WordPress is arguably the most used CMS (Content Management System) online. It is partly due to its flexibility as a blog platform, and partly due to the large number of plugins and themes made by its large community of users.

However, this huge choice of plugins can easily confuse a new user. Therefore, for those of you who are unsure which plugins to use, here’s a list of the top 5 must use WordPress plugins:

1. Akismet – Akismet is pre-bundled when you install WordPress. It is made by the same company that makes WordPress. Akismet is a spam blocking plugin that works very efficiently to block out spam comments.

If you run a large blog, you really need this plugin. The amount of spam doing the rounds online is tremendous. If you were to moderate these comments one by one, you would have to spend hours maintaining your blog. Akismet makes the whole process automatic and saves you countless hours of effort.

2. All in One SEO – What good is a blog if no one reads it? With All in One SEO plugin, all your in-site SEO needs will be taken care of automatically. It will create meta tags, meta descriptions, etc. on its own. If you want your blog to be found by Google or other search engines, this is a must-have plugin.

3. Google XML Sitemaps – This plugin automatically creates a sitemap of your blog to aid Google’s spiders in indexing it. Sitemaps are just what you think they mean: a map of your site. They can make it much easier for Google to find and index your site, so this plugin is a must have, regardless of the size of your blog.

4. One Click Plugin Updater – If you’re like me, you probably hate to update your plugins one-by-one. Most plugins have several updates a month, and updating them can be a real pain. One Click Plugin Updater simplifies the whole process by giving you the option to update all your plugins with a single click. A huge timesaver if you find yourself using too many plugins.

5. WordPress Database Backup – You never know when some unfortunate accident may befall your blog. Once, one very large blog of mine got hacked and consequently, I lost my entire database. I didn’t have a backup database, so I had to create everything from scratch (something that took me over 100 hours). With WordPress Database Backup, you can get it to make automatic backups and mail it to you on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.

So there you have it: 5 plugins that are essential to any WordPress installation!

John’s latest blog is about grooms cake ideas. You can visit it at www.GroomsCake.org

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