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Essential WordPress Plugins That Power Shoutmeloud

Essential WordPress Plugins That Power Shoutmeloud

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.

Wordpresslogo thumb

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:

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>

RSS footer:

Another useful plugin which add a link to your blog post in footer of your rss feeds. Useful to get free backlink from RSS scrapper blog. Read: Add linkback to your article in RSS feeds. <Link>

Note: If you are using WordPress SEO by yoast plugin, this feature is integrated into that.

SEO friendly Images:

This plugin let your optimize your Images for Search engine. It adds alt text based on name of the image. Highly recommended. Read: How to Alt Tag into Images. <Link>

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>

Watermark reloaded:

watermark reloaded

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.

Wp –Supercache:

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

Wptouch Pro

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.

{ 76 comments… add one }


    Hello Harsh
    Seriously very needy post you’ve published.
    Dear Harsh there are few confusions that I wish you’ll rectify.
    1. At max how many plugins should be used??(say 10,13 or 15)(Currently I used 12)

    2. Does the quantity of plugins affect the speed or any other factor of a website??

    3. There is a plugin called Jet Pack which you’ve also discussed above.. I tried to install it on wordpress but it encounters an error..
    Here is the message given below:

    “Try connecting again.
    Error Details: The Jetpack server could not communicate with your site’s XML-RPC URL. Please check to make sure is working properly. It should show ‘XML‑RPC server accepts POST requests only.’ on a line by itself when viewed in a browser and should not have any blank links or extra output anywhere.”

    It made me mad.

    • Rachit

      Probably the no. of plugins affect the load speed. You can use wp total cache and cloudflare to speed up your website

  • Shekhar

    Although the list is exhaustive, but I would like to see some security related plugins and broken link analyser too, which will add to the over all effectivity.

  • subbareddy

    Almost Added all plugins But i had a problem with

    Author Advertising WordPress plugin: i did not get how to make it live if you have any post about this plugin please share

    Thanks Harsha Ji

  • ashu

    i think you are not using EasyWPSEO anymore, may be a update in this post is needed :)

  • Manthan

    hello harsh , i want to know that rss footer and meta robots wp plugin page is saying that it has been suceeded by seo plugin , do i still need this , please guide me regarding this issue as i’m a new to WP

    • Harsh Agrawal

      If you are using WordPress SEO by yoast plugin, you don’t need RSS footer, and meta robots plugin.

  • Ajit Tiwari

    Hello Harsh,
    Wp-DBManager was only useful for me, and as well i think you forget stylebox. also let me tell you i liked this stylebox what you are using and after 1 wek of search i came to kow about this plugin, and now am amazed to see that you are using it and had not mention it on your Blog…….

  • Avinash Kumar

    Great list of plugins for a new wordpress blog like mine. Sir, I am using premium theme Publisher which has inbuilt SEO option. So do I require to install any other SEO plugin ?

    • Harsh Agrawal

      If you are using Theme based SEO options, you might not need any additional plugin.
      Though I highly recommend to use a plugin for SEO purpose, and disable the theme SEO option. If possible, switch to SEO by Yoast or SEOPressor plugin, and disable theme SEO option. As it will be more useful in long-run. (Specially, when you decide to change theme framework).

  • Mani teja

    you really helped me for my website
    can you please suggest for the featured post slider please.
    thank you

  • Pushkar

    Awesome list. Just add font uploader to that list, it allows you to upload font of your choice to your blog and change the default font embedded in themes. Makes life much easier and site looks beautiful.

  • Siddhesh

    Thanks Harsh for this impressive list of plugins! As a new entrant, I must say it feels a bit overwhelming right now.. but yes this will definitely get me started on the plugin path :)
    Just a query though – can you give me pointers to where I can learn about custom coding in wordpress?

  • Mulaly

    you forgot to add this plugin:
    Easy Media Gallery – Wordpress Portfolio and Gallery

  • Rafaqat

    Great list,i think” why do work” for adsense insert, also “simple tags” should also be considered…what do you think,because these are widely used among the bloggers.

  • varun singh

    Your tips are awesome and after reading your posts i have decided to move from blogger to a self-hosted WordPress site in 2013.

  • Nizam

    This is really a long list of plugins and most of them are unknown to me. I have bookmarked this page and will be trying some of them. Thanks Harsh for this wonderful list of plugins :)

  • maahir

    REG — no self ping,,, till now i was approving self pings from my own blog ,,, is it something i am not supposed to do ? Please explain harsh ?

  • rakesh kumar

    I have seen SEO smart link in this list and little bit amazed to see it here as it adds more loading time to your site, then adding value to your site. Am i right it is not a good sign if your are consious about the traffic and PANDA.

    The second plugin that impressed me a lots is after the deadline. Do you know any such extension for windows line writer?

  • Zimbrul

    I was doing some research about a Adsense plugin that let me do what Quick Adsense does and eventually I got to…Quick Adsense! Very pleased with the plugin but I’ve noticed some conflicts with Simple Facebook Connect.
    I’ve saved this post to my Instapaper as I want to refer later to it…great resource of valuable plugins.

  • vicace

    The conditional captcha plugin saves a lot of time handling with the spammers. very good post and very informative. i never knew about the rest of the listed plugins except the captcha plugin and askimet. thank you for publishing :)

  • Sunny Gupta

    Well Defined List Of great Plugins Harsh !

    I am looking for the Plugin which You use on Left-Center Side, that three Buttons-Twitter,FB, RSS.

    Looking Forward For Your Reply.

  • Roy Chukwu C.

    I have just updated my plugins after reading this post.

    I must confess thank you for your support.

    Hope my blog will grow soon.


  • RealTimeTricks

    I was searching for the name of the plugin you use to highlight the Headline you give to your paragraph but didn’t found in your list means you have not publish the full list of your plugins?

  • Rajinder Singh

    simply awsome.. plugins worked for me perfectly. i searched for two days and now i m here and got what i wanted thanks to harsh..!

  • Deepanshu

    Hi Harsh….which plugin r u using to show the 3 icons (which appear on left even when we scrool down) of facebook, twitter and rss ? :-)

  • Atul@TechOfWeb

    Nice list…
    I am going to install some of these plugins from ur list as Smart 404 WordPress plugin and WP Touch iPhone


  • Lalit

    Excellent list Harsh…!! I loved it!!

  • Mohammed Fouzan A

    Hi Harsh,
    Nice Post. I want to know which plugin you use for this facility.

    check this link it is an image. I need to know how u put frames for your sub-headings. So i can use it in my blog as well as for guest post in your blog.

  • Jg

    I am using adsense but not on that particular site.That’s why I’m asking for Search plugin if you know will be great help.
    Thank you.

  • jg

    Could you suggest me a Search plugin for wordpress. Currently i’m using “Search Unleashed” but i’m not satisfied with it.Please suggest me the most reliable plugin for wordpress based site.

    • Harsh Agrawal

      Why don;t you use Google based search? If you are using Adsense on your blog, adsense for search would be most effective and most important it will make some money for you.

  • Tracey in IN

    Great list! I used this and your previous list for multi-author sites in setting up my multi-author site.

    One question I was hoping to get answered by reading this post: what are you using so individual authors can track their traffic? Is there a plugin out there that will let them see their Adsense as well as the site’s?


  • Jose Tinto

    Great list Harsh. I just installed After The Deadline plugin on my blog.

    I recommend all bloggers to use ‘Ozh’ Admin Drop Down Menu’ plugin. It really saves the time of administration.

  • kbharathb

    Amazing plugins, i was in confusion of which plugins to use in my wordpress blog, and finally here is a great list which i can follow……………thanks for this plugins list.

  • Sourish

    long list , even i dont use that many plugins . Nothing less than a VPS can hold that much memory load

  • Nauman

    There are many plugins available for wordpress. A blogger may have many substitutes available for a plugin. But a blogger must activate only those plugin on his/her blog which does not effect the loading time of the blog.
    Try to keep plugin on your blog as minimum as possible.

  • Zeeshan Khan

    I m from Pakistan, Really you guys awesome, i got lots of information i will use them for my blog I really like your post, thnx for sharing your secrets.

  • Santel

    Thank Harsh, I never try Quick Adsense, this is something i was looking for to insert directly the adsens code inside the post,

  • Shennan T.

    What a great list of plug-ins. I’m gonna check out a few of them for sure. Thanks!

  • Ajith Edassery

    Oh man! That’s way too many plugins.. a good stress test for the WordPress platform :)

    I have just 11 or 12 plugins. I want to make it below 10, but it’s not happening.

    • Harsh Agrawal

      Even it’s a big stress for my Hosting but glad I’m on VPS so they can handle this much load.. :)
      Damn!! 11-12 is too less…Why don’t you also share your WordPress plugin list.. :)

  • Mani Viswanathan

    Thanks man for sharing the list. You use quite a bit of plugins. Two – three were new me (Smart 404, Wp Status Notify, Smooth Slider) Will install the first one for now, rest when needed :-)

  • Sathish

    Harsh you have mentioned the WaterMark reloaded plugin. But when you insert images from Flickr, the watermarks are missing in them. Are u using any other plugin to upload images other than the wordpress default option? Please let me know.

  • George Serradinho

    Wow, 30 plugins listed above and your site still loads fast.

    At this stage I have around 19 plugins as I have created my own customized widgets for ads and subscription. I find it better to create my own so that I can customize it the way I want.

    I must say that my best plugin would be GoCodes, it has made life easier for me.

    • Harsh Agrawal

      Go codes is one of my favorite too…
      I know 30 plugins is too much..actually I have almost 40+ plugin last month and I removed 10 of them a while back..Now working to lower down the no. to 25.. :)

  • Sagar Rai

    Bro, nice list but you are making way lot of plugin and simply increasing the loading speed of your site. I compared yours and labnol site. You sites takes too much of time to load. Plugins usage also contribute to loading speed.

    BTW I like the “After the deadline” plugin so I’m making use of it for my coming blogs.

  • Tinh

    Great list! I have used most of them and then remove 2/3 0f them to improve my blog loading time. Thanks

  • Namit Gupta

    Hey Harsh, I was wondering from the time I did the guest post at Shoutmeloud about how the watermark is automatically added to the images. I got the answer in this post. Thanks :-) this is a really useful post.

  • Roy Scribner

    WP Super Cache is still my favorite caching plugin, especially now that it will preload all the pages. If my blogs were on a more powerful server, W3TC might be better, but the compression almost doubled my page-load times, when I tried it. Smart 404 is great, too – definitely one of those “core” plugins that everyone should consider. Great list!

  • NITYIN @Himachal Live

    Hi Harsh
    Nice post. I have one question. I am also using the Enhanced Wp contact form on my blog but the alignment of the form is not good. Can you pls let me know how do I make the contact form better aligned as it is here on your blog?

  • Rajandran R

    Are you using any special subsciption plugin for your blog? I just want one like that in your blog?

