There are thousands of plugins in the WordPress Plugin directory. These are 13 plugins I seem to revisit the most often and recommend to clients and friends. This list differs from the one I wrote a little over a year ago because a) it has pictures, and b) a lot has happened since last year.

Gravity Forms


Gravity forms makes it incredibly easy to create web forms for your site. Some things I liked about it were the conditional form fields and the ability to monitor and export data. If you can’t shell out the money for Gravity Forms, Contact Forms 7 is still a suitable alternative.

Google Analytics for WordPress

As far as Google Analytics plugins go, this one is the best. Not only does it assist in adding the Google Analytics tracking code but it can also track outbound links and insert itself in the header or footer.

WordPress SEO

WordPress SEO is the most complete search engine optimization plugin you will find. Not only does it assist with titles and meta information but it can create XML sitemaps, breadcrumbs and much more.

Open Graph Protocol Tools

This plugin adds meta information to your WordPress header to enable your web page to become a rich object in a social graph. The Open Graph Protocal is used on Facebook to enable any web page to have the same functionality as a Facebook Page. If you’re having problems with Facebook or Digg using the wrong image when you try and submit your posts this plugin might help.

Socialize

I have a few plugins in the WordPress plugin repository but this is the only one I think people really need to know about. It allows you to selectively display the most popular social bookmarking buttons on your website. It also provides a call to action area at the bottom that you can edit for specific posts to request further action from your readers.

W3 Total Cache

W3 Total Cache is the fastest caching plugin for WordPress and is used by a lot of popular websites.

WPtouch

WPtouch is the most popular plugin for making your website mobile ready. The plugin detects mobile browsers and styles your site accordingly.

Secure WordPress

Secure WordPress allows you to selectively turn off WordPress functionality that poses a threat to your site.

Yet Another Related Posts Plugin

A great way to keep people on your blog is to recommend similar blog posts when they have finished reading the current one. The plugin has a bunch of settings making it easy to customize for your blog.

WP-DB-Backup

This one is straight and to the point. Back up your wordpress site so if something goes wrong you don’t kill yourself.

Subscribe to Comments

This plugin goes on my list of essentials. It’s the easiest way to get repeat visits from your commenters. It basically allows commenters to subscribe to all future comments on a post.

WordPress Blog Stats

I use this in conjunction with Google Analytics for two reasons.

  1. I like having stats integrated into my dashboard.
  2. I like being able to use that data with other plugins.

It’s not like the data is collected any faster than Google Analytics as both have a decent delay however it’s nice to see what another service has to say about my websites traffic.

Akismet

This one’s simple, it marks spam as spam for you so you don’t have to.

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  • Harsh Singh

    you are absolutely right about them. i have used almost maximum of the top plugins and themes.
    if you want some to try you can contact me through 13plugins.com and write a review about more.

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  • http://www.bonfriends.org Rahim Soomro

    GREAT!! Thanks alot man!! Can you tell me a good plugin for listing all my writers in one place automatically. I have done it on my webpage manually.

    Thank you in advance.

  • http://www.rockforremodeling.biz Rockford Remodeling

    I’m using your ‘about author’ plugin and it’s functioning well. I appreciate honest reviews on things of this nature, I’m relatively new to using wordpress and am slowly changing my site complete site over…actually I’m straddling the fence on that. I’ve used a couple you mentioned here.

    Suggestion for your next series, if you hadn’t already, gallery/photo album ones. Too many out there! some are decent, some raise havoc and others, I’m not sure how to get them to do what I want. till on a fast learning curve. Thanks for your updates.

    Shawn

  • http://softcore.tk/ Loremar Marabillas

    Hey Jon,

    I have some kind of a problem right now. Recently, I added w3 total cache to my plugins and it worked. After changing some options, it improved my Yslow grade from 58 to 79. Then just recently, I signed up for cloudflare as my cdn to further improve my site’s speed. But a few hours later i cant login to my admin or go to any page though sometimes i can see my homepage but most of the times i see a warning from cloudflare saying my site is offline. i already sent my support request to cloudflare and my hosting service. You have any idea about this? really need some help. I’m not really an expert on webmaster things.

  • http://softcore.tk/ Loremar Marabillas

    Have you also ever tried the broken link checker. It regularly checks any link in your site that might have been broken. They say search engines don’t like broken links. I might want want to try W3 Total Cache, I’m looking for ways to speed up my site. By the way is the plugin free?

    • http://www.jonbishop.com Jon Bishop

      Yup. Broken links are no good.

      Yes the plugin is free, enjoy.

  • Matt

    I’ve been trying to make changes on socialize, but it seems like socialize has frozen with my first changes… its not responding to new changes even after saving the new settings.. pls help…

  • http://www.panorama-javaland.com/ zwexz

    thank you, your post was really helpfull :-)

  • http://wpbugs.com Damien

    I am having almost all of the plugins you used and I am like the W3 Total Cache plugins when it helps in speeding up my blog speed. We can even enhance it with the CDN. Check out http://instantCDN.asia for free CDN trial now.

  • http://kiltedchaos.com Kilted Alex

    great lineup of plugins. I i can add my current 3 faves to your list?

    1: Tagaroo – great for lazy taggers and easy image adding. (Exactly why we use it ;)

    2: Hana Code Insert – so easy to set up and customize – great for inserting custom ‘call to actions” on pages and posts

    3: Simple modal contact form. plays well with regular contact forms, and doubly powerful when teamed up with the Hana plugin. Bingo – instant pop up form on a specific page or post, for added power. And because people have to click a link – its not annoying like so many blog that have a pop up to sign up for their junk etc ;)

    • http://www.jonbishop.com Jon Bishop

      Hana Code Insert looks very cool, thanks for sharing.

  • http://www.bookmarketology.com Darren T

    Some really useful plugins here that I wasn’t aware of (so many plugins, so little time…)

    And I’ve been using Sociable for years, but Socialize seems to have the edge in terms of functionality there. I’ll give that one a go instead. Thanks!

    • http://www.jonbishop.com Jon Bishop

      Awesome, if you get a chance to try it out let me know what you think.

  • http://www.andrewgcook.com Andy Cook

    Think you got every plugin I installed by default whenever launching a new site. Well done

    • http://www.jonbishop.com Jon Bishop

      Great,

      There were a couple I haven’t seen too much buzz about that I thought were important … specifically Open Graph Protocol Tools, W3 Total Cache, Gravity Forms and of course Socialize.