Essential WordPress Plugins You Should Know

WordPress offers a ton of features and flexibility, there is still a lot of functionality missing from the core software. The best way to fill in the missing pieces, of course, is to get yourself the right plugins.

wordpress-plugins
Plugins offer all kinds of customization for site admins, however, with almost 40,000 options to choose from it the WordPress Plugin Directory, not to mention all the premium products available, it can be difficult sorting the good from the, well, not so good.

So here’s a collection of free and premium must-haves, the plugins that can help take your site from good to great.



Comment Spam Prevention

Akismet – best guard against comment spam for WordPress blog!

Database and File Backup Plugins

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

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

All in One SEO Pack – Out-of-the-box SEO for your WordPress blog. Install the all in one seo pack or the “WordPress SEO by Yoast” plugin (you don’t need to install both).
WordPress SEO by Yoast – Yoast’s all in one SEO solution for your WordPress blog: SEO titles, meta descriptions, XML sitemaps, breadcrumbs & much more.
Google XML Sitemaps – This plugin generates a XML-Sitemap compliant sitemap of your WordPress blog. This format is supported by Ask.com, Google, YAHOO and MSN Search. The SEO plugins listed above can also do the sitemap for you.

Blog Security Plugin

All In One WP Security & Firewall – The All In One WordPress Security and Firewall is the ultimate security plugin that will take your WordPress site’s security to a whole new level.

BulletProof Security – BulletProof security plugin offers website security protection against: XSS, RFI, CRLF, CSRF, Base64, Code Injection and SQL Injection.

Wordfence Security – The Wordfence WordPress security plugin provides free enterprise-class WordPress security.

Blog Statistics Related

Google Analytics Dashboard for WP – Displays Google Analytics reports in your WordPress Dashboard. Inserts the latest Google Analytics tracking code in your pages.
Google Analytics – Enables Google Analytics on all pages. This one seems to be simple and does the job. However, the developer doesn’t seem to be very responsive.

Google Analytics for WordPress – This plugin used to be really good but since the original developer sold this plugin, it has gone downhill (many users have reported to us that it doesn’t work well anymore). 

WP Statistics – A comprehensive plugin for your WordPress visitor statistics (doesn’t use Google Analytics).

Caching Plugin

W3 Total Cache – The fastest and most complete WordPress performance optimization plugin. After you use the w3 total cache plugin you won’t go back to using WP Super Cache.

WP Super Cache – WP Super Cache is a static caching plugin for WordPress. It generates html files that are served directly by Apache without processing comparatively heavy PHP scripts. By using this plugin you will speed up your WordPress blog significantly.

RSS Subscription Related

FeedBurner FeedSmith – This plugin detects all ways to access your original WordPress feeds and redirects them to your FeedBurner feed so you can track every possible subscriber.
Add to Any: Subscribe Button – Helps readers subscribe to your blog using any feed reader.
Category Specific RSS Menu – A simple WordPress plugin to add category specific RSS subscription menu into your posts, pages, sidebars. Very handy when your blog covers multiple topic from non related subjects. 
  • Membership Plugin
Simple Membership Plugin – The simple membership plugin lets you protect your posts and pages so only your members (free or paid) can view the protected content.
WordPress eMember – WP eMember is a feature rich membership plugin that can turn your existing or new WordPress site into a powerful membership site.

Affiliate Related

WP Affiliate Platform – WordPress plugin for affiliate recruitment, management and tracking. This plugin lets you run your own affiliate campaign/program and allows you to reward (pay commission) your affiliates for referred sales.

Software License Management

Software License Manager – This plugin allows you to create a software license management solution for your web applications (WordPress plugins, Themes, PHP based membership script etc.)

Other Very Useful Plugins

Yet Another Related Posts Plugin –  This plugin gives you a list of posts and/or pages related to the current entry, introducing the reader to other relevant content on your site.
Download Monitor – This plugin is very useful for managing and tracking your digital file downloads. You can track which file is being downloaded how many times and who is downloading them.
Executable PHP Widget – Like the Text widget, but it will take PHP code as well. Very handy for inserting custom ‘php’, ‘html’, ‘javascript’ in the sidebar.
Crayon Syntax Highlighter – A plugin to highlight any code in your posts or pages. very handy if you use example codes in your Blog.
Mailpoet Newsletters – Send newsletters, post notifications or autoresponders from WordPress easily, and beautifully.
WP-Polls – Adds an AJAX poll system to your WordPress blog. Allows you to easily include a poll into your WordPress’s blog post/page.
EWWW Image Optimizer – The EWWW Image Optimizer is a WordPress plugin that will automatically and losslessly optimize your images as you upload them to your blog.
WP Video Lightbox – The WordPress Video Lightbox plugin allows you to embed videos on a page using lightbox overlay display. This plugin can be used to display images, flash, YouTube, Vimeo, iFrame etc in a nice lightbox overlay.

Contact Forms Related

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.
Contact Form – The Contact Form plugin allows you to implement a feedback form to a web-page or a post in no time.
Gravity Forms – Build and publish your WordPress forms in just minutes. No drudgery, just quick and easy form-building.

Social Networking

Social Media and Share Icons – Social media plugin which adds social media icons to your website with tons of customization features.
Share This – This is a very useful plugin that allows your visitors to share a post/page with others. Supports e-mail and posting to social bookmarking sites.
Fat Free WordPress Social Share Buttons Plugin – This is a very simple and FAT FREE share button plugin that adds Google plus one, Facebook and Twitter share buttons to your blog posts.

For Google Adsense

Simple Google Adsense insertion – Easy to use WordPress plugin to insert Google Adsense to your posts, pages and sidebar.
Google Adsense Plugin – Google AdSense Plugin allows you to set parameters of the ads displaying, such as format (text ad, image, text with an image or link), size, color of the elements in the ad block, rounded corners and the ad block position on the website.
Google Adsense – The AdSense Plugin enables you to easily use Google’s products – including Webmaster Tools – with your WordPress site.

Photo Gallery Plugin

NextGen Gallery – The most popular WordPress photo gallery plugin.
Simple Photo Gallery – If you are looking for an effective, reliable, yet simple to use photo gallery plugin, then check this gallery plugin out.

E-commerce, Paypal Donation and Payment

WordPress Simple Paypal Shopping Cart – is a very easy to use plugin that allows you to sell products or services online in one click from your WordPress blog. Very useful when you want to sell eBooks or digital products from various posts and pages and need a WordPress Shopping Cart solution.
WP Easy Paypal Payment Accept – This is a very easy to use WordPress plugin to Accept donation or Paypal payment for a service or a product in one click. Handy when you are trying to put a customized payment widget on your site (you can add it to the sidebar or a page or a post of your blog).
WordPress eStore – This plugin provides a complete solution to sell products from your site. It is really good for selling digital products securely from your WordPress blog.
WordPress Donations Widget Plugin – The WordPress Donations Widget Plugin allows you to collect donation for a cause from your WordPress powered site.
PayPal for Digital Goods – This plugin allows you to use the PayPal for Digital Goods gateway to accept payment for digital goods. Provides inline checkout of digital goods.
Stripe Payments – A simple and lightweight plugin to accept payment on your site (for a product or service) via the Stripe payment gateway.

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