Most Needed WordPress Plugins

I am using WordPress for my site sibeeshpassion.com, and I would say using WordPress is so simple and effective and easy to configure. When you start using it, I am sure you will love it. There are so many things you can do with WordPress. One of the interesting thing about WordPress is, everything is available in the form of plugins. So we don’t need to scratch our heads to do anything.

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Just download and install and those plugins will do the remaining work -- sound cool?

Happy Smiley

In this post I am going to discuss about those kind of plugins that you must install in your WordPress site. I hope you will like this.

Introduction

This part is for the people who have never tried or heard about WordPress yet (I know there won’t be many). Basically, WordPress is a web software which we can use to create websites, blogs, apps and many more. We can choose any theme which is available in the themes directory, or we can download and install the themes too. WordPress provides 100 percent customizing options, so that we can do everything what we want to do in our websites/blogs/apps.

WordPress Plugins You Must Install

So far I have installed 16 plugins in my website. I will list all of them here.

1. All In One SEO Pack

You can install this plugin from here.

All In One SEO Pack help us to optimize our website for SEO. As you all know SEO plays an important role in ranking our website. Your websites rank go lower if it has low SEO. This plugin has the following features:

  • XML Sitemap support – submit your sitemap to Google and Bing and improve your SEO.
  • Google Analytics support.
  • Support for SEO on Custom Post Types.
  • Advanced Canonical URLs.
  • Fine tune Page Navigational Links.
  • Built-in API so other plugins/themes can access and extend functionality.
  • ONLY plugin to provide SEO Integration for WP e-Commerce sites.
  • Nonce Security built into All in One SEO Pack.
  • Support for CMS-style WordPress installations.
  • Automatically optimizes your titles for Google and other search engines.
  • Generates META tags automatically.
  • Avoids the typical duplicate content found on WordPress blogs.
  • For beginners, you don’t even have to look at the options, it works out-of-the-box. Just install.
  • For advanced users, you can fine-tune everything to optimize your SEO.
  • You can override any title and set any META description and any META keywords you want.
  • Compatibility with many other plugins.

2. Autoptimize

You can install this plugin from here.

Autoptimize plugin is taking care of optimizing your site in a very easy manner. It does the following things for us.

  • Concatenates all scripts and styles.
  • Minifies and compresses.
  • Adds expires headers.
  • Caches files.
  • Moves styles to the page head and move scripts to the footer.
  • Minifies the HTML.

3. Content Views

You can install this plugin from here.

We all know Grids are the perfect way to show our posts or data. Isn’t it? You must install this plugin if you need to show your posts in a responsive grid layout. I have installed this and, I love to see my posts in a responsive grid.

Here I am listing the basic things we can do with this plugin.

  • Display posts by any category, tag, author, keyword.
  • Order posts by title, date, ID.
  • Display posts with beautiful pagination.
  • Display featured image with various size (thumbnail, medium, large, full).

There are so many other options you can avail, to know more, please see the plugin page.

4. Disqus Comment System

You can install this plugin from here.

A blog isn’t a blog without comments, right? So to make our visitors express their feedback or for any discussion we need to build a commenting system in our site. I have installed this plugin which does the commenting much easier and effective. This plugin is an old one, still it does what it is made for. There are many other commenting plugins available, you can try those.

Below are the key features of Disqus comment system.

  • It uses the Disqus API.
  • Comments indexable by search engines (SEO-friendly).
  • Support for importing existing comments.
  • Auto-sync (backup) of comments with Disqus and WordPress database.
  • Threaded comments and replies.
  • Notifications and reply by email.
  • Subscribe and RSS options.
  • Aggregated comments and social mentions.
  • Powerful moderation and admin tools.
  • Full spam filtering, blacklists and whitelists.
  • Support for Disqus community widgets.
  • Connected with a large discussion community.
  • Increased exposure and readership.

5. EWWW Image Optimizer

You can install this plugin from here.

It is a great plugin that automatically optimize the images as you upload to your post, sounds cool? The good thing is, it can optimize the images that you have already uploaded too in a timely manner.

These are the few things that you may need to know why you must install this plugin.

  • Your pages will load faster
  • Faster backups
  • Less bandwidth usage
  • Fast
  • Best JPG optimization
  • Best PNG optimization
  • Optimize everything With the wp_image_editor class extension

6. Google Website Translator by Prisna.NET

You can install this plugin from here.

