Best WordPress Plugins

  • Sharebar

Backup and Optimize

W3 Total Cache

The ultimate swiss-army knife of caching, from the basic page caching (keeping a static copy of the page), to CSS/JS/HTML minification (making your files smaller), as well as handling uploads to a Content Delivery Network.

Download | Plugin Site

WP-SuperCache

If W3TC is too much for you, SuperCache is the answer. Very simply, it makes static HTML files to serve users, and much fewer settings to break.

Download | Plugin Site

Backup Buddy Premium

Expensive, but the only plugin that can truly handle both file and database backups easily. Only for pro-bloggers though at that price, but a license lasts a lifetime. ($75 for 2 site license)

Purchase

WP-DB Backup

Does what it says on the tin – backs up your database. However, certainly not an easy solution and only works with core tables – so plugin data is lost.

Download

Vaultpress Premium

Another premium backup service from the guys that created WordPress, so you know it’s rock solid. ($15 per month per site)

Signup

CloudFlare Caching Service

Though not really a plugin, this is a free service that works fantastically with WordPress to reduce the amount of spam requests for your page and cache certain resources in local CDNs around the world. Results in significant speed increases. Well worth it but requires you to adjust the name servers for your domain so can be a little tricky to set up.

Signup

WP-Optimize

Optimizes the database by running the optimize SQL command, removing post revisions, spam and unapproved comments. It’s essential if you don’t manually manage your database or run your own optimization scripts. Also includes functionality to rename users, useful for changing the default admin user.

Download | Plugin Site

Secure WP

From the WebSite Defender guys, this gives you a thorough security check and make a number of small adjustments to harden your Wp install, such as hiding the version number. Also available as an online service.
Download | Plugin Site

Redirection


Monitor your site 404 errors and create simple 301 redirects easy to keep the Google link juice flowing and your readers free from 404 pages. Find what’s 404ing, redirect it, easy.

Download

Wassup

Wassup gives you a full stats dashboard and even real-time monitoring of visitor activity, without needing an external service like WordPress Stats or Google Analytics.

Download

Broken Link Checker

Dealing with broken links can be pain if you’re waiting for readers to report them – get ahead of the game with this plugin and automatically check all the sites you’ve linked to before they become a problem.

Download

 

 

Search Engine Optimisation

WordPress SEO by Yoast

Widely regarded as the SEO plugin for WordPress. It has an extensive feature set and rave reviews. Give it a whirl, there are alternatives though. Includes XML sitemap features.

Download | Plugin Site

SEO Ultimate

Another extensive feature set – this one has a 404 error tracker and well as link cloaking for your affiliate links, as well as the standard features. Each module can be disabled as required, so scales with your needs. Quite heavy when fully enabled though.

Download | Plugin Site

All-In-One SEO

A basic set of features, but still a very popular choice for handling SEO concerns.

Download

Google XML Sitemaps

Creates a site map for you to submit to Google and automatically updates it when you post new content. Essential for getting indexed quickly and accurately.

Download | Plugin Site

SEO Friendly Images

Adds ALT and TITLE meta tags to your images so you can start getting valuable Google Images traffic.

Download

SEO Slugs

Makes your permalinks shorter by removing unnecessary common words such as a/the/or, resulting in shorter URLs and a better rank. This functionality is built into SEO Ultimate but not WordPress SEO, so get an SEO plugin first then see if you need this one too.

Download | Plugin Site

 

 

Social and Commenting


Thank Me Later

Automatically sends a follow-up email to anyone who leaves a comment at your blog, thanking them for taking the time to comment and encouraging follow up visits.

Download | Plugin Site

Disqus Commenting

A full replacement comment system for WordPress offering a range of login options, share buttons, and serious spam protection. Syncs with your WordPress database to ensure you don’t lose any should you decide it’s not for you. Restricts your ability to add other commenting functionality and plugins though, beyond what Disqus provides.

Download | Plugin Site

CommentLuv

Automatically inserts a link to the commenter’s latest blog post when they enter a comment (if they provide a website address of course). Superb way to encourage more comments, though also liable to encourage worthless comments posted just for the link.

Download | Plugin Site

Digg Digg

Full set of social sharing buttons in a variety of styles – a vertical floating box is usually quite popular.

Download

ShareBar

Fewer options, but simpler and very attractive alternative for adding a set of vertical sharing buttons which moves when the user scrolls.

Download | Plugin Site

Sexy Bookmarks

A unique style and customisable set of social bookmarking buttons with a huge range of services included. Quite recognizable by readers who are fans of bookmark services.

Download | Plugin Site

Akismet

Comes with WordPress, but if you haven’t activated and added an API key yet, you’re missing out. It really does stop the hordes of spam comments that come every hour.

Download | Get an API key

Follow me

Creates a persistent slide-on sidebar widget you can fill with links to all your social profiles. Essential if you have a lot of accounts, but for one or two, just paste them onto a regular text sidebar widget.

Download | Plugin Site

LiveFyre

A revolutionary real-time commenting system with added social login features, CommentLuv-like links to users latest blog posts, user profiles that encourage interaction and more. Definately worth considering to replace your standard WordPress comments!

Plugin Site

 

 

Core Functionality

WP-PageNavi

Replaces the next/previous buttons with good looking paginated buttons. Customizable, and absolutely essential.

