With a growing list of over 20,000 plugins, sometimes it’s a little tricky figuring out just which plugins to use! This is a quick overview of 12 essential WordPress plugins that every WordPress Blog should have. The good news is (at the time of writing this) they are all completely free. The below essential WordPress plugins relate to enhancing WordPress functionality, security, SEO and Social Marketing.
WooCommerce is a free eCommerce plugin that allows you to sell anything, beautifully. Built to integrate seamlessly with WordPress, WooCommerce is the world’s favorite eCommerce solution that gives both store owners and developers complete control.
With endless flexibility and access to hundreds of free and premium WordPress extensions, WooCommerce now powers 30% of all online stores — more than any other platform.
2. Yoast SEO (Freemium)
WordPress out of the box is already technically quite a good platform for SEO. This was true when Joost wrote his original WordPress SEO article in 2008 (updated every few months) and it’s still true today, but that doesn’t mean you can’t improve it further! This plugin is written from the ground up by Joost de Valk and his team at Yoast to improve your site’s SEO on all needed aspects. While this Yoast SEO plugin goes the extra mile to take care of all the technical optimization, more on that below, it first and foremost helps you write better content. Yoast SEO forces you to choose a focus keyword when you’re writing your articles and then makes sure you use that focus keyword everywhere.
3. Google Analytics By Monsterinsight(Freemium)
We believe that you shouldn’t have to hire a developer to add Google Analytics to your website. That’s why we built MonsterInsights, a complete Google Analytics for WordPress plugin that’s EASY and POWERFUL.
MonsterInsights allow you to connect your WordPress website with Google Analytics, so you can see how visitors find and use your website, so you can keep them coming back. Simply put, we show you the stats that matter.
With almost 15 million downloads, MonsterInsights is the most popular Google Analytics plugin for WordPress.
4.Wp Automatic plugin(Paid)
WordPress Automatic Plugin posts from various sources to WordPress automatically.
It can post quality targeted articles, Amazon Products, Clickbank Products, Walmart products, Youtube Videos, Vimeo videos , DailyMotion videos, Feeds posts, eBay auctions, Flicker images, Instagram Images, Pinterest pins,Reddit ,Twitter tweets, Facebook posts, Craigslist classifieds, Itunes apps/songs/ebooks/movies/podcasts, Envato items and SoundCloud songs on auto-pilot.
5. Google XML sitemap (Free)
Use this plugin to greatly improve SEO to create special XML sitemaps which will help search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo and Ask.com to better index your site.
With such a sitemap, it’s much easier for the crawlers to see the complete structure of your site and retrieve it more efficiently. The plugin supports all kinds of WordPress generated pages as well as custom URLs. Additionally, it notifies all major search engines every time you create a post about the new content.
Supported by over 9 years and rated as the best WordPress plugin, it will do exactly what it’s supposed to do – providing a complete XML sitemap for search engines. It will not break your site, slow it down or annoy you. Guaranteed!
6.W3 Total Cache (Freemium)
W3 Total Cache improves the SEO and user experience of your site by increasing website performance, reducing download times via features like content delivery network (CDN) integration.
The only web host agnostic WordPress Performance Optimization (WPO) framework recommended by countless web developers and web hosts. Trusted by numerous companies like AT&T, stevesouders.com, mattcutts.com, mashable.com, smashingmagazine.com, makeuseof.com, kiss925.com, pearsonified.com, lockergnome.com, johnchow.com, ilovetypography.com, webdesignerdepot.com, css-tricks.com and tens of thousands of others.
WP-Optimize is an effective tool for automatically cleaning your WordPress database so that it runs at maximum efficiency.
