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 many time plugins are easier to implement than codes. Here I’m sharing all the WordPress plugins that I use at ShoutMeLoud, all of them may not be the best fit for your blog (Every blog is different), so I suggest you to read the description, and see if that fits your blog or not.
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.
Here I’m not going to categorize all the plugins, but description will be really helpful for you to understand the usage and practical implementation of the plugin.
I have updated the list after 1 year and listed all those plugins which we are using in 2014 too.
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. <Link>
To use Akismet plugin, you need API key, and this guide teaches you about how to get free API key from Akismet.
Over the time I have realized On page SEO is one important factor for getting higher search engine ranking. Until 2012, I was not using any such Keyword based plugin but later on I added this premium plugin which help me to optimize Keyword, check Keyword density and check over all SEO score of a blog post. You can read a complete review of this plugin here and learn how to use EasyWpSEO plugin.
EasyWPSEO is highly recommended SEO plugin, as it let you add all important social SEO meta, and gives you the LSI keywords and readability score. (Highly recommended premium SEO plugin).
After the deadline:
English is not my first language and I often make lots of mistakes. After the deadline is useful plugin for those whose English is not so great like mine. This plugin checks for Grammatical and spelling errors. Read more about After the deadline WordPress plugin. <link>
Update: This plugin is not integrated with Jetpack plugin which I use now. If you are not using Jetpack, you should install it separately, else enjoy Jetpack.
Author Advertising WordPress plugin:
Shoutmeloud is a revenue sharing blog and this is the plugin which works as a backbone of our Author advertising program. This plugin let you put advertisement based on author of the post. You can configure this plugin with anything, including Affiliate ads. Read more about Author Advertising WordPress plugin. Though this plugin is not updated for long but it still works without any problem. Right now, I’m using it with WordPress 3.1 without any compatibility issue.
Enhanced Wp contact form:
This is simple WordPress contact form plugin. Earlier I was using Contact form 7 but shifted to this one as it adds more feature and most important it shows the details about person referral source. <Link>
Note: Now Jetpack plugin also let you create contact form, so if you want to lower down the number of plugins, you can skip installing this one.
Gocodes WordPress 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. <Link>
Google XML sitemaps:
One of the most essential SEO WordPress plugin which will help you generate sitemap for your WordPress blog. Link>
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. <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>
Quick adsense is a WordPress plugin for Adsense which let you insert adsense into your blog at any place. I use this plugin to add adsense in between post as it uses a short code and that helps me to change ads at any time. Read: Add adsense between post using quick adsense plugin. <Link>
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:
SEO smart link WordPress plugin:
SEO smart link plugin let you interlink your keyword with any post. This helps a lot in automatic interlinking and this helps in search engine ranking. Read: How to configure SEO smart link WordPress plugin. <Link>
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>
By adding Watermark into your images, you are doing a favor to your blog brand. Though manual watermarking is not very pleasent and is time consuming. Warermark reloaded plugin helps you to automatically watermark your images. This plugin comes with a config page, where you can set the size and font for your watermark. <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.
Another most essential WordPress plugin for any blog as this plugin helps to bring down the load from the server but service caches pages. Life saver for blogs which is on Shared hosting. Link>. Though later on I shifted to W3 Total cache plugin which offers more caching options like database, object caching. You can learn more about this plugin on W3 total cache configuration guide.
Wp Touch iPhone Pro plugin
No. of people using Smartphones are increasing day by day and there are many WordPress plugins to convert your blog into mobile compatible blog. But of all the plugins, I love Wp touch WordPress plugin. This plugin comes with an advance option panel like you can configure adsense and it will be optimized for mobile screen and some time mobile ads perform much better than your usual ads on desktop screen. Once you are done configuring Wp touch plugin, make sure you check out your site on your mobile as some time cache plugins create issue with Wp touch plugin. < Link>
YARPP a.k.a yet another related post plugin is one of the most advance option to show related posts on your blog. This plugin offers many options like template customization, show related posts in feed. Also, caching mechanism of YARPP helps in decrasing down the load on the server. <link>
This is not an essential list but you can pick the one which suits your blog need. Also, Instead of using RSS footer and meta robots, I recommend you to try WordPress SEO by Yoast. Also if you wish to minimize the number of plugins you are using, you can use Jetpack which offers many features like WordPress stats, Contact form, mobile friendly theme, social media automation and many more.
Do let us know if you think I missed out on any essential WordPress plugin? Also, let us know what all Wp plugins do you use on your blog?
Also if you found this post useful don’t forget to share it on Twitter and Facebook.