How many plugins are available to WordPress users?
A recent count put the number at nearly 40,000 plugins, most of them free. That places an astounding array of functionality at the fingertips of WordPress users.
But not all plugins are created equal. Some are of more universal value than others. And while value is in the eye of the user, the Huffington Post recently published their take on the top 5 free WordPress plugins:
#1: Pretty Link
Pretty Link helps you to “shrink, beautify, track, manage and share any URL on or off of your WordPress website.” It’s an elegant method of directing traffic to other sites as desired, or to other pages within your site.
Both free versions and paid versions of the Pretty Link plugin are available.
#2: Google Analytics
Google Analytics is an invaluable, free tool for measuring, tracking, and tweaking the performance of your website. And the Google Analytics plugin by Yoast makes it super simple to install GA on your WordPress site.
This free plugin will deliver all of the benefits of GA, and has been installed on more than one million sites. And if you want some help with making the most of Google Analytics, there’s also a premium version of this plugin available.
#3: WordPress SEO by Yoast
WordPress is a great content management platform for search engine optimization. But the Yoast plugin for SEO builds upon WordPress’ compatibility with SEO.
SEO is a constantly moving target. And staying in the good graces of the search engines requires great expertise – or the Yoast plugin. This plugin is typically updated several times per year to stay up-to-date with SEO best practices.
It’s bad news for a business website when most of the visitors are hit-and-run: they stop in for a brief visit and then flit away, never to return. But each visitor that arrives at your website represents an opportunity to cultivate a relationship, and eventually, a customer. The SumoMe plugin can help you to do that.
SumoMe offers great value both for e-commerce sites and for bloggers.
Tip of the Iceberg
With a field nearly 40,000 strong, there are certainly far more than 5 WordPress plugins that offer great value. And while the plugins listed above could be considered must-haves for most business sites, they represent only a tiny portion of a massive group of wonderfully useful plugins.
Not all plugins are great, of course. Many aren’t worth bothering with.
But a fun aspect of managing a WordPress site is browsing through all the plugins available. If there’s a job that needs doing on your WordPress site, odds are good that there’s a great plugin ready to go to work for you – for free.
Chris Delker is a freelance copywriter based in Dallas, Texas.