It doesn’t matter if you’re a dinosaur blogger, or just bought your domain and are about to launch your brand-new blog. If you’re using WordPress, you must use plugins in order to make your life easier. How much easier? Check out WordPress’ plugin library.
Plugins are tools to extend the functionality of WordPress. The core of WordPress is designed to be lean in order to maximize flexibility and minimize code bloat. Plugins offer custom functions and features so that each user can tailor their site to their specific needs.
For instructions and information on downloading, installing, upgrading, troubleshooting, and managing your WordPress Plugins, see Managing Plugins. If you want to develop your own plugin, there is a comprehensive list of resources in Plugin Resources.
Below is a list of top 20 Most Popular Plugins for WordPress. Don’t forget: before installing a plugin, make sure it’s compatible with your WordPress version. Enjoy!
1. WordPress SEO by Yoast
Improve your WordPress SEO: Write better content and have a fully optimized WordPress site using the WordPress SEO plugin by Yoast.
WordPress SEO is the most complete WordPress SEO plugin that exists today for WordPress.org users. It incorporates everything from a snippet preview and page analysis functionality that helps you optimize your pages content, images titles, meta descriptions and more to XML sitemaps, and loads of optimization options in between.
2. Jetpack by WordPress.com
Supercharge your WordPress site with powerful features previously only available to WordPress.com users.
Back in the day, there were great features available to WordPress.com users that were not available on self-hosted WordPress installs. Jetpack is a plugin that connects to WordPress.com and enables awesome features, powered by their cloud infrastructure. Some of these features use the powerful WordPress.com cloud, others are popular features provided for the convenience of not having to install and manage several separate plugin installations.
Akismet checks your comments against the Akismet web service to see if they look like spam or not.
We can’t stand spam. Who can? You have better things to do with your life than deal with the underbelly of the internet. Automattic Kismet (Akismet for short) is a collaborative effort to make comment and trackback spam a non-issue and restore innocence to blogging, so you never have to worry about spam again. Akismet is brought to you by Automattic, the creators o fWordPress.com. For over 5 years, Automattic has been committed to fighting spam by continually improving the Akismet algorithm.
4. NextGEN Gallery
The most popular WordPress gallery plugin and one of the most popular plugins of all time with over 7.5 million downloads.
It provides a powerful engine for uploading and managing galleries of images, with the ability to batch upload, import meta data, add/delete/rearrange/sort images, edit thumbnails, group galleries into albums, and more. It also provides two front-end display styles (slideshows and thumbnail galleries), both of which come with a wide array of options for controlling size, style, timing, transitions, controls, lightbox effects, and more.
5. Contact Form 7
Just another contact form plugin. Simple but flexible.
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.
6. All in One SEO Pack
WordPress SEO plugin to automatically optimize your WordPress blog for Search Engines.
7. WordPress Importer
Import posts, pages, comments, custom fields, categories, tags and more from a WordPress export file.
The WordPress Importer will import the following content from a WordPress export file: Posts, pages and other custom post types, Comments, Custom fields and post meta, Categories, tags and terms from custom taxonomies and Authors.
Add Facebook social plugins and the ability to publish new posts to a Facebook Timeline or Facebook Page. Official Facebook plugin.
The Facebook plugin for WordPress adds Facebook social plugins to your WordPress site. Associate your WordPress site with a free Facebook application identifier to enable advanced features such as automatically sharing new posts to an author’s Facebook Timeline or your site’s Facebook Page. This plugin is developed by Facebook with extra support for popular plugins and themes, custom post types, and custom post statuses.
9. Ultimate TinyMCE
Description: Beef up the WordPress TinyMCE content editor with a plethora of advanced options.
Are you a visual person? Do the letter combinations “HTML” and “CSS” send you running for the hills; but you still want to create beautiful blogs like the pros? Then this is the plugin for you! Ultimate TinyMCE will add over 40 new buttons to the default visual tinymce editor, giving you the power to visually create your pages and posts. No need for mucking about in HTML and CSS.
10. WooCommerce – excelling eCommerce
WooCommerce is a powerful, extendable eCommerce plugin that helps you sell anything. Beautifully.
Transform your WordPress website into a thorough-bred eCommerce store. Delivering enterprise-level quality and features whilst backed by a name you can trust. Say “hello” to the WooCommerce eCommerce plugin.
