WordPress is simple to use. It is also simple to provide free WordPress blog hosting as explained to in previous post. But once your WordPress is setup, you need some plugins to make it work better for you. If you are providing free WordPress blog hosting service, you need install them so that your users can use.
So, here are the 10 must-have free WordPress plugins. They will help you broadcast your posts, stop spammers, engage with readers, and improve the loading time of your blogs.
- PubSubHubbub. This plugin will let people know in real-time when your blog is updated. It works like a real-time broadcaster for your post. The name is not easy to remember, because it is named by geeks in Google. You may find more information on PubSubHubBub protocol in the official site.
- Slick Social Share Buttons. This plugin can add facebook, twitter, google +1, google buzz, linkedin, digg, and stumbledupon social media buttons to your website in either a floating or sliding panel. So, readers can easy share your contents and engage with your site. Based on our experience, floating works the best.
- Better WordPress Google XML Sitemaps. This plugin works on single blog and multi-site blogs (blog hosting) as well. Don’t wait for Google crawler, generate sitemaps and submit them to Google. Bing and Yahoo also accepts the same sitemaps.
- HTML in Author Bio. Adding the bio info in your blog will give your readers some trust. By default, for security reasons, WordPress strips all htmls in the bio. The plugin stops the stripping of html formatting from the description (bio) field and sanitize content for allowed HTML tags. For example, you can add links to your other projects, your Google+ profile
- Contact Form 7. This plugin makes it easy for your readers to contact you. It allows you to flexibly design the form and mail. You can manage multiple contact forms as well. There are several similar plugins there, but this one is the easiest one.
- Akismet. This plugin will fight against spammers for you. It comes together with WordPress, and you just need enable it. When enabling it, you need get a free key by registering your email on their website.
- Stop Spammer Registrations Plugin. This plugin checks IP address, email and user id of anyone who tries to register, login, or leave a comment against StopForumSpam.com, Project Honeypot and BotScout to to prevent spammers from registering or making comments.
- Custom Post Limits. By default, WordPress provides a single configuration setting to control how many posts should be listed in each section of your blog. This value applies for the front page listing, author listings, archive listings, category listings, tag listings, and search results. This plugin allows you to override that value for each of those different sections.
- Yet Another Related Posts Plugin. Yet Another Related Posts Plugin (YARPP) gives you a list of posts and/or pages related to the current entry, introducing the reader to other relevant content on your site. This is extremely useful when you have hundreds posts. I used some similar plugins before, but I switched to this one recently. It seems the algorithm is more accurate than other plugins.
- Quick Cache. When you have a few hundreds visitors each day, your blog will become slow. This Quick Cache can make it faster. If you are not a computer savvy, you can just image this cache can fetch the post/contents directly from the cached file, instead of from the database. This can save tremendous time. There are several cache plugins there, but this one is easy to use. You just turn it on. All default settings work perfectly.
Of course, there are many other free plugins you may try. Actually, this is one of the reasons why WordPress is getting more popular. If you need something special, you probably can find a free plugin.