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

WordPress SEO

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).

Plugin URL

http://wordpress.org/plugins/wordpress-seo/

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.

Plugin URL

http://wordpress.org/plugins/google-sitemap-generator/

D. Redirection plugins

1) Redirection

Redirection is a WordPress plugin to manage 301 redirections and keep track of 404 errors without requiring knowledge of Apache .htaccess files.

Plugin URL

http://wordpress.org/plugins/redirection/

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.

Plugin URL

http://wordpress.org/plugins/simple-301-redirects/

E. Speed up plugins

1) WP Minify

One of the most commonly suggested page speed issues is to minify your JavaScript (JS) and Cascading Stylesheet (CSS) files. WP Minify grabs JS/CSS files in your generated WordPress page and passes that list to the Minify engine. The Minify engine then returns a consolidated, minified, and compressed script or style for WP Minify to reference in the WordPress header.

Plugin URL

http://wordpress.org/plugins/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.

Plugin URL

http://wordpress.org/plugins/hyper-cache/

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.

Plugin URL

http://wordpress.org/plugins/better-wp-security/

2) BackUp WordPress

BackUpWordPress will back up your entire site including your database and all your files on a schedule that suits you.

Plugin URL

http://wordpress.org/plugins/backupwordpress/

3) UpdraftPlus - Backup/Restore

Plugin can do backups in to Dropbox and other remote places.

Plugin URL

http://wordpress.org/plugins/updraftplus/

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.

Plugin URL

http://wordpress.org/plugins/wpremote/

G. Content creation plugins

InboundWriter

InboundWriter enables writers, bloggers, and marketers to easily create and improve online content for increased reach, engagement and conversions.

Plugin URL

http://wordpress.org/plugins/inboundwriter/

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.

Plugin URL

http://wordpress.org/plugins/contact-form-7/

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.

Plugin URL

http://www.gravityforms.com/

3) WP-Polls

WP-Polls is extremely powerful poll platform with support of multiple selection of answers. It is also customizable via templates and CSS styles.

Plugin URL

http://wordpress.org/plugins/wp-polls/

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.

Plugin URL

http://wordpress.org/plugins/business-directory-plugin/

J. Advertising plugins

Ad Injection

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.

Plugin URL

http://wordpress.org/plugins/ad-injection/

K. Permalinks and linking plugins

1) Advanced Permalinks

Allows multiple permalink structures and category-specific permalinks without needing redirects.

Plugin URL

http://wordpress.org/plugins/advanced-permalinks/

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.

Plugin URL

http://wordpress.org/plugins/better-internal-link-search/

3) WordPress Related Posts

WordPress Related Posts generates a list of related posts with thumbnails and gives you click-through statistics.

Plugin URL

http://wordpress.org/plugins/wordpress-23-related-posts-plugin/

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.

Plugin URL

http://wordpress.org/plugins/broken-link-checker/

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.

Plugin URL

http://wordpress.org/plugins/social-networks-auto-poster-facebook-twitter-g/

2) Flare

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.

Plugin URL

http://wordpress.org/plugins/flare/

3) ShareThis: Share Buttons and Social Analytics

Social Charge your Content with ShareThis - features Social Analytics, CopyNShare, Open Graph Sharing, and the Hovering Bar!

Plugin URL

http://wordpress.org/plugins/share-this/

4) Juiz Last Tweet Widget

Add a widget to your sidebar to show your latest tweet(s) with style and without JavaScript! Retweet, Favorite and Reply links are available.

Plugin URL

http://wordpress.org/plugins/juiz-last-tweet-widget/

5) Social Count Plus

Display the counting data of Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Steam Community, SoundCloud posts and comments.

Plugin URL

http://wordpress.org/plugins/social-count-plus/

M. Comment plugins

Disqus Comment System

The Disqus comment system replaces your WordPress comment system with your comments hosted and powered by Disqus.

Plugin URL

http://wordpress.org/plugins/disqus-comment-system/

N. Other types of plugins

1) Catch IDs

What this plugin does is to shows the IDs on admin section.

Plugin URL

http://wordpress.org/plugins/catch-ids/

2) Simple Lightbox

Simple Lightbox is a very simple and customizable lightbox that is easy to add to your WordPress website.

Plugin URL

http://wordpress.org/plugins/simple-lightbox/

3) WordPress Popular Posts

With WordPress Popular Posts, you can show your visitors what are the most popular entries on your blog.

Plugin URL

http://wordpress.org/plugins/wordpress-popular-posts/

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.

http://wordpress.org/plugins/wordpress-backup-to-dropbox/

 

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.

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