The best WordPress plugins: discover what they are and optimize your blog with them. These are the essential plugins for WordPress in 2017.
In WordPress, a plugin is a coded in PHP, the language in which the software of that blog publishing system is written. Thanks to the functions provided by the platform, it is possible to alter and extend The operation of the latter.
It is one of the characteristics that, along with themes and technical skills, you can develop your plugins and be the member of the developer community, who make available to others their creations are very numerous.
In this article, I have selected the 50 best WordPress plugins, classified into three categories: Fundamental, Important and Ninja level.
The 50 best WordPress plugins, essential in 2017
The official repository for WordPress.org has at the moment of writing these lines, more than 51,648 plugins with 1,555,145,259 downloads.
However, despite a significant number of existing plugins, it is not advisable to install any plugins. The problem is that a poorly chosen plugin could negatively affect the performance of your blog. The main reason would be poor programming of the plugin or poorly optimized code, which causes excessive memory consumption.
The incompatibility between plugins is another of the significant drawbacks, as well as the low level of an update with the consequent risks that can cause: security flaws, malfunction, etc. when uploading the version of WordPress, etc.
Therefore, the fundamental criterion to install a plugin is that it is sufficiently tested and, of course, that the developer offers confidence. From the version of WordPress, the plugins administration page was significantly improved, highlighting a much easier way to access the details of each plugin, before installing it.
But for this purpose, this guide with the best plugins WordPress will be handy, as it compiles a series of plugins, proven effectiveness. Obviously, there is a small subjective component, in which the author of this guide prefers some plugins to others. You should also try plugins and come to your conclusions.
The plugins have been divided into three sections:
- Fundamental – They are the ones that after installing WordPress you must install if you want a blog optimized level of performance, security, and positioning in search engines.
- Important– They are important but not essential. They complement the security, performance, and positioning, as well as the usability of your blog. Many of them replace functionalities included in plugins in the section “Essentials” when for any reason they can not be installed.
- Ninja – They are the ones that will allow you to reach a significant level in your blog. In the preponderance of cases they are expendable, but with them, you can get to own a blog of a professional nature.
The best WordPress plugins: What are they?
This listing of the best plugins for WordPress includes the link to the official repository of WordPress, whenever it exists and the relevant clarifications. In each section, the plugins have been sorted alphabetically.
Best WordPress plugins: The Fundamentals
1. AKISMET (ANTISPAM)
It comes included in the WordPress installation package. WordPress.com account is required to use it.
Bonus Tip: If you use an external comment system like Facebook or Disqus, you can save yourself the installation of this plugin.
2. SUMOME (SOCIAL BUTTONS)
Social buttons for sharing your content are essential in any blog. With Sumo, you will get the function to add these social buttons.
Bonus Tip: If you want to recover the Twitter counters and get other extra features, I recommend the Warfare plugin.
3. DISQUS (COMMENTS)
An interesting (and recommended) alternative to the native comments system of WordPress.
Bonus Tip: Disqus is compatible with AMP pages.
4. FACEBOOK COMMENTS (COMMENTS)
A good choice is the Facebook comments system. The main drawback is that you force your users to have a profile on that social network. The great advantage, as with Disqus, is that you eliminate spam at once.
5. WORDFENCE (SECURITY)
This plugin has functions that cover other plugins: login blocking, attack detection, etc. You’ll get a unique solution to protect your blog against unauthorized access attempts and brute force attacks.
6. ITHEMES SECURITY (SECURITY)
A good alternative is iThemes Security.
7. SIMPLE SOCIAL ICONS (TO FOLLOW YOU ON THE NET)
The social button chain that will allow your visitors to follow you on social networks. You can customize the sizes and colors of the icons.
8. YOAST SEO (SEO, SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION)
It is the most popular plugin dedicated to the on-page SEO configuration of your blog. It has three functions that cover another module: Social (for example Twitter Cards), RSS (to avoid copying of unauthorized content) and Sitemap (automatically creating and sending the link to the search engines for crawl & index).
9. GOOGLE XML SITEMAP (SEO)
Alternative if you don’t use Yoast SEO. With this plugin, you can automate the creation of the Sitemap file, which will make it easier for Google robots to crawl your blog to index it.
