Top 50 WordPress Plugins for 2011 to Zoom SEO, SMO & Audience Engagement

PamMoore
Pam Moore Owner/Partner, Marketing Nutz, LLC

Posted on January 1st 2011

Keeping your website and blog visitors engaged is paramount to success.  Check out these 50 WordPress Plugins to zoom your SEO, audience engagement and brand in 2011. I did a couple other posts with my favorite WordPress plugins and decided to update with almost all of the ones I have used in 2010.

User experience is key to all websites. It’s critical to create an experience that enables your web visitors to be easily entertained, engage and share your content with their network on the social networks as easily as possible.

Just because I include 50 wordpress plugins on this post doesn’t mean you should go off and install all 50. Installing too many widgets, gadgets, feeds and more will create a confusing experience for your audience. Focus on a balance of simplicity combined with selection of the best plug-ins to help meet your business and online marketing goals.

I included several options for social sharing as it’s important you test and select a social share plugin that best aligns with the needs of your audience.

Have fun and be sure to tweet me a link to your site once you finish your refresh! I’ll be happy to offer you some candid feedback.  You can also check out an easier to print version of this list here.

Social Sharing & Engagement

1. Digg Digg
I LOVE this plug-in! It enables you to add a nice little set of sharing buttons from 20 top social networking sites. It has some nifty features such as the ability to choose compact or normal for the size of the share buttons and the ability to float the buttons. In addition it can be set to display at the top, bottom or side of the post or page.  This plug-in increased social sharing on my site substantially. Note, I did have a few problems with this plug-in conflicting with my sub-menu navigation on pages (not posts).  I simply disabled this plug-in on pages and problem was resolved.

2. GD LinkedIN Badge
Easily installs a nifty little LinkedIn badge in a widget. Creates LinkedIn community building opportunities.

3. Gravity Forms
Gravity Forms provides the ability to make custom forms for anything! Create a contact form, quote request, or even a survey.  Only takes a couple minutes and  you’re on your way.  Inserting the form on a page is as simple as copying a short line of code that correlates to the form number right into the html section of the wordpress page editor.

4. Wbiya Toolbar
Keep your readers engaged while offering them the ability to share and bookmark with this fun toolbar that displays at the the bottom of your site. It is easily customized and easily incorporates Facebook likes, Facebook recommendations, Facebook activity, Twitter feeds, retweets, and the ability to share on almost any platform.   It doesn’t add any website performance latency and I get compliments on this one everyday.  A must have in my opinion.

5. Social Slider
Just as people learn differently, people socialize differently. I believe in offering numerous ways to share and engage.  This cute lil’ plug-in includes floats on the left or right side of your page. You’ll hardly know it’s there. It supports a good majority of social platforms.

6. Billboard
Another one of my favs this plug-in lets you create a set of social share icons, bookmark icons or links to other pages in a nice little widget.  You can choose each icon, insert the url and choose the size of icon all within the widget.  Once developed you simply drag and drop it to your theme widget, select how many of the icons you want to display, if you want it centered or justified to left or right and you’re done.  I love the fact I can make unique billboards for each page if I want.  I often create one for bookmarks and one for social share icons.

7. Tweet Meme Retweet Button
A must have on any blog is an easy way to retweet.  This plugin is a no brainer and makes it easy for your visitors to show the love with a retweet!

8. Share This
With more than 850,000 implementations this plug-in enables website visitors to share your content to more than 50 social networks including Facebook and Twitter.  I really like the way this plug-in has evolved. I am in the process of testing this on my own blog and will soon be implementing.

9. Socialable
One of the most popular social sharing plug-ins. This plug-in supports the majority of networks.

10. Add to Any
Another favorite, Add to Any let’s your websites visitors share your content to majority of networks with a click of the mouse.

11. LifeStream
This nifty little plug-in enables you to stream content from your social platforms across the social waves to your website by leveraging RSS /Atom feeds. It offers more than a pretty look though as it’s also efficient and won’t bog down your website.  It also enables easy customization without a lot of PHP code modifications. This is a favorite for my developers.

