3 Essential WordPress Plugins You Cannot Do Without

There are thousands of plugins that are available for WordPress that can add all manner of functionality to WordPress.

That is why WordPress is such a wonderful content management system.

However there are three WordPress plugins that are installed in all new content sites I build.   These three remain my stalwart plugins and I would strongly suggest you consider them for your website.

WordPress SEO by Yoast



If you want your website to perform at its best in the organic search results you need to ensure that it is optimised as best as possible.

Some WordPress themes need a little tweaking to ensure that page titles, one of the most important on page elements for search engine optimisation are optimised for search.

The Yoast WordPress SEO plugin takes care of  this and does so much more.

Some of the plugins features include:

  1. Post titles and meta descriptions
  2. Robots Meta configuration
  3. Canonical
  4. Breadcrumbs
  5. Permalink clean up
  6. XML Sitemaps
  7. RSS enhancements
  8. Edit your robots.txt and .htaccess
  9. Clean up head section
  10. API Docs

You can read more about these features in detail at the Yoast WordPress SEO page

The most visible feature and one you will use the most is the ability to edit post titles and meta descriptions and have a visual preview of what your post will look like in the search results.

Post Title and Meta Description Edit Screen The benefit of  this is you can tweak the page title that is presented to google with the right keywords as well as writing a compelling meta description that is designed to capture the searchers attention and encourage them to click through to your content.

 AddThis Social Sharing Buttons & Follow Buttons




AddThis.com is a service that takes the standard set of social sharing buttons and follow buttons and attaches a set of analytics services to them.

There are two primary AddThis plugins that can be installed on your website.

AddThis FollowThe AddThis Follow Plugin allows you to generate followers for your social networks and track what pages are generating the most followers.

The AddThis Social Sharing Plugin allows your visitors to promote your content by sharing to 330 of the most popular social networking and bookmarking sites (like Facebook, Twitter, Digg, StumbleUpon and MySpace).

Social-Sharing-ButtonsWhat makes both of these plugins really valuable however is when they are connected to a free account with AddThis.com.

Registering for a free account and connecting your site will give you access to detailed analytics on how your visitors are sharing your content–which services they’re using for sharing, which content is shared the most, and more.

Sometimes you have to remind yourself that the service is free.


AuthorSure WordPress Plugin



If you are a content producer then you should ensure the long term success and visibility of your content in the Google search engine by implementing Google Authorship.

Google Authorship is a way of linking your content to your Google Plus profile which allows Google to know that you in fact were the original author of that content.  It also gives Google the ability to see how influential you are as a content creator.

Rich-SnippetThe most obvious manifestation of Google Authorship you may have seen are the search results with the authors picture appearing next to the search snippet.  This added visibility has been shown to increase  the click through rate from search results to website.

Eric Schmidt , the former CEO of Google recently admitted

Within search results, information tied to verified online profiles will be ranked higher than content without such verification, which will result in most users naturally clicking on the top (verified) results. The true cost of remaining anonymous, then, might be irrelevance.

So we know it’s important to add Google Authorship markup to your blog.

How do you do it and make sure it is done correctly?

Enter the AuthorSure plugin by Russell and Elizabeth Jamieson.

AuthorSure makes it easy to implement Google’s authorship markup on your WordPress site. All you need to do is download and install the plugin.

Key AuthorSure Features

  • AuthorSure works with both single and multiple author WordPress websites and blog
  • You get a choice of locations to place your rel=”author” markup
  • AuthorSure automatically inserts a rel=”me” back to the Google Profile page
  • Configures author archive pages with title, short or extended biography, and more.
  • Furthermore AuthorSure can add rel=”publisher” on the home page so the company or brand logo appears in Google Search results

The feature set is amazing and Russell the developer is open to feedback and suggestions on how to improve the plugins’ functionality.

If you are looking to properly implement authorship on your website then this is the plugin to install.

Photo Credit: whiteafrican via Compfight cc