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One of the best things about the WordPress platform is the extensive list of WordPress plugins available to extend and add new functionality to your site. You can add almost any kind of new function you may think of, and this can be done without any coding knowledge at all! Let’s take a look at the 20 most popular plugins on WordPress blogs across the web, including those that provide additional features, to those that simply alleviate the simple tasks of running a blog.
Let’s take a look at the 20 most commonly used plugins on WordPress blogs across the web, including plugins that provide additional features and also ones that simply alleviate the simple tasks of running a blog. You will find useful WordPress plugins in this list, for simplifying the SEO process, adding security to your blog, helping you with creating the sitemaps, adding contact forms, integrating your site with social media, increase usability, and more.
Want more WordPress plugin recommendations? Check out these best WordPress plugins for freelancers and designers.
The All in One is a super handy plugin that instantly transforms your WordPress blog into a search engine friendly site. It offers support for XML Sitemaps, Google AMP support (Accelerated Mobile Pages), Google Analytics, SEO on Custom Post Types, advanced canonical URLs, redirection and more. It is probably one of most popular SEO WordPress plug-in used across the web, along with Yoast SEO plug-in.
The Google XML Sitemaps plugin creates an auto-updating sitemap for the spiders to feast on, ensuring your latest contest is indexed by the search engines. Its purpose it to make it easier for the crawlers to see the structure of your site and retrieve it in an efficient manner so your site gets indexed faster. While WordPress pings your posts anyway without a sitemap, it is always a good idea to use a sitemap WP plug-in to make sure Google indexes all of your previous and new articles quickly.
Akismet is the daddy of spam capturing, keeping thousands of blogs clean from unscrupulous robots and individuals aiming to tarnish your site with their comments and links. It automatically checks all comments and filters out the ones that look like spam – but don’t worry, you will be able to see a status history for each comment so you can un-spam the ones you want. Akismet is quite reliable and extremely good at detecting spam over legitimate comments, however there are still plenty of creative spam comments that get through (judging from our own experience on the Line25 blog). But, if you ever choose to turn Akismet off and try to have a WordPress blog without an anti-spam plug-in – just see how much spam you will get without it (we’ve tried it, and it wasn’t pretty).
Contact Form 7 is a simple but flexible contact form solution for WordPress blogs, easy to install and set up, and includes Captcha and spam filtering features. Most common use of this WordPress plug-in is to insert it into your contact page so that visitors can contact you. However, Contact Form 7’s use isn’t limited to your contact page and can be used to create various other types of forms that you can use on your WordPress sites.
Give users powers to vote and rate the articles and content on your blog with the GD Star Rating plugin. Especially useful for your design gallery website. This plug-in has many uses if you run a WordPress blog where you want to enable your users to rate something.
With this WordPress plug-in, you can let your user share, bookmark and email your articles with their friends to increase traffic and gain higher visibility in the social media world. It includes networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google, WhatsApp, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Reddit, and over 100 more sharing and social media sites & apps. There are quite a few social share plugins made for WordPress, and this is just one of them. You should give it a try and see if you prefer it over others. The one thing to keep in mind about WordPress social share plug-ins is how much they slow down your website. Make sure that the plug-in you choose isn’t “code-heavy” as its drawbacks can outweigh its benefits.
Jetpack is a WordPress plugin which will keep your site secure. Besides that, it can also help increase traffic with its automatic sharing and search optimization. It comes with multiple traffic and SEO tools, security tools, backup services, content creation tools, discussion and community features, and a great support team! It’s also a plug-in that can help you speed up your WordPress blog.
There are plenty of related posts plugins out there, but this particular version is packed full of options and customization settings. It’s a great idea to use a WordPress plug-in on your website that shows other relevant content to users on the page which they’ve visited. This not only helps to improve your user satisfaction, but also helps to keep users longer on your WordPress site and to view more pages, thus decreasing your bounce rate. Many SEO professionals argue that time on website and your bounce rate are used by Google to determine your website’s rankings, although they are just some of the factors.
Easily insert your Analytics tracking code and keep an eye on stats from links, comments, and your blogroll. MonsterInsights is the most popular Google Analytics plugin for WordPress, having over 15 million downloads. Of course it’s possible to simply hard-code your Google Analytics code into your WordPress theme, however most people choose to simply enable a plug-in and insert the tracking ID from Google. This plug-in is a must have plug-in for any WordPress website owner.
BuddyPress is a fun and flexible plugin for creating online communities, teams, and groups. This is an open source social networking software, perfect for creating social networks, communities and forums on WordPress websites.
WP Super Cache protects your site from large traffic influxes by loading static files in place of the dynamic pages. It does this by generating static HTML files from your dynamic WordPress blog. It also does miracles in speeding up your WordPress blog. There are several caching plug-in for WordPress that are very popular, and WP Super Cache is just one of them (there is also WP Fastest Cache and a few others that are quite popular). You absolute must have a caching plug-in on your WordPress blog if you want your pages to load quickly. Don’t forget that page speed is a Google ranking factor, so having your pages load fast via a WordPress caching plug-in will help you rank better and keep your users happier as your pages load faster. It will also decrease your bounce rate, because users will not wait too long for your pages to load if they load slowly – they will click the “back” button and go to the next search result.
Use this WordPress plugin to add social share buttons to your website. It allows you to instantly add various buttons through one simple plugin file. This can significantly increase your website’s traffic. As we mentioned earlier, there are numerous social share plug-ins available for WordPress blog owners, so choose the one you like the most and the one that doesn’t slow your blog.
The Broken Link Checker does exactly what it says on the tin, monitors your WordPress blog and informs of any links getting lost in cyberspace. After activation, the plugin will begin parsing your posts, bookmarks, and other content and looking for links. If you blog has a lot of articles, be prepared to wait quite a long time for this WordPress plugin to check all of your links. You should also take its findings with a little grain of salt – it may not always detect all of your broken links. It’s always a good idea to check your old content once a while to make sure your WordPress blog doesn’t get out of date. Finally, make sure you don’t select settings that make this plug-in check links too quickly – this will put a heavy strain on your website server’s resources and may slow down your WordPress blog temporarily until the plug-in finishes checking. Use reasonable settings and be patient while this plug-in checks for your broken links.
Google Analyticator is another super handy plugin providing instant analytics tracking. Additional features include admin dashboard with detailed stats. It has over 3.5+ million downloads.
Transform your blog into an e-Commerce system with this great plugin. This plugin is complete with elegant and easy to use features typical of any full blown cart solution. It’s perfect for those of you who want to sell digital downloads, physical inventory, or subscriptions and memberships.
This is a very useful slider plugin that allows you to build responsive sliders that will automatically adapt to any screen dimensions. You can also use it to create YouTube and Vimeo slides and slides from your WordPress posts.
This plugin comes with all the tools you need to market your blog! It has a list builder, which makes it easy for you to build email subscriptions and can be integrated with all major email providers, a Share function, which adds social sharing buttons on your site, a Welcome Mat, which displays a full-screen call-to-action that shows when visitors land on your site, heat maps, to help you see where people are clicking, a scroll box, smart bar, highlighter and even an image sharer!
Easily add more page navigation functionality to your blog with the WP PageNavi plugin. Allows custom page numbering and wordings amongst more.
VaultPress offers great solutions for backing up your information. You can also schedule automated security scans and get support at all times.
This completes are roundup of must-have and most popular plug-ins for WordPress blogs. If you have more WP plugins to add to this list, please feel free to give your input in comments. Please note that this plugins list is by no means exhaustive – there are many other useful WordPress plugins out there.