These are plugins I use on my sites or client sites.
I’m doing this as a reference for myself but also as a way to provide information to you. If you are looking for a plugin to do a specific job you can check here first to see what I use for that.
This is not to say I’m some kind of “expert” regarding which plugin is the best. There are well over 1000 plugins out there and I hardly know them all.
Important point – more plugins make your blog slower. Try to keep them to a minimum. I went nuts with plugins when I starting using WordPress. Now I look to remove any plugins I don’t feel are required. If a plugin isn’t doing something really important for your site – get rid of it. If it’s only serving as eye candy then it’s probably not important.
Additionally, any plugins or themes you are not using create an additional security risk for your site. If you are not using it don’t only turn it off, delete the files as well. There is evidence that plugins are the most likely way your WordPress website will be compromised.
I will be modifying this list over time.
View my favourite plugins via my WordPress.org profile: https://profiles.wordpress.org/skippyotf#content-favorites
Plugins I recommend for use with WordPress:
Versions numbers listed below are current at the time I’m updating this page. Latest update was in August 2015. The descriptive information is from the plugin page at WordPress.org, not from me.
To search the WordPress.org plugin directory follow this link.
[My comments about a plugin will be formatted like this.]
Plugins I use on most all sites. These provide a core set of functionality that enhance WordPress.
Akismet – 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. – https://wordpress.org/plugins/akismet/
BackWPup – The backup plugin BackWPup Free can be used to save your complete installation including /wp-content/ and push them to an external Backup Service, like Dropbox, S3, FTP and many more, see list below. With a single backup .zip file you are able to easily restore an installation.
[I’ve tested a number of plugins that will perform backups and so far this one is the best. You can back up only the database or your entire site or anything in between. Run backups manually or scheduled. Email them to yourself, send ’em to Dropbox or other options. So far it’s been solid where others have failed.]
Better Delete Revision – Better Delete Revision not only deletes redundant revisions of posts from your WordPress Database, it also deletes other database content related to each revision such meta information, tags, relationships, and more. Better Delete Revision is based on the old “Delete Revision” plugin but it is compatible with the latest version of WordPress (3.x) with improved features. – https://wordpress.org/plugins/better-delete-revision/
[If you are like me and save you post/pages often you’ll have a ton of revisions cluttering up your database. This plugin will easily remove them.]
Bot Block – This plugin is built to block spam bots before your website loads which not only stops the traffic appearing within Google Analytics but it also saves you Bandwidth. The spam bots blocked are pulled from a central database of known bots, this database is updated as new spam bots are found, you also have the option to add your own referrer URL’s to block. – https://wordpress.org/plugins/bot-block-stop-spam-google-analytics-referrals/
Broken Link Checker – This plugin will monitor your blog looking for broken links and let you know if any are found. – https://wordpress.org/plugins/broken-link-checker/
[Runs automatically and provides an easy interface to fix or delete or edit broken links. I don’t know how I lived without it.]
Display PHP Version – Displays the current PHP version in the “At a Glance” admin dashboard widget. – https://wordpress.org/plugins/display-php-version/
GM Block Bots – This blocks semalt.com, buttons-for-website.com and others with a 403 Forbidden message so that they no longer show up in your Google Analytics stats. If you have the ability to edit the .htaccess files on your server that may work better, but this is an easy fix if you can’t change that file. – https://wordpress.org/plugins/gm-block-bots/
Google Analyticator – Google Analyticator makes it super easy to view Google Analytics within your WordPress dashboard. This eliminates the need to edit your template code to begin logging. Google Analyticator also includes several widgets for displaying Analytics data in the admin and on your blog. – https://wordpress.org/plugins/google-analyticator/
Google Analytics Dashboard for WP – This Google Analytics for WordPress plugin enables you to track your site using the latest Google Analytics tracking code and allows you to view key Google Analytics reports in your WordPress install. – https://wordpress.org/plugins/google-analytics-dashboard-for-wp/
Jetpack by WordPress.com – Jetpack adds powerful features previously only available to WordPress.com users including customization, traffic, mobile, content, and performance tools. – https://wordpress.org/plugins/jetpack/
[Jetpack has a slew of modules that do all sorts of things. WordPress stats for your site, publishing to Facebook Twitter, Linkedin and Google+, contact forms, additional options for displaying photos, and more. Another one I wouldn’t want to be without. It’s on all my sites. You need a WordPress.com account but you can use the same account for multiple sites.]