- Removes all unnecessary data (e.g. trashed/unapproved/spam comments, stale data) plus pingbacks, trackbacks and expired transient options
- Compact/de-fragment MySQL tables with a button-press
- Detailed control of which optimizations you wish to carry out
- Carries out automatic weekly (or otherwise) clean-ups
- Retains a set number of weeks’ data during clean-ups
- Performs optimizations without the need for running manual queries
- Automatically trigger a pre-optimize backup via UpdraftPlus (https://updraftplus.com)
- Show database statistics and potential savings
- Mobile friendly and easy-to-use
- Translated into several languages
- More planned!
8. BJ Lazy Load (Free)
Lazy loading makes your site load faster and saves bandwidth.
This plugin replaces all your post images, post thumbnails, gravatar images and content iframes with a placeholder and loads the content as it gets close to enter the browser window when the visitor scrolls the page. Also works with text widgets.
Since it works with iframes, it also covers embedded videoes from YouTube, Vimeo etc.
You can also lazy load other images and iframes in your theme, by using a simple filter.
Compatible with the RICG Responsive Images plugin for responsive images.
9. Broken Link Checker (Free)
This plugin will monitor your blog looking for broken links and let you know if any are found.
- Monitors links in your posts, pages, comments, the blogroll, and custom fields (optional).
- Detects links that don’t work, missing images and redirects.
- Notifies you either via the Dashboard or by email.
- Makes broken links display differently in posts (optional).
- Prevents search engines from following broken links (optional).
- You can search and filter links by URL, anchor text and so on.
- Links can be edited directly from the plugin’s page, without manually updating each post.
- Highly configurable.
10. MailChimp (Freemium)
Easy Forms for MailChimp allows you to add unlimited MailChimp sign up forms to your WordPress site. You can add forms to posts, pages, sidebars and other widgetized areas. Your MailChimp API Key connects your site to your MailChimp account and pulls in all of your MailChimp list information.
MailChimp List statistics and user activity can be viewed right from your dashboard. From there, you can manage users and list settings.
11. Contact Form 7 (Freemium)
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.
DOCS & SUPPORT
You can find docs, FAQ and more detailed information about Contact Form 7 on contactform7.com. If you were unable to find the answer to your question on the FAQ or in any of the documentation, you should check the support forum on WordPress.org. If you can’t locate any topics that pertain to your particular issue, post a new topic for it.
CONTACT FORM 7 NEEDS YOUR SUPPORT
It is hard to continue development and support for this free plugin without contributions from users like you. If you enjoy using Contact Form 7 and find it useful, please consider making a donation. Your donation will help encourage and support the plugin’s continued development and better user support.
The following plugins are recommended for Contact Form 7 users:
- Flamingo by Takayuki Miyoshi – With Flamingo, you can save submitted messages via contact forms in the database.
- Bogo by Takayuki Miyoshi – Bogo is a straight-forward multilingual plugin that doesn’t cause headaches.
12.Social Share Buttons – Social Pug (Freemium)
Social Sharing Buttons with Style
Add highly customizable social share buttons to your website to increase the interaction on your website. Place the social sharing buttons before and after the post content or have them follow your readers as they scroll up and down the page, in the form of a social media floating sidebar.
Supported social media share networks: Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest
Social Media Share Count: Display the posts social share count ( including Twitter ) to provide social media proof and increase your website’s credibility.
Buttons Locations: You can place the share buttons in 4 different locations of your website. You can opt in to display them before and/or after the content of your posts on whichever post type you want. Also you can choose to display the buttons in a floating sidebar that follows the user as he/she scrolls the page. The floating sidebar can be placed on the left or on the right side of the screen.
13. Wordfence (Freemium)
THE MOST POPULAR WORDPRESS SECURITY PLUGIN
Wordfence Security is 100% free and open-source security software supported by a large team dedicated exclusively to WordPress security. A deep set of features makes Wordfence the most comprehensive WordPress security solution available:
- Firewall blocks complex and brute force attacks
- Security Scan alerts you quickly in the event of a security issue
- Threat Defense Feed keeps Wordfence up to date with the latest security data
- Robust login security features
- Configurable security alerts
- Gain insight into traffic and hack attempts
- Security incident recovery tools