wordpress plugin directoryThe WordPress Plugin Directory has exceeded 30,000 entries, and boasts widgets, links, social media bars, imaging options, and so much more. With a wealth of downloadable possibilities, how do you choose the right one for your WordPress site? Check the ratings, review the comments, or talk with a WordPress webmaster like Dalen Design. Looking for immediate insight? Here are Dalen Design’s top picks.

Akismet is the must-have plugin to present your blog from being overrun with spam comments. Akismet compares incoming comments against their repository, to determine if the data should be captured or cleared. Website moderators are able to spam and unspam as needed, thus helping to improve accuracy for all users of this plugin. Ranked as the number one plugin on the WordPress Plugin Directory, this title is well deserved.

WordPress SEO by Yoast
WordPress has its own integrated search engine optimization (SEO), and for many it provides sufficient feedback. However, if you are looking to improve your rankings, SEO by Yoast is the go-to plugin. By forcing content writers to focus on a keyword, articles and blog posts come across more cohesive and organized.

SEO by Yoast has also taken webmaster and developer comments to heart, by undertaking a large scale translation project. SEO goes global, as the plugin now supports English, French and Dutch. Over the coming months, Yoast plans on introducing 24 additional languages.

Contact Form 7
The Contact Form 7 tag line sums it up perfectly: Just another contact form plugin. Simple but flexible.
This plugin is ideal for webmasters who manage multiple contact forms on a single website. The contact form can be customized and multilingual, supports Ajax submitting, and offers security features from Akismet (see above) and CAPTCHA. Contact Form 7 is presently ranked number three on the WordPress Plugin Directory, with good reason.

WooCommerce eCommerce
Your WordPress site can be more than a content management system, and the WooCommerce eCommerce plugin can help you build a fully-fledged eStore. Fully customizable, with a smart dashboard, widgets and reporting, WooCommerce offers enterprise level features to a broad market. From sales monitoring to stock levels, statistical reporting and store performance metrics, WooCommerce delivers a quality plugin. Designed to work with default WordPress themes or WooCommerce themes, business owners of any size can now sell their wares online.

Google XML Sitemap
The Google XML Sitemap generator was designed to assist your website, pages, posts and custom URLs get indexed by search engines including Google, Yahoo, and Bing. When new data is posted, the plugin notifies various search engines. Crawlers can then efficiently review your sitemap, and update records accordingly. With 12.4 million downloads of the Google XML Sitemap at the end of March 2014, be assured this is one plugin worthy of consideration.

The WordPress Plugin Directory is ever-expanding. If you are looking for ways to improve your SEO, connect with clients on social media, or develop a web store, be sure to investigate the plugins. Should you find yourself struggling to narrow down the selection or need assistance with implementation, Dalen Design is only a call or email away.

wordpress plugin directoryDalen Design: Helping clients in Ottawa, Ontario, and across Canada define their online vision and communications.