[To register at WordPress.com so you can activate Jetpack use this link: https://wordpress.com/start/account/user ]
Plainview Activity Monitor – Plugin for PHP v5.4+ that monitors WordPress actions for user activity on a blog or network. – https://wordpress.org/plugins/plainview-activity-monitor/
Semalt Redirect Manager – We all know how annoying it is when we see Semalt mess up our analytics data. This plugin helps you stop that from happening by referring Semalt’s crawler elsewhere! Based on an idea by Rishi Lakhani. – https://wordpress.org/plugins/semalt/
[This was one of the first plugins to block referral spam. It works well but you have to manually enter domains to block. I’m testing some other plugins that do the same job and have “built in” list of domains to block which are updated automatically.]
UpdraftPlus – Backup/Restore – UpdraftPlus simplifies backups (and restoration). Backup into the cloud (Amazon S3 (or compatible), Dropbox, Google Drive, Rackspace Cloud, DreamObjects, FTP, Microsoft OneDrive, SFTP, SCP, WebDAV, OpenStack Swift and email) and restore with a single click. Backups of files and database can have separate schedules. – https://wordpress.org/plugins/updraftplus/
[I am currently testing this backup plugin. So far it’s working very well and may become a standard for me. If you use it to restore be sure to read this first: What should I understand before undertaking a restoration?.]
WordPress Editorial Calendar – Did you remember to write a post for next Tuesday? What about the Tuesday after that? WordPress doesn’t make it easy to see when your posts are scheduled. The editorial calendar gives you an overview of your blog and when each post will be published. You can drag and drop to move posts, edit posts right in the calendar, and manage your entire blog. – https://wordpress.org/plugins/editorial-calendar/
WP Missed Schedule – wordpress plugin wp
missed schedule fix
failed future posts with this problem and republish them correctly fixed 10 items each session every 10 minutes without waste resources others will be solved on next
virtual cron job or
real cron job until no longer exist 10 items every 10 minutes, 60 items every hour, 1 session every 10 minutes, 6 sessions every hour. – https://slangji.wordpress.com/plugins/wp-missed-schedule/
Yoast SEO – 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 (and 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 WordPress 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. WordPress SEO forces you to choose a focus keyword when you’re writing your articles, and then makes sure you use that focus keyword everywhere. – https://wordpress.org/plugins/wordpress-seo/
Plugins For Specific Applications
99 Robots Show IDs – Show IDs on all post, page and taxonomy pages. – https://wordpress.org/plugins/wpsite-show-ids/
Ad Injection – Injects any advert (e.g. AdSense) into your WordPress posts or widget area. Restrict who sees the ads by post length, age, referrer or IP. Cache compatible. – https://wordpress.org/plugins/ad-injection/
Adminer – Adminer (formerly phpMinAdmin) is a full-featured MySQL management tool written in PHP. This plugin include this tool in WordPress for a fast management of your database. – https://wordpress.org/plugins/adminer/
Basic User Avatars – Adds an avatar upload field to user profiles. Also provides front-end avatar management via a shortcode and bbPress support. No frills. Fork of Simple Local Avatars 1.3. – https://wordpress.org/plugins/basic-user-avatars/
bbPress – bbPress is forum software with a twist from the creators of WordPress. – https://wordpress.org/plugins/bbpress/
bbP private groups – This plugin adds private groups to the forums, allocating users to groups, and combinations of forums to those groups, creating multiple closed forums. – https://wordpress.org/plugins/bbp-private-groups/
Blubrry PowerPress – Blubrry PowerPress brings the essential features for podcasting to WordPress. Developed by podcasters for podcasters, PowerPress offers full iTunes support, Web audio/video media players, exclusive subscribe tools, podcasting SEO features and more. – https://wordpress.org/plugins/powerpress/
Category Checklist Expander – This plugin increases the height of the category checklist meta box on the post editing screen so that all categories are shown. No more scrolling! All of your categories will be visible. If you’ve been frustrated by having to scroll to find the correct category, this plugin is for you. No options. Just install it and you’re good. – https://wordpress.org/plugins/category-checklist-expander/
Meteor Slides – Meteor Slides makes it simple to create slideshows and publish them with a shortcode, widget, or template tag. The slideshows scale with responsive and fluid themes to fit any device and have touch support. Powered by jQuery Cycle with over twenty transition styles to choose from. – https://wordpress.org/plugins/meteor-slides/
NextGEN Gallery by Photocrati – The most popular gallery plugin for WordPress and one of the most popular plugins of all time with over 12 million downloads. – https://wordpress.org/plugins/nextgen-gallery/
[NextGEN is one of the most popular WordPress galleries. There are a slew of plugins that will work with NextGEN.]
