Nowadays, just about everyone can consider themselves a blogger. The tools and plugins made available online are making it even easier to break into the blogging scene. Competition is tough and you might do well to get help from any source you can find.
One of the ways is to get yourself plugins that will help make certain processes smoother for you and your readers.
There are dozens of plugins for various purposes. These plugins can be used to do the following:
* Aid caching and image optimization
* Bookmarking and so on.
Are you looking for the must have WordPress plugins used by WordPress experts? Well, then you’re in the right place. In this article, our expert team has hand-picked the best WordPress plugins for 2015.
Choosing the best plugin for your WordPress site will help make your day-to-day life easier and deliver a better experience for your users as well.
In this article, I have compiled a list of WordPress plugins that WordPress users might find a use for.
Instead of searching in the Internet jungle, take your pick from the list of plugins below. The plugins are free unless stated otherwise.
Caching and Speed-up Plugins
Let’s face it: when it comes to browsing the internet, people have little patience. If your website is slow, you will not leave a good impression on your visitors, no matter how great your content is!
And, it is common knowledge that caching can help you speed up your website’s load times. So, which is the best caching plugin for WordPress?
Many of the thousands of WordPress sites have decided to use CloudFlare to make their site faster. This is made possible with the free CDN that comes with it. Not only does your site become faster, it is made to be more secure with the security features that go with the plugin.
CloudFlare ensures better protection of your blog from spammers. It shows the correct IP addresses of commentors who are commenting on your blog.
You can protect your site from online spammers and hackers, and it helps your website load faster as well.
What does the CloudFlare plugin do?
- Restores the original visitor IP to your WordPress logs.
- Helps optimize your server database.
- You can report spam in the plugin. It then feeds the report to CloudFlare. This helps CloudFlare’s system become smarter at stopping spam.
Hyper Cache Extended
Hyper Cache Extended is based on the original Hyper Cache plugin. The plugin maintains both plain and gzip compressed pages. It is a great choice for those with shared hosting plans having limited bandwidth.
Hyper Cache Extended can redirect caching and can also perform 404 caching. It comes with compatibility settings for Global Translator as well.
Hyper Cache Extended is a very flexible and easy to use caching plugin for the WordPress platform. It is designed mainly for users who run their blog on low resource hosting providers.
Also, Hyper Cache Extended has not yet been tested for multisite configuration. Very clearly, this is not your ultimate solution for caching needs. Instead, it is more of a plugin that you can use if your blog is hosted on a cheap and less powerful server.
Quick Cache (Speed Without Compromise)
If you want real speed then Quick Cache is the plugin you must have.
This plugin takes a snapshot (or cache) of each page of your blog and serves these snapshots to the visitors during every visit.
Quick Cache, relies on an intuitive caching mechanism to bring down the processing time of your pages. By default, Quick Cache does not show cached pages to logged in users or those who have left a comment.
Quick Cache has a good-looking interface and the options page is rather simple to configure.
Quick Cache does not aim to be a Swiss Army knife of the caching world. Instead, it intends to make the caching process simple, and it succeeds in its goal.
You should consider using it if other plugins are proving to be too complicated for you. It is also perfect if other plugins have settings pages that appear nothing more than jargon to you.
For all other advanced purposes, you will find Quick Cache to be too limited in operation.
WordPress Advanced Image Lazy Load (Premium)
This plugin is ideal if your site has to load several images every time it is opened. The plugin makes sure that only the on-demand images are loaded first. This way, valuable bandwidth is saved and user experience is improved.
W3 Total Cache
W3 Total Cache is the most complete WordPress caching plugin available. It can improve your website’s performance by caching the pages and objects. It can also “minify” the databases by content delivery network support.
With over 1,861,000 downloads, W3 Total Cache is an extremely popular plugin. It comes with progressive caching to load pages quickly.
Instead of disk caching, W3TC relies on memory caching, which can give you better results. However, it also means that the plugin requires a good deal of resources to work with. This means that if you are on a shared platform with limited resources, W3 Total Cache is probably not meant to serve you.
