPress

NextGen Gallery is one of the most popular plugins of all time, with over 13 million downloads and the most popular WordPress gallery plugin ever. It delivers a powerful engine for uploading and managing galleries of images, with the capability to add/delete/rearrange/sort images, import meta data, batch upload, and edit thumbnails, group galleries into albums, and much more. It also offers two front-end display styles (slideshows and thumbnail galleries), both of which come with a wide assortment of options for lightbox effects, transitions, adjusting controls, style, size, timing, and more. WordPress gallery plugin offers powerful and various functions for getting images from your desktop to your website. You can easily upload batches of images with the standard WordPress-style uploader, or upload images with the zip file or FTP. NextGEN will instinctively import your images meta data.

With NextGen Gallery you can manage Galleries by:
Centralized gallery management. Enjoy a single location where you can see and manage all your galleries. Edit galleries, add or exclude images, adjust gallery title and description, reorder of images, resize thumbnails. Thumbnail Management. Turn thumbnail cropping off and on, customize how individual thumbnails are cropped, and bulk resize thumbnails across one or more galleries. Edit separate Images. Edit meta data and image tags, rotate images, and exclude images. Watermarks. Quickly add watermarks to galleries or batches of images. Albums. Create and organize collections of galleries, and display them in either compact or extended format.

You can also, display multiple Gallery types. Choose between two main display designs, slideshow and thumbnail, and allow visitors to toggle between the two, or display Image browser galleries and single images. Choose from a vast array of options for slideshows, including speed, slideshow size, transition style, image order, and optional navigation bar. Choose from a wide variety of options to customize thumbnail galleries, plus 5 different lightboxes for individual images, optional thumbnail cropping and editing, captions, thumbnail styles, and much more. Single Image Displays. Display and format single images. Work with shortcodes or option panels. All NextGEN Galleries with free and Pro, are fully responsive and optimized for both desktop and mobile devices. Especially nice on Masonry Galleries or the full screen responsive Pro Lightbox.

About the Author : William Sparkman

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