WordPress plugins makes our blogging life easier. We don’t have to edit any coding or get in to the programming task. Thousands of plugins are available to do anything we need them to do. The main reason we love Self Hosted WordPress Blog is availability of so many free plugins.
If you own a WordPress blog then I’m sure you are already enjoying the power and simplicity of WordPress plugins. Now I’m going to list some of the best WP plugins that I know and uses on my blog.
How to Install or Find these Plugins? Just log in to your WordPress, go to dashboard > Plugin > Add New and then you’ll able to search or upload these plugins. After installing each plugin, you have to activate each one of them and may have to customize to suit to your needs. Just Search for the Plugins by name to install them!
Let’s Begin Listing Best WordPress Plugins
Thousands of WordPress plugin has been developed, millions of times these plugins have been downloaded, every plugin has something special but it’s not practical to manually mention all these here so I categorized these best plugins in a few sensible categories. The Best thing is that all these plugins are absolutely FREE!
Best SEO Plugins
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is crucial if you want to get online success and organic traffic to your blog. Many SEO plugins have been developed to boost your blog on SERP (search engine result page). Here I’m mentioning only those I prefer as best!
WordPress SEO by Yoast: The most important WordPress plugin that everyone needs to have on his blog is one SEO Plugin. There are many plugins available but you just need one (that suits you). The other two names are Platinum SEO Pack and All in One SEO Pack.
Google XML Sitemaps: Now again in SEO, you need a Sitemap plugin that will create a sitemap for your WordPress blog and can be submitted to Google, Yahoo, Bing etc. so that your website gets indexed faster.
Broken Link Checker: Web is made of hypertext and hyperlinks and it may happen that the website (or article) you are linking today may not be available tomorrow, it may get deleted or moved, in such cases link gets broken/dead and because we have hundreds of articles on our blog we can’t find that broken link easily! Broken Link Checker can be used here and customized to take care of all broken links.
Redirection: I consider it a SEO plugin because it makes links shorter and look better, moreover SEO friendly. If you have lots of poor looking long encrypted tracking affiliated links on your blog then major SE like Google can recognize your whole blog as spam or useless because it contains just affiliated links so think plugin can help cloak long links and make them short and easy to remember.
Ultimate Nofollow: As the plugin name defines it help you to add nofollow tag to each link that you put in article body (while writing WordPress article). You just need to check nofollow box while adding links. Simple an Easy!
W3 Total Cache: To make your website user-friendly you need caching plugins and have to make your site load faster so that visitors don’t have to wait. W3 Total Cache has many options but if you are new to caching and don’t have much technical knowledge consider WP-SuperCache with WP Minify.
Revision Control: A plugin that restrict the no. of revisions of any article/page/post on your blog to X thus making your database a little lighter. I have restricted it to 3 but you can choose whatever you prefer.
Smush.it: Plugin helps to reduce image size around 20-40% without compromising with quality. A few extra SEO plugin that I have can mention are SEO Friendly Images and Robots Meta.
Best Security and BackUp Plugins
The well known IT issue! There are many guys out there who want to gain super-user/admin access to your website core and will surely attack at least once to try their luck. Before these bad guys get success let’s bullet proof our blog with these best security plugins.
Better WP Security: You are on WordPress and because it’s an open source and lot of API is released therefore some bad guys truly know what you are using and what its limitation is. So use the Better WP Security plugin or alternatively use Secure WP, Security Ninja Lite and Bullet Proof Security.
Quttera Malware Scanner: A malware scanner that downloads you files remotely and then reports you after scanning. Alternative is Wordfence.
Limit Login Attempts: This plugin allows you to lock the user out after X numbers of failed log in attempts. The X amount is by default 3 but you can set it to low as well as high.
Really Simple CAPTCHA: This plugin add simple CAPTCHA on your blog wherever you allow and it will stop bots to do comment, login and do anything on your blog by placing a CAPTCHA problem!