12. LinkedIn Share Button
Finally! LinkedIn has created a share button that can be seamlessly integrated into your WordPress blog. It provides the option of a larger button with number of shares, smaller button with number of shares or tiny button with no metrics.   You can also download the code for the button, not the plug-in for WordPress directly from the LinkedIn site  here: LinkedIn Share Button

13. Facebook Live Stream

Provides live streaming from your Facebook fan page.  This is great for events or simply to show your latest wall activity.

14. Facebook Activity Feed
If the user is logged into Facebook it will show activity by your website visitors friends.  It will show likes, shares etc.  If the user is not logged in then it will show recommendations as well as provide the ability for the visitor to login to Facebook.

15. Facebook Like Button
Make it easy for your visitors to show the Facebook love with this stimple little button.  A must have for sure!

16. Facebook Like Box
Great plugin to help you  build your Facebook community. This adds the additional functionality of letting the visitor instantly “like” your Facebook fan page, displays photos of their friends who are already a fan of your page, shows the number of fans and recent activity. A great tool to pull people to your Facebook Fan page.

17. Facebook Activity Feed
Pretty self explanatory, this plugin displays the latest Facebook activity feed for your website and blog content.

18. Sexy Bookmarks
Sharing is both sexy and fun with this sassy little plugin.  It makes it easy for your visitors to share your awesome content with beautiful, dynamic icons that you can place at the top or bottom of your blog.

19.  TwitterCounter
Creates a cute little button you can place in any widget that displays the number of Twitter followers you have right next to the friendly little blue bird.

20. Twitter Goodies
Twitter offers numerous widgets and opportunities for you to engage your visitors while also growing your Twitter community.  Create a widget with your tweets.  Or create a widget that displays a search term or hash tag.  It’s a great way to share the buzz as your community grows!

Engagement

1. Disqus Comment System
There are many comment systems out there such as CommentLuv etc.  I  like the simplicity and clean look of Disqus.  It is easy to install and is widely used across social internet land.  It provides an easy way to view where visitors have commented on other sites while also keeping track of where you comment.  It can help you build social relationships as you engage on other people’s blogs and websites.

2. Comment Luv
Although I use Discus Comment system, many do like the comment luv plug-in.    Disqus comment system has been more widely used for longer.  It seems to be more popular and widely used on the majority of sites I visit and communities I engage in.  It basically comes down to personal choice.  I know many people who use comment luv and “love” it.  I did try it and it gave me a few problems so I immediately switched back to Disqus.  I suggest you check them both out and make a decision for yourself.

3. Thank Me Later
This plug-in automatically sends an email thanking the web visitor for leaving a comment.  The time frame can be customized for sending. It’s a great way to remind the visitor about your blog or website as well as thank them for their comment.  Keeping communication going with visitors is a great way to build authentic relationships.  The person left a comment on your blog probably because they were interested.  Thanking them and inviting them back will probably be much appreciated by the commenter.

4. WP Greet Box
This is another one of my favorites.  It creates a custom gretting based on the referral url of your website visitor.  Includes support for RSS, Delicious, Digg, Twitter, Facebook and many more.  A must have for any blog or website in my opinion!

5. LinkWithin
This is one of my all time favorites.  This plug-in displays up to 5 related blog posts at the bottom of each post.  Not only does this plug-in help drive engagement, it also helps your SEO.

6. WP-Page-Navi
Adds a more advanced paging system to your WordPress site.

Design and Images Enhancements

1. Simple Image Link
This is one of my favorite image plug-ins.  It enables the ability to add any image plus text as a widget.  It supports easy modification of  image size.

2.  Drop in Image Slideshow Gallery
Insert images with ease with this nifty little plug-in.  No coding required.  Even a newbie to WordPress can figure this image feature out!

3. Dynamic Headers
Open your blog header up to new possibilities with this plug-in.  You are no longer limited by media type, or only one header for the whole site. Now you can have a unique header for each page!

4. Next Gen Gallery
This plugin turns any website into a beautiful gallery.  It even has a flash slideshow option.

5. V-Slider
Another option for inserting an image gallery. Animate your header, posts or images with this simple and easy to use plug-in.

