WordPress plugins are a must for WordPress blogs and for a successful online business. It’s an essential element of WordPress website development.
WordPress is like an android/ios and plugins are like apps that make our mobile phone useful. Our mobile is simply dead without apps, isn’t it?
There are many apps in the app store but we use few which are required and useful. Just like that, we use the plugins which are helpful for our blog.
Being a solopreneur there are tons of things I have to perform. Just like me, other solopreneurs have a never-ending to-do list to tackle daily.
My to-do list consists of social media marketing, social media post scheduling, email list building, content writing, and outreach, and there are so many other things to do.
Plugins help me run my blogging and freelancing business smoothly. Choosing WordPress is one of the best decisions in my blogging and I am very thankful to bloggers who recommend WordPress for newbies.
With a few tweaks in settings, we can include various elements on our blog. Plugins are time-saving and easy to customize for WordPress users. It keeps your blogging hassle-free.
If you are a WordPress user or just have started your freelancing/blogging business or you want to know the list of plugins to make your site more secure and want to get efficient at blogging and solopreneurship.
Here is a list of plugins that you should know
I am segmenting these plugins in segments such as security, communication, SEO, social media sharing, analytics, etc so you can jump over to respective segments to have a quick overview.
WordPress Plugins To Customize Your Website Galleries, Sliders, Media files, and theme
Galleries, Carousel/Slider, Media and theme customization
Best WordPress plugins to customize your WordPress blog/website and its alternatives
For non-coders, it’s quite hard to edit and customize a blog or website design. Thankfully there are plugins that make it easier. With drag and drop design module, anyone can create a decent website.
Customization helps to customize your blog or website according to your need. You can choose which color you want which sidebar you prefer, how should be content, and how you are going to place your ads.
Premium plugins like the visual editor can make your customization and designing tasks easier.
This plugin allows you to customize WordPress with powerful, professional, and intuitive fields. It’s a user-friendly GUI to customize your posts and pages with custom fields like telephone numbers, images, menu, and repeater.
With 1+ million downloads it’s one of the best customization plugins.
It is a visual editor widget for WordPress which allows you to work as you work in a post editor. It improves your sidebar widgets by enabling you to insert rich text and media objectives in your sidebars with no hassle and like a pro.
I am amazed at how we can customize our content with Shortcodes Ultimate. It provides a pack of shortcodes that supercharges our WordPress theme.
We can make our content interactive by animation, spoilers, icons, multi-column layout, tabs, buttons, audio video embedding, animations, quotes, pull quotes, drop caps, Gmaps, lightboxes, carousel/slider, boxes, and many more.
If you need to work on tables and want to insert/import or create tables, Tablepress is the ultimate solution. You can create and import tables with no HTML knowledge. It’s a very user-friendly plugin that creates and manages beautiful tables and embedded them into your pages, posts, and text widgets with shortcodes.
You have changed your WordPress theme and wondering about “How To Regenerate Image Thumbnails of New Size for Older Uploads” or “How to Regenerate Thumbnails or New Image Sizes in WordPress”. This plugin helps you to force regenerate thumbnails according to your new theme thumbnail size and delete all old images.
For example, a Podcaster or musician needs a page to showcase his soundtracks. Custom post types help them to achieve their desired result.
Custom post type UI enables you to create and manage custom post types with ease. It has easy to use interface to manage your taxonomies and custom post types. It let you create/manage/edit your new or current post types and new corresponding taxonomies.
If you searching searching “How To Add Header And Footer Code In WordPress” and want to add Facebook Pixel, Google Analytics, or verify your Youtube channel. This plugin can help.
A safe and easy way to add code to a WordPress website’s header/footer is the “insert headers and footers” plugin. This plugin helps you add extra scripts to the header or footer of your website.
It is a complete menu management plugin for WordPress. You can easily convert your existing menu or create new horizontal, vertical, or accordion mega menus from widgets. You can restyle or create a menu using a theme editor and have full control over menu behavior.
If you want to customize your sidebar according to to post category or pages and search “How to add custom Sidebars to WordPress Posts and Pages” or “How to Display Different Sidebars for Each Post and Page for WordPress”. Custom Sidebars helps you to create custom sidebars for your WordPress blog or website.
It’s the easiest way to show relevant content to your visitors. It helps in increasing audience retention and engagement rate.
Are you searching for the best free WordPress button generator plugin? You can now create beautiful call-to-action buttons in WordPress with MaxButtons.
It is a powerful and easy-to-use plugin to create beautiful WordPress buttons
And social share icons. You can add shortcodes to add these plugins easily wherever you want.
It is one of the best drag-and-drop visual page builder WordPress plugins. If you need a WordPress plugin to create killer content that takes visual content to the next level? Zedity is the solution.
It enables anyone to create amazing WordPress posts and pages because it needs no technical knowledge. Its visual drag-and-drop builder helps you achieve professional results easily and quickly with no coding skills and knowledge.
You have real control over this plugin, you can arrange the elements on the screen.
