50 Essential WordPress Plugins You Should Know
Nowadays, just about everyone can consider themselves a blogger. The tools and plugins made available online are making it even easier to break into the blogging scene. Competition is rife and you might do well to get help from any source you can find. One of the ways is to get yourself plugins that will help make certain processes smoother for you and your readers. There are plugins for various purposes including to aid caching and image optimization, SEO, anti-spam, commenting, content-sharing, bookmarking and so on.
In this article, I have compiled a list of WordPress plugins that WordPress users might find a use for. Instead of searching in the Internet jungle, take your pick from the list of plugins below. The plugins are free unless stated otherwise.
Recommended Reading: 29 WordPress Tweaks to Improve Posts and Pages
- Caching plugins
- SEO plugins
- Anti spam (security) plugins
- Comment plugins
- Social-bookmarking plugins
- Statistics plugins
- Backup plugins
- Forms plugins
CloudFlare ensures better protection of your blog from spammers. It shows the correct IP addresses of commentors who are commenting on your blog. You can protect your site from online spammers and hackers, and it helps your website load faster as well.
Hyper Cache Extended is a very flexible and easy to use caching plugin for the WordPress platform, designed mainly for users who run their blog on low resource hosting providers.
If you want real speed then Quick Cache is the plugin you must have. This plugin takes a snapshot (or cache) of each and every page of your blog and serves these snapshots to the visitors during every visit.
If your website has a number of images to load every time a visitor visits your site but it takes a lot of resources loading them up, then you should definitely consider this plugin. This plugin will ensure that only the images on demand are loaded first, thereby saving valuable bandwidth and improving user experience.
W3 Total Cache is the most complete WordPress caching plugin available. It can improve your website’s performance by caching the pages, objects, minifying the databases by content delivery network support.
This plugin implements object level persistent caching which caches only the data that WordPress explicitly asks it to cache, instead of the entire page.
This plugin reduces the file sizes of the images by using the Smush.it API from WordPress. The images are compressed almost without any loss and automatically in WordPress. It also has features to compress multiple images in bulk.
WP Super Cache is a very fast WordPress caching plugin that generates static html files from your dynamic WordPress blog. So instead of loading the heavy PHP scripts of your blog, your visitors will be served with these static html files which will make your blog appear to load faster.
This plugin is the first choice for new and inexperienced WordPress users, who want their blogs to be fully Search Engine Optimized without digging deep into SEO. It provides you with almost every function needed in just a single page.
This Google XML SItemaps plugin generates XML sitemaps for your WordPress blog, so that it becomes easy for crawlers like Google and Bing, to index your site better.
This plugin enables you to add relevant robot meta tags to your pages, unfollow some links and not index unimportant pages and archives.
Scribe is a powerful SEO plugin for WordPress which helps you reveal profitable keywords, tweak your pages for ranking better in the search results and build high quality links based on particular content that you create.
This plugin is a great WordPress plugin that can make on-page optimization easier than ever. It will take care of almost every single on-page factors of your posts and can help your site rank higher in the search results.
SEO Smart Links is a great plugin which can fully automate the internal linking process of your WordPress blog. It also has the capability to convert specific keywords as internal and affiliate links.
This is an all-in-one SEO plugin, that gives you a user-friendly approach of on-page optimization for your WordPress blog. It is available for free and has tools for almost every optimization required.
This is a very simple SEO plugin that can make your blog SEO friendly with the SEO Scores it geneates for every single page. It has a very simple and effective admin panel that can seamlessly integrate into your existing WordPress admin panel.
This SEO Friendly Images plugin is a very helpful plugin that adds alt and title attributes to all your images automatically and makes your post W3C/xHTML valid as well.
This is one of the most complete WordPress SEO plugins available so far. You can perform almost any SEO functionality for your blog with the help of this invaluable plugin by Yoast. Not to be attempted by new users though.
Akismet is possibly the best way to protect your website from web spam. Akismet filters comments and trackback spam, so that you can focus more on managing other important things. It runs on autopilot and provides 24-hour protection.
AntiSpam Bee is a spam protection plugin that is made up of sophisticated techniques to handle digital rubbish and protect your website from every potential threat.
Growmap Anti Spambot plugin serves as an alternative for Akismet; it adds a client-side generated checkbox to the comment forms. Users are asked to confirm that they are not a spammer by just ticking the check box.
This plugin serves as a security plugin and records the IP Addresses and timestamps of every login attempt. If there is a number of failed login attempts within a short period of time, then the login functionality is disabled for all requests from that range.
