As discussed in a previous article WordPress is a very powerful and functional system that goes way beyond just a blog tool and into the realms of a content management system. However out o f the box it lacks some features and functionality hence this article examines a further seven of the key plugins that you can add to your WordPress site to enhance its functionality. Plugins are very simple to add – simply go to your admin page, click on plugins then click add. The plugins outlined in this article can all be added to your site using this straightforward method. To find the actual plugins mentioned here simply type in the name of the plugin to the search box that appears after you have followed the simple steps listed above.
1) Smart 404
A 404 error occurs when someone visits a page on your site that no longer exists, in such circumstances a generic error page is displayed to the visitor. This page, under normal circumstances, does not match the design of the site, it does not give the user much information and it does not look professional. Smart 404 solves all of these problems by allowing you to configure a 440 page that fits with the site design , provides the user with information and generally looks at lot more professional than the generic 404 error page
2) Social Bookmarks
The Social Bookmarks plugin gives your visitors the ability to bookmark your site on a range of social bookmark sites without ever leaving your site. This useful functionality can help build long term traffic as these bookmarks may be followed by other social bookmark site users (the links are also good for search engine ranking). Highly configurable and produces nice graphic output
3) Twitter Tools
Twitter Tools automatically post excerpts of your blog posts to your twitter page (and your twitter tweets to your blog page if you so desire). Another fantastic way to build traffic and links to your site plus once it is configured it is a set and forget utility that just works in the background without any user intervention.
4) Twitter Tools –Bit.ly urls
An extension of the Twitter Tools plugin that adds the ability to post short URLs in the output of the twitter tools plugin. This is important as twitter only allows 140 characters per post so you do not want to use up the majority of these characters with a full domain name rather than the content of your blog post.
Works in a very similar way to the Twitter Tools described earlier except it post s to your Facebook pages. Another great way to build traffic and backlinks and all done automatically behind the scenes once it has been configured.
6) WordPress Mobile Pack
This plugin allows users who are accessing your WordPress site via a mobile site switch to a site design / layout that is optimised for such devices. It is more than just a plugin it is also a site layout. Useful for this blogs / sites that may have an audience that uses mobile devices extensively (and lets face it as technology advances this may be everyone !)
7) WP Super Popup
Some people may see this plugin as a bad thing as it generates popup messages for your site (it creates these popups as layer within the existing site design rather than separate windows that a popup killer would terminate). It is highly configurable and provides a really slick way of delivering popups if you decide that you want them on your site.