Memory caching is not something you can expect every host to provide. If you are on a shared hosting package or have limited resources at your disposal, don’t bother considering W3 Total Cache.
In fact, on certain “free” web hosts, if you attempt to install and run W3 Total Cache, your account might be suspended.
Of course, you will not use a free host for your website, but this can give you a fair idea about the plugin’s requirements.
That said, if your server resources allow you to do so, go ahead and check out the plugin. W3 Total Cache can really do wonders for your website and is one of the most recommended caching plugins out there!
DB Cache Reloaded Fix
DB Cache Reloaded Fix is based on the DB Cache Reloaded plugin. The patch adds support for WordPress 3.4 and beyond, which in turn is a fork of the DB Cache plugin.
Unlike other HTML caching plugins, DB Cache Reloaded Fix relies on database caching. DB Cache Reloaded Fix ensures that your visitors always see the latest version of the given page. It also helps reduce server load.
DB Cache Reloaded Fix is one of the simplest caching plugins in terms of operation and customizability. The only things that you can specify using the settings panel include the following:
* Enabling/disabling of caching
* Time limit for expired cache queries
* And some additional cache filters.
DB Cache Reloaded Fix relies on database caching, and the improvements in page load times are noticeable. However, I think the others on this list are better plugins.
If you need a simple plugin, Quick Cache can suffice too. As a side-note, DB Cache Reloaded Fix has not been updated since WP 3.4 (reviews do claim that it works with version 3.5, by the way).
WP Super Cache
WP Super Cache is a very fast WordPress caching plugin. It generates static html files from your dynamic WordPress blog. So instead of loading the heavy PHP scripts of your blog, your visitors will be served with these static html files. This will make your blog appear to load faster.
WP Super Cache relies on a simple logic:
* I t generates static HTML files based on the content of your blog
*Each time that particular section of your blog is accessed, the static HTML file is served.
Content can either be served using Mod_rewrite which completely bypasses PHP or using PHP itself. A third option, legacy caching, is available for logged in users or users who are leaving comments.
The interface of WP Super Cache surely has a steep learning curve to it, and it can be confusing for a beginner.
Basically, the plugin puts the power in your hands: you are responsible for almost every aspect of its functioning. However, it does come with a good set of documentation and manuals, so you will not end up feeling clueless.
To begin with, you can specify the cache expiry time, as well as select the pages which shall be cached.
One of the most impressive parts about the plugin is that it works well with CDN Sync Tool.
WP Super Cache is a very popular plugin, and is used by millions of WP users. It is ideal if you are looking for a handy plugin that can help you speed up your website.
On the other hand, if too many tweaks and configurations scare you WP Super Cache may not be the right choice.
Of the world’s top 100 blogs, 48% rely on WordPress, the content management system that makes it easy to blog. In fact, 60 million of the over 634 million websites in existence at the end of 2012 are powered by WordPress.
With all these blogs competing for attention online, how will people see your new content these days without good SEO?
Making sure your content is optimized for search engines and distribution across the web is paramount. Fortunately, a number of WordPress plugins, plus some interesting WordPress hacks we’ll discuss later, make it easier.
WordPress SEO plugins typically give you control over setting metadata. These include the title and description, for each new post. Here are nine of the very best SEO plugins out there in the market:
All in One SEO Pack
This plugin is the first choice for new and inexperienced WordPress users. This is an ideal option for those who want their blogs to be fully Search Engine Optimized without digging deep into SEO. It provides you with almost every function needed in just a single page.
The All-In-One SEO pack is another robust WordPress plugin with a host of SEO features for your site. It does the basic stuff like automatically optimizing titles for search engines. It is also great for generating meta tags.
The plugin also supports the following:
* Google Analytics
* Custom post types
* Advanced canonical URLs
* Fine tuning page navigation links
* Built-in API to extend its functionality.
