I'm just now jumping on the Wordpress bandwagon and am starting to convert many of my sites to Wordpress. Now that I've decided to use this platform, I needed to determine which plug-ins were most essential to my site's success. If you don't carefully select your plug-ins, you can accidentally subject your site to some virus or malware and have to spend many, many hours troubleshooting the problem.

Over the last several years, a multitude of plug-ins have been developed, which adds extra flexibility to tweak the capabilities of your Wordpress blog. Because there are thousands of plug-ins out there, it's difficult for newbies to figure out which ones are essential.

These 13 Wordpress plug-ins seem to come the most highly recommended:

1. Akismet: (link to http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/akismet/ ) Helps you deal with comment and trackback spam. One of my sites was inundated with these fake messages until I installed the Askimet plug-in. Akismet checks comments and trackbacks against the Akismet Web service to see if they look like spam. If they appear to be bogus, they're automatically moved to your WordPress installation's
spam folder and you don't have to see them at all.

2. All in One SEO Pack: (link to http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/all-in-one-seo-pack/ ) Lets you get your blogsite SEO-ready. You can give your page an SEO-friendly title (which shows up at the top of a Web browser), homepage description (which appears beneath your URL when people search for it via Google or other engine), and keywords related to your topic.

3. Broken Link Checker: (link to http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/broken-link-checker/ ) Goes through all of your blog's comments to determine if you have any broken links. You don't have to return to edit each individual post to remove or edit the broken link, as this plug-in permits you to take action right from its report.

4. Disqus Comment System: (link to http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/disqus-comment-system/ ) Replaces your Wordpress comment system with your comments hosted and powered by Disqus. I like the fact that Disqus makes commenting easier and more interactive because it connects web sites and commenters across communities.

5. Ultimate Google Analytics: (link to http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/ultimate-google-analytics/ ) Adds JavaScript to each page (without making any changes to your template) so that you can use your Google Analytics account to
track outbound links, downloads from your own site, and more without requiring you to install the code manually.

6. Google XML Sitemaps:(link to http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/google-sitemap-generator/ ) Generate a special XML sitemap which will help search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo and Ask.com to better index your blog. A sitemap makes it much easier for the crawlers to see the complete structure of your site and retrieve it more efficiently. And, it notifies all major search engines every time you create a post about the new content.

7. ShareThis: (link to http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/share-this/ ) Enables sharing across social networks and email. This plug-in makes it simple to share a post by clicking the "ShareThis" icon.

8. WP-DB-Backup: (links to http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/wp-db-backup/ ) Backs up all of your files to either your server, desktop, or inbox once you select the frequency (hourly, twice daily, once daily, or weekly). The speed with which your file is restored depends on the amount of content that's been backed up.

9. WP-Sticky: (link to http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/wp-sticky/ ) Enables you to make a blog post "sticky," or featured as the top post in your blog.

10. SEO Friendly Images: (link to http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/seo-image/ ) Lets you give your uploaded images the proper ALT and TITLE attributes to help with your SEO efforts. This feature provides an image description to search engines and helps create a match when someone makes a search query.

11. SEO Smart Links: (link to http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/seo-automatic-links/ ) Lets you automatically link keywords and phrases in your posts and comments with corresponding posts, pages, categories and tags already on your site. After installation, simply enter the keywords you use the most often and the links or associated articles with which you want to associate to them.

12. WP Super Cache: (link to http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/wp-super-cache/ ) Makes your pages load way very quickly. Second, since it stores static versions of your site, it requires much less CPU processing than using WordPress all by itself.

13. WordPress Related Posts: (link to http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/wordpress-23-related-posts-plugin/ ) Helps you recommend related posts on the same or similar topic to your readers.

All of these plug-ins are available for download from the Wordpress Plug-in Directory. (link to http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/ ) If you're getting started on converting to Wordpress, add these plug-ins to your site. Your blogsite will thank you!

Author's Bio: 

Internet Marketing Automation Coach Donna Gunter helps independent service professionals create prosperous online businesses that make more profit in less time by teaching them how to automate their businesses, leverage their expertise, and get found online. Would you like to learn the specific Internet marketing strategies that get results? Discover how to increase your visibility and get found online by claiming your FREE gift, TurboCharge Your Online Marketing Toolkit, at ==> http://www.TurbochargeYourOnlineMarketing.com.