If you are seeking an all-in-one media solution this plugin can be your solution. It offers multi video/audio player feature to host your audio, video, and galleries for images. There are plenty of features you can explore to increase your visitor engagement.
Want to know, How to Bulk Upload Files to the WordPress Media Library Using FTP? Media from FTP is the solution. It is preferred to upload via FTP for slow internet connection from various hosts into your media library.
Ever wondered, How to rename images and media files in WordPress? Media file renamer automatically renames files depending on Media titles dynamically + updates links. It also optimizes URL slug.
The Pro version renames the images through post titles and has many more options.
Are you using WuFoo forms and searching “How to embed Wufoo forms and surveys on WordPress?” The Wufoo Shortcode plugin is the solution.
This plugin has made it simple to embed complex forms and surveys for everyone, specially non-coders.
Enhances the Media Library; powerful [mla_gallery], taxonomy support, IPTC/EXIF/PDF processing, bulk/quick edit actions, and where-used reporting.
Free plugin to add custom content to your WordPress sidebar. It is a great plugin to create and manage custom sidebars. It makes adding custom sidebars on any post, page, category, etc simply straightforward. You have full control of your sidebars. It supports bbPress, BuddyPress, WooCommerce, Easy Digital Downloads, and more.
Do you want to know, How to Add WordPress Widgets in Post and Page Content? Widgets on Pages is the easy way to Add Widgets or Sidebars to Posts and Pages using shortcodes or template tags.
This plugin makes you better at WordPress Media Library management. It adds flexible media taxonomies and an unlimited number of categories. It makes your media files more searchable with filtration by categories and works as a WordPress media manager.
You can sort your audio/video/image media files by file type and reorder them on various factors. Additionally, you can create additional types for PDFs, documents, and other files.
Plugin to add Lightbox, Slider, and Carousels, etc to make your images and visual content more beautiful
Best Gallery WordPress plugins to beautify your WordPress blog/website and its alternatives
If you have a photography business or have to deal with a lot of images you know how important gallery plugins are. Sliders, Carousels, and lightboxes make our images appealing.
Here are the list of plugins,
If you are wondering “Which is the Best WordPress Photo Gallery Plugin” or want to know “Best Photo Gallery Plugins for WordPress” Here is your answer.
It is the most popular WordPress gallery plugin. It is used by photographers, visual artists, and imaging professionals to add sliders, albums, and galleries. It’s a WordPress gallery management system. You can batch upload, import metadata, add/delete/rearrange/sort images, edit thumbnails, group galleries into albums, and more.
Gallery plugin helps you create a 100% fully responsive photo gallery in minutes. It is an advanced plugin with a list of options, tools, and functionality. It enables you to add and edit your images for different views. The gallery is an advanced plugin with a list of tools and options for adding, editing, and customizing images for different views.
It adds a flexible and aesthetic lightbox for media links. It also adds a lightbox for Youtube videos which makes your videos more appealing.
It is a drag & drop photo gallery builder plugin that’s both easy and powerful. It allows you to create a beautiful responsive photo gallery and video gallery for your WordPress with just a few clicks. It has easy to use intuitive interface.
With EasyRotator you can add beautiful responsive image rotators and sliders to your WordPress site in a few seconds. It is packed with 45+ flexible templates which makes it easy for everyone to create stylish sliders from photos and videos.
Upload your photos by simply dragging and dropping, choose your aspect ratio and your sliders are ready to get rolling on your pages, posts, or wherever you want them.
Want to know how to add a jQuery color box lightbox effect to your WordPress site? With WordPress Colorbox Lightbox you can pop-up images, videos, pages, inline HTML, and custom content, and display a simple slideshow, forms, and external content in a beautiful lightbox image overlay.
Do you want to add an image slider to your blog/website? Or do You want to show multiple sliders throughout your site, even on the same pages? Soliloquy is your solution.
It is certainly one of the best and fastest responsive WordPress slider plugins. You can add WooCommerce product sliders, Lightboxes, Instagram feeds, and carousel gallery sliders.
It is easy to customize and optimized for search engines. It has a super easy interface, drag and drops customization helps you to create beautiful sliders.
Foo Gallery is one of the popular WordPress gallery plugins. You can create mixed galleries with both images and videos. With many extensions, it is one of the most intuitive and extensible gallery management tools.
It is easy to use and flexible. The ability to add video galleries, drag & drop functionality, custom CSS and shortcodes make it one of the popular gallery plugins.
It is a must-have plugin for photographers and media people. It adds a responsive lightbox for your image, and photo album/gallery.
Membership, multi-author blog, affiliate marketing, short linking, monetization, reviews etc
Best and must-have WordPress plugins for bloggers
Blogging is a vast subject and it’s hard to cover each and every part of it. I am sharing a few which are helpful to manage your blogging workflow as well as email list building and social media sharing.
Content scheduling and planning are also important to keep our blog in momentum and handle guest bloggers and other people who are using our site. Content creation tools can help us to keep our blog rolling and snatching traffic from our competitors.