The plugin also helps you avoid duplicate content found on most typical blogs. It is one of the only plugins to provide SEO integration for WP e-Commerce sites.
Google XML Sitemaps
This Google XML Sitemaps plugin generates XML sitemaps for your WordPress blog. It becomes easy for crawlers like Google and Bing, to index your site better.
These sitemaps make it much easier for web crawlers to view the complete structure of your site. The crawlers are then able to retrieve it more efficiently.
The plugin supports auto generated pages by WordPress plus custom URL’s. But most importantly, this plugin notifies all the major search engines every time you create a new post!
Scribe SEO (Premium)
Scribe is a powerful SEO plugin for WordPress. It helps you reveal profitable keywords. It also tweaks your pages for ranking better in the search results. This plugin is great as it builds high quality links based on particular content that you create.
Scribe is a powerful SEO plugin that provides you with content marketing tools for research, optimization and interaction. Scribe gives you research tools to help discover topics that matter most to your intended audience.
The step-by-step on-page optimization and content development guidance enable you to build a site with greater authority. This gives you a chance for better PageRank.
Scribe also helps you identify authoritative social media users and high-ranking sites in your industry to connect with.
What’s also great about Scribe is that it’s compatible with all the WordPress plugins mentioned above. This gives you some robust options to choose from (like SEO by Yoast + Scribe for example).
SEO Pressor (Premium)
This plugin is a great WordPress plugin that can make on-page optimization easier than ever. It will take care of almost every single on-page factors of your posts and can help your site rank higher in the search results.
SEO Smart Links (Premium)
SEO Smart Links is a great plugin which can fully automate the internal linking process of your WordPress blog. It also has the capability to convert specific keywords as internal and affiliate links.
This is an all-in-one SEO plugin. It gives you a user-friendly approach of on-page optimization for your WordPress blog. It is available for free and has tools for almost every optimization required.
The SEO Ultimate plugin is another all-in-one SEO plugin with some powerful features. The plugin gives you the ability to rewrite title tags and edit meta descriptions. It can help you use anchor text to create deeplinks.
Some of the advanced functionality includes:
* Rich snippet creator
* Author highlighter
* Link mask generator
* 404 monitor
* Permalink tweaker
* Slug optimizer and more.
Smart SEO (Premium)
This is a very simple SEO plugin that can make your blog SEO friendly with the SEO Scores it geneates for every single page. It has a very simple and effective admin panel. This panel can seamlessly integrate into your existing WordPress admin panel.
SEO Friendly Images
This SEO Friendly Images plugin is a very helpful plugin that adds alt and title attributes to all your images. This process is done automatically and makes your post W3C/xHTML valid as well.
The ALT attribute describes your images (otherwise unreadable) with some meaningful text. The TITLE tag plays a lesser role in SEO. But it is still important as this text provides tool-tips for your readers when they hover over an image.
Not all WordPress themes insert ALT and TITLE text into your images automatically after inserting them into a post. This makes this issue a frequent SEO problem for websites.
WordPress SEO by Yoast
This is one of the most complete WordPress SEO plugins available so far. You can perform almost any SEO functionality for your blog with the help of this invaluable plugin by Yoast. Not to be attempted by new users though.
WordPress SEO by Yoast is considered by many to be the ultimate MUST-HAVE plugin. It offers a broad range of features to help you take care of technical optimization aspects and to also write better content.
The plugin forces you to choose a focus keyword when writing an article to populate it throughout the content.
The robust list of features for this plugin include:
* Snippet previews
* Page analysis
* Automatically optimizing and inserting meta tags
* Link elements
* XML sitemaps
* RSS optimization
* Editing your .htaccess and robots.txt file
* Social integration, import & export functionality
* Google News SEO module and much more.
Anti Spam and Security Plugins
WordPress anti-spam plugins are plentiful. But finding the right one to protect your WordPress site from spam comments can be an intimidating task.
In this part of the post, we will show you the best anti-spam plugins that may be used to help protect your WordPress site from an onslaught of spam.
