Ten Essential WordPress Plugins
I am often asked what WordPress plugins are on my must-have list and while there are about 100 plugins in my arsenal that I use on any number of my client’s (and my own) sites, these are the top 10 that I install most often.
- Akismet: If you have a blog that has received any kind of traffic, chances are you have received spam comments. Akismet automatically filters out all that annoying spam and learns the patterns of spammers, getting better at filtering the spam the longer you use it. There is a small charge for commercial use, but it’s completely free for personal use.
- Google Analytics: This simple little plugin allows you to easily add your Google Analytics code to your website without having to navigate through your site’s core files. (Note: This plugin is not necessary if Lush Creative designed your site, or you have a theme that allows you to place code in the head of your site)
- Yoast SEO: An all inclusive SEO plugin with tons of options for optimizing your website for search engines. Not only does it automatically optimize your titles, tags and such, but it also offers you the ability to fine tune them directly from pages and posts.
- Backup Buddy by iThemes: It’s crucial to backup your website regularly and this bad boy allows you backup your site directly from your WordPress admin. It also gives you the ability to schedule regular backups. You can use Backup Buddy to backup up to two sites for $80 a year. If you’re looking for a more lightweight FREE option, WordPress Database Backup is another great plugin.
- Shareaholic: No WordPress essentials list would be complete without some sort of social sharing plugin. This all-in-one plugin offers a plethora of options for sharing content including share buttons and related posts (both of which are used on this blog).
- Simple Lightbox: This easy peasy little plugin displays your images in a pretty little lightbox when clicked, rather than opening images in a new page when clicked. It also allows you to enable it’s appearance based upon page type and customize next/previous image links.
- Easy Digital Downloads: If you’re offering any type of downloads on your site, this great little plugin allows for you to process payments (if needed) by integrating with PayPal, Stripe and other payment platforms.
- Redirection: If you ever have the need to change the URL of a blog post or page, make sure you’re redirecting the old URL so that visitors aren’t seeing an ugly 404 page. Just add both links into the Redirection plugin and viola!
- Fast Secure Contact Form: Every website needs a contact page and this plugin allows you to add a contact form to that page so visitors don’t have to leave your site to get in touch!
- Sucuri: If you’re site is growing in traffic, and you’re not willing to risk losing your site to potential security breaches, it’s worth investing in website security. Sucuri offers website monitoring and cleaning. They are fast and good at what they do and I highly recommend them to all clients. (Full disclosure: I’m a Sucuri affiliate because I love them so much!)