With WordPress, you can start your own membership site where a community shares their views and opinion. Also, you can create your course to share it with your students and make your content accessible to those students.
Here we go,
If you have a multi-author blog, this plugin helps you manage roles and capabilities. It makes role assigning and editing easy. You can easily edit/add/delete user roles and capabilities.
Show relevant posts to your readers, YARPP uses its unique algorithm to suggest related posts to your website visitors. It shows pages, posts, and custom post types.
You can show a thumbnail grid or list to make your readers read another article before leaving your blog.
What makes it one of the must-have plugins? It provides an arsenal of 14+ tools to automate your website growth.
It integrates with all major email list-building tools such as Mailchimp and Aweber. It asks for user email in a beautiful and elegant way, it provides a smart bar, scroll box, pop-up, etc which helps you increase your subscription rate.
It also offers social media, sharing, buys button, image sharing, etc. Read – Sumo Me Review – a must-have WordPress plugin.
Do you want to review WordPress plugins, and themes or want to write recipes with star ratings? this plugin can certainly help you add those review stars to your website. Create reviews using percentages, stars, or point ratings.
It supports WPMU, unlimited color schemes, and retina display.
Contextually Related posts show related posts and increase visitor engagement through relevant suggestions. It supports thumbnails, widgets, shortcodes, and custom post types.
If you are into podcasting and want a integrate it with your blog, PowerPress Podcasting is a simple yet advanced tools plugin to engage your audience with podcasts.
It supports iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, TuneIn, and Blubrry Podcasting directories, as well as all podcast applications and clients.
Editorial Calendar makes it easy to schedule your blog posts. You can easily see your blog topic schedule and work accordingly. It’s easy to note down your blog post ideas to write them later on.
You can drag and drop to move your posts from one date to another and edit them right in the calendar.
Aesop Story Engine: Write Stories Instead of Code. If you want to storify your content and leverage storytelling to engage your audience. This plugin is for you. It offers a suite of tools that allows you to create interactive long-form stories in WordPress. It makes it easy to structure, style, edit and enhance content on WordPress itself without getting into coding.
While the plugin is not for everyone but it can be a huge game changer for writers who write long articles (stories).
It enhances the long-form content with 13 components – audio, video, sliders, quotes, characters, gallery, chapter, map, timeline, etc. These components give you flexibility and functionality to create high-quality engaging stories.
This plugin does not work on any themes. You need special themes to make it work.
You can see examples here.
Google Adsense shut down its official WordPress plugin but you can still add Adsense ad on your blog through the Wp Simple Adsense Insertion plugin.
You can easily add ads on your pages, posts, and sidebar. You either paste shortcodes or call the PHP function from your theme’s template file.
Edit flow is an open-source plugin that allows you to collaborate with multiple authors. It’s useful for planning and scheduling blog posts, you can assign blog posts to authors and show progress on the calendar view dashboard.
Coschedule is a complete blogging workflow solution. It offers an editorial calendar and social media schedule which gives a complete overview of what’s going to happen on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis.
You can collaborate with your team members so everyone takes care of their part. It’s best for streamlining your content marketing and social scheduling.
You can re-queue your social media posts based on the best time to post through Coshedule’s unique algorithm.
Create and manage unlimited polls on your blog. It also provides a rating option so your visitors can rate your polls, questions, and content. It comes with 20 different styles which you can easily customize.
You can easily analyze and get notified about poll results.
You are starting a multi-author blog and want to know “How To Add An Author Box to Your WordPress Site”. Fancier Author Box is a lovely author bio box plugin for WordPress. It gives identity to single or multi-author blogs.
It is easy to add author bio information on your posts and pages. It gives you full control over choosing the position to put your bio on your website. You can add it anywhere with simple shortcodes.
It is integrated with popular social networks Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc, and also adds other information such as designation, company, and blog/website URL.
A simple membership plugin is an alternative to the s2Member Framework. You can allow content access to users based on their membership like silver, gold, platinum, etc. It’s a simple plugin that can help you run a successful membership website.
It also offers Paypal and Stripe payment gateway integration.
If you want to run a paid membership website where you want to restrict premium content for paid members only, this plugin is for you. With the s2Member plugin, you can integrate Paypal and other payments to run an online membership site where you give access to your premium content to your paid users.
It has a free and paid version. You can edit user capabilities and restrict content based on various factors.
If you want to exclude certain posts, pages, or content excluded from specific areas, this plugin can certainly help. You can easily exclude categories from your front page, archives, feeds, and searches.
WP RSS Aggregator allows you to run your blog on autopilot. Its RSS and atom feed importer feeds your blog posts. With various customization settings, you can display the title, author name, publishing date, etc on your blog.
If you want to go into auto blogging try this out.
Email List Building
Helpful plugins to build, grow and manage your email list in various ways.
Must-Have Email listing building plugins for email marketers
Even if you are getting one visitor a day and he/she leaves without giving their email address you are losing your potential buyer. You promote your blog articles, affiliate products, and ebooks, everything is useless if you don’t have an email list of the audience that trusts you and subscribed to your email list.
