Everyone and their grandmother has heard of WordPress, the most popular publishing platform this side of Mars. A big reason for the content management system’s (CMS) popularity is that it accommodates third-party themes and plugins, resulting in hundreds of thousands of add-on features built by experts.
Plugins can extend WordPress’ functionality to do almost anything. Though I use countless different plugins to satisfy nit-picky requirements of clients, here are 18 of my favorite WordPress plugins I look to first:
Akismet – checks your comments against the Akismet Web service to see if they look like spam or not and lets you review the spam it catches under your blog’s “Comments” admin screen. Akismet comes with most installations of WordPress, so you need only configure it.
BackUpWordPress – will back up your entire site including your database and all your files on a schedule that suits you.
Contact Form 7 – allows users to quickly build and design WordPress forms—contact, surveys, and the like.
Yet Another Related Posts Plugin (YARPP) – displays pages, posts, and custom post types related to the current entry, introducing readers to other relevant content on your site.
Ultimate Coming Soon Page – creates a Coming Soon page for your site or blog while it’s under construction and collects emails from your visitors.
Relevanssi (A Better Search) – replaces the default search with a partial-match search that sorts results by relevance. It also indexes comments and shortcode content.
W3 Total Cache – is one of the only WordPress Performance Optimization (WPO) frame-work and it’s meant to improve user experience and page speed.
WP-DBManager – allows you to optimize database, repair database, backup database, restore database, delete backup database, drop/empty tables and run selected queries. Supports automatic scheduling of backing up, optimizing and repairing of database.
Login Lockdown – limits the number of login attempts from a given IP range within a certain time period, improving security.
WordPress SEO by Yoast – helps you improve your WordPress SEO. Enough said.
SEO Friendly Images – automatically adds ALT and Title attributes to all your images, improving traffic from search engines.
Redirection – is a WordPress plugin to manage 301 redirections without needing to access or manually edit the .htaccess file.
Google Analytics by Yoast – allows you to track your WordPress site easily with the latest tracking codes and lots of added data for search result pages and error pages.
Social Media Widget – is a simple sidebar widget that allows users to input their social media website profile URLs and other subscription options to show an icon on the sidebar to that social media site.
ShareThis: Share Buttons and Social Analytics – will create Share buttons at the bottom or top of posts and pages.
Monarch Social Sharing Plugin – is an alternative to the previous plugin, and will allow users to add stylish social sharing buttons to the pages or posts.
Disqus Comment System – replaces your WordPress comment system with your comments hosted and powered by Disqus.
Bloom eMail Opt-In Plugin – allows users to convert visitors into “loyal followers” by adding a well-designed subscribe-by-email form to any page or post of their WordPress site.
Are there other great plug-ins that deserve to be on this list? Use the comment section below to share your favorites with everyone!