50+ Best Plugins for WordPress

Searching for the best plugins?

It’s becoming hard work to keep up with the best plugins because there’s over 30,000 now.

If you’re a beginner, you’ll find this list takes some of the hard work out of choosing which plugins are best to use in WordPress.

Akismet

Used by millions, Akismet is the best plugin in the world to protect your blog from comment and trackback spam. It keeps your site protected from spam 24/7. You’ll need to Sign up for a free (Personal Use) Akismet API key, and configure the plugin to stop comment spam once and for all.

Advanced Custom Fields (ACF)

Coding meta boxes requires advanced programming skills and can take a considerable amount of time. ACF displays a very slick and easy to use interface as well as the ability to easily create meta boxes for use with custom fields.

BackupBuddy

BackupBuddy Backup, Restoration, & Migration plugin fully backs up 100% of your site. It amazes me how many bloggers only use DB backup which excludes backup of your files, plugins & settings, SEO settings, data for every post, theme settings etc.

BackupBuddy is the best plugin for migrating to a new hosts server and changing domains. Read more about hot to use this plugin to move your sites to a new host.

Click here to look at how easy it is to backup & migrate your WordPress site using Backupbuddy.

Broken Link Checker

This is the best plugin for finding broken links. Makes fixing broken links easy as its all done from your dashboard in the same location. I have this installed as well the permalink finder which redirects pages that have broken links to the same category until i fix them.

Fonts

Best free fonts plugin which simply enables the hidden font styles & sizes already included in the WordPress editor.

Adds 2 buttons using the functions which already exist in the core WordPress editor files.

Download the fonts plugin here from WordPress.org.

Genesis eNews Extended

Excellent plugin which provides an easy solution for adding a email sign up form to all StudioPress themes built on the Genesis framework.

Easily integrate the major email marketing services providers like Aweber, MailChimp, Feedblitz & Feedburner into your WordPress theme.  Still works with Google’s Free Feedburner service. Read more about the best Genesis plugin to integrate with major email service providers.

Gravity Forms

Gravity Forms – Premium plugin which allows you to build a completely custom contact form for your websites/blogs. Over 300,000 sites already use gravity forms which couldn’t be easier to build complex, powerful forms in minutes.

I own the gravity form plugin and highly recommend them as the best in the business.

Click here to visit rocketgenius.

Jetpack by WordPress.com

I’ve written more than a dozen blog posts on the Jetpack plugin because its the most useful and comprehensive free plugin for WordPress.

Mega Menu

The most popular premium mega menu plugin is UberMenu. This plugin makes it easy to add a huge range of links and icons to the WordPress menu system. You can also add images and hTML to your menu as well as short codes. Used on some of the most high profile sites in the world.

Monarch Social Sharing Plugin

Add Sharing Buttons in 5 Different Locations:

  1. Floating Sidebar
  2. Above & or Below Content
  3. On Images & Videos
  4. Automatic Pop-Up
  5. Automatic-Flyin

3 Automatic Pop-Up & Fly-In Triggers

  1. Timed Delay
  2. Bottom of Post
  3. On Page Leave

Find out more about Monarch by Elegant Themes.

Ninja Forms

Impressive open source forms plugin with more extensions than Gravity forms. The basic plugin is free however the addon’s are not.

Includes a unique template tag for every form which is really cool as you can hook in the form anywhere and use conditional tags to fully control where your forms display.

Pippin, Dave Decker & Kathy Darling are 3 of the many talented WordPress Developers behind this great plugin i highly recommend you install and play around with.

Redirection Plugin

This plugin allows you to create redirects in the back end of your WordPress Dashboard. The Apache Module enables you to create redirects in WordPress which then writes them to your .htaccess file on your Apache server. This is the most efficient way to use redirects.

Another big advantage of using this plugin is the ability to upload a CSV file of all your broken links from Google Webmaster Tools. Read more about the best redirection plugin for fixing broken links in WordPress.

Regenerate Thumbnails

Great plugin that regenerates your thumbnails enabling you to add a new custom size or change sizes in your Media settings and re-create new image sizes.

S2 Member

Excellent membership plugin with premium addons that enable you to create a membership site quickly and easily.