P3 (Plugin Performance Profiler) – This plugin creates a profile of your WordPress site’s plugins’ performance by measuring their impact on your site’s load time. Often times, WordPress sites load slowly because of poorly configured plugins or because there are so many of them. By using the P3 plugin, you can narrow down anything causing slowness on your site. – https://wordpress.org/plugins/p3-profiler/
podPress – The podPress plugin gives you everything you need in one easy plugin to use WordPress for Podcasting. Set it up in ‘podPress’->Feed/iTunes Settings. – http://www.manvswebapp.com/podpress
RSS Retriever – A lightweight RSS fetch plugin which uses the shortcode [wp_rss_retriever] to fetch and display an RSS feed in an unordered list. – https://wordpress.org/plugins/wp-rss-retriever/
Scroll Triggered Box – If there’s anything that can be called the silver bullet in getting people to take action then this is it! Scroll triggered box has consistently increased conversions rate by several times. Newsletter sign-up, Facebook like button, social bookmarking or something else you want to draw attention to after people have engaged with your website. Scroll triggered box will increase the conversion rate many times over. – https://wordpress.org/plugins/dreamgrow-scroll-triggered-box/
Server Information – Adds an email report form in the admin area to send server information. – https://wordpress.org/plugins/server-information/
Tweetily – Tweetily, by Flavio Martins, will randomly select a post or page and tweet it automatically to drive traffic to your site. You set the time, number of tweets, and the type of content to share and Tweetily will do the rest. – https://wordpress.org/plugins/tweetily-tweet-wordpress-posts-automatically/
TwentyTen Advanced Header – Turbo-Charge your twenty ten header! – https://wordpress.org/plugins/twentyten-advanced-headers/
[Assign a different header image to different post catergories.]
Visual Form Builder – Dynamically build forms using a simple interface. Forms include jQuery validation, a basic logic-based verification system, and entry tracking. – https://wordpress.org/plugins/visual-form-builder/
Weaver Show Posts – Weaver Show Posts – Show posts or custom posts within your Theme’s pages or posts using a shortcode and a form-based interface. – https://wordpress.org/plugins/show-posts/
Weaver Show Sliders – Weaver Show Sliders – Show posts, images, and galleries displayed in a responsive slider with many options. Now includes former Pro features! – https://wordpress.org/plugins/show-sliders/
Weaver Themes Shortcode Compatibility – Allows you to use various Weaver II and/or Weaver Xtreme shortcodes with any theme. There is no associated Settings page for this plugin. – https://wordpress.org/plugins/weaver-themes-shortcode-compatibility/
Weaver Xtreme Theme Support – a package of useful shortcodes and widgets that integrates closely with the Weaver X theme. This plugin Will also allow you to switch from Weaver X to any other theme and still be able to use the shortcodes and widgets from Weaver X with minimal effort. – https://wordpress.org/plugins/weaverx-theme-support/
WordPress Beta Tester – Allows you to easily upgrade to Beta releases. – https://wordpress.org/plugins/wordpress-beta-tester/
WordPress Related Posts – Quickly increase your readers’ engagement with your posts by adding Related Posts in the footer of your content. Automatically added Related Posts can increase your internal traffic up to 10%. Just install and activate. To attract attention and improve SEO, link out to Related Posts across the web from your compose screen. Search for posts and hand-pick them with ease. Recommendations are provided by Zemanta’s world-class semantic service. Plugin supports different styles, thumbnails, is fully customizable and includes caching for improved performance. – https://wordpress.org/plugins/wordpress-23-related-posts-plugin/
WP Clone by WP Academy – Move or copy a WordPress site to another server or to another domain name, move to/from local server hosting, and backup sites. – https://wordpress.org/plugins/wp-clone-by-wp-academy/
WP Edit – Ultimate WordPress Content Editing. – https://wordpress.org/plugins/wp-edit/
WP Options Editor – More easily view, edit, add, and delete all of your WP Options from the dashboard. – https://wordpress.org/plugins/wp-options-editor/
WP Updates Notifier – Sends email to notify you if there are any updates for your WordPress site. Can notify about core, plugin and theme updates. – https://wordpress.org/plugins/wp-updates-notifier/
[If you are using WordFence you don’t need this as WordFence can send you update alerts.]