There is no non-English country visitors if you don’t have an option to translate your contents to other languages in your blog. So it is recommended to install a translator plugin. In that case you can use this plugin, since it is capable of translating your contents to 90 plus languages. It uses Google’s automatic translation service.

The other features are listed below.

  • Easy configuration and settings.
  • Can use it as a widget and as a shortcode.
  • Practically null impact on page loads.
  • Import/Export settings to easily transfer configurations.

7. MailMunch

You can install this plugin from here.

As the plugin author says you can increase your Email subscribers by over 500 percent by using this plugin. This is a very well needed plugin which helps you to collect the mail ids of the visitors of your site and collectively sends mails to them when you create new posts so that you you can increase the visitors rate of your site. This plugin makes email marketing much easier that we think. With this plugin you can place a stylish and responsive form in your site which will allow user to subscribe to your site. Once the user is subscribed, the emails will be sent to those users whenever you create a new post.

The features are given below (from the plugin home page).

  • Opt-in Form Types: Popup, Embedded, Top Bar, Scroll Box, and Sidebar
  • Integrations: MailChimp, Constant Contact, AWeber, Campaign Monitor, GetResponse, InfusionSoft or any other email marketing service
  • Themes: Beautiful and fully customizable themes to make your email optin popup look amazing
  • A/B Testing: Find which opt-in form gets more email subscribers
  • Targeting: Display rules will help you display option forms only on specific pages, categories or posts
  • Exit-Intent: Choose whether to display the popover when a user enters your page, or when they’re about to exit.
  • Analytics: View email subscription analytic and statistics for all time

8. Popups – WordPress Popup

You can install this plugin from here.

This plugin can be used if you want to create a pop up with some contents, it can be any information, or if you want to show your social links so that you can increase your followers. You can customize your Facebook page link, Twitter link, Google plus links and many more.

You can find more information in the plugin home page

9. Post Views Counter

You can install this plugin from here.

We all are fascinated about the statistics about our site. We are quite happy if the visitors count increases. Am I right? In this case, you may need an option to track the visitors count of each posts. Here you can use this plugin which really works great.

The features are given below (from the plugin home page).

  • Option to select post types for which post views will be counted and displayed.
  • 2 methods of collecting post views data: PHP and JavaScript, for greater flexibility.
  • Possibility to manually set views count for each post.
  • Capability to query posts according to its views count.
  • Option to set time between counts.
  • Excluding counts from visitors: bots, logged in users, selected user roles.
  • Excluding users by IPs.
  • Restricting display by user roles.
  • Restricting post views editing to admins.
  • One-click data import from WP-PostViews.
  • Sortable admin column.
  • Post views display position, automatic or manual via shortcode.
  • W3 Cache/WP SuperCache compatible.
  • Optional object cache support.
  • WPML and Polylang compatible.
  • .pot file for translations included.

10. Redirection

You can install this plugin from here.

Sometimes we may end up in a situation that there is no other way than migrating our site. In that situation this plugin will help you. I will tell you what made install this plugin. Previously my site was static, and later I moved to dynamic one as I used WordPress. Since I was using some static HTML pages with the extension of /html, for example http://sibeeshpassion.com/achievements.html, after migrating to WordPress the post URL was changed to http://sibeeshpassion.com/achievements, hence 404 error occurs. With this plugin we can redirect the pages which is not available now, to the actual pages after the migration.

The features are given below (from the plugin home page).

  • 404 error monitoring – captures a log of 404 errors and allows you to easily map these to 301 redirects
  • Custom ‘pass-through’ redirections allowing you to pass a URL through to another page, file, or website.
  • Full logs for all redirected URLs
  • All URLs can be redirected, not just ones that don’t exist
  • Redirection methods – redirect based upon login status, redirect to random pages, redirect based upon the referrer!
  • Automatically add a 301 redirection when a post’s URL changes
  • Manually add 301, 302, and 307 redirection for a WordPress post, or for any other file
  • Full regular expression support
  • Apache .htaccess is not required – works entirely inside WordPress
  • Redirect index.php, index.html, and index.htm access
  • Fully localized

11. Relevanssi

You can install this plugin from here.

