The great thing about using WordPress to create your website is the flexibility and customization that is available. WordPress plugins have been created to vamp up any theme that you choose to go with. This gives you the ability to choose what features are most important to you, and enhance them with the help of plugins.
There are nearly 40,000 different WordPress plugins available to you, and choosing which ones to use can become overwhelming. Plus, there are premium plugins, which makes it even more difficult.
Here are some of the top free and premium WordPress plugins that can help revolutionize the way your site looks and functions.
#1 WordPress Plugins-W3 Total Cache
The purpose of W3 Total Cache is to increase the speed of your WordPress site. In return, your visitors will have a better experience. This plugin will decrease download times, decrease page loading times, and enhance your websites overall performance. In return, this will help your sites rank in a search engine search. Additionally, this plugin will enhance the web server’s performance during peak traffic times.
Jetpack is a multi-functional website tool that will increase security, increase performance, deliver spam free comments, allow social sharing, related posts, post by email, is lightweight and responsive. Overall, Jetpack will increase you and your visitor’s experience.
Akismet helps deter spam from comments on your blog. It will perform automatic checks with Akismet. You will then be able to see which comments were flagged. Akimet will then take note of which comments were marked as spam, and then unmarked by admin.
#4 Google Analytics by Yoast
Google Analytics by Yoast is a powerful tool that allows you to see all your site stats without leaving WordPress. All your data from your Google Analytics account will automatically be available in your WordPress dashboard. You can view a single site or multiple sites.
#5 Google XML Sitemaps
This plugin will automatically create an XML sitemap of your site. This type of map will help during search engine indexing. Sitemap’s allow web crawlers to view the structure of your site, which will allow results to be obtained in a more efficient manner. When you post new content to your site, Google, Bing and Yahoo will be notified.
#6 iThemes Security (formerly Better WP Security)
You can never be too cautious when owning a website. iThemes are designed to find problems with your site and fix them. It is a smart security measure that many site owners do not realize they need.
#7 Contact Form 7
You want your visitors to be able to contact you, and this plugin comes with a load of features that will allow you to design and manage your contact forms. You will not have to worry with coding, as this plugin is easily customizable. Contact Form 7 works with Ajax, as well as CAPTCHA and Akismet.
There is nothing worse than something happening to your website, and you not having a restore point. Snapshot is designed to help with backups and restore points. As the administrator, you will have the ability to restore as many snapshots as necessary.
#9 Login Lockdown
Login Lockdown limits the number of login attempts an individual has. It is based on the given IP address, and it will give you the option to set a specified amount of time. When a failed attempt is made, Login Lockdown will record the IP address and timestamp. If too many failed attempts are made in a short period of time, the login will not be available for the IP range. You have the power to set lockout times, according to your website needs.
#10 Ultimate Branding
When wanting to customize your site, Ultimate Branding is a handy plugin. It will allow you to customize your site’s colors, logo, company name and much more. You can take any WordPress branding and change it to your brand. You will see your name and logo, rather than WordPress. No coding will be needed to accomplish this.
#11 Appointments +
Appointents + is a premium plugin that is suited for small businesses, such as hairdressers, studios and clinics. If you have a need to manage or make appointments, this plugin will help you with those goals. You will be able to allow your customers to book appointments through your website, and there will be no switching from one site to another. Appointments + works with PayPal, which will help you collect deposits from customers.
#12 MarketPress eCommerce
If you are an eCommerce site, then you will want the MarketPress eCommerce plugin. It is effective in making a storefront that is attractive and easy to navigate around. It is also ideal for eCommerce networking. MarketPress eCommerce is a premium plugin, and you will get all the tools you need to market and sell your products online. It is a multipurpose tool that needs no extensions or add-ons.
#13 Membership 2
If you want to offer memberships on your website, the Membership 2 plugin is a premium choice that will give you many options. You will be able to create a membership site, and enable features for visitors to access. You can design a site that offers free customers some features, while paying customers will get full access to your offerings. The Membership plugin will give you the ability to limit pages, post, categories, videos, audio, images, and PDFs.
#14 Pro Sites
Pro Sites is a powerful plugin that will allow you to design a profitable network of sites. You can offer themes, plugins, storage and domain mapping. Offering premium options to your visitors will be easy.
#15 Yet Another Related Posts Plugin
If you are looking for a way to display relevant material to the current content being read by a visitor, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a great tool. This gives you the ability to get other related material in front of your visitors, which will have them staying on your site for longer periods of time.
#16 WP Smush Pro
Make your site lighter with WP Smush Pro . This plugin will help take away information from images that are not necessary. This will in return decrease the size of the file. When information is extracted from the image, it will not hinder the quality. You will be left with smaller images, which will help decrease load times.
#17 BJ Lazy Load
If you need to vamp up your load times, BJ Lazy Load is the plugin to turn to. This plugin will replace your images with a placeholder, which will help your content appear quicker. Bandwidth will be saved, and your load times will be more efficient. This plugin works with post images, thumbnails, gravatar images, and content iframes.
Duplicator allows you to backup, duplicate, move or transfer a site with ease. It is also a great option for those looking for a plugin to back up their entire site. It’s great for those wanting to create a clone site for testing purposes.
#19 Infinite SEO
Search engine optimization is highly important, and Infinite SEO can help increase your site’s rankings. Infinite SEO is an all-in-one tool that will help you efficiently enrich your site with SEO. This plugin includes Optimization tools, Moz integration, and automatic Sitemaps.
#20 Floating Social
Social media is a great way to market your site. Floating Social is a plugin that gives you the ability to display share buttons. It is very easy to configure, and you have the ability to activate which share buttons you want displayed on your site. Share buttons and links are responsive. You are also able to customize the size and color.
Relevanssi is designed to take the place of your WordPress theme default search options. You can choose to sort your content by relevance, rather than date. This plugin is customizable, and allows you to set searches on partial words or fuzzy matches. Relevanssi does have a free version, or you have an option to upgrade to a premium version.
#22 Theme Check
Theme Check will perform a thorough check on your theme. It will ensure that your site adheres to current WordPress standards. When you test your site, results will be displayed in the admin menu. Great plugin for developers, as they can ensure their designs are meeting WordPress standards.
#23 Broken Link Checker
Broken Link Checker will keep an eye on posts, pages, comments and blogroll. You will be alerted of any broken links, and you will be able to fix them across the board, rather than one post or page at a time.
#24 Disable Comments
Rather than manually disabling comments on each post or page, you can use the Disable Comments to globally do this task. You can ask it to disable comments according to post types, pages or attachments. This is a great plugin for those who want to disable comments on certain posts. If you only wish to disable comments on one or two posts, you are better off doing this through WordPress plugins.
#25 Regenerate Thumbnails
Regenerate Thumbnails does exactly that. You will be given the option to regenerate a thumbnail for image uploads, individual images or specific images. This is a great plugin if you have changed thumbnail sizes, or have switched to a new theme that has a different image dimensions.
Other WordPress plugins that you may want to consider include:
- Easy Updates Manager
- Edit Flow
- WP Mail SMTP
- All In One Schema.org Rich Snippets
- Fast Secure Contact Form
- Display Widgets
- Advanced Custom Fields
- P3 (Plugin Performance Profiler)
- Black Studio TinyMCE Widget
There are WordPress plugins available to help you obtain any task that you desire. Take the time to know and understand what these WordPress plugins can do for you. It could make all the difference in your sites success.