Download

Revision Control

If you edit your post a lot, each autosave will result in a new “revision” stored in the database. Keep those under control by limiting them with this plugin.

Download

No Revisions

Doesn’t delete previous revisions but does prevent any future ones being made. Install with any new blog. (Note: you can also achieve the same effect by editing the wp-config.php yourself).

Download

FD Feedburner

Redirects your main feed to the Feedburner site. This reduces the load on your server as well as adding a host of additional features.

Download | Feedburner Site

What Would Seth Godin Do

Odd name for a plugin, but it creates a “welcome box” for new users visiting the site. Disappears by default after the 5th visit. Use the box to encourage signup with the newsletter, or RSS feed, or just a personal greeting.

Download | Plugin Site

WP GreetBox

Creates a greet box at the start or end of posts, which you can customize specific messages for different traffic sources – so if they came from Google, get them to subscribe; or if they came from Digg then show a Digg button. etc.

Download | Plugin Site

Yet Another Related Posts Plugin

Displays related posts at the end of an article, very customisable yet simple to use.

Download | Plugin Site

JetPack

Loads of additional features that usually come with a WordPress.com blog – significantly, stats, gravatar hover cards, a grammar checker, and recent tweets widget.

Download | Plugin Site | Howto and Overview

Popular Posts

(Requires Jetpack with Stats enabled) Uses the stats gathered with the JetPack plugin to figure out the most popular posts over X number of days and display them as a widget.

Download

SimplePress

Creates an entire forum functionality to your site. Simple, customisable, fully integrated.

Download and plugin Site

Event Calendar Pro – Premium

A gorgeous events plugin with calendar view or event list, iCal and GCal import buttons. Perfect for club or society meet-ups. ($40 per site)

Plugin Site

GD Star Ratings

An incredibly rich ratings plugin, perhaps overwhelming for most users but well worth the time investment to learn it. A full templating system and a variety of rating types make this the ultimate rating system around.

Download | Plugin Site

Contact Form 7

Create a contact form and embed it on a page with ease. Optional Captcha element to deal with spam.

Download | Plugin Site

WP-Touch

Creates a complete mobile version of your site with ease. Premium version also available that removes branding and allows you to embed ads.

Download | Plugin Site

Linktrackr Premium

Essential for anyone using affiliate marketing or conversion pages, this plugin performs link cloaking and A/B testing for various conversion page designs. Also includes a viral makreting (sharebar type) module. Full stats and dashboard, various plans available from $9/month.

Site

Gravity Forms Premium – $39

Expensive if you just need a form, but the feature set is incredible and the name deceiving. Multi-step, logic, limiting entries for competitions, even a full ordering system.

Plugin Site

TinyMCE Advanced

An enhanced version of the built-in WYSIWYG editor that gives you a customizable array of extra features, such as being able to add HTML tables. Essential if you use the standard editor but find it a little frustrating.

Download

Widget Logic

If you’ve ever wanted to dynamically change what’s on your sidebar using standard WordPress conditionals (is_single(), is_page(), is_archive() etc), this is the plugin for you.

Download

Syntax Highlighter Evolved

Essential for anyone who blogs about code, programming or web development – this plugin gives you an attractive and functional highlighted code block with optional line numbers. You might preferGoogle Syntax Highlighter though, so check that out too – both are good.

Download

Members


Allows you create additional user levels, as well as crucially blocking actual post content from being viewed by users not of a certain level – so you can set up a premium area of your site for paying users and require membership. I don’t recommend this tactic, but this plugin will handle it all for you smoothly.

Download

 

 

E-Commerce

WP e-Commerce

The basic package is completely free with additional upgrades for a premium. The most popular WordPress free e-commerce around, there’s a vast list of showcase sites. A good selection of free features, SEO-friendly, highly customisable and works well with other plugins; but perhaps aimed more to web developers who don’t mind editing templates and writing CSS – there are slicker options out there.

Download | Plugin Site

JigoShop

Works great out of the box with the default WP theme, and a very slick style. Built-in payment processors, inventory management and full stats dashboard make this a very attractive and FREE e-commerce solution to rival the best.

Download | Plugin Site

Shopp Premium

$55 for a basic license, plus upgrade costs for payments modules and other plugin functionality; but with rock solid support and a much cleaner backend interface than the free solutions. If you’re serious about eCommerce on WordPress, it should be a negligible expense for the peace of mind and support offered with a premium plugin.

Purchase

 

 

Photography and Galleries

NextGen Gallery

The built-in gallery and photo management in WordPress isn’t ideal – this plugin creates a whole new gallery section to manage your photos, disassociating them from posts. You can then embed albums or galleries in posts or collect all your images on a single page. An extensive plugin in and of itself, you can also download plugins for NextGen Gallery to extend functionality further.

Download | Plugin Site

Smush.it

Smush.it is an image optimizer service from Yahoo that can reduce the size of your images by around 10-40% without any loss in quality, and with this plugin your images will automatically be run through the service (they’re still hosted on your server though). There’s also a bulk option to do all your previously uploaded images too. If your site is image heavy, this is absolute must and pretty amazing stuff really.(Note: it doesn’t work on images over 1mb).
Download | Smush.it Standalone Site

 

 

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