In this post, I will list and explain what I consider to be the 10 best plugins for WordPress. Plugins can be a true life-saver on a WordPress site, but some can be more of a pain than a benefit. This list will cover the best of what WordPress has to offer with regard to plugins.
This list is for WordPress.org sites. If you are running a Blogger or WordPress.com site, this post isn’t for you. Unless you want to create your own self-hosted WordPress site.
10 Best Plugins for WordPress
Akismet – WordPress’ anti-spam plugin that now comes standard with a WordPress installation. There is no better spam filter for WordPress, so set up your API key and get Akismet going first thing.
Yoast – Great plugin to help keep your SEO on track. See this video for how to use it to help your on-page SEO. With Yoast, you can also manage your sitemaps, permalinks and other key SEO information without having to dig deep into code.
Comment Reply Notification – This will make a little box (which you can choose to be auto-checked or not) right under the submit comment button that will allow commenters to be notified via email when a reply to their comment has been made. This is great for interaction, which is not something you want to discourage.
Flare – The social sharing plugin that you see on this site is Flare. Some say it is resource heavy, but I have never had any issues, so it gets my recommendation. You can set it to have a floating share-bar on the left or right side of the page in addition to social share icons at the top or bottom of the posts.
Online Backup for WordPress – allows you to easily backup your entire WordPress site and database. You can set up an online backup database in the cloud, or can download the backups straight to your computer. Either way, make sure to download this plugin and backup your site often! As a matter of fact…
Ok, where was I… oh ya, plugins. Here’s the rest of the list:
W3 Total Cache – An all-in-one caching plugin that will make your site run faster. There is tons of stuff that you could delve into with W3 but if you just install it and keep it up and running, it will do all that you need. For a more in-depth look at W3 Total Cache, see this great post.
Nrelate Related Content – This will create a “You may also like” feature at the end of your posts where you can direct readers to related posts. You can choose how many posts to show, what size image thumbnail to show and other options. Again, this plugin saves you an ungodly amount of coding that would be required to get the same feature.
WP Touch – This plugin will give you an easy, basic mobile friendly site. Upgrade to the WP Touch Pro version to get more customization options, functionality and the ability to put ads on your mobile site.
PC Hide Pages – quickly and easily hide pages from search engines. An example of when this is useful is on this site. I do consultations and have working pages built just for each client. I don’t want those pages to be indexed by Google and potentially found by random people.
Wordfence Security – includes a complete firewall, scans for DNS changes, blocks brute force attacks and more. You can also see and block the IP of any visitor to your site. Basically, this plugin is like your site’s bodyguard.
Bonus Plugins – for Genesis Theme Users
Simple Social Icons – Quickly place simple, good looking social icons on your Genesis site. Change the color, hover color, roundness and size without getting into html code.
Simple Hooks – Will allow you to do things with functions without having to touch functions.php files. Easily place Analytics code or other scripts without the need of an expert.
So there you have it! With any plugin, make sure you check the reviews. If there are not recent reviews, or the plugin has low reviews, move along. Again, I use every single one of the plugins above and can vouch for their safety and usefulness.