Our 5 favourite WordPress plugins

At Thirteen Eighty we are big fans of WordPress – it’s a great system for creating dynamic websites that work well in the real world. There are thousands of WordPress plugins out there that can extend the potential of WordPress in all sorts of areas. We thought we’d give you a quick list of 5 of our favourites.

1. Login Lock

Simple and effective, Login Lock upgrades the security of your WordPress site at the door. With Login Lock you can ensure that all your users use suitably strong passwords. You can limit the numbers of attempts to enter before being forcibly locked out and when someone is barred for a time Login Lock can mail you to let you know you may be under attack. It’s worth spending the time on the options screen – all simple stuff but you’ll be glad you did. Best of all Login Lock is Free!
Sadly Login Lock has been abandoned by its developers since this article was written.
You can read a little bit about how we think WordPress could support its developers here.

2. All in One SEO Pack

Optimise your WordPress site for search engines. If you have a website chances are you want people to find it. Goes great leaps towards getting you ranked. Can be pretty much installed and activated and you should see some improvement but for best results you still want to have a feel for what Google and the like are looking for and put the work in. Luckily you can tailor your search information quickly and easily as you edit your pages and posts. There are alternatives – WordPress SEO by Yoast is well respected. Again All in One SEO Pack is a Freebie.
Visit the All in One SEO Pack WordPress plugin page.

3. Scribe SEO

Another SEO plugin? Yes! While All in One SEO Pack is great (and indeed needed to get the most from Scribe), it doesn’t really give you realtime feedback about your SEO efforts. That’s where Scribe comes in gently pointing out your failings, telling you when you are trying too hard or if you have missed your intended keyword targets entirely. It’s not cheap and it’s a monthly subscription but search for a promotional code and it becomes pretty reasonable if you are publishing a lot of content.
Visit the Scribe SEO WordPress plugin page.

4. Formidable Forms

Many WordPress themes have simple contact forms but unless all you want is an alternative to a regular email you will soon want to  create bespoke dynamic forms. Formidable forms is free but if you want access to it’s full and extensive functions there is a one off fee to go Pro. Overall though I’d say these fees represent very good value. The forms are easy enough to put together considering the complexity and functionality available to you. There are also extensions that will integrate with PayPal, MailChimp and allow users to Register with your site.
Visit the Formidable Forms WordPress plugin page.

5. AddThis

This simple but powerful plugin makes it easy for you and your audience to share content over social media. The AddThis bar (which is fully customisable) appears above or below your content and with a couple of clicks your article can be ‘liked’, ‘tweeted’ or sent to over 30o other social sites. There are alternatives but AddThis is my current favourite. This increased exposure will do great things for your google ratings too.
Visit the AddThis WordPress plugin page.

Please note these are just my opinions having used WordPress for some time and are not intended to be taken as a definitive list. Nor will any responsibility be accepted for any issue you may have with any of these comments or the plugins themselves.

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