The pro version provides support which is guaranteed whereas you will need to rely on the community to provide you with free support if you only use the free version.

SEO Data Transporter

If you’re worried about losing your SEO settings after changing themes, this plugins got your back. The SEO Data Transporter plugin enables you to save your SEO settings when changing themes without the risk of losing any rankings or traffic.

Simple URL’s

Simple URLs is a complete URL management system that allows you create, manage, and track outbound links from your site by using custom post types and 301 redirects.

This plugin comes in handy for managing affiliate links and enables you to change the url site wide without needing to change the links manually in every instance

Soliloquy Slider

Based on my experience installing sliders in different themes, this is the best premium slider plugin for WordPress. On top of that there’s also a free version of the plugin which isn’t too bad either.

If you want to install multiple sliders on your site or install a slider in different header positions, this is the one plugin that’s worth trying out.

You can easily display the Soliloquy slider in any hook position and use conditional tags to control which pages or posts the slider outputs your images. On top of this, this slider also offers a shortcode which makes it super simple to place anywhere in your theme or content areas.

Video – Watch Soliloquy in action.

Table Press

This plugin is regarded as the best plugin for creating tables in WordPress. The Developer has been improving the original table plugin over the last few years and launched this new plugin which is better than any other.

Ultimate Posts Widget

The native widgets included in every WordPress installation as well as theme specific widgets like Genesis Featured Posts widgets don’t enable you to include custom post types.

That’s where the Ultimate Posts widget comes in as it includes a huge range of additional features the WordPress recent posts widget and other widgets simply don’t include.

Widget Logic

Writing custom functions to display content based on conditions is not that easy for most WordPress users. The Widget Logic plugin makes it easy to control the output of any widget based on conditions.

All you need to do is add a conditional tag to the widget and the widget content will only be displayed based on the condition tags logic.

Woo Commerce

Woo Themes have been working hard for over a year on their new eCommerce plugin which is based on the Jigoshop eCommerce shopping cart plugin. Woo Commerce or Woo Commerce as Woo call it, is the name of the new plugin and its free. Its an advanced version of the Jigishop plugin with more features and options.

Word Fence Security

One of the best all in one security plugins which protects your site from hackers in 7 ways. Read more here.

WordPress Importer

Awesome plugin if you want to import posts, pages, comments, custom fields, categories, tags and more from WordPress.com to WordPress.org site, blogger and many other free hosted blogging services. Transferring content to your own self hosted blog is simple when using this plugin. Free hosted blogging comes at a price!

WordPress SEO by Yoast

WordPress SEO by Yoast is one of the best free SEO plugins however you may not need it depending on which theme or framework you are using. I don’t use this plugin as Genesis offers built in SEO features however its a great solution if your theme is lacking in SEO features.

WP Display Header

Written by the lead Developer of the Twenty Fifteen default theme for WordPress, WP Display header enables you to display unique header images on posts, pages and archives.

WP Gallery Custom Links

Another great plugin for linking images in a gallery to custom url’s. This plugin works with the native WordPress media functions included in all WordPress installations. No need to install a gallery plugin or complete any coding to add links to the images in your galleries.

WP Migrate DB Pro

Save yourself a lot of time and headaches with WP Migrate DB Pro. Copy your database from one WordPress install to another with one click in your dashboard.

Click here to watch the video

WP Snap Engage

If you’re running an eCommerce store then you wouldn’t want someone walking into your store and not having a customer support staff to offer service.

Using Snap Engage live chat for WordPress helps turn your site visitors into customers.

WP Super Cache

Need to speed up your site and increase page loading speeds? WordPress WP Super Cache Plugin will make a huge difference to your site speed simply by installing the plugin then enabling it. You can also pre load your pages so they are already saved and load super fast.

Downloaded over 2 million times, i use and recommend this as the best caching plugin which is co authored by Automattic, the creator of WordPress.

WP Touch

If you don’t have a mobile friendly theme then your visitors who are using mobiles to look at your site may not enjoy a very pleasant experience as your site will not look the way it does know on a mobile device.

The wptouch plugin formats your site with a mobile theme for visitors on Apple iPhone / iPod touch, Google Android, Blackberry Storm and Torch, Palm Pre and other touch-based smart phones.

