For those times when you might be looking for specific customizations for your blog, but you don’t know the code, a WordPress plugin might just do the trick.
As we all know that plugins are the real power of WordPress and every WordPress blogs are incomplete without plugins but choosing the right plugin for a blog is the toughest thing.
Here are the top lists I have used through the years on my blogs and I find them great. To make your blogging easy, I narrow them down to a few best plugins for every type of functionality for you. Check out this list and find out which plugins you should be using to improve your blogging efficiency.
Must Use Plugins
- Akismet – The best guard plugin that help your blog against comment spam! This is an advanced hosted anti-spam service for thwarting the underbelly of the web. It efficiently processes and analyzes masses of data from millions of sites and communities in real-time.
- BackUpWordPress – This WordPress plugin will back up your entire site including your database and all your files on a schedule that suits you.
Blog Security Plugin
- All In One WP Security and Firewall – WordPress itself is a very secure platform. However, it helps to add some extra security and firewall to your site by using a security plugin that enforces a lot of good security practices. This is the ultimate security plugin that will take your WordPress site’s security to a whole new level.
- BulletProof Security – This WordPress plugin offers website security protection against: XSS, RFI, CRLF, CSRF, Base64, Code Injection and SQL Injection.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- All in One SEO Pack – This is a WordPress SEO plugin to automatically optimize your WordPress blog for search engines.
- WordPress SEO by Yoast – This is my favorite. It is the most complete and WordPress SEO plugin and it is all in one solution for your WordPress blog, including SEO titles, meta descriptions, XML sitemaps, breadcrumbs & much more.
- Google XML Sitemaps – This WordPress plugin generates a special XML-Sitemap which will help search engines to better index your blog. The format is supported by Ask.com, Google, YAHOO and MSN Search. The two SEO plugins listed above can also do the sitemap for you.
- W3 Total Cache – The fastest and most complete WordPress performance optimization plugin. It is using caching: browser, page, object, database, minify and content delivery network support. After you use the w3 total cache plugin you won’t want to go back to use other caching plugins.
- WP Super Cache – This is a static caching WordPress plugin for your blog. It generates static html files that are served directly by Apache without processing comparatively heavy PHP scripts. By using this plugin, you will speed up your WordPress blog significantly.
Blog Statistics Related
- Google Analytics for WordPress – This WordPress plugin makes it simple to add Google Analytics with extra search engines, automatic click out and download tracking to your WordPress blog.
- WP Power Stats – It helps you discover your visitors in real-time, intuitively and with style tracks views (post/page views, referrers, and clicks). It let you view your site visits statistics at a glance: browsers, operating systems, visitors and much more!
Contact Forms Related
- Contact Form 7 – This WordPress plugin can manage multiple contact forms for your blog. You can also customize the form and the email content with simple markup. The form supports Ajax-powered submitting, CAPTCHA, Akismet spam filtering and so on.
- Gravity Forms – This plugin let you build and publish your WordPress blog forms in just minutes. It allows you to quickly and easily integrate with a variety of third-party services such as PayPal and provides for even deeper integration with your blog through developer’s collection of optional Add-Ons.
RSS Subscription Related
- Feedburner – This WordPress plugin detects all ways to access your original WordPress feeds and redirects them to your FeedBurner feed so you can track every possible subscriber. It does this seamlessly without the need to modify templates, setup new hidden feeds, modify .htaccess files, or asking users to migrate to a new feed.
- Add to Any Subscribe Button – This WordPress sharing plugin helps people share your posts and pages to any service, such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google, WhatsApp, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Reddit, and over 100 more sharing and social media sites & apps. It is the universal sharing platform.
- Category Specific RSS Menu – A simple WordPress plugin to add category specific RSS subscription menu into your posts, pages, sidebars. It is very handy especially when your blog covers multiple topics from nonrelated subjects.
- Cresta Social Share Counter – With this WordPress plugin, you can share your posts and pages quickly and easily and show the social count.
- Share This – This is a very useful plugin that allows your visitors to share a post/page with others. It features social analytics, copy & share, open graph sharing, and the hovering bar! It also supports e-mail and posting to social bookmarking sites.
Photo Gallery Plugin
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- Simple Photo Gallery – If you are looking for an effective, reliable, yet simple to use photo gallery plugin, then check out this WordPress plugin. I use it whenever I need a photo gallery plugin.
- NextGen Gallery – The most popular WordPress gallery plugin and one of the most popular plugins of all time. It provides a powerful engine for uploading and managing galleries of images, with the ability to batch upload, import meta data, add/delete/rearrange/sort images, edit thumbnails, group galleries into albums, and more.
For Google Adsense
- Simple Google Adsense insertion – This is easy to use WordPress plugin that let you insert Google Adsense to your posts, pages and sidebar.
- Google Adsense Plugin – This plugin allows you to set parameters of the ads displaying, such as format (text ad, image, text with an image or link), size, the color of the elements in the ad block, rounded corners and the ad block position on the website.