The Akismet plugin is certainly the most popular spam prevention plugin for WordPress. Due to its wide use and connection to a centralized server , the large majority of spam is blocked automatically.
The plugin connects directly to remote servers for its spam detection technology. This means that a downside is that if your server for some reason cannot connect to their servers, you will not be protected from spam. This can also result in additional server load as it will need to check for each comment.
Configuration is also quite limited. This can be great for users who want a simple method with minimal configuration. But power users won’t have nearly as much control over what they block and allow compared to other anti-spam plugins.
Akismet is free for personal use. For commercial use, a business license should be purchased for a small fee of $5-$50 per month.
WP-SpamShield is a quite robust anti-spam plugin that will let you further customize the blocking of spam. It uses simple methods which can be extremely effective.
This plugin denies comments from any sources that do not have cookies and Java script enable.
WP-SpamShield also includes the ability to build forms that can filter spam as well. This is a great advantage over many other anti-spam plugins. A single plugin can be used to block spam coming into multiple locations on your site.
WP-SpamShield also includes the ability to block trackbacks and pingbacks that may come in from spam sources.
In most cases, this is fine but some users may experience more advanced bots or users manually entering spam into the comment box. This means that there may be some which would not be blocked at all.
Anti-spam by CleanTalk
Anti-Spam by CleanTalk is quite effective in not only blocking comment spam. It also blocks signup spam in WordPress, BuddyPress, and bbPress. It also works for several form plugins such as Contact Form 7 and the JetPack contact form.
Just like Akismet, it uses a remote database to check for potential spam. This is effective in keeping a wide database of potential spam threats across all sites that use the plugin. But it can also be affected by connection issues between your site and CleanTalk’s servers.
This anti-spam plugin is free to download. However, it will require an access key which can be acquired directly from CleanTalk’s servers. There is a free 30-day trial available, but users will need to pay for the service at the end of that period.
Although it is paid, the services is as cheap as $8 for a single site. This already comes with unlimited protection so it is certainly affordable if you decide to continue using it.
WangGuard is a free anti-spam plugin that blocks spam registrations on your WordPress site.
This plugin works great for protecting normal WordPress, Multisite, BuddyPress, or bbPress registrations. WangGuard can protect your site from any spam users from registering new accounts.
WangGuard, however, does not protect your site from comment spam as other plugins do. It only works for registration pages.
Extensions can be added to do things such as:
* Blacklist words
* Add a notice to further discourage spam registrations
* Or even disallow users that reference a particular domain from registration.
WangGuard does not require any API keys or external calls to their servers. It does have the ability to obtain an API key to connect to their servers which will allow further spam to be blocked.
The API key is free and can greatly affect the the amount of spam that is detected. It can also provide WangGuard with more information block spam registrations for other users.
This plugin is completely free. It has a robust set of options to eliminate the majority of spam registrations on your WordPress site.
If you have a blog, you must be familiar with the WP comments system. While the default WP comments system is basic, it works well for startup bloggers.
But you will find it lacking if you are looking for a more advanced functionality in your blog. Or if you are trying to improve your visitors’ commenting experience.
To enable your readers to comment on your blog posts in different ways, the best option is to use plugins. Fortunately, there are dozens of comment plugins with advanced functionalities. There are plugins that allow threaded comments, as well as social media integration.
Here’s a list of 7 top commenting plugins that will elevate your blog from the default comment system. These plugins are sure to improve the commenting experience of your visitors.
Comment Luv helps you to increase comments and traffic to your blog. It also gives the opportunity to your blog of going viral in Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus. It also reduces spam, shows stats of links being clicked, allows commentors to use their name in comments, and many more.
Disqus is a powerful commenting system that helps you to build an active community of users. This is achieved with the help of effective tools and features. These include Realtime Comment System, Social Integration, The Community Box, etc.
Facebook Comments for WordPress
This plugin allows visitors to leave comments on various posts on your blog using their own Facebook account. It integrates into your blog and any reader logged into Facebook will be able to comment into any post of your blog.
