Have you checked out the more than 23,000 WordPress plugins available, designed to enhance your website? If not, then it’s like you’re sitting at a playground and refusing to play.
The plugin rules of use do advocate that you download on an as-needed basis. But who says you can’t explore? You might discover some amazing plugins that your website simply can’t live without.
Here are some of the best plugins to help your website perform, and give you some plugin playtime. You know you don’t want to be left out of the fun.
(If you’re a Web Savvy client, then your WordPress site came with a host of amazing plugins already. But don’t let that stop you from getting even more plugin pleasure.)
WordPress Plugins for Serious Fun
A security plugin that has firewall, anti-virus scanning, malicious URL scanning and live traffic. It can verify and repair your core, theme, and plugin files, even if you don’t have backups. Scans occur hourly instead of daily, has login security including checks for user and admin password strength, and a real-time view of all traffic.
Founder Mark Maunder is on top of his game in remedying any security holes, making the reliability top-notch. He claims complete transparency with his users (see comment on 6-26-12 on this blog), and seems thoroughly committed to Wordfence’s efficacy.
2. Bad Behavior
The good-guy counterpart that you want to be sure and add to your spam-preventative arsenal. This plugin stops the spam before it even gets through to your website doorstep.
Every time a user – or software system – requests a website URL, it has to greet the server. Bad Behavior intervenes at the doorstep, checking the details of the requesting device, and slams the door in the face of spamming intruders.
Great website stats tool for all computer newbs and those way up the scale. The site stats feature alone is worth a download of this plugin. You get a list of the sites that referred traffic (i.e. Facebook), search engine keyword terms used to find you, top posts and pages visited, and any links clicked on.
That’s not all. Other features include a Twitter widget that lets you display your Twitter feed, a shortcode embed for easy and safe embedding of media (i.e. YouTube, Flickr), an easy-to-insert contact form, and much more.
Comes with your WordPress installation as a standard plugin, checking your comments against their web service for spam look-alikes, and letting you review any spam caught red-handed in the “comments” admin screen.
In order to activate it, you need to enter an API key. There’s a handy link on the Akismet WordPress plugin page that will take you to the Akismet.com API key page, where you can enter your API key, if you haven’t already done so. All you need to do is register an account with WordPress.com, where your key can be obtained. (There are paid options to choose from for business accounts.)
Make your WordPress website mobile-device ready, even customizing different aspects of its appearance, without having to change any code. This plugin won’t affect your regular desktop appearance while it automatically transforms your theme for all popular browsing devices (iPhone, iPod touch, Android, BlackBerry, and more).
Viewers can even switch between the mobile-ready WPtouch screen and the regular theme. All the while, WPtouch actually helps your site to remain fast-loading by optimizing content for your mobile visitors.
While You’re Out Playing
Be sure to check out the source of any plugin you’re thinking about installing. Look for these key points:
- What is the most recent plugin update? It should have been recently updated to be compatible with the latest WordPress version.
- What is its rating? A good plugin will have at least 3.8 stars from the WordPress community.
- Are there any mentions of decreased performance or security issues?
- Is the plugin author’s website current? Is there support available?
Next week check back for more WordPress plugin fun.
Flickr photo courtesy of aturkus.