If you are talking about WordPress and you are not up-to-date with the latest from the development world, then you are not doing things the way they need to be done! This rule is applicable when you are talking about the plugins as well. Keeping in mind the large number of plugins that get launched quite regularly, there is all the more reason for this to happen.
With a such large number of website running on the WordPress CMS, webmasters today have a large number of plugins to work with. Thanks to these plugins, webmasters can do everything- from helping in the improvement of SEO to analysis of on-site data.
The WordPress Plugin Directory is where webmasters can search for the available plugins and with close to 30,000 different options to choose from, there is bound to be one that fits your needs.
With such a vast collection of free and premium plugins in the market, sorting out the good from the bad is not always easy. So how do you know which one is the best for your business? Here we take a look at a number of essential plugins that have been sorted out on the basis of their popularity, quality, and usefulness.
W3 Total Cache is regarded as one of the most popular WordPress caching plugins. Caching is the best and easiest means of improving your user experience without necessitating any changes in the associated website content. WP Super Cache is considered to be a suitable alternative in this regard. It is often thought of as an easy-to-use version of the W3 Total Cache.
Jetpack allows you to supercharge your website with a collection of powerful features that include social networking, forms, email subscriptions, site stats and a lot more. With the latest version of Jetpack, you now have an option for Multisite support. Previously, super admins were required to manage connections on the basis of individual sites. This, even though Jetpack had option for network-wide activation. With the Multisite feature, you will have a super admin account from where to administer all your connections.
Considered to be the grand daddy of spam plugins, Akismet checks all comments on your website against the Akismet web service. This way, it checks the provided comments for authenticity and sorts out the spam from the rest. You can then review the spam that has been caught in this “Comments” section from the admin area of your WordPress site.
With the WP Google Analytics plugin, you can track and view the statistics from Google Analytics for both your single and Multisite installations. This WordPress plugin will have all important statistics presented right in front of you along with beautiful graphs and charts appearing together in your WordPress dashboard.
This plugin is entrusted to do only one task in the appropriate manner: generate an XML sitemap for your website. This way your search engines will be better served as far as indexing of your website is concerned. With the help of sitemaps, search engine crawlers find it easy to understand and efficiently retrieve the complete structure of your website. The Google XML Sitemaps support all forms of custom URLs and WordPress generated pages. It also provides a notification to the search engines every time a new content is posted on the Web.
Having changed its name, Better WP Security is now known as iThemes Security. With this plugin, you will have as many as thirty different ways in which to provide protection and security for your website. Another popular security plugin that you can make best use of Sucuri Security which can be considered a decent alternative to the iThemes Security plugin.
There does not exist a more popular free-form WordPress plugin in the market. Contact Form 7 has registered a staggering 16 million downloads, as per data released by the WordPress Plugin Repository. With the help of this plugin, you have the option of managing multiple contact forms. Moreover, you can customize all email content and the contact forms with the help of a simple markup. Contact Form 7 also comes with support for Akismet spam filtering, CAPTCHA, and AJAX-powered submission. Gravity Forms is a premium forms plugin you can use, just in case you want to step things up a bit!
The Snapshot plugin is similar to the Time Machine backup plan from Apple, only this time it has been designed for your WordPress website. An easy-to-use plugin, it supports Multisite compatibility. With Snapshot you can create backup snapshots of all the things that you want (files, content, settings, etc.) so that they can be restored as and when you want. Some of its popular features include an ability to save your snapshots to the Amazon S3 and Dropbox locations.
A great WordPress plugin, it allows you to install a one-click installer known as Softaculous along with it. By default, you will get unlimited login attempts on WordPress either through the use of special cookies or by accessing through the login page. The Limit Login Attempts plugin limits the rate at which login attempts can be made on your site. This helps in preventing any form of brute-force attack or hack attempt on your website.
With the Ultimate Branding plugin, you can have your WordPress website white labelled. A fantastic plugin option, it allows you to re-brand the entire admin area of your website- be it the login page, dashboard, or admin pages. The WordPress logo can also be easily and quickly replaced with that of your own company. You can also change the favicons, add your very own content regarding tutorials, and remove every mention of WordPress from the site you design for your clients.