The traffic you are getting is human beings who are your buyers. If you want to stay in the game for a long time you must build your email list. That’s why whether you are new or starting your blog you should start list building.
List building is a long-term investment we have to create our email list to create a Flow of traffic and stay connected with people who are interested in our blog business.
There are many ways to ask your visitors to subscribe to your email list. You can create a pop-up or create a top bar at the bottom or top of the page or you can add a scroll box from any corner which pops up after scrolling. If you have any content upgrade it’s easy to grab as much as emails because people like free stuff.
It is one of the leading and popular popup and lead generation plugins. It helps bloggers and businesses to grow email lists by converting visitors into subscribers and customers.
It’s easy to create beautiful lead-capturing forms without a developer which also includes A/B testing and enables you to analyze which forms are working and which are not working.
Mailchimp is one of the most popular email list and management service providers. Its official plugin allows you to add a subscription box widget to your blog.
You need to use its API to log in which makes your email data synced with your email list.
It shows a horizontal bar at the top/bottom of your page. You can add a call to action or you can use it to grow your email list. It helps you to grow your customers and email subscribers. It is very helpful if you have a single call to action or downloadable.
Aweber is an email marketing service provider which also has a WordPress plugin. Let your visitors subscribe to your list when commenting or registering on your blog.
If you already have Aweber, you can add their widget to sync your emails.
You can convert your visitors into subscribers and clients with CTA. WordPress Call to Action allows you to add a custom call to action in the sidebar, inside posts, and pops up to generate leads for your business.
It comes with templates which easy to customize according to your requirement. You can monitor and improve your conversion rate through A/B or split testing.
Pop-up is one of the best ways to get more subscriptions. The pop-up builder plugin is responsive and easy to set up and comes with various customization settings.
Its pro version offers Popup opening sound, Video popup, Age restriction popup, and many more pop-ups.
Don’t forget to track your visitors. Track links and user actions to plan your marketing and content writing/marketing strategies.
Best Analytics WordPress plugins for digital marketers
It’s important to analyze and track your visitors. You get to know various insights to skyrocket your website traffic. By knowing your best article and social media sources your can figure out where to put your focus and gain maximum exposure with minimum effort.
Here is the list,
When it comes to analysis no one can beat Google analytics. Google Analytics by Monsterinsights allows you to see your audience’s insight inside WordPress so you don’t need to leave WordPress.
You just need to insert Google analytics code on your blog and authenticate the plugin.
It is an alternative to Google Analytics by Monsterinsights.
It also shows analytics data in your WordPress Dashboard. It ensures the latest Google Analytics tracking codes are getting used on your pages.
It offers multisite integration.
Similar and Alternative Plugins for Google Analytics by MonsterInsights and Google Analytics Dashboard for WP
Like other Google analytics plugins, we can see our visitor report right in our WordPress admin dashboard. It has a unique feature called Trending Content which shows the most trending post/page so you get to know what’s your audience into.
Google Analyticator by Sumome is yet another simple analytics solution to analyze visitors. You can check your traffic sources to optimize your content marketing strategies.
As its name suggests it’s better than Google Analytics because it has a simple interface and is easy to track your website traffic. It provides heat maps, charts, events, reports, and site issues in your WordPress dashboard.
It is one of the most powerful A/B testing and conversion rate optimization service for WordPress. It’s compatible with Woocommerce.
It’s a versatile conversion tracker which helps you manage, define, and track A/B testing experiments on their cloud so it doesn’t affect your loading speed.
Clicky integrates with Clicky for real-time tracking. It also tracks comments and what actions users are taking on your blog. It stores data on clicky for generating analytical reports.
If you want to shorten your long URLs with your custom domain name this plugin can shrink your links. It also provides tracking and link analysis which allows you to track URL clicks, browsers, IP addresses, etc to get link traffic insights.
The Pro version offers redirections, automation, and link cloaking for better link management.
This plugin uses IP Geo Locations and search engine data created by maxmind.com and generates a real-time visitor report. If you want to track these factors it’s an option for you.
Is your WordPress Blog/website secure? Keep your website safe from hackers.
Best WordPress security plugins
We care about our blog and website there are attackers and hackers and boys who are crawling out websites and trying back out sites. Thankfully there are many plugins that work as security guards they don’t let spammers get in and avoid them entering input systems.
Boys are leaving spam comments on our blogs which we need to clear and there is a plugin for this as well. This is one of the popular security guards of WordPress plugins.
I am sharing a list of plugins that will stop you from getting spam comments and also insecure logins.
These plugins protect your website from harmful malware and comments and logins.
It’s a must-have plugin because it protects your blog from spam comments. Without this plugin, you get hundreds of spam comments waiting for approval which you need to mark as spam or delete manually.
It checks your comments against the Akismet Web service to see if they look like spam or not. It reduces spam to a large extent.
Wordfence Security is the most popular security plugin. It provides firewall security and malware protection. It scans your traffic sources and WordPress databases against the latest virus attacks.
