One of the many advantages with WordPress is the number of third party plugins enhancing your website or blog for free. Below you will find 5 essential plugins enhancing your WordPress experience;
Perhaps a boring plug-in but nevertheless handy, Akismet checks comments for SPAM on your website. As Akismet identifies SPAM the system improves its abilities to fight future SPAM. Akismet is free for personal use, there are several commercial plans starting from $5 a month.
All in One SEO Pack
The All in One SEO pack is designed to aid a WordPress blog in ranking higher in the search engines by adding features not included in the original installation of WordPress. The plugin automatically generate page titles and META-tags for posts and pages, but there is also an option where they can be set manually (to better target specific keyword phrases). Another interesting feature in the All in one SEO pack is the ability to set Canonical URLs.
1 Flash Gallery
Image management in WordPress is a bit weak, so there are loads of image gallery plugins to make up for it. One of the more popular ones is 1 Flash Gallery, which can display photos in a flipping book, as a slideshow, in full-screen mode etc. What makes 1 Flash Gallery stand out from the rest of the image management plugins is the many different album layouts available (check out http://1plugin.com/) and it’s pretty easy interface to upload images and create albums.
W3 Total Cache
If your WordPress site grows popular loading times might increase for your visitors, a way to reduce loading times is caching. W3 Total Cache is a plugin that caches a WordPress site dramatically reducing loading times with as much as 10 times (claimed by the developers).
WordPress is very versatile and can be used for much more than blogging, the WP e-Commerce plugin enables you to create a small online store. The plugin have integration with several Payment Gateways such as PayPal and Google Checkout and loads of other features.