My favorite wordpress plugins
I have been running on wordpress for quite a long time now, and have used and tried a vast number of plugins. Lots of times I had to uninstall plugins because they didn’t do what was promised or they resulted in conflicts with other plugins I had already installed. And I have to admit that it sometimes quite hard to find a plugin that does exactly what you were looking for. But after experimenting with a lot of them, I finally found those that work well for me. Here is a short list of my favorite wordpress plugins:
Multi-function: Jetpack (FREE)
A multi-function plugin from the creators of wordpress. Most of the functions are free, and only a couple of them like backups are paid options. Personally, I only use the free options, which are numerous. You have the ability to activate only those options that you are really planning to use. One of the functions I like most are the Site Stats. It allows you to check your traffic stats and some other details.
Content Editor: Thrive Content Builder (PAID)
I am a big fan of wordpress, but there is one thing I really don’t like and that is the inbuilt editor. Therefore, I decided to use Thrive Editor and never looked back. This visual editor has a very small learning curve and you will soon find out that it features a wide variety of options to create really fancy looking posts very quickly and easily. It has been worth every penny spent on it…
Spam Protection: WordPress Zero Spam (FREE)
WordPress Zero Spam blocks registration spam and spam in comments automatically without any additional, confusing and complicated configuration or setup. Just install the plugin, activate it, and enjoy a spam-free site. It also protects any kind of forms.
SEO: Yoast SEO (FREE & PAID)
Probably one of the best SEO plugins. Even a beginner can use it, as everything is being explained well. The free version will do a perfect job for most people, but if you are a real perfectionist, you can also consider buying the paid version. Definitely one of my favorite wordpress plugins.
Site Speed: WP Fastest Cache (FREE & PAID)
I just love this plugin to optimize my web site’s speed. It is really easy to use and doesn’t require you to have a lot of technical skills. Other similar plugins like WP Super Cache or W3 Total Cache are probably as good as this one, or perhaps even better, but they are definitely to as easy to configure as WP Fastest Cache. The most important core functions of this plugin are free, and it isn’t really necessary to buy the paid add ons to have it function well imho.
Image Optimization: WP Smush (FREE & PAID)
This plugin is quite important because it will reduce the size of the images on your wordpress site, and thus making it load faster. Don’t forget that large image files will increase the load time of a site. This plugin doesn’t need any configuration; just upload and activate it and it will automatically reduce the size of any new images that you will upload. There is a paid version available, but I am doing just fine with the free version.
Content Creation: Thrive Leads (PAID)
As you might already have suspected, this plugin is from the same people as Thrive Content Builder. It provides you a ton of options to generate any kind of widgets, squeeze pages, landing pages or pop-up consoles with a few clicks of your mouse. And all this without needing any coding knowledge. There are lots of premade templates included in the plugin, and you just need to enter your personal text or images. As you can imagine you will be saving a huge amount of time and money with this highly recommended plugin! This is really must for every internet marketer…
Reviews: WP Review Pro (PAID)
This plugin provides you the ability to create great looking reviews with no effort at all. You can set up as many criteria as you like, and choose from stars, percentages, points or circles. The plugin will add a snippet with Schema data to any of your review post, so that Google can pick it up. And with a bit of luck the search engines will reflect those nifty looking stars underneath your listings in the SERPS, and thus increasing drastically your click-through rate and sending more traffic to your site. Another great tool to attract more traffic and visitors to your website!
Backups: BackWPup (FREE & PAID)
Whenever you run a website, it is highly recommended to have a decent backup available. You never know what might happen in the future. Therefore, I decided to make my backups with the plugin BackWPup. It can be used to save your complete site installation (both files and database tables) to external services like DropBox, S3, FTP, etc… And whenever needed (hopefully never) you will be able to easily restore your entire site with a single backup .zip. The pro version offers some more functions and external services, but I am extremely satisfied with the free version.
Security: Captcha by BestWebSoft (FREE & PAID)
Basically, I am using this plugin to obtain some kind of extra security for my wordpress login form, because it adds a small captcha. But you can also use it for any other kind of login, registration, password recovery or comments forms. The main purpose is to avoid annoying bots and spammers. And a very interesting function is that you can put IP addresses on a whitelist. So, if you, as the adminsitartor of your blog, put your IP on the whitelist, you won’t even see the captcha. There is also a premium version of the plugin, but once again I am doing just fine with the free version.
Security: Cerber Limit Login Attempts (FREE & PAID)
As an extra security measure and in order to protect my site against brute force attacks, I am using the plgin called “Cerber Limit Login Attempts”. This plugin limits the number of login attempts through the login form, XML-RPC requests or using auth cookies. If the maximum number of attempts (which you can decide yourself in the plugin’s settings) is exceeded, the IP from the user is blocked and listed on the blacklist for a certain amount of time (which you can also determine in the settings). Once again, a very useful plugin to harden your wp installation. A pro version is available, but not needed in most cases.
Statistics: Google Analytics Dashboard for WP (FREE)
This Google Analytics for WordPress plugin enables you to track and display your site’s statistics using the latest Google Analytics tracking code and allows you to view key Google Analytics reports in your WordPress install. The Google Analytics tracking code is fully customizable through options and hooks, allowing advanced data collection using custom dimensions and events.
So there you have some of my favorite wordpress plugins that I use on my web sites all the time. Some are paid, and some are free. If you allow me to give you a small piece of advice, I would tell you to start with the free options when you are just starting out. And once you start making some decent money you can always upgrade to some super tools to increase your earnings even more…
I have made it easy for you to download all the free plugins mentioned in this post right here in exchange for a simple “share” or “like”. Once you have shared or liked this post, just refresh this page and the zip files will appear unlocked. Sounds good?
ENJOY!! And I will be more than happy to read the comments about YOUR favorite wordpress plugins…