Looks like wordpress is here to stay. There has been a battle on which is the best CMS system out there and wordpress has kicked everyone else’s butt. If you have tried Joomla, you will know that it is convoluted and backward to use. The whole purpose of a cms is so that someone can control the website who is not from a technical background. It takes hours and hours of tutorials for clients to understand how to use the backend and even then, I am left with puzzled looks and disappointed faces.

Don’t even get me started with uploading themes and plugins. Updating is a nightmare and navigating through the directories is very time consuming. This article is not suppose to be a bash on all the other CMS systems out there, so lets continue talking about wordpress plugins.

One thing you have to keep in mind is when something is free, it doesn’t always work. WordPress plugins are no different. There are great plugins out there, but there are so many bad ones. Checking the star rating with the downloads number helps. You should always check these out before using one. Also take a look at the description. If there isn’t a well written description, chances are the creator didn’t take the time to create a good plugin either.

Here are the top 5 that we found to be really great!

1. Contact Form 7

This plugin allows you to use a simple shortcode to insert any type of contact form you are looking for. It is very versatile and easy to use.

contact_form_7

 

2. WP-Maintenance

Many clients need a block screen to stop people from accessing their new website. This plugin does just that. You can also change the settings to display a countdown time to website launch.

wp-maintenance-mode

 

3.  Social Media Mashup

Allows you display feeds from all the major social media websites.

social_media_mashup

 

4. Disqus Commenting System

Disqus is a 3rd party commenting system that has great functions. Not only does it look really clean and uses advanced javascript for realtime effects, it also allow people to comment on your website if they already have an account. This helps to limit stupid spam bots that are trying to farm links.

disqus_comment_system

 

5. All in one SEO Pack

Allows you to name each post and page with title and meta tags. It also can autogenerate keywords and description if you like. There is a new function that allows you to edit custom posts as well. The function appears at the bottom of the meta data boxes and is super easy to use. Also plays nicely with other plugins.

all_in_one_seo

 

I am always on the hunt for better wordpress plugins. Leave some comments below with your favorite!