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Feb 13 2016

Top 12 essential plug-ins every WordPress blog should have

I’ve been using WordPress to host this blog for over 5 years and I’ve found plug-ins to be an invaluable way to enhance and protect my blog. There are literally thousands of plug-ins that you can add to WordPress that cover just about any functionality that you can think of. Trying to sort through them all and find the good ones can be a challenge though. I thought I would share what I use with this blog and get feedback from other bloggers on the plug-ins that they use as well.

  • Wordfence Security – Must have plug-in to secure your WordPress blog and protect it from hackers. A Swiss army knife of plug-ins it does vulnerability scanning, user monitoring, anti-virus, firewall, high speed cache and much more. Wordfence starts by checking if your site is already infected. We do a deep server-side scan of your source code comparing it to the Official WordPress repository for core, themes and plugins. Then Wordfence secures your site and makes it up to 50 times faster
  • UpdraftPlus Backup and Restoration – Another must have plug-in to protect your valuable content via scheduled backups.UpdraftPlus simplifies backups (and restoration). Backup into the cloud (Amazon S3 (or compatible), Dropbox, Google Drive, Rackspace Cloud, DreamObjects, FTP, Openstack Swift, UpdraftPlus Vault and email) and restore with a single click. Backups of files and database can have separate schedules.
  • Ninja Forms – Ninja Forms is the easiest way to build any form you need for your WordPress website. No longer mess with code or worry about made-up limitations. Create the form you want, when you want with a simple drag and drop interface provided by the very powerful Ninja Forms framework.
  • TablePress – TablePress allows you to easily create and manage beautiful tables. You can embed the tables into posts, pages, or text widgets with a simple Shortcode. Table data can be edited in a speadsheet-like interface, so no coding is necessary. Tables can contain any type of data, even formulas that will be evaluated.
  • Page Links To – This plugin allows you to make a WordPress page or post link to a URL of your choosing, instead of its WordPress page or post URL. It also will redirect people who go to the old (or “normal”) URL to the new one you’ve chosen.
  • Contact Form 7 & Contact Form DB – Contact Form 7 can manage multiple contact forms, plus you can customize the form and the mail contents flexibly with simple markup. The form supports Ajax-powered submitting, CAPTCHA, Akismet spam filtering and so on. The “CFDB” plugin saves contact form submissions to your WordPress database and provides and administration page and short codes to view and display the data.
  • Captcha by BestWebSoft – The Captcha plugin adds a captcha form into web pages. This captcha can be used for login, registration, password recovery, comments forms. It protects your website from spammers by means of math logic, easily understandable by human beings. All you need is to do one of the three basic maths actions – add, subtract and multiply.
  • Jetpack by WordPress.com – Jetpack simplifies managing WordPress sites by giving you visitor stats, security services, speeding up images, and helping you get more traffic.
  • WP-Optimize – WP-Optimize is an extensive WordPress database cleanup and optimization tool. It doesn’t require PhpMyAdmin to clean and optimize your database tables.
  • WPTouch – WPtouch is a mobile plugin for WordPress that automatically adds a simple and elegant mobile theme for mobile visitors to your WordPress website. Recommended by Google, it will instantly enable a mobile-friendly version of your website that passes the Google Mobile test, and ensure your SEO rankings do not drop due to not having a mobile-friendly website.
  • W3 Total Cache – W3 Total Cache improves the user experience of your site by increasing server performance, reducing the download times and providing transparent content delivery network (CDN) integration.
  • Yoast SEO – This plugin is written from the ground up to improve your site’s SEO on all needed aspects. While this Yoast SEO plugin goes the extra mile to take care of all the technical optimization, it first and foremost helps you write better content. Yoast SEO forces you to choose a focus keyword when you’re writing your articles, and then makes sure you use that focus keyword everywhere.
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