Search Engine Optimization

1. All in One SEO
If you want SEO to rock with little effort, this is your plugin.  I have seen great results with this plugin on both my sites as well as many client sites.

2. SEO Smart Links
Also great for SEO, this plugin helps engage your users by linking keywords within your site.  Google likes to see links within your site. This is a great way to drive engagement as well as SEO with little to no effort once it’s installed.  You can customize and select how many links you want to appear on each page.

3. XML Sitemap
This plugin creates an XML-Sitemap compliant sitemap for your WordPress blog.  It is supported by Ask.com, Google, Yahoo and MSN.

4. WP Page-Navi
This widget adds navigation from one page to the other so visitors can easily view your numerous blog posts you’ve worked so hard on.

5. SEO Slugs
This plug-in removes all the unnecessary words from post titles. This makes post titles more search engine friendly!

6. SEO Friendly Images
This nifty little plug-in automatically updates all images with ALT and TITLE attributes.

Developer’s Best Friend

1. Flexi-Pages Widget
This widget is great for fully custom WordPress sites or template themes which don’t provide an easy sub-menu via sidebar or other.  This widget provides the ability to add a sub-menu navigation via widget on sidebar.  This also helps with engagement and SEO.

2. OzH Admin Dropdown Menu
This is one of my favorite developer plug-ins! It saves me loads of time by putting the admin menu in a drop down format.

3. Permalinks moved permanently
This is the perfect plug-in if you are changing permalink structure.  Instead of old links pointing to a 404 page, this plug-in will look for a slug similar to the original on your blog and will automatically generate a 301 error and redirect request to new location. This is good to help maintain pagerank and traffic.

4. WordPress Importer
Easily import posts, pages, comments, custom fields, categories, and tags from a WordPress export file. This plug-in is great when switching themes, hosts or testing.

5. Exclude Pages from Navigation
You are no longer dependent on theme features or a developer to be selective in what pages are included or not included in site navigation.

6. Mass Edit Pages for WordPress
A developers best friend and massive time saver when it comes to making simple pages to a mass number of pages.

7. Maintenance Mode
A must have for those long weekends when you decide at midnight you need to switch WordPress themes – ha! It provides a splash screen to your visitors informing them your site is under maintenance while you work the midnight oil on your next creation!

8. Google Analytics & Feedburner Reports
Enables easy view of Google analytics data and Feedburner reports via WordPress admin area.

9. WordPress Stats
This nifty plug-in provides a nice and simple view of your most critical wordpress performance stats. What I like about this plug-in is that it’s simple. As a data junkie myself, I am a lover of Google Analytics and the information it provides. However, it’s nice to be able to view a simple snapshot of visitor stats, top content and more right from the WordPress admin dashboard.

10. Theme Logo
This plug-in enables the ability to add a logo to your theme without a developer.  Great for the novice using a theme that requires a  code change.

11. Simple Coming Soon & Under Construction Page
Great plug-in to easily set a temporary under construction or coming soon page.  There are several of these types of plug-ins around. This is one of my favorites  I have found. I like it because of the simplicity and the fact it is more visually appealing.  It also adds the ability to add social platform links as well as a count down.

12. WP-Super Cache
This plug-in will improve performance of your site by producing static html files of your dynamic WordPress blog.

13. Akismet
Simply  stated, stop the spam! Akismet keeps those spammer out and off your precious blog.

14. Infusionsoft Web Form
This plug-in makes it easy to embed an Infusionsoft web form using your api key.  Hoping Infusionsoft will soon provide more options and graphical enhancements to more easily develop custom Infusionsoft web forms.

p.s. Actually this post includes 51 plug-ins.  Just consider it a free New Years bonus!

What’s Your Favorite?

Share your favorite plugin or website extra!

PamMoore

Pam Moore

Owner/Partner, Marketing Nutz, LLC

Half marketing, half geek, social media addict, CEO & Founder of Marketing Nutz @MktgNutz, entrepreneur, speaker, trainer, coach. Lover of strategy, ROI, Brand, God, Family, Friends, Beach & Life! 15+ years of experience helping small startups to Fortune 100 companies, budgets teeny tiny to big in both B2B and B2C markets build brand awareness, grow new markets, develop communities and master ROI across all mediums! Industries of expertise include high technology, non-profit & fundraising, green eco-friendly, enterprise data storage, professional services and storage management, real estate and home building, natural lighting, database analytics & modeling, online marketing, as well as web 2.0 ecommerce for online retailers. http://www.themarketingnutz.com

See Full Profile >

Comments

gudipudi
Posted on January 2nd 2011 at 4:06PM

disqus is my favorite and i prefer not to use many plugins as it would increase the loading time of the page.

