List of Must have WordPress Plugins – Must Have
WordPress powers the highest number of websites on the world wide web. WordPress is a wonderful publishing framework which runs highest number of websites on the world wide web. There are tons of reasons why people use WordPress to create blogs and build websites which can be a simple blog or a web applications accepting payments to anything that you want. Before we get into the list of must have WordPress plugins, we should note that WordPress should be given the biggest credit to create so many bloggers around the world.
Suggested Reading – How to Start a Blog and make money – From the Scratch
What are WordPress Plugins / addons?
You can customise a WordPress website without modifying any of the core files by using plugins. WordPress plugins are the right way to customise WordPress installations. You can add new features, customise existing features or even remove some of the features that you do not want by using a great feature called hooks in WordPress.
Plugins at the WordPress Plugins Directory are free
You can find tons of plugins inside your Dashboard itself. Search for what you need, you will get at-least a few listed according to the rating. Every plugin found at the WordPress Plugin directory is free and open source. There may be plugins with pro features or pro version which you will have to buy from the vendor.
Downloading, Activating and Configuring a Plugin
You do not have to worry about anything technical to use a WordPress Plugin, these are installed, activated and configured without writing a single line of code. Anyone having some knowledge of using a content management can do it.
Installing a plugin which is not listed in the WordPress Plugins Directory
You would need to use the upload plugin feature to upload a plugin and activate it.
Done with the basics of plugin, now to the list of must have wordpress plugins
Must Have WordPress Plugins for every blog – Beginners
Akismet would take care of your blog security. Protect from spammers and hackers to a limit blocking bad comments. You would need a WordPress API key, just register with WordPress for an account and get the API key. There are some paid packages too.
Yoast SEO – must have wordpress plugins for SEO
You don’t need too many plugins for SEO, Yoast is the best
Search Engine Optimisation is important or every website. WordPress needs to be customised search engine point of view and the customisation would depend on different factors. Yoast SEO is the most used SEO plugin on WordPress. If you are ready to spend for the pro version, then that would be good or the free version is good enough.
Pro version has additional features like
- Yoast Internal Linking
- Multiple Keywords targeting
- Content Insights
- Redirect your pages
- Focus Keywords
Jetpack – WordPress.com Plugin
This is a great plugin on all my blogs. This is developed and maintained by WordPress itself. You have multiple features which can be enabled or disabled according to your need. I use the below features
- Social Sharing options,
- Stats and other data
- Subscribers to comments
- Email Subscriptions
- Likes, Comment (Login with WordPress.Com Account)
- Contact Form (Feedback)
- Vaultpress backups
- Related Posts
You get connected to WordPress.Com features and services, common login
WordPress.com Desktop App uses the WordPress.Com account and Jetpack features
SEO Smart Link – Best auto linking plugin
The best free plugin for auto linking keywords. This is a very simple version of Thirsty Affiliates. You do not have to worry much about complicated settings. All you need is to define your keywords and links. You can have multiple keywords for one link and multiple links as well. You can even have redirect URL defined for the target pages.
The plugin is free and it was a paid version. I have never used the paid version, but this free version is awesome.
Only issue I see is the developer is not updating the plugin, as the last update was about 3 years back. You do not have to worry, as of now it is working well with WordPress 4.8.
What should you have this plugin?
This plugin can do great work SEO point of view. On a long run, this plugin will connect all you pages with the right keywords or you will have to do manually.
We consider this page which is all about “must have plugins” or “list of basic plugins”. I add these
My Favourite Plugins other than those mentioned above
Amazon Associate Link Builder
If you are an amazon associate and using your blog to sell products on your website or blog, this is a very hand plugin from Amazon itself.
You should initially configure your amazon affiliate account with the keys and then you are ready to go. Customize the templates if needed. Inside the WordPress post editor, you have the option to add Amazon products in different formats like panel, carousels, links, etc
Thirsty Affiliates – Affiliate link management plugin
Affiliate marketing is incomplete if you have lots of contents, good traffic from search engines. Convert keywords to your affiliate links automatically. Get reports, track performance, cloak links and more.
There are many modules in the Pro Version of Thirsty Affiliates
- Amazon Integration
- Redirect using htaccess
- URL Shortening
- Automatic Keyword Linking
WP Forms – Create Online form drag and drop
Create unlimited online forms as per your need by just dragging and dropping the fields and labels. You can set condition for validation of data.
You do not have to be a programmer to create complex forms for your business to get user data.
Table of Contents Plugin Plus
If you are having a WordPress Installation with lots of contents in a structured manner, then you should use a table of content plugin.
Using shortcode, you can add TOC to your blog posts or even you can enable auto TOC as per the default setting. I have used this plugin on my blog. You can do all types of customisation to suit your needs and style.
Before you buy a plugin
Always do some checks, read reviews about any new plugin that you are going to buy or use. Some plugin which are not from the WordPress Plugins directory could be harmful and break your site.
Do not use too many plugins
Use Plugins which are compatible with the latest version of WordPress
What to do if a plugin breaks your site?
You need ftp, rename the plugin folder which broke your site, this will bring your site back
Further – About this list of must have wordpress plugins for beginners
There are many other great plugins that I have not listed here. Must have plugins for a simple blogger would be different from a blogger selling e-books or someone who has a photography blog. List of must have wordpress plugins for a review site is different from a personal blog or a recipe site.
You can find solutions for most of your requirement from the WordPress Plugin directory or from a custom plugin developer.
The list about shows the list of must have plugins for basic needs.
Besides these plugins I would suggest Dreamhost for hosting, Genesis or Elegant themes for theme framework.