With so many great plugins available it can be bewildering, knowing which are best for our WordPress blogs and/or websites. And it makes sense to review this regularly, perhaps every few months, to be sure you’re using the most efficient. Friendly geek types are developing all this wonderful functionality for us all the time, after all, and sometimes they then move on to other things so their previously capable plugin is no longer the best for us to be using.
The following are some of my WordPress Favourite Plugins, those I install on my own and all blogs and websites I work with, as standard:
WP-Spamshield Anti-Spam: To keep the comment spam at bay (and you will get this, it will drive you potty, you’ll beg for something to stop it) It deals with the spam issue better than anything I’ve used so far.
Wordfence Security is another essential, to help keep things safe and secure, and we all need to take precautions, however small our site is.
UpdraftPlus: you need a reliable backup system and I find UpdraftPlus works brilliantly, taking care of backups for you and also simple to use should you need to restore things (whatever you use this really does need to be tested – a backup is only as good as the restore).
Now you’ll want some idea of visitor activity on your site – the simplest option for this, I find, is Count per Day, offering you a quick idea of what’s going on. You may find the link to that plugin is no longer live – you can read why here – but I’m leaving the link in place in case the situation changes.
WordPress SEO by Yoast – one of the best and well respected options to help you make the most of your online marketing. It’s not essential but can help you to include things that will be helpful. We’ll chat more about the whole “SEO” side of things in future blog posts.
Social Media: If you use a StudioPress Genesis theme, I’d suggest for sharing, Genesis Simple Share – I like the clean feel. For those who do not use Genesis, well there are so many social sharing plugins available that I’d suggest you have a good look yourself – if you search for “share buttons” and look at the screenshots before you choose which to install, you can choose one you like the look of.
And to encourage people to follow, the Simple Social Icons plugin is very smart with everything set within the widget (and you don’t need Genesis for this one).
When you blog or website grows and perhaps starts to slow down, using a plugin that keeps things running smoothly and swiftly is useful. There are several available but my favourite is ZenCache as it seems to more quietly get on with t
These are some of the basics, obviously, and there are likely to be other functions you want for your site. Feel free to ask for suggestions below.
You can also take a look at those I recommend on the favourites list here and the following video shows you how to access these from within your WordPress plugin area: