WordPress Plugins are a great way of increasing the functionality and efficiency of your website quickly and easily. Many plugins are user-friendly and allow you to enhance your WordPress website without having to struggle any or with too much code. Plugins can also save you a ton of money, allowing you as an administrator to add them to your website yourself and not have to rely on expensive developers to implement them for you.
Here’s a list of the top 20 WordPress Plugins that will help improve your website.
- NextGen Facebook – Advanced Social SEO
Display your content in the best possible way on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. This plugin allows you to set the image to be shared, instead of the default image that the social network displays.
- Facebook Open Graph, Google+ and Twitter Card Tags
Another great plugin to allow you more control over the display of your images and text from your website to the various social media networks.
- NextScripts: Social Media Auto Poster
NextScripts automatically publishes posts from your blog to your Social Network accounts including: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Blogger, Tumblr, Delicious, Plurk, etc profiles and/or pages. Just write a new post and either entire post or it’s nicely formatted announcement with backlink will be published to all your configured social networks.
- Simple Share Buttons Adder
The Simple Share Buttons Adder does exactly what it says on the tin – adds social media share buttons to all of your posts and pages.
- Simple Social Icons
This plugin displays your social media icons and link visitors to your various social profiles. With it, you can easily choose which profiles to link to, customize the color and size of your icons, as well as align them to the left, center, or right, all from the widget form.
- Strong Testimonials
Testimonials are a great way of increasing credibility and confidence in your services and offerings. Using a Plugin to display your testimonials professionally and consistently on your website helps develop trust and saves you time. I tested countless testimonial plugins to find one that displayed my testimonials beautifully on the page – without me having to spend time formatting. Strong Testimonials was the best of the crop. You can see it in action on my “Praise” page.
Opt-ins and Pop Ups
- Popup Ally
Popup Ally is a simple to implement popup that doubles conversions without annoying your visitors. This plugin also allows you to do in-post opt-ins too. It’s easy to set the design to suit your website and super user-friendly.
- WordPress SEO by Yoast
The WordPress SEO plugin helps you write content that is optimized for search. The Plugin rates your pages and posts on how search engine optimized they are and provides you with suggestions on how to improve your overall optimization – from a technical point of view through your content.
- iThemes Security
Themes Security is a great plugin that protects your WordPress website from common attacks. It’s quick and easy to use (especially for the non-techy among us), allowing you to install and secure your site in minutes.
- All In One WP Security & Firewall
The All in One WordPress Security plugin has the same features as iThemes. It’s not as easy to use as iThemes however, it does offer additional options for advanced WordPress users. I’d recommend picking one or the other.
- UpdraftPlus Backup and Restoration
It’s important to Backup your site “just in case” things go pear shaped for no particular reason (it really does happen.) UpdraftPlug does complete backups; manual or scheduled and backs up to S3, Dropbox, Google Drive, Rackspace, FTP, SFTP, email + others.
I personally love ManageWP as it allows me to update multiple WordPress websites – literally in one click. I can also scan all of my websites for threats and do maintenance easily from a single dashboard. Backups can also be manually or scheduled to Google Drive, Dropbox, Email and more.
- Google Analytics Dashboard for WP
Using this Plugin you can easily install and view your website analytics data from your WordPress Dashboard. The Google Analytics Dashboard displays key analytics data and reports about your site’s: number of visitors, page views, bounce rates, pages per visit and traffic sources.
- W3 Total Cache
Fast and comprehensive WordPress performance optimization plugin that improves your website’s page load speed and performance.
- Ninja Forms
There are LOTS of free Contact form plugins out there, I find ninja forms better than others. It has inbuilt anti-spam, so you don’t have to add an ugly ReCaptcha form and it’s also super user-friendly.
- Contact Form 7
Contact Form 7 is a commonly use free plugin that is also pre-loaded in many themes. It’s a very flexible contact form however, I find it’s SPAM-filtering weak and you typically need to add extra plugins to compensate for this such as Contact Form 7 Honeypot.
- Contact Form 7 Honeypot
A good addition to Contact Form 7, Honeypot adds anti-spam functionality to thwart spambots without the need for an ugly captcha.
Comments Plug In
Disqus, pronounced “discuss”, is a service and tool for web comments and discussions. Disqus makes commenting easier and more interactive, while connecting websites and commenters across a thriving discussion community.
- Disqus Conditional Load
Disqus is a GREAT commenting plugin but it can be very intense on your page’s load time, especially when you start to get loads of comments. How to have the best of both worlds? Disqus Conditional Load. You can decide how, when, where to load comments. This plugin prevents unwanted script loading and make your website super fast.
WordPress WISYWIG Editor
This plugin allows you to add, remove and arrange the buttons that are shown on the Visual Editor toolbar.
So there you have it. A comprehensive list of WordPress Plugins that will help boost your website’s functionality.
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