When it comes to plugins, you will want to choose wisely. There are so many good plugins to help build your blog, but you need to keep it to a minimum as adding too many plugins will significantly slow your website.
Some of these plugins might be free, some are paid.
Below is a list of my favorites and why.
1. Yellow Pencil (by WaspThemes; Free/Paid)
Yellow pencil has to be my overall favorite. I don’t care what theme you use, there is always some annoying modification that you want to. This plugin allows you to customize any page and theme without coding. Click on an element and start visual editing. Adjust colors, fonts, sizes, positions and a lot more. Take full control over your website’s design.
2. Askimet (by Automatic; Free)
Askimet is a must have. This plugin is usually already installed on your WordPress platform. This plugin checks your comments and contact form submissions against a global database for spam and filters it out. It is very accurate and extremely helpful in keeping out all that spam. Although it is already installed, you just need to activate it. After you activate it, you will need to get an API key, which is free.
3. Social Pug (by DevPubs; Free/Paid)
There are a lot of choices when it comes to social sharing plugins. I was torn between this plugin and SocialWarfare plugin, but that plugin had been hacked twice in recent months and ruined many sites. Not to say that SocialPug cannot be hacked, but so far it has been as after alternative. Social Pug is very easy to use and is highly customizable. It integrates great on any site and this one is my choice.
4. Duplicate Post (By Enrico Battocchi; Free)
Did you make the perfect post or page? Now you don’t have to go through the pain of setting up the same post or page over and over! Just clone it with this plugin. I’ve found this to be very helpful and I’m surprised that it is not part of the WordPress core.
5. Yoast SEO (by Team Yoast; Free/Paid)
Yoast SEO is one of the most widely popular WordPress plugins around and it’s easy to understand why. Whether you’re running a personal blog or you’re an SEO professional managing a website for a client, Yoast is a powerful tool that can help you make your site as search engine-friendly as possible. There is a free version as well as a paid.
6. UpdraftPlus (by UpdraftPlus.com; Free/Paid)
I’ve tried many different modalities for backing up my blogs, but I have to admit that Updraft was the easiest to set up and use. When my site was hacked, I simply had one button to press and the site was back online. This plugin allows me to sleep well 🙂
7. Gravity Forms (by GravityForms.com; Paid)
There are many different types of forms plugins out there and it really will depend on what you want out of your forms plugin. But from my experience, I’ve found Gravity Forms to be the easiest to set up and use. The downside of this plugin is that it only has a paid version. A simple and free alternative would be HappyForms.
8. TablePress (by Tobias Bathge; Free)
From one time or another, you may need to create a table. I like having this plugin on hand so that when I do need to create a table I’m not searching around on how to do it. I simply keep this one installed and ready to go because it’s simple to use and looks great!
9. Header Footer Code Manager (By 99robots; Free)
This is a must-have. I cannot tell you how many times I have to add something to the header or footer and then wonder how I’m going to have to do that. This keeps it simple. When you utilize this plugin, rather than using the theme directly, you don’t have to worry about losing all your changes.
10. Monster Insights (by MonsterInsights; Free/Paid)
This is probably the best Google Analytics plugin out there. Thankfully there is a free version, but you can upgrade for more functionality. Very easy to set up and use. Monster Insights takes out all the gibberish data and shows you the most important information needed right there in your WordPress dashboard.
11. Under Construction (by WebFactory, Ltd; Free/Paid)
I found this “under construction” plugin to be the cleanest and cheapest option. Once again a very easy to setup plugin and use. There is a paid option, but I didn’t need it.
12. iubenda (by iubenda.com; Free/Paid)
This is just a sample of some of the WordPress plugins that I use. Some of them are premium and come at a cost. You can always search for other cheaper or free options. I just did not want to skimp on something that I believe will eventually provide me a return on my investment.
If you have any suggestions for plugins that you use, please let us know on the forum!