PamMoore
Posted on January 2nd 2011 at 11:19PM

I also like Disqus Gudipudi. Page load is an important metric. I keep a close eye on it. I have quite a few plug-ins running now and pages load fine.  I do thorough testing though before pushing anything live. 

Appreciate your comment. Have a Happy New Year! 

gudipudi
Posted on January 3rd 2011 at 5:30AM

Wish you a happy and prosperous new year Pam :)

Posted on January 2nd 2011 at 8:42PM

Many thanks for putting this list together Pam!  There are so many plugins out there that it can be really baffling to a relatively non tech person like me.  Will take my time looking through to see what will work best for me, good advice not to overload though, I use Disqus which works well for me now but caused a conflict with my previous theme so I am a bit wary of adding too many.

 

Thanks

Tony

Posted on January 3rd 2011 at 3:35AM

Thank you Pam for this!  I'm somewhat new to wordpress and this provides a great list of plugins to look into!

Posted on January 3rd 2011 at 1:22PM

Thanks Pam. A feww things to add...

1) It would help to mention free vs for pay. For example, while reputed to be handy, Gravity Forms is not free. As a substitute some might wish to check out MM Forms.

2) AddThis.com - Another share service *with* analytics. I've found their plug-in to be some what buggy. But if you don't mind getting your hands dirty then inserting the code yourself (and thus having full control) is worth the effort.

3) Please pardon the shameless self promotion but...While still in beta I hope to be releasing my own AU_WPing in 2011. In terms of integrating WP with supporting social media profiles/pages, there's nothing like it. It even use Google URL Builder format to tag the links!  And!!! It's multi-user (as opposed to just a single blast out for the whole blog/site). Let me know what you think: http://www.alchemyunited.com/au-tools/wordpress-plugin-au_wping/

4) I also have a Slideshow that might be of interest to some. That's in beta as well but if you ask, I usually share. The key to this one is the slides can be scheduled with start and end dates. http://www.alchemyunited.com/au-tools/wordpress-plugin-au_slideshow/

Again, please excuse the self-promotion but I do believe both of these might be of interest to you and your readers.

Happy New Year!

Posted on January 3rd 2011 at 2:41PM

Hello, i do have a question :) Does exist a plugin that is meant to put a fan box into wordpress but without using iframes? For example something like this WordPress Facebook Fan Box Widget but with no iframes...

Posted on January 3rd 2011 at 8:29PM

I'd also like to suggest Janrain's Social Login & Sharing Widget. Our widget allows your visitors to login to your website with their preferred social networking account such as Facebook, Google, Twitter and LinkedIn removing the friction of having to fill out long registrations forms. Our widget also allows your users to share your articles to multiple social networks simultaneously, unlike most Wordpress Social Sharing plugins that request the user to share to each of their networks separately. Users can select up to four social communities such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Yahoo for sharing at once. On average this generates 12 referral clicks back to your site for each article that is shared.

**Full Disclosure: I work for Janrain **

peterrees
Posted on January 4th 2011 at 11:13AM

What a great collection of plugins. I use many of these, however there are many more which I will now investigate. May I add a few recommendations:

  1. Widget Logic - enables you to control where widets appear using WP conditional tags, so a particular widget could appear on a single post or page, or all posts within a category etc.
  2. Simple Tags - enables efficien tagging of posts and pages using taxonomt APIs, also manages related posts based on tag relationships - magic!
  3. WP Touch - only just discovered thsi thanks to a Chris Brogan blog - makes your site mobile friendly.
  4. BackupBuddy - boring perhaps but it ensures all files and databases are regularly backed up, also able to migrate a site to a new host with a different domain name

Thanks

Peter

Posted on January 5th 2011 at 1:26AM

This is by far the most extensive list of Wordpress Plugins in multiple categories that I have yet to come across. You even went as far as to completely describe their functions and usage while most bloggers just give it a quick mention and move on. That's definitely the mark of a blogger who knows his plugins.

