Over a period of 7 & half years of blogging, I have tried and tested many WordPress plugins. Based on my research and experience , I have created a secret list of plugins which I use on all my blogs. As a part of transparency culture, I will be sharing this exclusive list of plugins with you today.
Do remember, these plugins are the outcome of my years of experience with blogging. So you can save your time, and pick the best plugin for your blog.
If you have just started with WordPress, you should first read: How to install WordPress plugins. Do remember, I 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 2016), these are the WordPress plugins which power ShoutMeLoud.
Note: Right now ShoutMeloud is using Genesis Theme + Custom skin design.
List of WordPress Plugins I use on my blog:
Here is a quick list:
- Ad injection: For adding ads
- Akismet: For handling spam comments
- Author hReview: For star rating in the search engine.
- WP Link Status Plugin: For keeping an eye on all broken links & fixing them.
- Clicktotweet: To add a tweetable code within an article.
- Comments Not Replied To: This adds a tab in comment moderation section that shows all unreplied comments.
- WP Forms: To add contact form & create a variety of forms here at ShoutMeLoud.
- EasyDigitalDownloads: This plugin helps in setting up a digital download store. Here is a video guide
- Jetpack by WordPress.com: One of the most popular WordPress plugins offer great features.
- OptinMonster: To add email subscription box
- Peter’s Collaboration E-mails: Sends email to admin & editor when a contributor submit a post.
- Plugmatter Document Importer Pro: Make it easy to add articles with images from Microsoft Word file.
- Q2W3 Fixed Widget: Fixed widget plugin
- Redirection: Manages 301 redirections & 404 errors from WordPress dashboard.
- Pushengage: Push notification for desktop browsers.
- SEO friendly images by Vladimir
- SEO smart link business: Automate the internal linking of post & hence enhances SEO.
- Smart App Banner: Makes the Smart App Banner appear on iOS6 and above.
- Ultimate Nofollow: Helps in adding nofollow tag from WordPress post editor section.
- VaultPress: for WordPress backup
- Wangguard: To stop spam registration in WordPress.
- WP security audit log: Keep an eye on user activities inside WordPress dashboard.
- ShortPixel: Compress images without degrading quality. Helps in faster loading of the articles.
- WP Sweep: To optimize & clean WordPress database.
- Yoast SEO: For SEO optimization (On page & Onsite)
- Youtube video subscribe button: Developed by ShoutMeLoud to automatically add a subscribe to Youtube button after every embedded post.
Here is a detailed explanation of most of the listed plugins:
SEO By Yoast:
This is a free WordPress plugin that is the powerhouse of my blog SEO. It helps to optimize on Site SEO, On page SEO & Social SEO of the blog. This is a must have plugin for every blog, and I have written a guide over here to learn about the configuration of this plugin.
Akismet is a free anti-spam WordPress plugin that I recommend as it is the official plugin from WordPress creator, which lets you fight with spam comments. To use Akismet, you need an API key. You can get one by following this tutorial.
One downside of this plugin is that sometimes it skips spam trackback or comments or legit comments land in the spam folder. Though this usually happens due to a previous interaction with an I.P or with an email address but you can always address this problem by checking your spam folder daily.
This is also a must have plugin that you should have from day one to stop spam comments on your blog.
Author hReview WordPress Plugin
This WordPress plugin is useful if you do review post. Using this plugin, you can add a star rating to your blog post, and make it stand out in the search engine. It’s a premium plugin that cost only $69, and it’s a good one-time investment.
Cloudflare is a free service which offers security & free CDN. If you are using Cloudflare, I highly recommend it to you for your WordPress blog for more accurate results.
Social Warfare plugin for social media sharing buttons:
This plugin lets you add social sharing & social media follow buttons on the blog. This plugin offers beautiful looking social sharing button at various places such as Floating sharing buttons, after post, after comment and fly in buttons. If you need one plugin that takes care of your social media sharing needs, this is the best plugin for now.
WP Forms plugin:
This free plugin lets you add the 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.
Jetpack WordPress plugin:
This is a multipurpose free WordPress plugin that adds the feature like stats, contact form, mobile theme, social sharing button and many more. This is a must have plugin for your WordPress site. 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 the 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 WordPress SEO plugin that 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.
No Self Pings:
This useful and free WordPress plugin let me stop sending the trackback to interlinked posts inside my domain. Read: No self-ping WordPress plugin: Stop pinging your Blog post.
This is a premium plugin by Syed Balkhi (Man behind WPBeginner) and is a feature rich plugin. I use it to show email subscription pop up and is highly configurable. Even without any designing skills, I can quickly configure and design an effective pop up for my blog. If you are into email marketing and need an easy to use WordPress plugin, look no further than OptinMonster.
SEO Friendly Images:
This free plugin lets you optimize images for the search engine. It adds alt text based on the name of the image. Highly recommended.
Read: How to Alt Tag into Images.
Subscribe to Comments:
Another essential free plugin for WordPress, which gives an option to users to subscribe to comments on a particular post. Subscribe to comments plugin adds a checkbox after comments, where commentators get an option to subscribe to get notified of future comments.
WordPress Page Navigation plugin
Adding a page navigation helps your readers to move quickly to another page inside your blog. Adding page navigation should be an essential part of any WordPress theme. This free plugin lets you add page navigation.
This plugin can be used to repair the database, backup database, empty or drop tables, Run SQL query or Optimize DB.
WP Status Notifier Plugin:
This plugin notifies me when any blog post is submitted for review and notifies the user when his blog post is accepted. Later on, we shifted to peter’s collaboration Email plugin that turns out to be more powerful.
WordPress Related Post:
I’m using WordPress related post by Zemanta, which is easy to use related post plugin for WordPress. You can select from various display option, it also adds related post in RSS feed, and you can manually edit related post listing for any post.
Some additional plugins which I use for ShoutMeLoud:
- Ultimate Nofollow to quickly add Nofollow link attribute.
- SEO Smart link business for automatic internal linking
- Q2W3 Fixed Widget for making sidebar widget fixed
- Post Expirator for deleting a post after specific date
I will keep updating the post whenever I add or remove a plugin here at ShoutMeLoud. You can bookmark this page & visit it after a month or so to see the updated list.