BackWPup: In case you lost your website or have some problem then you just need backup to put everything up there again. So why not just take regular backup for emergency case? Similar plugin those can help backup your WordPress are UpdraftPlus Backup-Restore and BackUpWordPress.
Best Social, Subscribe, Comment, Contact and Ratings Plugins:
Shareaholic-SexyBookmarks: This plugin adds sexy social buttons on your WordPress blog so that readers can share your content on their favorite social networking site. I use Addthis.com (now DigDig) social sharing buttons but you can also choose ShareBar, Flare or Slingpic.
Better Author Bio: This is the simplest Bio box for displaying WordPress Author bio and I am still using it. There are many author bio box plugin available for WordPress blog one of them is Fancy author bio.
Subscribe to Comment: This plugin allow users to subscribe for receiving follow up comments.
Thank Me Later: This WordPress plugin don’t ask users for subscription but sends a thanking email to all reader who had left a comment on your blog after predefined X time or day(s).
WPmashSocial: This plugin display your social presence and allow visitors to follow you. This plugin also include Feedburner subscription form that looks great! You can also add this in Sidebar only. I had further modified WPmashSocial plugin (added facebook like box) to make it look better.
Disqus Commenting: A full replacement comment system for WordPress offering a range of login options, share buttons, and serious spam protection. Another real time commenting system is LiveFyre.
CommentLuv: WordPress Plugin that encourages visitors to leave comment on your blog as anyone who leaves a comment on your blog gets a backlink to one of his most recent post.
GAASP: A very nice plugin that can reduce comment spam on WordPress blog up to 98% just by simply asking commenter to tick a check box to confirm comment that bots can’t easily figure out. Another plugin to fight spam that can be used is Akismet.
Contact Form 7: This WordPress plugin helps to create highly customized contact form for your WP blog that can be added anywhere on your site including post, pages and sidebar. Other Great Alternative or better contact form plugin can be WP Contact form or Gravity Forms (Get Plugin).
Facebook Page Promoter Lightbox: Small Pop-up plugin that appear every X days, and can be beneficial in increasing your social network standing.
WP-Poll: This WordPress plugin helps you create and add polls on your WordPress blog. Polldaddy Polls & Ratings is also a good plugin but needs you to connect it to your WordPress.com account.
WP Post Ratings: Traditional 5-star rating system, WP Post Ratings is a popular and well tested plugin. Readers can submit their vote for content, the plugin takes an average and then it displays the rating.
A few more Feedback and User Engagement Plugins for WordPress (Poll, Ratings, Contact and more) are recently mentioned by a Guest blogger on our site. Some of these social plugins can really help to get more traffic to your blog so choose wisely!
Bonus Plugins for Better WordPress
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 Analytic.
Exclude Pages: This plugin lets you manually exclude WordPress pages from the navigation menu. This Plugin comes in handy when you are trying to create hidden pages.
nrelate Flyout: Easily allow related posts to flyout from the sides of your website. I am currently using this and nrelate related content shows related post in a highly customized manner (display + text).
Allow PHP in Posts and Pages: Add PHP functionality to WordPress posts and pages and don’t want to alter the theme templates.
Ad Injection: The best plugin with lots of awesome functionality and customization to add ads code (Google Adsense, yahoo etc.) to your WordPress. Ad Injector is supported by Ad Logger that helps track ad click, clicker IP and source etc.
Configure SMTP: Do you face problem while sending message through WordPress blog then this is the best plugin for you. This Plugin Configures SMTP mailing in WordPress, including support for sending e-mail via SSL/TLS (such as GMail).
Syntax Highlighter: If you put computer programming codes in post then you should consider plugin. I am using in this plugin in most of the articles that are published under “Programming” category.
Print Friendly and PDF Button: At last if someone needs to print you webpage in a simple manner or want it to download it as pdf for future reference then you must consider using this plugin as not all sites are print friendly.
This was my list of best WordPress plugins currently limited to less than 60 but soon it will grow and increase with time and with development of new plugins. I will surely mention those plugins here so stay in touch!