I'd like to also suggest SEOPressor which is a Wordpress SEO Plugin that eliminates the guesswork of whether your blog posts and pages are properly optimized for specific keywords. It works extremely well with All-In-One SEO and allows you to eliminate the hiring of an expensive SEO Consultant while focusing on more important tasks such as blogging and improving the usability of your blog.

 I'll be referencing this post on my main blog.

 

Posted on January 5th 2011 at 8:00PM

Thank you for this extensive list.  I find myself already determined to utilize many of these plugins on my site, www.stealthysaver.com.  Thanks to your post, I'll be able to provide my audience the content and experience they deserve.

Thanks again

Posted on January 10th 2011 at 10:41PM

Thanks Pam, great post, I couldn't of put the SEO section of the article better myself.

 

 

Posted on January 11th 2011 at 12:05AM

Also, you should really take a look at refferrer detector. 

Posted on January 12th 2011 at 12:57AM
I would also recommend WP-Touch to make your site mobile friendly.
Posted on January 17th 2011 at 5:03PM

I am already using a couple of those and looking into a few more. Just weary of slowing my blog down with too many plug ins. The wibiya bar is the one I am most interested in.

Elliot Volkman
Posted on February 22nd 2011 at 10:09PM

Tisk tisk, you forgot Twitter Anywhere. While I agree many of those plugins are useful, a lot of them have issues or bugs still. I've compiled a list this weekend with the most efficint share plugins. Also WordPress SEO by Yoast is probably the best SEO tool I have ever used. It works quite well in comparison to the All in one SEO tool. However, I believe it slows down posts updates, but not the actual site.

Posted on April 27th 2011 at 7:04PM

This is a great list.  I want to try everything. I am new to blogging, totally enjoying it.

 

 

Posted on May 3rd 2011 at 11:35AM

Thank you Pam for this!  I'm somewhat new to wordpress and this provides a great list of plugins to look into!

Posted on May 6th 2011 at 3:01PM

Excellent Post....I was searching for a website or blog which has all the best wp-plugins in a single article......

Happy i got what i needed..Thanks...

Great work and keep it up.....

Posted on May 8th 2011 at 9:12AM

Nice insights . I know about some plugins you have mentioned here such as Comment Luv , Nextgen Gallery, Google XML Sitemap, Permalinks moved permanently ,Disqus , Facebook Like etc. I was searching for a good contact form .I use SI Sontact Form .The main probelm with the plugin is that it is not customisable .I am reaaly happy as you have mentioned about a plugin here , Gravity Forms . I must check this plugin .However , I thought you must introduce one more plugin here and this is 'addthis' plugin. Even , it provides analytics of all bookmarks by your readers. But I don't use any SEO plugin . They are really boring .once , I used a seo plugin but it did nothing but wasting my time. It's horrible to take suggestion about tags by the plugins as they don't have variation. I think human being are more capable for choosing proper tags. I also recommend people not to use these SEO plugins. However , they are enough helpful for new-comers.Now , I should say something about the most horrible plugin I have used in my life. The plugin is External Related Post .The plugin works differently. It searches similar topics or related posts in the web and automatically create links under each post.The plgin claims that it boosts up SEO process.But in real , it did nothing for me.Once , I published a post on backlink building process.After I had published the post , I watched a link submitted by the plugin and the anchor text of the link was 'jewellery designs'.So , understand how topic irrelevantly it worked. At last I got a fatal error from the plugin .My blog stopped responding .It was not opening . I had no way to de-activate the plugin .At last , I removed the plugin folder from FTP and thus I solved my problem. However , Pam , I really loved to read you and appreciate your insights.Thanks a lot for sharing all of these things here.

Posted on July 10th 2011 at 3:23PM

I agree that WP-Touch should be on there. It is a plugin that converts your site for mobile devices. I have implemented it on my site NETBOOK REVOLUTION. You can check it out by going there on your PC and then your mobile device, or just go on your mobile device and at the bottom of the page it gives you the option to turn it on or off. Let me know what you think!

