This list of useful WordPress plugins was last updated on November 7, 2017. Suggest your favorite plugin in the comments below for consideration to be added.
It’s a cinch to install useful WordPress plugins that add extra functionality with just a click. Though, this can be dangerous for many sites since many don’t review the code, performance, and get a little click-happy with the install button. Don’t get click-happy! Ask yourself:
- Will this WordPress plugin easily integrate with my theme?
- Does the WordPress plugin have a lot of positive reviews?
- How many active installs does the plugin currently have?
- Is the plugin’s issue queue active & responsive?
- And the most important… do I really need it?
Finding, reviewing, installing, then setting up plugins can be time-consuming and tedious. Speed up the process with this list of the most useful WordPress plugins that every site should have.
Must-Have WordPress Plugins
- WordPress SEO by Yoast (Info)
- Akismet (Info)
- Jetpack by WordPress.com (Info)
- AdRotate (Info)
- Custom sidebars (Info)
- Login LockDown (Info)
- Broken Link Checker (Info)
- Redirection (Info)
Other Useful WordPress Plugins
- Jobify (Info)
- WooCommerce – excelling eCommerce (Info)
- WordPress AffiliASale (Info)
- bbPress (Info)
- BuddyPress (Info)
- P3 (Plugin Performance Profiler) (Info)
- WP-PostViews (Info)
Useful WordPress Plugins
WordPress SEO by Yoast — for SEO
Improve your WordPress SEO: Write better content and have a fully optimized WordPress site using the WordPress SEO plugin by Yoast.
This is a great plugin for site owners that aren’t well-versed in SEO—and ones that are! With this hugely popular plugin, you’ll be able to set the meta title, description (what shows up in search results) and more per post/page. You can also set default dynamic options to help speed up the process. Even better, it’ll help you write quality, SEO-friendly posts and provide you with suggestions on how to improve the page.
Akismet — for fighting spam
Akismet checks your comments against the Akismet web service to see if they look like spam or not.
This spam fighting plugin comes pre-installed with WordPress. All you need to do is activate it and enter an API key (free to get). This is a good one because it helps combat spam comments and uses their web service to check against common WordPress scammers. It’s not a complete solution, but should definitely be used to help keep spam out.
Jetpack by WordPress.com — for enhanced functionality
Supercharge your WordPress site with powerful features previously only available to WordPress.com users.
This plugin is a must-have! Built and supported by WordPress.com, you know it’ll work great. Once installed, it adds a host of features to your site including:
- Advanced social sharing & comment system
- Notifies you when your site goes down
- Speeds up your site by hosting images on their CDN
- Adds advanced theme features like infinite scroll
- Traffic stats with no additional load on your server
- Email subscriptions for your blog’s posts and comments
- Likes, allowing your readers to show their appreciation of your posts
- Easily embedded media from popular sites like YouTube, Digg, and Vimeo
- and much, much more!
AdRotate — for monetization
The very best way of putting ads on your website. As many as you want… Make making money easy!
Trying to manage advertisements on a WordPress website can be difficult without a management system. AdRotate will help you monetize and manage your website advertisements with an easy-to-use ad management system. Create an unlimited number of ads and groups, track performance, set expiration dates and more with this useful plugin.
Custom sidebars — for enhanced functionality
Allows to create your own widgetized areas and custom sidebars, and select what sidebars to use for each post or page.
Most WordPress themes only come with a few sidebars. Make your site more flexible and pages more unique to boost your SEO with the Custom sidebars plugin. This easy-to-use plugin makes it a cinch to create an unlimited number of sidebars with the ability to set default ones for specific post types and pages. You can even control which sidebar shows per post/page!
Login LockDown — for security
Limits the number of login attempts from a given IP range within a certain time period.
Since WordPress is such a widely used CMS, it can sometimes be easy for hackers to break in. Login LockDown helps guard against that by limiting the number of failed login attempts. Many times hackers will use a script to try a database of usernames and passwords until their able to login, called brute force. You’ll be better protected against brute force attacks with this plugin enabled.
Broken Link Checker — for SEO
This plugin will check your posts, comments and other content for broken links and missing images, and notify you if any are found.
This is another must-have plugin for WordPress websites. If you’re concerned about SEO and/or usability (which you should be), this plugin will help. Broken links can hurt your site. Tracking them down can be a problem, especially if you’re not aware their broken. The Broken Link Checker will continuously crawl your site and notify you of any broken links.
Redirection — for SEO
Redirection is a WordPress plugin to manage 301 redirections and keep track of 404 errors without requiring knowledge of Apache .htaccess files.
Did you know updating your post title/URL could make you lose your link juice? This can have a negative impact to your SEO. Many times, WordPress will update the permalink or URL to reflect title changes. If that happens, anybody that’s linking to that page will then have broken links. User’s will no longer be able to find their favorite post and all that work you put in will be lost. This plugin will help retain that link juice by adding redirects to updated URLs.
Other Useful WordPress Plugins
There’s a ton of plugins out there to choose from. Depending on the type of site you run, here’s a few more great WordPress plugins I’d suggest you install:
Jobify — WordPress Job Board
Official fully-featured job board plugin that seamlessly integrates with GitHub Jobs, Indeed & more!
Jobify is a lightweight & easy to use job board plugin that works with any theme — simple to setup and robust in features. Includes a powerful developer API that integrates with other sites like GitHub Jobs, Indeed, USAJOBS, Careerjet and more.
BONUS! Jobify allows you to monetize your site by displaying job posts that put cash in your pocket.
WooCommerce – excelling eCommerce — for selling online
WooCommerce is a powerful, extendable eCommerce plugin that helps you sell anything. Beautifully.
WordPress AffiliASale — for ShareASale
Quit wasting time logging into ShareASale, get reports & advanced integration with AffiliASale.
bbPress — for forums
bbPress is forum software, made the WordPress way
BuddyPress — for communities
Social networking in a box. Build a social network for your company, school, sports team, or niche community.
P3 (Plugin Performance Profiler) — for performance
See which plugins are slowing down your site. This plugin creates a performance report for your site.
WP-PostViews — for enhanced functionality
Enables you to display how many times a post/page had been viewed.
What WordPress plugins do you use?
Is there a plugin that you always use on your WordPress sites? I’d love to hear from you. I keep this list updated so if there’s a great plugin out there you think all WordPress sites should be using, comment below to share your opinions.