10. VIRTUAL ROBOTS.TXT (SEO)
I recommend this plugin to configure the robots.txt file quickly. The advantage of this plugin is not to worry about maintaining a file in the root of the server where you have hosted the blog. If you’re using Yoast Plugin, then you can directly manage your Robots.txt file from the advance option.
In most of the cases, you will not need this plugin: create a robots.txt file in the root of your web hosting, and you’re done.
11. EWWW IMAGE OPTIMIZER (IMAGE OPTIMIZATION)
Automatically optimizes the images while uploading the file to the corresponding post.
12. YET ANOTHER RELATED POSTS PLUGIN (RELATED POSTS)
Mandatory to retain your visits and decrease the bounce-rate.
13. CLOUDFLARE (CACHING)
The plugin is only to be able to deactivate the service from the management panel of WordPress and to convert the users’ IPs so that they are not those of CloudFlare since it is a reverse proxy. With that CDN, you can achieve optimum performance and increase the loading speed of your blog.
Bonus Tip: CloudFlare may not need specific caching tools, such as W3 Total Cache or WP Rocket plugins.
14. WP ROCKET (CACHING)
This plugin has been consolidated as the great revelation in the cache area.
Bonus Tip: WP Rocket is fully compatible with CloudFlare. And, for example, if your hosting is SiteGround you’re in luck because the free CloudFlare plan already supports a Let’s Encrypt style SSL certificate to migrate to HTTPS. With this, you have the binomial CloudFlare-WP Rocket to optimize the performance, and with this, you can switch to HTTPS without problems. Read the SiteGround information on this topic: WAF and HTTPS news with CloudFlare.
Best WordPress plugins: The Important Ones
15. TABLE CONTENT PLUS (IMPROVED USER EXPERIENCE)
With this plugin, you will be able to insert a table of contents and add markers inside the SERPs of Google.
16. BETTER WP MINIFY (PERFORMANCE OPTIMIZATION)
17. BJ LAZY LOAD (IMAGE OPTIMIZATION)
Only show the image as you do scroll-down. WP Rocket also provides this feature.
18. WORDPRESS POPULAR POSTS (MOST SHARED ON YOUR BLOG)
This plugin serves to show in the side column of your blog the most shared posts. But keep in mind that this type of extensions consumes many resources of your installation.
19. LOGIN LOCKDOWN (SECURITY)
Login blocking, preventing brute force attacks. In case you do not install IThemes Security or WordFence.
20. SUBSCRIBE TO COMMENTS (COMMENTS)
It allows receiving an e-mail every time someone has made a comment on a certain post.
21. UPDRAFTPLUS (BACKUP)
Although you install iThemes Security, it is a good option to make your backups. Consider saving yourself this plugin if your hosting provider provides you with good daily backup features.
Bonus Tip: The two main advantages of this extension: its ease of configuration and that you can save your backups to Dropbox.
22. LOCKDOWN WP ADMIN (SECURITY)
Hides login screen to intruders. You can hide both WordPress administration (/ wp-admin /) and login (/wp-login.php).
23. WPTOUCH MOBILE (RESPONSIVE)
To adapt the design of your blog to mobile devices. Although the theme of your blog is “responsive,” consider installing this plugin. Why?
Bonus Tip: You can redirect the pages of your blog, on mobile devices, to your AMP pages, using the Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP for WP) plugin and save you plugins like WPTouch. Find out if your responsive design is usable and is fully mobile friendly.
Best WordPress Plugins: The Ninja Level
24. ANNUAL ARCHIVE (ARCHIVES)
To present the files with one drop-down per month.
25. COOKIE LAW INFO (EUROPEAN COOKIES ACT)
One of the easiest ways to comply with the Cookies Act in Spain. But it is your obligation to go to an attorney to review your policy of cookies to know if it meets all the requirements requested by the Spanish Agency for Data Protection.
Bonus Tip: Stay tuned for the new Data Protection Act.
26. BROKEN LINK CHECKER (SEO)
This plugin checks your content to discover broken links.
27. CLICK TO TWEET (TWEET CONTENT OF A POST)
Add a button to the visual editor to add a space to the post that allows users to tweet certain phrases from the content quickly.
28. DOWNLOAD MONITOR (DOWNLOAD MANAGEMENT)
Very useful if you offer material downloads to the visitors of your blog.