WP User Avatar – Use any image from your WordPress Media Library as a custom user avatar. Add your own Default Avatar. – https://wordpress.org/plugins/wp-user-avatar/
WPtouch Mobile Plugin – Make your WordPress website mobile-friendly with just a few clicks. – https://wordpress.org/plugins/wptouch/
[If your theme is not responsive WPtouch is one way to make it mobile device friendly. You should not use this if you theme is responsive unless you can turn off the responsive functionality of your theme.]
YOURLS Link Creator – Creates a YOURLS generated shortlink on demand or when saving posts. – https://wordpress.org/plugins/yourls-link-creator/
Yourls Link Creator Bulk Generate – Bulk generate Yourls URLS when using the Yourls Link Creator plugin. Did you set up a Yourls install and integrate it in with your WordPress site? Its great that all new posts get autogenerated short URLs, but what about old posts? Run this bulk generator to create Yourls Short URLs for all of your existing posts. – https://wordpress.org/plugins/yourls-link-creator-bulk-generate/
Fixing and Cleaning Up Plugins
WP Clean Up – WP Clean Up can help us to clean up the wordpress database by removing “revision” “draft” “auto draft” “moderated comments” “spam comments” “trash comments” “orphan postmeta” “orphan commentmeta” “orphan relationships” “dashboard transient feed”. It allows you to optimize your WordPress database without phpMyAdmin. – https://wordpress.org/plugins/wp-clean-up/
WP-Optimize – WP-Optimize is an extensive WordPress database cleanup and optimization tool. It doesn’t require PhpMyAdmin to clean and optimize your database tables. – https://wordpress.org/plugins/wp-optimize/
WPDBSpringClean – The WPDBSpringClean plugin identifies unused, WordPress DB tables which have been left over from old plugins you have uninstalled on your site and it then gives you the option of deleting these tables. – https://wordpress.org/plugins/wpdbspringclean/
WP-DBManager – Manages your WordPress database. 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. – https://wordpress.org/plugins/wp-dbmanager/
Additional Security Notes:
- Your login name should not be the same as your display name.
- Use a strong password.
- Go into your main directory and delete the files wp-config-sample.php, readme.html and license.txt
- Delete install.php in the wp-admin folder. Each time up upgrade WordPress it will create a new one. Either delete it each time or replace install.php with a blank file named install.php.
Wordfence Security – Wordfence starts by checking if your site is already infected. We do a deep server-side scan of your source code comparing it to the Official WordPress repository for core, themes and plugins. Then Wordfence secures your site and makes it up to 50 times faster. – https://wordpress.org/plugins/wordfence/
[Wordfence is currently my security plugin of choice, especially for client sites. It’s easy to set up and once configured runs unattended.]
Other security related plugins. Do not install all these plugins on one site thinking that more security plugins make you more secure. Some of these plugins may conflict with each other.
AntiVirus – Security solution as a smart, effectively plugin to protect your blog against exploits and spam injections. – https://wordpress.org/plugins/antivirus/
Botnet Attack Blocker – Temporarily block all admin logins after multiple failed attempts – helps to prevent brute force botnet attacks from multiple IP addresses. – https://wordpress.org/plugins/botnet-attack-blocker/
BulletProof Security – Feature Highlights: Setup Wizard • .htaccess Website Security Protection (Firewalls) • Security Logging|HTTP Error Logging • DB Backup • DB Table Prefix Changer • Login Security & Monitoring • Idle Session Logout (ISL) • Auth Cookie Expiration (ACE) • UI Theme Skin Changer • System Info: Extensive System, Server and Security Status Information • FrontEnd|BackEnd Maintenance Mode – https://wordpress.org/plugins/bulletproof-security/
Exploit Scanner – Scans your WordPress site for possible exploits. – https://wordpress.org/plugins/exploit-scanner/
iThemes Security – Protect your WordPress site by hiding vital areas of your site, protecting access to important files, preventing brute-force login attempts, detecting attack attempts and more. – https://wordpress.org/plugins/better-wp-security/