Well, the year’s kind of half over now, but that doesn’t mean it’s too late to download the latest, greatest plug-ins. The good news is most of these plugins are free, or at least at a low-cost price. Plug-ins are typically free, while premium wordpress templates are what cost you the big bucks. So, if you don’t mind spending a few hours installing and customizing plug-ins you may find self-customization advantageous to your site. So let’s start with the top 6 WordPress plugins.

1. Social Sharing Buttons

Social networking is the greatest thing to happen to low traffic sites. Write or produce something spectacular and you could ride the viral wave to Internet stardom. Of course, people on social networking sites are generally lazy…they are not going to go out of their way to publicize you. What they will do, however, is share the content on Facebook, Twitter, Digg, or any other number of social media sites. Make sure that your site makes everything possible with just one click. Anything more than a click is just way too much responsibility!

2. Sexy Bookmarks

This is one of the most popular plugins for 2012 and this option helps you maximize social bookmarking attention. When you install this feature, you can add different “buttons” to your blog and also customize a small line of text for personalization. Remember the other big thing of the 2010 decade: social bookmarking sites, in addition to social media sharing pages.

3. Social Metrics Plug-In

Yes, you can actually track how well your posts are doing on all the top social networks using the Social Metrics plugin. This lets you analyze all of this demographic content right on the dashboard of the WordPress interface. Remember, web stats only tell half the story. This plugin allows you track each post when compared to each other. The setup is very easy and you can start tracking within seconds!

4. The Hello Bar

I don’t know why you say goodbye, I say hello. The Hello Bar is a remarkably simple plugin that is just going wild as of late, because everyone wants to send a “customized” message to their audience—you know, beyond the web copy and formality of making an announcement. The Hello Bar lets you customize the message, whether it’s a personal greeting or even a special deal or coupon code.

5. 5Sec Google Map

Ever tried to insert Google Maps into WordPress manually? It’s a huge pain! However, this plugin makes everything easy. All you have to do is install the program and from there you can expect an easy conversion with Google Maps. Your traffic can find you on the map in as little as “five seconds.” Besides that, you are get 12 predefined markers, customizable bubble descriptions, and even multiple maps on a single page if you have use for it.

6. WordPress Newsletter Plugin

This is another great idea. How hard is it to create an email form and adapt it to WordPress? With this handy little plugin, you can actually create an entire system for lightweight email marketing all on the WordPress dashboard. This commercial plugin is perhaps the most expensive of our selection here, but it does offer the gathering of unlimited subscribers, multiple emailing lists, templates for letters, opt-in fields you can customize and various other features. You don’t have to split the profits with an autoresponder company. Just pay the usage and keep all your subscription profits.

These are just some of the many available plugins for WordPress in 2012. Be sure to check out 2013 selections, which promise to be even bigger and better.

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