It also protects from fraud login attempts and provides many more security features.
If you want to move, migrate or duplicate your WordPress site between domains or hosts, Duplicator can help you in your website migration. It ensures migration with zero downtime.
It is also helpful for backing up your website.
It increases your WP blog/website against hackers by hiding wp-login and wp-admin. It’s an easy solution to secure the WordPress login page from hackers and bots.
The free plugin does not support multisite.
You can take 50+ tests to see where you are lacking your WordPress security. It also shows what necessary steps you need to take in order to secure your Wp blog from hackers.
It’s easy to use and you simply need a click to run the test.
This is an unofficial Google Authenticator which can help you secure your WordPress blog. You need to add an OTP generated on the Google Authenticator app.
If you are security concerned you may have this app.
Wp limit login attempts is an alternative for Login Lockdown. It protects WordPress blog/website against Brute Force Attack which tries multiple usernames and passwords to log in to WordPress sites.
This plugin requests captcha and blocks IP addresses.
This plugin tightens your WordPress site/blog against exploits, spam, and malware injections. If it founds anything suspicious it sends an email to the previously added email address.
It also scans theme files and database tables daily and notifies you if detects malicious code.
Bulletproof security offers multiple features such as database security, database backup, Idle Session Logout, firewall security, and .htaccess Website Security Protection.
This plugin can easily replace many plugins so you don’t need to handle many plugins.
VaultPress is now powered by Jetpack, it’s a powerful and reliable plugin provided by Automattic.
It provides real-time backup and security scanning by Automattic to WordPress websites.
Renaming or changing default wp-login.php to a custom URL adds added security to the WordPress blog. No one can predict what could be your login URL. Wp-login is a well-known login URL for WordPress users.
This plugin allows you to check whether your theme supports the latest WordPress theme standards and practices. Best for WordPress theme developers to check their theme compatibility.
Recommended article – How to choose a WordPress theme.
This plugin allows you to manage single and multi-site updates easier. With a few clicks, you can update all or select plugins, themes, and WordPress.
If you want to make sure your plugins, themes, and WordPress CMS is getting updated automatically this plugin can surely help.
This plugin locks login if founds a set a number of failed attempts. This is very useful to protect our WordPress site from hackers and bots.
If it founds there are multiple failed login attempts it locks the IP for a certain time period.
Antispam Bee is an alternative for Akismet. It protects your blog from spam comments. It’s an easy and extremely useful spam-fighting plugin with many customization features. It also protects against trackback spam and privacy hints.
Sucuri Security deals with WordPress website security. It offers security activity auditing, remote malware scanning, file integrity monitoring, effective security hardening, blacklist monitoring, post-hack security actions, and notifies you of security-related problems.
WordPress websites could be attacked easily because of plugin vulnerabilities and weak passwords.
iThemes Security secures websites from attacks. This plugin offers 30+ ways to secure your WordPress site. It’s supported by iThemes which is one of the leading WordPress plugin providers.
It also offers scheduled backups.
Making changes to your blog? don’t forget to back up your WordPress website/blog.
Best backup plugins for WordPress users
It’s important to keep your WordPress backups handy. Thankfully there are plugins that help you to automate this task. Backing up your WordPress is crucial when you get into code.
Any WordPress update or a simple coding error can screw your website. It’s always advised to take backups so you can restore it at any time. Updraft is the best backup and restoration plugin to complete backups either manually or scheduled on your Google drive, dropbox, FTP, SFTP, email, and many more cloud storage options.
As its name suggests it’s a WordPress backup for scheduled website backups on the cloud such as Amazon S3, Dropbox, and many more online and offline storage options.
The Backup WordPress plugin helps you take backups on schedule. It’s very useful to back up a WordPress blog or website because anything can go wrong and you would need a backup file.
Forms, forums, chat widgets, and comments are mediums to interact with your website visitors.
Must have WordPress forms and comment plugins
Every website has a contact us page and contact form. It’s a way to help your visitor contact you. If you have a blog you are more likely to have traffic that comments on your blog and shares their views and opinions.
If you want to enable your blog for commenting there are a few plugins available in the WordPress plugin marketplace but I am going to list popular ones and it’s up to you which you want to install. I have also mentioned a plugin to disable your comment on specific pages in case you don’t want to get comments on any of your pages.
It is the most popular contact form builder. It is simple but flexible to create multiple contact forms by simply copy-pasting shortcodes. Though it lacks drag in certain areas like drag and drops it’s very easy to use for anyone who wants a simple contact form on their website. You can simply add mail content shortcodes and your contact form is ready to connect you with your audience.
Contact form supports – Multiple contact forms, spam prevention, bot prevention with Captcha, and customization.
By default, all contact inquiries are sent directly to your WordPress user account.
Do you want to know – How to Turn Off or Disable Comments on WordPress Pages and posts? Disable comments plugin allows you to disable comments on any post type sitewide in a single step.
You can disable comments according to post type and it also supports multisite.
