16 Apr 40 of The Best WordPress Plugins
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WordPress Plugins are modules that extend it’s functionality. These plugins are created by thousands of developers who want to improve the WordPress initiative. Many of these WordPress plugins can be downloaded and installed with relative ease. There is no knowledge of coding required and all one has to do is install the plugin and activate it, hence the term “plugin”.
However, with over 40,000 plugins currently available in the WordPress directory alone, how does one identify only the most useful ones? Hence, I have gone to the effort of collating the 40 of the best WordPress plugins available. Please note that these have been tested by the developers here at Scrybs for added vetting:
Jetpack was created by the company that developed WordPress and hence it is well integrated. The most useful feature is a simple visitor statistics tool. The plugin also assists you in integrating many features such as contact forms, site search, anti-spam, social media, spell check, related posts etc.
Included with the Jetpack plugin is a mobile theme that is clean and responsive which works well for smartphones and tablets.
Disqus is a comment system which replaces the default WordPress commenting function. This plugin allows for easier social media integration, subscription options as well as added spam filters such as black list and white list.
More importantly, from an SEO perspective, the comments in your Disqus feed are indexable in Search Engines.
If you use Google Analytics to track your site’s traffic and run analysis on your user base, this plugin will allow you to view your traffic and visitor metrics right on your WordPress dashboard. It also has an outbound link & download tracking option.
Contact Form 7
If you were interested in having a contact form on your website, this plugin is easy to implement and works well. It also allows you to manage multiple contact forms. You can also personalize the contact form to your liking.
W3 Total Cache
This plugin is all about performance optimization on WordPress. It’s innovative W3 cache will increase page speed, reduce download times and provide Content Delivery Network integration.
Given the increased site performance, this plugin could increase the number of pages users view and hence improve buyer confidence. Buyer confidence usually leads to more conversions.
Simple Social Icons
If you are looking for a simple and customizable way to display your social icons, then Simple Social Icons one of the better WordPress plugins to consider. You can choose the social media accounts to link to as well as customizing the color and size.
Click to Tweet
If you would like your readers to quickly and effortlessly tweet your post out to their network, then Click to Tweet will help with that. It also helps you to easily create content which is tweetable. If you are SEO conscious, then there is the option to make the links no-follow.
If you noticed that your website performance has started to slow down and were wondering whether your WordPress plugins were the cause, P3 profiler can help identify the culprit.
Broken Link Checker
If you are a regular blogger, sometimes you could lose track of your links. Hence, keeping track of all the broken links on your site may be quite cumbersome. This handy plugin will monitor all of your posts / pages and will notify you of broken links either via email or on your dashboard. Similarly, if you want to update the links, they can be directly edited on the plugin’s page.
If you have a search box on your site, then this plugin keeps a record of what people are searching for. Similarly, it tells you whether they are finding what they are looking for. This is helpful for it allows you to formulate new topics and threads based on these searches. There is also an option to insert the a widget with the “most searched” being displayed. This will allow your visitors to see what fellow users are searching for.
This tool helps keep your mind at ease by allowing you to quickly and easily create backups of your content. You can also schedule automatic backups such that you always have an updated backup file. The plugin allows you to push the backup to an external backup service like Dropbox for example.
WordPress SEO by Yoast
A really simple and handy SEO solution. It’s user friendly functionality allows you to optimize your pages using the page’s meta tags, titles and keywords. Hence, this is one of the most popular WordPress plugins and helps you write content that is better optimized for SEO.
Another handy thing that the plugin does is that it creates an XML sitemap which allows search engines to easily “crawl” and index your pages.
Social locker is a helpful tool if you want to increase your social media presence. It locks your most valuable content on your site behind a series of share / tweet buttons. If your users want to access this content, they have to share your social media pages among their friends. It is a neat and simple way to ask visitors to “pay” for your valuable content.
Easy Google Fonts
If you purchased a premium theme, then you would usually have the option to change the font. However, if you did not purchase one, Google Easy fonts allows you to change this effortlessly without any coding. You can choose from over 600 google fonts. You can also preview these changes in real-time with the WordPress customizer. Similarly, it allows you to create your own font controls and rules in the WordPress admin area.
This plugin can enable “endless pages”. Instead of compartmentalizing your pages with pagination, this enables you to continue scrolling through all the pages as they are loaded automatically. This is similar to your Instagram or Facebook feed.
Please note that you can obtain updates to this from Jetpack above.
WordPress Notification Bar
If you were looking for a simple call to action notification bar, this plugin is the answer. It is quick and easy to set up with a custom message inserted inside the call to action. It is also “sticky” which means it follows the user when they scroll.
Fluid Video Embeds
If you are a fan of “vlogging” or video blogging, then this plugin is for you. It allows you to use the built in Vimeo and YouTube auto-embeds to upload video that are full width and flexible while keeping the same aspect ratio.
Ajaxy Live Search
If you wanted you wanted to give your search bar an edgy addition, this plugin can help. It gives you the same theme as the Facebook search option where suggestions are pulled from your blog.
Blubrry PowerPress Podcasting Plugin
This is one the most downloaded podcasting Plugin. It has multiple audio and video player options and podcast SEO features. It fully supports iTunes and google play, among others.