- Google Adsense – The AdSense Plugin enables you to easily use Google’s products, including Webmaster Tools with your WordPress site.
E-commerce, Paypal Donation, and Payment
- WordPress Simple Paypal Shopping Cart – This is a very easy to use plugin that allows you to sell products or services online in one click from your WordPress blog into an e-commerce site. It is very useful when you want to sell eBooks or digital products from various posts and pages. It also allows you to add/display the shopping cart on any post or page or sidebar easily. The shopping cart shows the user what they currently have in the cart and allows them to change the quantity or remove the items.
- WP Easy Paypal Payment Accept – This is a very easy to use WordPress plugin to Accept donation or Paypal payment for a service or a product in one click. It is really handy when you are trying to put a customized payment widget on your site (you can add it to the sidebar or a page or a post on your blog).
- PayPal for Digital Goods – This WordPress plugin allows you to use the PayPal for digital goods gateway to accept PayPal payment for a service or product or donation in one click. It can be used in the sidebar, posts, and pages of your site.
- WP eStore – This powerful, sleek and conversion oriented WordPress shopping cart plugin allows you to sell any type of digital products and services from your WordPress powered site securely with complete automation. You can sell physical (tangible) products with this plugin too.
- Simple Membership Plugin – This is a flexible, well-supported, and easy-to-use WordPress membership plugin for offering free and premium content from your blog. It lets you protect your posts and pages so only your members (free or paid) can view the protected content.
- WP eMember – This is a powerful WordPress Membership Plugin that can turn your existing or new WordPress site into a fully featured membership site easily. It lets you selectively protect articles by creating various membership levels (example: Free, Basic, Premium, Ultimate etc.) and protect the content (posts, pages, comments etc) of your site. The plugin manages all the membership management side of things.
- WP Affiliate Platform – This is a WordPress plugin for affiliate recruitment, management, and tracking. This plugin lets you run your own affiliate campaign/program and it allows you to reward (pay commission) your affiliates for referred sales.
- WordPress Affiliate Link Manager – It allows you to automatically convert specific keywords from your blog posts and pages into your affiliate links. It also cloaks the affiliate links and gives it a prettier and shorter alias, if you are into affiliate marketing business, you will love this plugin.
Software License Management
- Software License Manager – This plugin allows you to create a software license management solution for your web applications (WordPress plugins, Themes, PHP based membership script etc)
Other Very Useful Plugins
- Download Monitor – This is a very useful plugin for managing and tracking your digital file downloads. You can track which file is being downloaded how many times and who is downloading them.
- Yet Another Related Posts Plugin – It displays pages, posts, and custom post types related to the current entry, introducing your readers to other relevant content on your blog.
- Crayon Syntax Highlighter – A plugin to highlight any code in your posts or pages. It is very handy if you use example codes in your blog. It makes it easy to manage language files and define custom language elements with regular expressions. This WordPress plugin is supporting multiple languages, themes, fonts, highlighting from a URL, or post text
- Mailpoet Newsletters – It allows you send newsletters, post notifications or autoresponders from WordPress easily and beautifully.
- WP Photo Seller – This plugin is a shopping cart designed and built to meet the needs of photographers. If you are a photographer or hobbyist and want to sell photos, prints, images online then this plugin is an essential tool for you.
- WP-Polls – It adds an AJAX poll system to your WordPress blog and it allows you to easily include a poll into your WordPress’s blog post/page.
- EWWW Image Optimizer – This WordPress plugin will automatically and losslessly reduce file sizes for images and optimize them as you upload them to your blog.
- WP Video Lightbox – This plugin allows you to embed videos on a page using lightbox overlay display. This tool can be used to display images, flash, YouTube, Vimeo, iFrame etc in a nice lightbox overlay.
If you are using Genesis and StudioPress design theme. Below are the plugins you can use.
- Genesis Simple Sidebars – If you want to have custom content in your primary and/or secondary sidebars on specific posts and pages, this WordPress plugin allows you to easily do this, as well as by category.
- Genesis Simple Edits – An easy way to edit your blog post info and meta, such as author name, post categories, etc. It also lets you create custom footer text such as a copyright, or any content in the footer area can be changed using HTML.
- Genesis Simple Menus – If you are using a child theme that has a secondary navigation menu, you can now customize which menu you want to show on specific pages, posts or categories.
- Genesis Title Toggle – Ever want to hide the post or page title? This WordPress plugin lets you do it by simply ticking a box on that specific page or post, or you can do it globally.
- Genesis 404 Page – Have you ever wanted to customize the page someone gets with a 404 Error Not Found? If so, this plugin makes it as easy as creating a new page on your site.
This post will be regularly updated to keep the plugin list up to date and relevant. Please suggest your favorite plugins through the comment area below so I can check them out and possibly add them to this useful plugins list.