When I set up a new WordPress blog or website, which can be several times a week these days, there’s a short list of must have settings to configure, tweaks to make and plugins to install. Below are my top 3 ‘must have’ plugins for every WordPress install.
WordPress SEO by Joost de Valk
Although I think the out of the box Google-friendliness of WP is one of the great reasons to use it, the WordPress SEO plugin by Joost de Valk (aka Yoast) offers a huge range of excellent add-on features that naturally complement what WordPress offers.
The plugin is well documented both in the settings pages and on the official site, allowing even the most SEO-phobic webmaster to take advantage of Yoast’s experience with search engine optimisation to push their site ahead in the search engines.
Contact Form 7 by Takayuki Miyoshi
There are tons of contact form / form creator plugins available for WordPress, but Contact Form 7 is my go-to contact solution. The small feature set appeals to my minimalist, efficient side without compromising on the important things you need within a mail form. Importantly, it’s easy enough for anyone to generate the form they require without tinkering with code.
Google Analyticator by Ronald Heft
If you’re not running some sort of analytics on your website, you’re doing it wrong! My analytics package of choice is Google Analytics, and what better way to link it into your WordPress site than with a plugin that shows a graph of the last 30 days of visitors, a summary of site usage, the top pages, the top referrers, and the top searches all on your dashboard? Google Analyticator does all that and more.