Where would your WordPress blog be without a plugin or two? WordPress plugins add functionality to your blog. They make blogging easier, more secure or just simply prettier.
With over 31,000 WordPress plugins available in the WordPress repository alone, how do you start choosing? When you see lists of 50 or 101 essential WordPress Plugins, someone somewhere can end up with a bit of a plugin problem. That many plugins is too many!
As a self-confessed plugin-a-holic who is trying to kick the habit, I thought I would share my 12 (and a half) favourite plugins for WordPress.
12 Essential WordPress Plugins
Because I can start noindexing archives from the get go and the title templates are incredibly useful. Not to mention, there’s everything you need to SEO your blog all in one place:
- On-page SEO tips and checks
- Search snippet preview
- Page analysis
- Google Authorship and Publisher
- Twitter Cards
- Facebook Opengraph tags
- XML Sitemaps
- RSS Enhancements
2. AntiSpam Bee (Free)
Blogging on WordPress comes with its arch enemy – comment spam. I’ve been installing AntiSpam Bee on new blogs because:
- it does a great job
- it plays nice with other plugins, including GASP
- it’s free!
Find out more about it on this blog post
3. Backup Creator (Paid starting at $7)
If you have a WordPress site it is essential to regularly backup. I recommend the Backup Creator because of its simple 1-click backup and easy reinstall or clone features.
Backup your site – you never know when a backup is needed!
4. WordFence (Free with premium option)
Security is a big concern for any website owner. WordFence offers a firewall, login security, virus scanning, email prompts to update your plugins and theme and more.
WordFence provides real time protection. If a WordPress site with the WordFence plugin activated is attacked, the attacker is blocked. The nice part is the attacker is blocked on all other WordPress sites with WordFence installed too.
WordPress powers more than 20% of the web, that’s a fair few websites! It’s impossible to be 100% secure. Keeping your WordPress install up to date and Wordfence makes your website far more secure than the majority out there.
5. TinyMCE Advanced (Free)
This nifty plugin adds extra functionality to your Visual Editor. It’s the little things that make life easier – like changing font family and sizes without thinking about it!
6. Schema Creator by Raven (Free)
An easy way to add schema.org markup to your pages and posts. Choose from:
The Schema Creator plugin is ideal for local businesses to easily markup their posts about their business, people, products and events. Fab too for bloggers reviewing products or sharing recipes.
7. Revive Old Post (Free with premium upgrade)
Formerly Tweet Old Post. Recently updated with new features, I’ve not explored the new options in this plugin as yet. The plugin now includes Facebook and LinkedIn settings.
Revive Old Post re-shares your blog posts. You can choose the interval, how old the posts need to be and which categories you want to share.
8. Shareaholic (Free)
I’ve recently moved back to Shareaholic. It’s 5 plugins in one, which is handy for trimming the masses I collect on here “trying plugins out”. Shareaholic features:
- share buttons at the top and/or bottom of posts,
- a share bar at the side,
- pinable images
- related posts.
The latest feature is a pop up after someone has shared your post encouraging them to follow you on your social profiles. Yes, I am trying that feature out!
9. nrelate Related Content (Free)
Retired for a little while at least until I see how the shareaholic plugin gets on with related posts, I love the nrelate plugin. It really digs down in your blog (up to 10 years) and displays related posts in a variety of formats.
For those who want even more options, you can pull related posts from your blogroll. You can also become part of the nrelate publisher network to monetise your related posts.
I can see me switching nrelate back on sooner than later. Shareaholic related posts doesn’t do the digging in and showing several options nrelate does.
10. WP Smush.it (Free)
In this age of images everywhere, WP Smush.it is an essential “must have” plugin. As you upload your images, it strips all unnecessary data and compresses JPEGs, which reduces the file size. You also have the option to bulk smush images already in your media library.
11. Google Analytics For WordPress (Free)
It goes without saying you need to measure how your website is doing. Google Analytics for WP connects your website without any fuss or messing with code.
11a. Google Analyticator (Free)
If you prefer to see an analytics overview on your WordPress dashboard, Analyticator gives you that option.
You don’t need both Analytics for WordPress and Analyticator, choose one or the other!
12. P3 Plugin Performance Profiler (free)
I know it’s not just me who gets a little heavy handed with plugin overload! When you get to that stage where so many are installed your site starts slowing down, P3 will show you what plugins are hogging your resources.
What are your essential WordPress Plugins?
Trimming down my favourites to just 12 (and a half) I class as essential WordPress plugins I come back to time and time again was tough. Right now I have 33 active plugins and a few more sitting waiting to swap back on when I’ve finished playing. I’m forever swapping and changing!
Over to you…
Have I missed any of your favourite plugins? List them in the comments!12.5 Essential WordPress Plugins For Your Business Blog by Jan Kearney