WordPress is one of the most versatile programs for creating websites, blogs, forums, and other online content. It's free to use and boasts an enormous library of themes, plugins, extensions, and applications made by interested users for expanding the already impressive scope of WordPress. These extensions come in a huge array of formats and styles, and address things from the look of a WordPress built site, to vital functions of how it works. The vast number of available plugins can make choosing any of them to use a daunting prospect – they're all free, or at least most of them, and there are an awful lot of them to pick from. This article is here to help with a look at three of the most popular WordPress extensions available right now.
WordPress SEO by Yoast
WordPress is one of the best ways to start working on SEO out there. It's a flexible system with a lot of potential for maximizing search results. It's also well-reviewed and generally free of spam and other things that degrade SEO. This plugin by Yoast expands WordPress's already impressive SEO functionality to a great degree. It handles nearly all the technical aspects of SEO including optimization for RSS and other applications. It boasts an advanced XML Sitemaps functionality and integration with social media. One of its headlining features is its page analysis feature which lets a user select a keyword that the program will ensure is used a correct number of times throughout the page.
Jetpack by WordPress
Jetpack is a feature by the developers of WordPress itself. It adds a few powerful features that expand on the initial functionality of WordPress with greater options for customization, mobile content, and performance. It includes customization elements for things like infinite scrolling, sidebar widgets, tiled galleries, contact forms, and many other things. It also adds several development tools including post-by-email functionality, shortcode embeds, VideoPress (embedded video), and spelling and grammar checks. Its biggest claim is that it expands WordPress's ability to serve as a development tool for mobile devices, which often require a delicate touch when being developed in the same realm as things for computers.
WooCommerce is a WordPress extension specifically designed with online stores in mind. It adds hundreds of options, styles, and tools all for the purposes of using WordPress to design an online store interface. WooCommerce is compatible with all other themes and most other WordPress extensions. It offers a variety of powerful tools for creating payment gateways and comes bundled with several popular options such as PayPal, Cash on Delivery, flat rate shipping, and free shipping. WooCommerce is an emerging toolset with a dedicated development staff that are happy to read and respond to suggestions for features as well as troubleshooting. What other plugins should be included in your WordPress arsenal? Feel free to let us know in the comments!