This plugin prevents spam from automated bots by adding a CAPTCHA in comment, registration, login and lost password forms.
reCAPTCHA is most probably the most popular and widely accepted CAPTCHA systems by all users. This plugin integrates reCAPTCHA anti-spam methods in WordPress as comment, registration and email protection.
Comment Luv helps you to increase comments and traffic to your blog and also gives the opportunity to your blog of going viral in Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus. It also reduces spam, shows stats of links being clicked, allows commentors to use their name in comments, and many more.
Disqus is a powerful commenting system that helps you to build an active community of users by effective tools and features like Realtime Comment System, Social Integration, The Community Box, etc.
This plugin allows visitors to leave comments on various posts on your blog using their own Facebook account. It integrates into your blog and any reader logged into Facebook will be able to comment into any post of your blog.
IntenseDebate is a commenting system that has features such as innovative discussion tools that can make conversations more fun and increase reader engagement.
Livefyre is one of the best comment platforms that aims to replace old and outdated comments systems with innovative and interactive real-time conversations. LiveFyre is the easiest way to build an active community and increase user engagement.
OpenID is an open standard that allows users to authenticate themselves on websites without creating new passwords. It enables users to register or comment on WordPress blogs.
This plugin allows commentors to subscribe for email notifications to subsequent comments on a particular post.
This plugin enables users to edit their own comments within a certain period of time. Users can also move, mark as spam, blacklist, moderate or delete a particular comment.
AddThis allows your user to share your content at 330 of the most popular bookmarking and social networking sites including Facebook, Twitter, Digg, Reddit, StumbleUpon and many more.
Share Buttons make sharing articles in your site easy and simple, by providing a drop-down menu with more than 100 social networking and bookmarking sites to choose from and share to.
The ShareThis plugin allows the sharing of content from your site through email and 50 different social networks including Facebook, Twitter, Digg, Reddit, and many more. This plugin also has Facebook’s Like button and Google’s +1 button for easy sharing of articles.
Sociable adds a bar of icons of different social networking and bookmarking sites that you can choose for your articles. If they see what they like, your readers can easily share the contents to many bookmarking sites. You can choose to display the sites you want for sharing from the control panel.
WordPress Social Bar adds a floating sharing bar to your articles in your site. The bar which is always visible allows easy sharing of the article by your readers to various social sites with just one click. It is also fully customizable according to your needs.
Clicky is a real-time web analytics for tracking your website’s visitors. It has great features like Real Time Analytics, Visitor Segmentation, Twitter Analytics, Mobile Version, Video Analytics and many more.
Statpress is a real-time tracking plugin that integrates into with the WordPress platform enabling you to track the data of your visitors. It also collects informations of spiders, search keywords, feeds, browsers, OS etc.
It is a simple, clear and concise plugin that track stats for your WordPress blog with no additional load on your server.
BackupBuddy is a complete solution, which can backup, restore and migrate WordPress sites with ease. It can backup your entire WordPress as well as install, restore it with a single click, or migrate from one domain or server to another in a few clicks.
VaultPress by Automattic is considered to be one of the best WordPress Backup and Security plugins for "Every post, picture, and page. Every comment, revision, and setting. Everything." in the market. It is perfectly suitable for personal, professional, small and medium business sites.
This plugin allows you to repair, backup and restore your databases. It also supports automatic scheduling of backups and optimization.
WP-Optimize is a simple yet effective WordPress cleanup plugin, which can clean your databases and optimize it without phpMyAdmin. It can optimize databases by removing post revisions, spam and unapproved comments.
AJAX Contact Form plugin is a simple jQuery based AJAX powered form management plugin that seamlessly integrates into your WordPress platform. It also has a direct Twitter Messaging feature built in it.
Contact Form 7 plugin is a simple and flexible plugin that you can use to manage multiple forms, customize and mail its contents. It can also be punched with Akismet of CAPTCHA for spam filtering and so on.
It is yet another contact form plugin powered by AJAX, with sliding effects and floating buttons. This plugin is under open source GPL License, and is completely free to use without any restrictions.
Gravity Forms is one of the best contact form plugins that can enable you to quickly design and edit forms right from your WordPress admin panel. It has various features like conditional logic, entry management, notifications, styles and layout, and many more that can give your forms a unique feel.
Quform is an easy way of building forms in a few clicks using the drag and drop form builder. This plugin ensures that you have the best form design and functionality without having to touch a single line of code.