WooCommerce is the most popular Ecommerce plugin available on WordPress. In fact, it powers over 37% of all online stores globally. It’s flexibility is impressive as it allows you access to hundreds of WordPress extensions.
It allows you to sell anything from physical to digital goods with endless variations and configurations. Similarly, shipping is highly configurable and there are extensive payment options for clients from credit cards to PayPal
This is a premium WordPress plugin but is well worth the investment if you are a business that relies on client’s making appointments. Appointments+ allows your clients to book appointments through your site directly. You can also integrate the system with PayPal so that you can take payments and deposits for appointments upfront. It is simple to set up and there is no extra coding required.
Scrybs Multilingual WordPress Plugin
This is the best WordPress plugin for running a multilingual site. It allows you to translate your content in only a few clicks. It is 100% SEO ready and there is no more file management required.
It is incredibly simple to implement. You merely have to download the plugin, login to your dashboard on the Scrybs cloud and select your translation languages. The Scrybs plugin is incredibly helpful as it provides you with a number of different translation solutions. From translating the content yourself to making use of our localization experts, there is an option for you.
If you are a blogging and not selling a product, then a method of monetization is through donations. This helpful plugin allows you to request PayPal donations. There are customization options such as currency and button localization.
Max Mega Menu
If you want to create mega menus using widgets, this plugin is a quick and simple option. It supports the traditional (flyout) or mega menu sub-menu styles and is retina and touch ready.
If you wanted to make your blog posts more shareable, creating and embedding interactive charts is a great way to drive traffic. It’s simple flexibility will allow you to design charts that are unique and aligned to the look and feel of your site.
Pinterest Pin It Button For Images
If you have a large amount of interesting pictures and graphics on your blog, this plugin allows your guests to pin your images or even the entire blog on Pinterest. This will allow you to drive traffic to your site via Pinterest.
If your readers are running their own sites, Commentluv is a great way to reward them for commenting on your posts. It automatically places a link to their latest blog post at the end their comment. It also gives you the ability to fight spam, add a top commenters widget and integrate twitter link.
Spam is something that everyone tries to filter out. As your authority and popularity increases, you naturally attract more and more spam. WordPress plugins like Akismet helps in your fight against spam. It automatically checks all your comments and flags those that look like spam. It then allows you to quickly discard of such comments.
BJ Lazy Load
If you have many images on your blog or website, this could slow down the performance and increase load times. BJ Lazy Loud replaces all your images, iframes and thumbnails with a placeholder and loads the content when the visitor gets close to entering the browser window.
Given that it works with iframes, it does the same with embedded videos such as YouTube and Vimeo.
Search and Replace
This plugin will come in handy if you need to replace domains and URLs of your WordPress installation. It allows you to search and replace data in your database. You can also easily backup and restore that data before hand.
Scroll Triggered Box
If you are striving for more conversions on your Ecommerce site, then Scroll Triggered box may be for you. The plugin displays a pop-up box with customizable content which draws attention. It targets visitors specifically who have engaged with your site. For example, it will only trigger after a certain event such a percentage of scroll or reaching the end of a post.
Use TablePress if you want to create clean and attractive tables. These tables can be embedded into your blog posts or text widgets. There is no coding required as one can easily enter the table data into the spreadsheet interface. These tables can contain a vast array of data and even formulas. They can also be imported / exported into / out of CSV, Excel and HTML.
Leaflet Maps Marker
If you were thinking of displaying maps in your posts, then Leaflet maps Maker is an example of one of the mapping WordPress plugins. It allows you to pin your favorite places on the map and show directions to them. You can design your own icons and organize markers in layers.
Soup – Show off Upcoming Posts
When working on a big piece for your next blog, you may want to alert your current readers to this upcoming posting. SOUP presents these upcoming postings in a sidebar widget whether they be scheduled posts or drafts.
Table of Contents Plus
Table of Contents plus allows you to automatically create a context specific index or table of contents. The plugin was designed to have the same functionality of Wikipedia and is best suited for content rich sites.
If you have a site that is rich with photography and imagery, then NextGEN Gallery will help you manage all of your photos. You can batch upload, import picture meta data and edit or sort your images and thumbnails. There is no wonder that this is the most popular gallery plugin available.
iThemes security is the ideal tool to use if you want to protect your site from potential automated attacks. If you have installed a number of plugins, you may be uncertain as to the potential vulnerabilities they could present. iThemes is quick to implement and activate.
Another helpful security plugin is Login LockDown. It aims to limit the number of login attempts to your WordPress from a specific IP address. It keeps track of the IP and creates a time-stamp. As with iThemes security, this helps prevent brute force hackers from discovering your password. It defaults to a 1 hour lock out of an IP after 3 failed attempts.
This plugin allows an administrator to disable all comments on their site either globally or according to post type. An important thing to note is that this plugin should be used if you don’t want comments at all on your site (or certain posts). Don’t use it if you want to choose to disable certain comments after the posts. Standard WordPress already allows you the functionality to do that.
Redirection will help you to manage all of your 301 re-directions and monitor the 404 errors. This can be especially useful if you are migrating particular pages from an older version of your website or are altering the directory.
The plugin keeps a full log of all your re-directed URLs and you can also tweak the re-direction methods (based on referrer, login status etc.)