Over the period of 5 years of blogging, I have came across many WordPress plugins and some of them are essential WordPress plugins and some of them turned out to be useless. Though, I believe in more custom codes instead of using plugins, but fact is plugins are easier to implement than codes. Here I’m sharing all the WordPress plugins that I use at ShoutMeLoud and you can pick those which you think is going to be useful for your blog.
If you just started with WordPress and new to it, you should first read: How to install WordPress plugins. Do remember, we keep changing our plugins, so I suggest you to bookmark this page and keep checking after a month to see the updated list of plugins. The list is not in any particular order, and at the time of writing (January 2015) these are the WordPress plugins which power ShoutMeLoud.
List of WordPress Plugins I use on my blog:
Akismet is the first Anti-spam WordPress plugin which I recommend as it is the official plugin for creator of WordPress which let you fight with Spam comments. Though it has one down side is that sometime it skips spam trackback or comments or sometime legit comments land into spam folder. Though this usually happens due to previous interaction with I.P or with email address. So if you are only using Akismet plugin, I would suggest also check your Spam folder daily. This is one must have plugin that you should have from day one to stop spam comments on your blog. To use Akismet, you need API key and it’s free for you. You can get one by following this tutorial.
Author hReview WordPress plugin:
This WordPress plugin is useful for you if you do review post. Using this plugin you can add star rating to your blog post and it makes it stand out in search engine. It’s a premium plugin which cost only $69 and it’s a good one time investment.
BWP Google XML Sitemap plugin:
This plugin I use for generating sitemap for my blog and you can use this one or any other alternative sitemap plugin which I listed here. The reason I’m using this is because WPEngine (My current hosting company) recommend this plugin for sitemap. This is a light weight plugin and doesn’t add load on your server.
< Download BWP Google XML Sitemap plugin>
Cloudflare is a free CDN which I recommend to every blogger, and this plugin is important for any WordPress blog who is using Cloudflare CDN.
Digg Digg WordPress plugin:
This is a plugin to add social media buttons on your blog. The floating social media icons you see on this blog post is added with the help of this plugin. You can also check this post where I have listed few alternative option to Digg digg plugin.
Enhanced WordPress Contact form:
This plugin let you add contact form on your blog and I like it because it also shows the referral URL of the person who is using my contact form to send a message. This helps me to filter down the real and spam message. If you are using Jetpack plugin, you should rather use contact form feature of that plugin.
This is plugin which is a life saver for all the affiliate marketers. You can hide your ugly looking Affiliate links into pretty looking affiliate link. Read: How to use Gocodes WordPress plugin to hide affiliate links.
Growmap Anti Spambot Plugin
This plugin I use along with Akismet to further crack down on spam comments. This is another free plugin which you should use with Akismet.
Insights WordPress plugin:
This plugin helps you to quickly interlink your blog post or get result from Google, Wiki, Flickr and interlink or add into your blog post. Read: Quickly Interlink your blog post with Insight WordPress plugin.
Jetpack WordPress plugin:
This is a multi-purpose free WordPress plugin which adds feature like stats, contact form, mobile theme, social sharing button and many more. This is a must-have plugin for your WordPress site and you need to have a free account on WordPress.com to use this plugin. You can learn more about this plugin over here.
This simple plugin adds a widget in your blog sidebar to show recently updated blog post. Since I update my old posts on regular basis, with the help of this plugin I can feature updated posts on my sidebar for extra exposure. It also helps in re-indexing of updated posts as well as your blog readers can see the list of updated posts.
This is a SEO plugin which controls your blog external link. Using this plugin you can nofollow, remove any existing external link of your blog. It’s a premium plugin and is very powerful and useful for the SEO of your blog. You can read the review and how I use this plugin over here.
Mobile share bar:
This plugin adds sharing button on my mobile version of ShoutMeLoud. The only reason I’m using this is because it adds whatsapp sharing button. You can read more about this plugin here. This is a free plugin and you can download it right now from below link.
No Self pings:
This useful WordPress plugin let me stop sending trackback to interlinked posts inside my domain. Read: No self ping WordPress plugin : Stop pinging your own Blog post. <Link>
This is a premium plugin by Syed Balkhi (Guy behind WPBeginner) and one hell of a plugin for email marketers. I use it to show Email subscription pop-up and is highly configurable. Even without any designing skills, I can quickly configure and design effective Pop-up for my blog. If you are into eMail marketing and need a easy to use WordPress plugin, look no further than OptinMonster.
Robots Meta WordPress plugin:
Robots meta WordPress plugin helps you to put nofollow and noindex tag around your blog. Configure it with your own risk. Since I’m using Thesis theme, this plugin is not very essential though I still use it for my robots.txt and .htaccess file. Link>
Role Manager WordPress plugin:
This is another great plugin for multi author blog to define roles. Though this plugin is out dated and when I was trying to configure this for CallingAllgeeks, it was creating some issue. But for now, this plugin is working like a charm for Shoutmeloud. Link>
Note: If you are using WordPress SEO by yoast plugin, this feature is integrated into that.
SEO friendly Images:
Subscribe to Comments:
This is something which I would recommend to every WordPress blogger. This plugin helps users to subscribe to your blog post comments and specially for a regular reader this is a requisite feature. Subscribe to comments plugin add a check box after comments, where commentator get an option to subscribe to get notified for future comments. Another essential plugin for WordPress which gives an option to users to subscribe to comments on a particular post. Link>
WordPress Page Navigation plugin
Adding a page navigation helps your readers to quickly move to another page inside your blog. Adding page navigation should be an essential part of any WordPress theme. This plugin let you add page navigation.Link>
WordPress blog to maintain your WordPress database. This plugin can be used to repair database, backup database, empty or drop tables, Run SQL query or Optimize DB. Link>
Wp Status notifier Plugin:
This plugin notifies me when any blog post is submitted for review and notifies user when his blog post is accepted. <Link>. Later on we shifted to peter’s collaboration Email plugin which turns out to be more powerful.