List of recommended plugins for WordPress
We make no excuses about being huge fans of WordPress and pretty much exclusively use WordPress for all the sites we build. One of the most common questions we get is: “What plugins do you recommend?” So, we put together an official list of plugins we recommend. Of course you should do your own due diligence to determine if this plugin is right for you. But enough with the legal disclaimer nonsense, let’s get down to plugin fun! Plugins listed below in sections B, C, D, E, F are plugins we suggest you implement on all WordPress Installations. Using plugins listed in other sections depends on the purpose of your website.
B. SEO plugins
Improve your WordPress SEO: Write better content and have a fully optimized WordPress site using the WordPress SEO plugin. Compared to other SEO plugins it allows easy setup and is very useful for canonical redirects also for tag / category listing pages. It also creates an XML sitemap and really should be the only SEO plugin you need. But if you want specific Sitemap functionality see below. This plugin will also allow you to edit your Robots.txt and .htaccess documents (if they are present and editable on your ftp server).
C. XML Sitemap plugins
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 website.
D. Redirection plugins
Redirection is a WordPress plugin to manage 301 redirections and keep track of 404 errors without requiring knowledge of Apache .htaccess files.
2) Simple 301 Redirects
Simple 301 Redirects provides an easy method of redirecting requests to another page on your site or elsewhere on the web.
E. Speed up plugins
1) WP Minify
2) Hyper Cache
Caching a site keeps parts of your page content that repeatedly load on each page in your browser memory. Hyper Cache is flexible and easy to configure cache system for WordPress.
F. Security & backup & upgrade plugins
1) Better WP Security
The easiest, most effective way to secure a WordPress site. Improve the security of any WordPress site in seconds. Suitable for bigger organizations with online security rules and procedures.
2) BackUp WordPress
BackUpWordPress will back up your entire site including your database and all your files on a schedule that suits you.
3) UpdraftPlus – Backup/Restore
Plugin can do backups in to Dropbox and other remote places.
4) WP Remote
WP Remote is a free web app that enables you to easily manage all of your WordPress powered sites from one place.
G. Content creation plugins
InboundWriter enables writers, bloggers, and marketers to easily create and improve online content for increased reach, engagement and conversions.
H. Contact forms & polls plugins
1) 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.
2) Gravity Forms
Gravity Forms is a paid form service, however the functionality is far more advanced that Contact Form 7. Much more can be done, but usually also requires a Web Developer to implement anything beyond a simple functionality install, but the results are far superior, including reporting functionality and ability to integrate Analytics and tracking data.
WP-Polls is extremely powerful poll platform with support of multiple selection of answers. It is also customizable via templates and CSS styles.
I. Business directory / Classified Ads plugins
Business Directory Plugin
Business Directory Plugin allows you to build local directories, business provider listings, Yellow-Pages style business directories, Yelp-like review.
J. Advertising plugins
Injects any adverts (e.g. AdSense) into the WordPress posts or widget area. Restrict who sees ads by post length/age/referrer or IP. Cache compatible.
K. Permalinks and linking plugins
1) Advanced Permalinks
Allows multiple permalink structures and category-specific permalinks without needing redirects.
2) Better Internal Link Search
Better Internal Link Search improves the default internal link searching feature in a number of ways, making it faster and easier to find the content you want to link up.
3) WordPress Related Posts
WordPress Related Posts generates a list of related posts with thumbnails and gives you click-through statistics.
4) Broken links checker
This plugin will check your posts, comments and other content for broken links and missing images, and notify you if any are found.
L. Social networks plugins
1) NextScripts: Social Networks Auto-Poster
This plugin automatically publishes posts from your blog to your Social Network accounts such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+(Google Plus), Blogger, Tumblr, LiveJournal, FriendFeed, DreamWidth, Delicious, Diigo, Instapaper, Stumbleupon, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Plurk, VKontakte(VK.com), YouTube, WordPress, etc.
The whole process is completely automated. Just write a new post and either entire post or it’s nicely formatted announcement with backlink will be published to all your configured social networks. You can reach the most audience and tell all your friends, readers and followers about your new post. Plugin works with profiles, business pages, community pages, groups, etc.
Flare is a simple yet eye-catching social sharing bar that gets you followed and lets your content get shared via posts, pages, and media types.
3) ShareThis: Share Buttons and Social Analytics
Social Charge your Content with ShareThis – features Social Analytics, CopyNShare, Open Graph Sharing, and the Hovering Bar!
4) Juiz Last Tweet Widget
5) Social Count Plus
Display the counting data of Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Steam Community, SoundCloud posts and comments.
M. Comment plugins
Disqus Comment System
The Disqus comment system replaces your WordPress comment system with your comments hosted and powered by Disqus.
N. Other types of plugins
1) Catch IDs
What this plugin does is to shows the IDs on admin section.
2) Simple Lightbox
Simple Lightbox is a very simple and customizable lightbox that is easy to add to your WordPress website.
3) WordPress Popular Posts
With WordPress Popular Posts, you can show your visitors what are the most popular entries on your blog.
4) WordPress Backup to Dropbox
With the WordPress Backup to Dropbox plugin, you can backup your entire site to a Dropbox account. Free accounts availabld and Zipped backups available for premium accounts.
Do you have any favourite plugins not listed here? Please feel free to comment or tweet me @ainsleymuller and I’ll be happy to add them in. Feedback on the ones we listed? That’s welcome too.