    Iam looking for a feeburner subscription box along with twiiter, buzz , rss button subscription box

  • indihow

    Though I am pretty sure you know tons more than me about blogging stuff, I guess reducing the number of plugins would decrease the loading time of your web pages, and quite definitely Google has started taking that into account. Just a suggestion :)

  • Siddharth

    Great work.. this was actually i was about to ask you.. :)
    Installing some of these wonderful plugins on my blog now ..

    i would like to ask you.. why your page is reloading after few mins.. any plugins or coding or secrets ? ;)

  • Anterpreet

    Thanks for sharing. Really helpful

  • Shanker Bakshi

    Thats a good list, a complete mixture for design, SEO and user interface support. Some plugin mentioned above are new to me, let me check out. :-)

  • vijay

    These are great list of plug ins suggestions for all of us, My blog is recently migrated, so let me check this plug ins to add my blog…Thanking you mate :)

  • check

    Sorry man Harsh Agrawal but I have ever thought your native language is English. The language related plugin you recommend will soon be my choice. But it seem you are not interested in some smile related plugin Harsh. Your blog will be fresh and more emotional.

  • aatif

    Great list i will try to check plugins for my blog. thinking about what plugins u use . now got the answer

  • Tech-n-Tricks

    Sory! but u r using Captcha, bcoz when I was trying to add link in comments it redirected me to Captcha page.
    But I was not able to complete it, I was getting some error so I have not add a link to ur Previous post that Shows how to add Related Post without Plugin.

    • Harsh Agrawal

      I’m using conditional captcha plugin. Which shows captcha only when your comment is marked as spam By akismet plugin. So when you insert the captcha, your comment land into comment moderation queue instead of comment spam folder.

  • Jens P. Berget

    Great list. I have only installed a few of the plugins, but will definitely take a closer look at the plugins on the list (especially after the deadline).

    I have installed a few that you didn’t mention, that’s disqus for my comments, Contact Form 7 for my comments, and PopUp Domination (paid) to build my list (for my newsletter).

    • Harsh Agrawal

      Thanks for your comment Jens and do let me know which plugin you found useful from the list. I’m also trying pop up domination on my Webhosting blog and it seems very useful.

  • Tech-n-Tricks

    Thnx Harsh! I was asking 2 u from last 2 months. Final I got d ans.

    But I confuse about, r u rally using Captcha plugin for ur comments?

    And last try W3Total Cache at d place of wp Supper Cache, It Provides lots of more option. And if u r using WLW then there is on need of “Watermark reloaded” plugin bcoz less plugin u use less time it take to load. & also use Code to show related posts in wordpress at the place of YARPP

    • Harsh Agrawal

      Thanks for your valuable comment. I will be using W3 cache soon as I will be using CDN.
      I will consider your opinion about using custom code for related post.

  • Chicken Soup

    Really useful plugins, but I think All in one SEO pack plugin is missing!

    • Harsh Agrawal

      I’m using Thesis WordPress theme which has inbuilt SEO functionalities. :)

      • Rabi

        And most SEO plugins conflict with Thesis and Genesis frameworks, unless you edit the framework itself but that would break upon update. Editing Child Theme is probably the solution, of which I am not sure what would child theme update cause and certainly isn’t my stuff! There isn’t much on editing themes on SML (Thesis, of course, is an exception).

  • Manish

    Nice list of plugins

    These are good number of plugins , I feel that one should not exceed above 20 plugins on his blog . I feel like around 6-7 plugins must be providing not more than 4-5% value in terms of performance/easyness . Its better to get rid of them , Its my view :)


    • Harsh Agrawal

      Thanks for your comment Manish.I’m considering disabling few plugins soon and replace them by using custom codes. :)

  • ashwin

    Hoh…these are many,is tr any prob by usage of these much plugins?

    • Harsh Agrawal

      Ashwin using many WordPress plugins slow down WordPress blog. You might like to read: How many WordPress plugins we should use.

      • pushkaar

        Dear Harsh,

        Nice and complete info of SML plugin…….but is there any way that we can add the plugin code in theme code to avoid slowdown as too much plugin slow down the performance. I mean objective is to not slow down the web.

        • Harsh Agrawal

          Yes, you can always add the functionalities in the theme itself…For this you need to know coding, or you can hire a WordPress developer to do it for you… Using code directly have many advantages compared to using a plugin. Though, coding is not everyone cup of tea, so to make things simpler, plugins are useful.

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