Appointments+ is one of the most feature-rich, flexible, and powerful plugins in the market. It allows you to accept, set and manage the bookings on your website. Setting up this WordPress plugin often takes a lot of effort which is one of its major drawbacks. The development community has planned to undertake a number of cool aesthetic updates for this plugin some time soon which will help improve its overall functionality.
If you wish to have the power of creating your very own site hosting network such as WordPress.com or a profitable blog, the Pro Sites plugin will help you in every way possible. With the help of this plugin, your users will get the chance to upgrade their website for the payment of a certain fee and also access numerous features such as advertising removal, domain mapping, extra storage, plugins, and premium themes. This is one powerful plugin that you should definitely consider giving a try!
If you are a serious WordPress user or developer, then it is likely you have used the WordPress Beta Tester plugin at some point of time or other. The plugin automatically updates your installation to the very latest release (stable version) as and when they are made available thus giving you the opportunity to test the upcoming or latest WordPress version as soon as it hits the market.
Yoast SEO is another of the powerful plugins available for WordPress SEO services. With its help you can easily boost the ranking of your site through powerful and comprehensive site maps, opimisation of meta data and titles, and automatic Moz integration along with automatic site-wide linking. It forces you to choose a focus keyword when you’re writing your articles, and then makes sure you use that focus keyword everywhere.
The Floating Social plugin will follow users around as they scroll along your WordPress site. It allows them to easily share content on social media platforms and does not take into account whether they are actually present on the page or not. This is one of the most popularly used plugins on most WordPress blog sites that encourages readers to share the content across various platforms.
Resetting your WordPress site can prove to be really useful in situations where you have to test out a bunch of themes and plugins. It is also very handy where you have to reset the test environment and clear out the options table along with all the other things on your website. The WordPres Reset plugin resets the database of your website back to default settings and deletes all forms of content and customizations.
The Relevanssi plugin removes the default search for your website and replaces it with a partial-match search. This new algorithm sorts through the various results based on relevance. All shortcode content and comments are also indexed. This WordPress plugin features search results that are sorted on the basis of relevance and not on date (as is commonly done). It is also capable of finding a match with partial words if the complete words cannot be found. If you buy the premium version of the Relevanssi plugin, there will be a number of added features that you can work with.
I believe the purpose of this plugin can be clearly understood from its name. You can check the comments, pages, and posts on your WordPress site for broken links and have notifications sent to your dahsboard or email inbox. This plugin also gives you the option of preventing the search engines from following these included broken links.
The Disable Comments plugin lets you disable the comments for all posts on your website (such as page attachments and posts) and across the social network platforms. This way your users won’t be able to override your settings for the individual posts. If you are administering a Multisite network and have sites that do not require comments in any way this plugin will come in very handy.
A freely available plugin, WordPress Duplicator is very popular. With the help of this plugin, you can transfer, move, backup, clone, and duplicate your total websites from one location to another. This is a plugin that has been made by the WordPress developers for their fellow members in the development community. A great tool, it helps in pulling down a production site into a local machine for testing purposes. You can also do the reverse, namely develop your site locally and then have it pushed up into the relevant production server. The Duplicator plugin has registered as many as 480,000 downloads and has an average rating of 4.9 stars (as per the WordPress Plugin Directory). I can’t help but give a positive recommendation for this really great plugin!
With the Regenerate Thumbnails plugin, you can easily and quickly regenerate the thumbnails for relevant attachments of your images. This plugin comes in especially handy for those who have changed their WordPress theme and are in need of feature images or different-sized thumbnails. The AJAX Thumbnail Rebuild plugin is a great alternative to work with in this regard and is a great option if your site has a lot of images. You can build each image in a step-by-step process and put less amount of stress on the working server.
Thus we have listed out some of the most popular plugins for your WordPress website that are essential to give it a professional look and improve its functionality. Do you think we have missed out on any name? Which other plugin would you recommend in this list? Let us know in the comments section below.