It is an extended version of Contact Forms 7. It is the ultimate free WordPress form builder tool, which is powerful, flexible, and easy to customize.
It helps in creating forms; lead generation forms, contact forms, surveys, and many more. Its simple drag-and-drop interface is friendly for every user and anyone can create beautiful forms within a few minutes. Its intuitive UI and simple form fields make it a powerful solution to create building payment forms inside WordPress.
If you are a solopreneur and want to sync your contact forms with CRM. You can integrate it with Zoho, Capsule, Insightly, Batchbook, and Salesforce.
It fills the gap of Contact Form 7, it’s a simple yet powerful drag-and-drop form builder. You can easily create beautiful contact forms with a few clicks and without hiring a developer.
Not all comments are garbage there are many which add value to the content and fill missing pieces in an article. Replyable helps users to subscribe to comments which are really valuable for them, they get notified whenever new comments add up.
Replying through email makes it more user-friendly.
Commentluv blogs help bloggers to get backlinks on their blogs and that’s why more bloggers like to connect with CommentLuv blogs. CommentLuv blogs are very effective to use to grow your list of visitors.
You can reward your commenter with a backlink to their latest blog post. It works as a token of appreciation to your regular commenters.
Gravity Forms enables you to map your forms generated posts to custom posts type and/or custom taxonomies. It’s easy to use drag and drop plugin with advanced notification routing and lead capture.
Subscribe to Comments allows commenters on an entry to subscribe to e-mail notifications for subsequent comments.
Form plugin is a simple contact form builder tool, which allows the user to create and edit the different types of contact forms.
The official Constant Contact plugin adds a contact form to your WordPress site to quickly capture information from visitors.
Its pro feature offers syncing and helps in email campaigning.
Zendesk chat offers a chat feature that helps you connect with your potential customers. This chat pops up and interacts with website visitors to get what they require. It’s the best way to connect with your customers.
Disqus is free to use comment system that helps digital publishers and bloggers build strong audiences. It helps you in increasing your readership and engage your visitors. It supports multiple platforms (Blogger, WordPress, etc) and you are able to comment on other blogs/websites which are using this system.
WordPress comes with an inbuilt commenting system but third-party services like Disqus can enhance user experience.
It is one of the best and most flexible WordPress form plugins. Its simple drag & drop interface and visual styling make form building enjoyable. It builds everything from contact forms to data management. We can easily create contact forms, polls, surveys, or lead generation forms with custom styling.
User-generated content really helps to build a community, search engine optimization, and support. It helps to engage your visitors and creates two communication platforms to interact with each other.
Do you want to know – How to Add a Forum to a WordPress blog or website? So you could build a discussion board, a community, or a customer support system to engage your traffic. bbPress is a free forum plugin and an open source forum software that can help you to add a forum to your WordPress blog or website.
You can create a Single site and Multisite Forums. You get customizable templates. It’s lightweight and fast.
Many bloggers face email deliverability issues because WordPress uses the PHP mail function to send emails generated by WordPress or any contact form plugins. Also, most WordPress hosting companies don’t have their servers properly configured for sending PHP emails.
WP Mail SMTP plugin fixes your email deliverability by easily reconfiguring the wp_mail() function to use a trusted SMTP provider.
Optimization and Cache
Optimize your WordPress blog/website by caching and lazy loading. Treat your mobile user differently to increase user engagement.
Must have WordPress optimization plugins
Our visitors have a very less attention span that’s why our blog should load within 3-5 seconds. Our site speed is one of the major search engine optimization factors, Google loves sites that load faster.
You can check your website speed at Pingdom and your website mobile-friendliness on Google. It also shows what are the scripts which are decreasing your website speed.
Fortunately, there are WordPress plugins to make the site load faster. Here they are,
A jetpack is an all-in-one tool that offers various tools such as related posts, stats, social sharing, search engine optimization, protection, speed, backups, and email list building.
It’s a plugin that helps you in your WordPress customization and development with its feature pack.
It also offers downtime monitoring for free.
WP Super Cache is a caching plugin that reduces server load by serving static pages rather than dynamic content. It’s the most popular and best caching plugin for speed optimization.
W3 total cache is the most popular caching plugin. This plugin serves static pages and can be used to hook in a CDN. This may make your site faster to load and cheaper to host.
It’s an alternative for the W3 total cache.
If you have many media files which are making your site load slowly Smush is the perfect solution for image compression and optimization. It helps in resizing, optimizing, and compressing images.
It’s a useful plugin to show different themes for different mobile os. You can set different themes for ios users and different themes for android users. This is one of the ways to optimize your website for mobile users.
It functions with low-resource hosting and provides the highest speed possible. You can also switch WordPress themes on mobile detection. It’s easy to configure the plugin.
Images, iframes, and java scripts make our blogs slow. BJ Lazy load enables lazy loading so our blog loads images and scripts when our user scrolls. It helps in speed upgrades.
If your sites taking too much time to load, you can check which plugin slowing your site. P3 plugin performance profiler creates a performance report which shows you which plugins are slowing down your blog.