As you all know search feature is an essential thing in every website or blog. This makes sure the visitors to get all the information he/she is seeking for. If he/she founds the result, you will definitely get a returning user to your site. This plugin replaces the standard WordPress search which is not sufficient enough.

The features are given below (from the plugin home page).

  • Search results sorted in the order of relevance, not by date.
  • Fuzzy matching: match partial words, if complete words don’t match.
  • Find documents matching either just one search term (OR query) or require all words to appear (AND query).
  • Search for phrases with quotes, for example “search phrase”.
  • Create custom excerpts that show where the hit was made, with the search terms highlighted.
  • Highlight search terms in the documents when user clicks through search results.
  • Search comments, tags, categories and custom fields.
  • Adjust the weighting for titles, tags and comments.
  • Log queries, show most popular queries and recent queries with no hits.
  • Restrict searches to categories and tags using a hidden variable or plugin settings.
  • Index custom post types and custom taxonomies.
  • Index the contents of shortcodes.
  • Google-style “Did you mean?” suggestions based on successful user searches.
  • Automatic support for WPML multi-language plugin.
  • Automatic support for s2member membership plugin.
  • Advanced filtering to help hacking the search results the way you want.
  • Search result throttling to improve performance on large databases.
  • Disable indexing of post content and post titles with a simple filter hook.

12. Smooth Scroll Up

You can install this plugin from here.

This is a simple plugin with options to scroll back to top of your page. When a user clicks the given icon, the scroll will be moved to top so that user doesn’t need to scroll to top manually.

The features are given below (from the plugin home page).

  • Choose from different scroll up element types (text link, pill, tab, image)
  • Upload your custom image and set as scroll up element
  • Custom text in scroll up element
  • Choose scroll up element position (left, center, right)
  • Option to add an on-click event
  • Set distance from top before showing scroll up element
  • Scroll up element animations (fade, slide, none)
  • Enable/disable in mobile devices
  • Enable/disable in home page
  • Enable/disable in specific posts/pages

13. Super Socializer

You can install this plugin from here.

I would say this is a most needed plugin that you must install because as you all know social media plays a vital role in our life. It reflects in our site popularity too, if you are in a part of any social media, you are getting some chances to increase your websites visitors visits. If you have a new post, you can share that to any social media, that is all you are required to do. Your followers will love those and visit your site, that makes your site popular. Simple!. Now we need a plugin to do make this easy. Here you can install Super Socializer.

There are so many features available. You can always see those in the plugin home page.

14. SyntaxHighlighter Evolved

You can install this plugin from here.

If you are a developer, or any kind of coder, you may have situations to post some codes to your posts. The SyntaxHighlighter helps you to do that. It formats everything we are placing inside the tags. What we are required to do is, just place the codes inside the tags.

SyntaxHighlighter Example

SyntaxHighlighter Example

15. UpdraftPlus – Backup/Restore

You can install this plugin from here.

We all are humans and we make mistakes. In fact mistakes make us strong. Once Albert Einstein said “Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new." So practically we need backups to do the mistakes. It is quite easy to take back ups of your WordPress files and database with the help of UpdraftPlus plugin. It helps you to back up the files and database to a safest place, that is cloud (Amazon S3 (or compatible), Dropbox, Google Drive, Rackspace Cloud, DreamObjects, FTP, Openstack Swift, UpdraftPlus Vault and email).

Please see more features and information from plugin home page.

16. WP Super Cache

You can install this plugin from here.

We can simply says “Without caching, your site is just like a computer with 100 MB Ram." I am not sure what all we can do with 100 MB Ram, since I have never gotten a chance ( not sure it exists too). What matters is, it becomes slow. What if a returning user keeps on waiting to see your site post. Will he/she waits more than a minute? I would say a big NO. All users needs the results quickly. As we know “Time and tide wait for none." To get rid of this, you must install a cache plugin in your site. Then WP Super Cache would be the nice selection. The features available with this plugins are outstanding.

Please read this article in my blog here.

Conclusion

Did I miss anything that you may think is needed? Did  you find this post useful? I hope you liked this article. Please share me your valuable suggestions and feedback.

Your turn. What do you think?

A blog isn’t a blog without comments, but do try to stay on topic. If you have a question unrelated to this post, you’re better off posting it on C# Corner, Code Project, Stack Overflow, Asp.Net Forum instead of commenting here. Tweet or email me a link to your question there and I’ll definitely try to help if I can.

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