Posted on August 2nd 2011 at 7:40PM
Thanks for posting this. SEO is a very important thing for every website. I'd like everyone to know about a new Worpdress SEO plugin on the market. I am already using a couple of those and looking into a few more. Just weary of slowing my blog down with too many plug ins. I personally know one person who still working hard on that with PHP... Horseheads programmer Kyle Gush surprised the New York news By developing plugin...
Posted on August 3rd 2011 at 6:59PM

Use w/caution.  The more plug-ins the slower your site loads.  Some SEO plug-ins, if configured improperly, might actually hurt your placement.  When I first got a Wordpress site I used too many plug-ins.

Posted on August 5th 2011 at 4:39PM

For section Search Engine Optimization I have used all and now I am just waiting for the performance of each of these SEO plugin

Posted on August 30th 2011 at 4:03PM

I love this - very informative and helpful to me as I'm very new to blogging. I do feel many of these X amount of best plugins "Posts" miss one important one , Punchtab ! It rewards people for interacting with your website !

Its not mine I just use it with my 1 vistors a day lol - Im sure Ill get more eventually though : )

Posted on August 30th 2011 at 6:32PM

Great list of plugins!. Already added a few while reading the article :)

Posted on September 3rd 2011 at 6:35PM

Fluency Admin is also a very good plugin

its a great gift for wordpress admin

I recommend you to include it in this list

with mouseover effects it really cool

Posted on September 20th 2011 at 1:46PM

Another great plugin: incoming search terms. Displays the searchterms people use to get to your page through google. Let others finetune your pages for you! Thanks!

Posted on September 23rd 2011 at 9:24PM
In recent years the increased interactive communication sites and relationships have increased. For brands to be able to directly meet the clients were created platforms social media and emerging technologies. These plugins are definitely part of the evolution.
EmptyLemon
Posted on September 26th 2011 at 10:30AM

Thanks for going above and beyond with this list. The fact that you have broken down the lists by category is great. I've downloaded Thank me later and 3 of the SEO ones of the back of this post, so thanks very much for that. Our IT job search blog should perform better as a result, I inherited the blog from the old marketing team when I started a few months ago, so this sort of plugin help me to get it back in line.

Thanks!

Posted on September 26th 2011 at 3:59PM
There is such a thing as too many plugins. I use the all in one SEO plugin, the XML sitemap, and I'm still looking for a really good social button plugin.
Posted on September 27th 2011 at 9:56AM

Hey, regarding social plugins, have you also tried Smart Sharing from wpbeginner.com ?

Here’s the link to get the plugin
http://www.wpbeginner.com/plugins/get-a-floating-share-box-like-wpbeginner-smart-sharing-v1-1/

If the Smart Sharing plugin does not work on your website or if you simply want an alternative solution, you can try a similar plugin called CevherShare which also is a fully customisable floating sharing bar.

Here’s a little link to the plugin: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/cevhershare/

Note that the admin interface looks a bit messy, but it can be solved using this tutorial:

http://wpdressing.com/lightweight-social-media-plugin-for-wordpress-floating-box-custom-buttons/

Hope it helps

Best regards

Posted on October 1st 2011 at 7:54AM

 

Keeping your website and blog visitors engaged is paramount to success this is great line to get success in the competative market

 

Thanks for this great job.

Posted on October 5th 2011 at 10:57AM

very nice information on latest plug-ins. Though late I would definitely use these plugins for better performance of my website.

Posted on November 1st 2011 at 10:34AM

Thanks for the list, pam. Amazing stuff and a great contribution i must say, thanks for sharing with us

kyes
Posted on December 13th 2011 at 1:51PM

why Goolge plug aren't listed?

bingozoom
Posted on February 12th 2012 at 2:54PM

Thanks for the great list.

I would add Easy Review Builder as well, as there are not many good Free review plugins.

jaylartey
Posted on November 22nd 2012 at 5:33PM

Pam you spot on this subject.  I have used it on my job search blog so thanks very much for your recommendation it is one powerful plugin and helps alot.