Relevanssi adds more options to customize your searches. It replaces the default search engine with partial-match which sorts results for relevancy. It helps in comment indexing and supports shortcode content.
Wptouch makes sure your website is mobile-friendly. With just a few clicks you are ready to make your website more engaging and appealing for mobile visitors.
It provides many mobile themes to customize your mobile user interface according to your requirement.
Wp-Optimize cleans your WordPress data that is clogging up. It deletes post revisions and spam comments so your site stops lagging due to data overload.
eCommerce, Job Manager, user manager, branding, payments, etc
Best eCommerce and business plugins
If you have any digital products or want to sell your physical products there are plugins to help you out. These plugins help you to set up your online store which integrates with various solutions. Please check the rules and regulations before installing any plugin. Be aware of whether they are cutting any percentage from payment what payment gateways they support etc.
With WooCommerce you can sell both physical and digital goods. It’s the best plugin to run your eCommerce business. It helps you to create product listings and handle payments. It offers essential free and premium tools for online business owners.
If you have many clients or you have many websites, you can easily manage them from one dashboard. You can update all plugins through a single click and access all sites’ analytical data in a single place.
It increases your productivity and helps you manage multiple sites from one destination.
This plugin helps you manage your WordPress database.
Allows you to optimize database, repair database, backup database, restore database, delete backup database, drop/empty tables and run selected queries.
It supports automatic scheduling of backing up, optimizing, and repairing the database.
If you need to handle appointments and struggling to switch from Google calendar and WordPress. Appointments can make your appointments accessible in WordPress.
Now you can see your bookings and appointments on a single platform.
If you want to place your Google Places review on your WordPress website, this plugin can help you add Google places reviews to your website. This plugin is a way to show how people are rating your businesses and is surely the best way to attract more and more footprints to your local businesses.
Birchpress is an appointment booking and online client scheduling plugin which allows you to service businesses and manage bookings and appointments in WordPress itself.
If you have service-based businesses like a Beauty salon, home repair, financial services, or medical facilities then this plugin is helpful for appointment management. Your client sees your schedule and book appointments when you are free to take bookings.
If you want to start or manage a business directory website this plugin can help you create a Yellow-Pages-like business listing and Yelp-like review directory.
If you are into event management or have to travel a lot for meetings and other activities, this plugin can help you manage your event calendar through WordPress.
You can create and maintain events, including complex recurring patterns, venue management with Google maps and calendars, and customizable event lists.
If you want your image gallery watermarked with your blog logo, the image watermark plugin can bulk watermark previously uploaded images and automatically watermarks images when uploaded.
If you want to show your clients portfolios, quotes, reviews, or text with videos and images this plugin can help you out. Easily add social proofs to your website, slide, or list reviews via shortcodes or widgets.
If you have digital products like software, documents, photos, ebooks, songs, graphics, or any other type of media file this plugin can really help you out in selling them. It’s a complete eCommerce solution for selling any digital products.
If you have a job listing consultancy or placement, this plugin can help you manage your employer and job seeker data with various other functionalities.
Users can directly post their job listings, so you don’t need to submit them manually.
Social Media Sharing
Make your website and blog shareable on major social media channels like Facebook and Twitter.
Must have social media sharing plugins for WordPress users
Social media is an important aspect of business, especially online businesses, and blogs. We have to reach out to our potential audience and build our following. Our content should be shareable on social networking sites so visitors can easily share it with their friends. That’s where we need social media sharing buttons we can add them wherever we want.
These social media plugins help us to increase our social media visibility and increase our followers.
It’s said but not proven social media sharing and reputation also increase our search engine ranking.
What makes AddToAny different from other plugins is, that you don’t need to signup to use this plugin. You can simply copy-paste its code and add it to your website header/footer.
It offers 100+ website options for your users so you don’t miss any social media shareability.
It also offers the following options so your visitors can easily follow you.
Here are a few alternatives for AddToAny WordPress Plugin,
Addthis offer social media share as well as various other tools to help you grow your email list and social shares/followers.
As its name and tagline suggest, it’s a simple share plugin that believes social media sharing should be simple.
You can elegant social media share icons on your blog.
The Social Links plugin adds a widget and shortcode to your WordPress website allowing you to display icons linking to your social profiles.
Easy social share buttons add social media sharing options on your blog and website so your visitors can share your content with their friends and followers.
This plugin adds a horizontal floating share bar on your posts and pages. It’s a lightweight plugin that makes your site load faster.
If you want Mashable-type social sharing buttons which show social shares in big font beside social media buttons, Mashshare allows you to show views and social media buttons whenever you want. By simply placing shortcodes with your custom parameters, you can make your content shareable.
If you want a plugin that allows you social media share buttons, floating share buttons, share buttons for images, and social media follow buttons, Shareaholic provides all these features.
It also has monetization and related posts feature which adds extra income and user engagement to your blog.
It’s a plugin that works as content amplification software.
It’s a lightweight, elegant, modern-looking, and effective social media sharing plugin which makes your content shareability easy. It also comes with profile buttons and icons.