29. EXTERNAL LINKS (SEO)
Add the rel = nofollow parameter to external links.
30. HELLO BAR (POPUP)
To promote your newsletter with a popup window. There are payment options: Ninja Popus and Optin Monster.
Bonus Tip: Avoid, especially, intrusive popup windows on mobile devices. A bad user experience can penalize you on Google.
31. LATEST TWEETS (RECENT TWEETS)
Its purpose is to visualize your most recent tweets. This plugin is compatible with the Twitter API 1.1.
32. ONE PRESS SOCIAL LOCKER (PAY WITH A TWEET)
This is the free version with some limitations. The premium version offers full functionality.
33. WP MAINTENANCE MODE (MAINTENANCE)
You can prevent your visitors from seeing the changes you are making in the blog.
34. WP-OPTIMIZE (DATABASE MAINTENANCE)
One of the best plugins to optimize the database for your performance. This plugin complements very well with Optimize Database after Deleting Revisions.
35. WP PHP WIDGET (CONFIGURATION)
To include PHP code in the widgets area (sidebar, footer, etc.).
36. WP SYNTAX (CONFIGURATION)
A clear and simple way to show code in your posts.
37. SIMPLE 301 REDIRECT (CONFIGURATION)
An easy way to configure web redirects for your blog, without having to touch the .htaccess file.
Best WordPress Plugins: Extra Bonus
38. P3 (PLUGIN PERFORMANCE PROFILER) (PLUGINS PERFORMANCE ANALYSIS)
To detect the most resource consuming plugins.
39. CANON AEDE (HIDE AEDE MEDIA)
This plugin replaces URLs belonging to AEDE and CEDRO, the associations that have promoted the so-called Google rate.
40. CLOUDINARY (CDN)
This is a fascinating alternative to save your images in the cloud and to be able to import them to your posts from the administration panel of WordPress. Another option: FlickrPress.
41. SUBSCRIBER CONTENT LOCK FOR WORDPRESS (BLOCK CONTENT)
This plugin allows you to block content and allow access only to those who subscribe to your newsletter.
42. OPTIN MONSTER (NEWSLETTER PROMOTION)
Among the payment plugins, this is one of the best to promote your newsletter on your blog. Alternatively, consider SumoMe. As indicated above, it has social integration, tools to get more subscribers (pop-ups, etc.) and to improve accessibility and usability.
43. AMP (MOBILE FRIENDLY)
Google AMP is about getting web pages for mobile devices to load much faster. This plugin allows you to enable the AMP pages in your blog without any possibility of configuration.
44. AMP FOR WP – ACCELERATED MOBILE PAGES (MOBILE FRIENDLY)
This extension only works if you previously installed the AMP plugin (43) and enable some configuration possibilities. An interesting function is to redirect the pages of your blog on mobile to the AMP to save you possible usability problems or having to install another plugin like WP Touch.
45. CAPTCHA BY BESTWEBSOFT (SECURITY)
Avoid the entry of hackers in the admin panel of WordPress by installing this plugin that adds a mathematical captcha in the login page.
46. PAGE BUILDER BY SITEORIGIN (DEVELOPMENT)
For me, it is the best landing page builder plugin. Very simple to configure, you can create alternative designs to the originals of your active theme but perfectly be integrating with it. Also, do not lose the original design if you go back.
If you install an SSL certificate and go through the secure HTTPS protocol, you will need a subsequent URL redirection. Better if a plugin like this automatically does it.
48. SOCIAL WARFARE (SOCIAL BUTTONS)
A good alternative to Social Sumo is this plugin. The advantage is that it provides additional functions such as the recovery of Twitter button counters and no loss of counters when you change URLs, as in the case of switching from HTTP to HTTPS.
49. WP-POSTRATINGS (GAMIFICATION, SEO)
Add an AJAX rating system with stars to the content of your WordPress site.
50. CONTACT FORM 7 (CONTACT FORM)
And we finished this extensive series of the best WordPress plugins, just another contact form plugin. Simple but flexible.
Of course, you will read, about which are the best WordPress plugins, for all tastes and colors. And surely you miss the one you use, and that is essential for you. Contact me and tell me what your favorite plugins are. If you have doubts, ideas or suggestions about the best WordPress plugins, let me know, please.