Jetpack By WordPress
Jetpack is practically considered the default comments system these days. The multi-functional plugin is created by Automattic, the team behind WordPress. This plugin does far more than improve the commenting aspects of your website, though that is a major feature of the plugin.
This include the following:
* Using the default WordPress comments
* Connecting to WordPress.com,
* Logging into Facebook, Google+ or Twitter.
You are also given the ability to use threaded comments for more organized commenter discussions. as well as having the functionality to notify people whenever a new comment is added to the thread.
Because this comment system is part of Jetpack it is constantly being expanded and improved by the Automattic team.
Jetpack is one of the most popular plugins installed on WordPress sites because of the additional features it has.
Livefyre is one of the best comment platforms for WordPress these days. With interactive and innovative tools, it enables real-time conversations. This is an ideal option to replace outdated comment systems in WP.
LiveFyre is the easiest way to build an active community and increase user engagement.
WP Ajax Edit Comments
Social Bookmarking Plugins
It used to be simple writing for your website in the past. If you have good articles, your site can be rewarded with a good amount of traffic. Sadly, this is an expiring ideology.
These days, your site has to have a good amount of social networking effort in order to be noticed. Your content has to be shareable. And the only way to do this is by using social bookmarking plugins. Let’s take a look at some of the must-have plugins for WordPress sites today.
Share Buttons by Lockerz
This plugin also has Facebook’s Like button and Google’s +1 button for easy sharing of articles.
Sociable adds a bar of icons of different social networking and bookmarking sites. If they see what they like, your readers can easily share the contents to many bookmarking sites. You can choose to display the sites you want for sharing from the control panel.
Stats Tracking Plugins
It has great features such as:
* Real Time Analytics
* Visitor Segmentation
* Twitter Analytics
* Mobile Version
* Video Analytics and many more.
Extended Google Analytics for WordPress (Premium)
* Event tracking for downloads
* Tracking of outbound links and
* Linking Adsense to analytics.
Statpress is a real-time tracking plugin that integrates into with the WordPress platform. It enables you to track the data of your visitors. It also collects informations of spiders, search keywords, feeds, browsers, OS etc.
Backup and Database Management Plugins
You should regularly backup your WordPress site, there’s not doubt about. Having backups give website owners a higher level of peace of mind. You won’t have to worry when your site gets hacked or when you lock yourself out of the site.
Now there are several free and paid backup plugins for WordPress, and most of them are fairly easy to use. In this article, we will show you the 4 best backup must-have plugins for WordPress.
With the plugin, you can backup, install, and restore your WP site in one click. Or you can migrate from one domain or server to another in a few clicks.
VaultPress by Automattic is considered to be one of the best WordPress Backup and Security plugins. It performs true to their byline: for “Every post, picture, and page. Every comment, revision, and setting. Everything.”
It is perfectly suitable for personal, professional, small and medium business sites.
WP-Optimize is a simple yet effective WordPress cleanup plugin. It can clean your databases and optimize it without phpMyAdmin. It can optimize databases by removing post revisions, spam and unapproved comments.
There are thousands and thousands of WordPress site using Content Management systems these days. This is the main reason why there are also thousands of plugins available to webmasters.
Plugins help webmasters do everything from collating statistics, analyzing data and improving SEO. It is very fortunate that finding the right plugin for your site is very easy.
If you go to your dashboard and click on Plugins, you will find the WordPress Plugin Directory. Here, you will find more than 30,000 plugins to meet any of your website needs.
There is no doubt that using plugins can help you in improving the overall performance of your website. More importantly, you can use plugins for optimum user experience, as well as when you monetize your site.
Keep in mind that the list we collated is just a tiny fraction of the number of plugins available to you. We have just outlined the “must-have WordPress plugins” for any website owner.
I know there must be some that I missed, but know that the ones listed above are the most essential plugins. Please share your thoughts if you know some awesome plugins to include in our list by commenting below.