WooCommerce is built by the experienced folk at WooThemes who also offer premiumeCommerce themes and extensions to further enhance your shopfront.
This plugin allows you to implement super security captcha form into web forms.
The Captcha plugin allows you to implement a super security captcha form into web forms. It protects your website from spam by means of math logic, easily understood by human beings. You will not have to spend your precious time on annoying attempts to understand hard-to-read words, combinations of letters or pictures that make your eyes pop up. All you need is to do one of the three basic maths actions – add, subtract and multiply. This captcha can be used for login, registration, password recovery, comments forms. There is also a premium version of the plugin, allowing compatibility with BuddyPress (Registration form, Comments form, “Create a Group” form).
12. Google XML Sitemaps
This plugin will generate a special XML sitemap which will help search engines to better index your blog.
This plugin will generate a special XML sitemap which will help search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo and Ask.com to better index your blog. 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.
13. Contact Form
Add Contact Form to your WordPress website.
The Contact Form plugin allows you to implement a feedback form to a web-page or a post in no time. It is an extremely easy form, that doesn’t require any additional settings, though there are some available options. All you need is just to activate the plugin and insert the shortcode [bestwebsoft_contact_form] into the text. There is also a premium version of the plugin with more useful features available.
14. WPtouch Mobile Plugin
Create a beautiful mobile WordPress website with just a few clicks.
WPtouch is a mobile plugin for WordPress that automatically enables a simple and elegant mobile theme for mobile visitors of your WordPress website. The mobile WordPress theme is complete with AJAX loading articles and smooth effects when viewed from popular touch mobile devices like the iPhone, iPod touch, Android mobile phones, BlackBerry OS6+ mobile devices, and more.
15. W3 Total Cache
Easy Web Performance Optimization (WPO) using caching: browser, page, object, database, minify and content delivery network support.
W3 Total Cache improves the user experience of your site by increasing server performance, reducing the download times and providing transparent content delivery network (CDN) integration. Improve the user experience for your readers without having to change WordPress, your theme, your plugins or how you produce your content.
16. UpdraftPlus – WordPress Backup and Restoration
Easy and complete backups + restoration. Manual or automated backups (Amazon S3, Dropbox, Google Drive, Rackspace, FTP, SFTP, WebDAV, email + others).
Your WordPress backups are worth the same as your entire investment in your website. The day may come when you get hacked, or your hosting company does, or they go bust – without good backups, you lose everything. UpdraftPlus simplifies backups (and restoration). Backup into the cloud (Amazon S3 (or compatible), Dropbox, Google Drive, Rackspace Cloud, DreamObjects, FTP, SFTP, SCP, WebDAV and email) and restore with a single click. Backups of files and database can have separate schedules.
17. Really Simple CAPTCHA
Really Simple CAPTCHA is a CAPTCHA module intended to be called from other plugins. It is originally created for my Contact Form 7 plugin.
Really Simple CAPTCHA does not work alone and is intended to work with other plugins. It is originally created for Contact Form 7, however, you can use it with your own plugin. Really Simple CAPTCHA does not use PHP “Sessions” for storing states, unlike many other PHP CAPTCHA solutions, but stores them as temporary files. This allows you to embed it into WordPress without worrying about conflicts.
18. Google Analytics Dashboard for WP
Google Analytics Dashboard for WP will display Google Analytics data and statistics inside your WordPress Blog.
Using a widget, Google Analytics Dashboard displays detailed info and statistics about: number of visits, number of visitors, bounce rates, organic searches, pages per visit directly on your Admin Dashboard. Authorized users can also view statistics like Views, UniqueViews and top searches, on frontend, at the end of each article. Using this plugin, your data is collected in a fast and secure manner because Google Analytics Dashboard uses OAuth2 protocol and Google Analytics API.
19. Yet Another Related Posts Plugin (YARPP)
Display a list of related entries on your site and feeds based on a unique algorithm.
Yet Another Related Posts Plugin (YARPP) gives you a list of posts and/or pages related to the current entry, introducing the reader to other relevant content on your site.
20. WP Super Cache
A very fast caching engine for WordPress that produces static html files.
This plugin generates static html files from your dynamic WordPress blog. After a html file is generated your webserver will serve that file instead of processing the comparatively heavier and more expensive WordPress PHP scripts. The static html files will be served to the vast majority of your users, but because a user’s details are displayed in the comment form after they leave a comment those requests are handled by the legacy caching engine.