This plugin locks your content and your visitors have to share your page/post to unlock the content. This strategy works if you have any downloadable sites, you can hide the download link and ask visitors to share the page to make the download button visible.
Better click-to-tweet makes your content tweetable. You can add beautiful buttons and clickable links to make your visitors share your content with their Twitter followers.
As its name suggests this plugin allows you to add social media follow button widgets. It offers a color picker and various other customization features to make it meet your requirements.
It’s a beautiful and fast social media sharing button plugin that boosts your social media shares and drives traffic to your website/blog.
It also offers a Click to Tweet shortcode and image sharing feature.
This makes Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sharing easier. It adds Facebook Open Graph and Twitter card tags so social media can easily fetch images, titles, and descriptions.
Search Engine Optimization – SEO
Increase your search engine visibility with on-page search engine optimization.
Essential WordPress plugins for search engine optimization
Search engine optimization is an ongoing process there are two types of SEO one is on-page and the second is off-page I know a lot of people don’t know much about off-page SEO but it’s all about how many backlinks we have and how many people are engaging our blog what’s your bounce rate and there are a lot of such factors.
On-page SEO is quite easy compared to off-page because we are the person who takes care of all these things. We can edit your keywords, meta description, and title, we can register SEO-friendly domains for our blog or website, etc.
Thankfully there are a lot of plugins that can help us in on-page SEO. These plugins are mostly downloaded and these plugins are always popular amongst WordPress users.
Yoast is the #1 and best SEO plugin, it creates XML sitemaps and makes your blog/website crawlable.
It suggests what necessary steps you need to take while writing your blog posts. It makes your social media thumbnails, titles, and descriptions customizable so you could make them more attractive on social media.
It helps you to add a SERP title and description to make your content stand out from the SERP.
It’s a 100% free-to-use plugin which creates XML sitemaps that makes your structure easy to crawl for search engines, search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo, and Ask.com. You can submit your sitemaps on major search engine consoles to rank your latest blog posts.
If you are looking for an alternative for Yoast, the All In One SEO pack is the best alternative for Yoast. It also offers XML sitemaps to improve search engine crawlability.
It optimizes your images and titles for search engine ranking. It creates meta tags automatically.
If you don’t want to land your visitor on 404 or 301 this plugin can help you redirect them to a new URL or to your custom destination.
It helps in reducing bounce rates and increase user engagement.
It’s an alternative for All in One Schema.org Rich Snippets. Google SEO Pressor For Rich Snippets plugin automatically structures your website content with schema.org.
Enrich your WordPress website content with Google Structured Data and make it more SEO friendly.
This plugin helps you create a beautiful 404 error page. You can ask your visitor to click on a button to go to the home page. It’s not a redirect plugin.
If you write reviews and rating-based content this plugin can make you stand out from your competitors. It shows a summary of your link in SERP results which helps you boost your CTR, which ultimately helps you in search engine ranking.
It works with Google, Bing, Yahoo & Facebook.
As you make changes on your sites there are decent chances nothing go wrong.
If you don’t want to land your traffic on the “Not Found” page you can redirect it to the start page (or any other page/post/website).
This plugin automatically interlinks your blog posts and creates a link juice for search engine ranking.
It is also helpful to add affiliate links for specific keywords.
This plugin helps search engine crawlers to extract the site structure and index your blog/website. It generates an XML sitemap to make your website crawler friendly for search engines.
This plugin makes your images SEO friendly. It automatically adds alt and title attributes according to the options you set. It helps you rank your images on search engines.
If you are a photographer or more into imaging this plugin is for you.
Broken Link Checker. This plugin will check your posts, comments, and other content for broken links and missing images, and notify you if any are found.
You can receive the reports for the broken links via emails or in the WordPress dashboard directly.
Editing broken is easy than you think, you can edit them from the plugin’s page. You can unlink, remove hyperlink keep only text or mark it as working if the plugin marks any link broken mistakenly.
As I said before, Plugins are silver bullets to solve any problem we are facing. Especially for non-coders. I have listed popular plugins among bloggers and they are using these plugins to make their job easier.
These plugins have their own importance and effectiveness. We don’t need all these plugins to run a successful blog but we certainly need some which make our WordPress website and business smoothly.
Here is a final list of Must have WordPress plugins,
- Advanced Custom Fields
- NextGEN Gallery – WordPress Gallery Plugin
- Free Tools to grow your Email List, Social Sharing and Analytics
- OptinMonster – Best WordPress Popup and Lead Generation Plugin
- Google Analytics by MonsterInsights
- UpdraftPlus WordPress Backup Plugin
- Contact Form 7
- Jetpack by WordPress.com
- AddToAny Share Buttons
- Yoast SEO
If you know better alternatives for any plugin please let me know in the comment section. I would like to add that plugin to my list.
P.S – This information is correct as of 18-April-18. The blog post and plugin recommendation are for information purposes only. If any damage to your website/blog occurred because of any plugin the blog owner and blog won’t be responsible.