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WordPress is an amazing blogging platform with a wide range of free plugins and themes to contribute in its performance and look respectively. Plugins play a vital role to enhance the functionality of a WordPress site. Here i come up with 12 amazingly popular WordPress plugins you must have for your WordPress site.

1. Add This:

The AddThis Social Bookmarking Widget allows any visitor to bookmark and share your site easily with over 330 popular services. Get more traffic back to your site by installing the AddThis WordPress plugin. With AddThis, your users can promote your content by sharing to 330 of the most popular social networking and bookmarking sites (like Facebook, Twitter, Digg, StumbleUpon and MySpace).

2. Akismet:

Akismet checks your comments against the Akismet web service to see if they look like spam or not and lets you review the spam it catches under your blog’s “Comments” admin screen.

Features:

  • A comment status history.
  • Links are highlighted in the comment body, to reveal hidden or misleading links.
  • If your web host is unable to reach Akismet’s servers, the plugin will automatically retry when your connection is back up.
  • Moderators can see the number of approved comments for each user.
  • Spam and Unspam reports now include more information, to help improve accuracy.

3. Google XML Sitemaps:

This plugin will generate a special XML sitemap which will help search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo and Ask.com to better index your blog. With such a sitemap, it’s much easier for the crawlers to see the complete structure of your site and retrieve it more efficiently. The plugin supports all kinds of WordPress generated pages as well as custom URLs. Additionally it notifies all major search engines every time you create a post about the new content.

4. Gtrans:

This plugin make your website available to the world using Google Translate.

Features:

  • Hide Google top frame after translation.
  • Mouse over effect.
  • Flags combined in one file to load faster.
  • Analytics.
  • Option to open translated page in new window.
  • Option to translate the page on fly.
  • Available styles Dropdown/Flags/flags with dropdown.
  • Valid XHTML.

5. NextGEN Gallery:

NextGEN Gallery is a fully integrated Image Gallery plugin for WordPress with a slideshow option.

Features:

  • You can add custom templates for your theme.
  • Add the Cooliris Effect to your gallery.
  • AJAX based thumbnail generator.
  • Copy or move images between galleries.
  • Upload or pictures via a zip-file (Not in Safe-mode).
  • You can add a watermark image or text.
  • Use any available popular image effect : Shutter, Thickbox, Lightbox or Highslide.
  • Use a nice shadow effect for your thumbnails with your own CSS file.
  • Translated in more than 30 languages.

6. TinyMCE Advanced:

Enables the advanced features of TinyMCE, the WordPress WYSIWYG editor. This plugin adds 16 plugins to TinyMCE: Advanced HR, Advanced Image, Advanced Link, Advanced List, Context Menu, Emotions (Smilies), Date and Time, IESpell, Layer, Nonbreaking, Print, Search and Replace, Style, Table, Visual Characters and XHTML Extras.

7. WordPress Importer:

The WordPress Importer will import the following content from a WordPress export file:

  • Posts, pages and other custom post types.
  • Comments.
  • Custom fields and post meta.
  • Categories, tags and terms from custom taxonomies.
  • Authors.

8. WP Super Cache:

This plugin generates static html files from your dynamic WordPress blog. After a html file is generated your webserver will serve that file instead of processing the comparatively heavier and more expensive WordPress PHP scripts.

9. WPtouch:

WPtouch automatically transforms your WordPress website into an application-like theme, complete with ajax loading articles and effects when viewed from the most popular mobile web browsing devices like the iPhone, iPod touch, Android mobile devices, Palm Pre/Pixi and BlackBerry OS6 mobile devices.

10. All in One SEO Pack:

This plugin optimizes your WordPress blog for Search Engines offering the following features.

Features:

  • Google Analytics support.
  • Support for Custom Post Types.
  • Advanced Canonical URLs.
  • Fine tune Page Navigational Links.
  • Automatically optimizes your titles for search engines.
  • Generates META tags automatically.
  • Avoids the typical duplicate content found on WordPress blogs.
  • Backward-Compatibility with many other plugins, like Auto Meta, Ultimate Tag Warrior and others.

11. Contact Form 7:

Contact Form 7 can manage multiple contact forms, plus you can customize the form and the mail contents flexibly with simple markup. The form supports Ajax-powered submitting, CAPTCHA, Akismet spam filtering and so on.

12. Jetpack by WordPress.com:

Jetpack is a WordPress plugin that supercharges your self-hosted WordPress site with the awesome cloud power of WordPress.com.

Features:

  • Simple, concise stats with no additional load on your server.
  • Email subscriptions for your blog’s posts and your post’s comments.
  • Social networking enabled comment system.
  • Simple, Akismet-backed contact forms.
  • The WP.me URL shortener.
  • For the Math geeks, a simple way to include beautiful mathematical expressions on your site.
  • A widget for displaying recent tweets. Previously provided by Wickett Twitter Widget.