I’ve been searching for new and great plugins to use for my new wordpress installs and I’ve found some great plugins, but mostly fluff and that’s why I want to show the best here. It is important to limit the amount of plugins you use to prevent slowdowns and also security risks.
I like to focus on the most essential plugins for any wordpress install in this post. However, this doesn’t mean that they are 100% right for you or your site.
You should get some sort of basic protection for your blog. There are all kinds of hackers scanning for weaknesses. I’ve had my blogs hacked many times due to old and forgotten wordpress installs. Remember to keep your site and work safe! This plugin is currently the best one as it offers protection using .htaccess.
I’ve tested other security plugins, but this one is currently the one I go for when adding security to my wordpress sites.
This is currently the number #1 WordPress SEO plugin I use for all my installations of wordpress. You get a lot of nice features right out of the box without having to do much yourself. I tend to install it and leave it “as is”. It is worth to mention that All In One SEO Pack is also a great plugin, but I prefer going with Yoast.
This is what I consider the “standard” of contact forms. It is easy to install by just copying the code in to a new page and save it as “Contact us” or something similar.
Some people argue that author boxes only are useful for sites with multiple authors, but I think it looks nice regardless of the number of authors and it also adds a bit of credibility to what you are writing about (given that you have relevant bio information).
I mainly use this plugin to make it easier for Google to index my posts and to check the indexing status in Google Webmaster Tools. You will of course get your posts indexed after a while without this plugin given that you have a few backlinks to your site.
I use this plugin purely for its SEO benefits. This plugin lets you create rich snippets which means that you can have your star-ratings show up below your description in the Google search result pages. This is great if you want to “stand-out” even more and get a better CTR from the SERPs. There is no reason not to use this, especially if you run a review site.
Yet again, I use this plugin to stand out even more in the SERPs and to get a higher CTR. This plugin is simple to install by just copying and inserting your Google+ profile URL.
I use this plugin to make sure that there are links to all internal pages for link-juice distribution. I like to keep the sitemap in the footer.
This is currently the best wordpress plugin for related posts as far as I know. You should use this to increase your pageviews (engagement) on your site.
11. Digg Digg
This is currently the most elegant social share bar I know. One problem with social plugins is the amount of requests they do to different social sites and by doing that slows down your pageload speeds. This is a good reason to stay away from plugins like AddThis.
I use Flare as an extra incentive for visitors to share posts. It has a nice and clean look and it makes you want to see the counter go up.
13. W3 Total Cache
This is a must-have plugin if your site starts to receive some traffic. Also remember to use CloudFlare free CDN for your sites to further optimize speeds and improve security.
If you want to make it easier for people to comment on your site without having to deal with a lot of spam then you should use Disqus. I use it for this site since I think it’s the right comment system for this kind of site.