You will need to configure WPtouch with WP Super cache if you are using this caching plugin.

Can You Add To This List?

If you know any great plugins you think deserve to be on this list, please let me know in the comments.

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Comments

  1. Bill says

    Great, bookmarkable blog. I’ll find out soon if Backup Buddy will work from a DesktopServer sandbox. :) I imagine it does. I’ve been looking through your nice plugin selections, hoping to find one to merely style the title (background color) of category posts in a sidebar. Can you recommend one? BTW, I’m using Dynamik, which might complicate ‘EZ sidebars’. Thanks.

  2. j says

    Akismet is the best plugin for keeping safe WP from spams.I am using this plugin for a long time for all of my WP and can assure all the new bloggers that you will face no problem with it.I loved your tips but I didn’t like the mentioning of Google Analytic’s as google gives no privacy to the user data so it is risky.I will prefer all to try Piwik instead of G.It also does the same like the Google Analytics and gives great service.One more thing about it is that they give respect to the users privacy .

  3. Robin Rowell says

    Great list. I have a project that I am working on where a few of these could come in really handy. I just tinkered with the online demo of the Motopress plugin that Emily mentioned above. A really nice looking plugin. Creates some ‘divitis’ but if rapid content production outweighs markup cleanliness then might be worth taking a look.

  4. Emily Williams says

    Thank you for your roundup of handful tools for WordPress. There is one more useful plugin for WP lovers – MotoPress Content Editor

    It replaces the default WP builder and lets to edit posts simply by dragging and dropping content elements.

    The great benefit of the plugin – it works with any WordPress theme.

  5. Jeff Larsen says

    FYI on the Lizatom Shortcodes Plugin for WordPress: I used the link on this page so WP sites could get the credit for sale (if applies), paid $49 for the plugin, installed it, went to my plugins page and clicked > Visit plugin site to see I could get all the authors plugins for $29.

    See for yourself: http://lizatom.com

    That’s annoying.

  6. vinodh says

    Hi,
    my vote is for button creator, akismet and garbage collector.
    I dont know many other plugins you listed.
    Thanks for the list .
    Further, many months back I got the button creator after seeing your post only.
    regards
    vinodh

    • says

      Thanks for the comment Vinodh.

      Hope to see Genesis 1.9 include buttons like what can be created using Max buttons.

      Also found garbage collector reduced my database size by around 2/3 which is now a lot more efficient.

  7. Mark says

    Thanks for the list Brad, some great plugins there :)

    I use quite a few of them as standard on new WP installs, but more than any other I would have to recommend Advanced Custom Fields (www.advancedcustomfields.com) by @elliotcondon. It makes adding adding meta boxes and custom fields an ABSOLUTE breeze, letting you choose precisely where and when you want the custom fields to show, even down to a per page or per page template situation. Not to mention categories, taxonomies, media, users, parent pages, childpages and more and more. The latest beta of ACF v3.5.1 now includes conditional logic so you can show certain fields based on user input on other fields.

    And to access the custom fields in your template, you SIMPLY use the_field(‘insert-field-name-here’) -> can’t get easier than that!

    Its a definite for anybody creating a more complex site that wants to make it as easy as possible for the client to update and manage.

    • says

      Thanks for this suggestion Mark.

      I’ll be writing about this topic of meta boxes and custom fields shortly as i think its a really interesting feature of WordPress.

      I plan on publishing a post for beginners and have been testing Elliots plugin on a local install for a while now.

      Cheers

    • Brad Dalton says

      No worries Jenifer. Its a great plugin which i use myself on this site and its the most popular plugin for WordPress galleries.

      However, the default gallery system built into WordPress is excellent as well and will become further enhanced soon.

      The next version of WordPress, 3.4 makes it possible to link image captions which may also interest you.

  8. Brad Dalton says

    There’s many great plugins however i’m seeing experienced WordPress users leaning towards well written code rather than plugins as code is more flexible and easier to customize.

    The people i see promoting premium plugins are doing so for affiliate commissions.

    I don’t see any theme Developers using plugins to create functionality.

    But if you like using a plugin like that and it helps, why not.

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