There is no doubt that WordPress is the most popular and most used CMS platform in the World Wide Web right now. The flood of WordPress plugins and easy customization have made the WordPress so popular. WordPress launched in 2003 as an open source blogging software licensed under GPL. Since its launch – the WordPress Blogging system has tremendously grown and now turned as a Full-fledged CMS platform. You can create any sites using WordPress Themes like Advanced blogs, Portfolio, Job Portals and Even E-commerce sites using WordPress.
WordPress plugins are also the prime reason for the enormous development of WordPress as a multi functional web publishing platform. There are 20,000+ plugins available in the Official WordPress Plugin repository. You may be aware that all WordPress plugins in the official repository are free to download. There are many best WordPress Plugins available to display relates posts, to get stats, to optimize and maintain your WordPress database and much more. Choosing the best WordPress plugins for your blog will increase the functionality of WordPress and will be useful to get more user engagement in your site.
There is a common myth that Plugins will slow down your site, You have to understand that
Plugins do not slow down your website. Poorly written code slows down your website.
As a WordPress developer, I’ve personally used the following top free WordPress plugins in my blog as well as in my projects. And I’ve thoroughly reviewed many plugins and choose the excellent plugins here to improve your WordPress performance and functionality.
Best SEO WordPress Plugins
1. WordPress SEO by Yoast
WordPress SEO by Yoast is best search engine optimization plugin. This plugin has all the Seo Functions and features, you need for your WordPress blog. It provides the SEO score for every post you write based on the focus keyword you enter. You can add Nofollow, index robots tags easily in any posts, categories, Tags and Custom Post Types. It has XML sitemap which provides the separate sitemaps for each post type with image sitemap.
2. All in one SEO
This plugin automatically generates meta tags and has google analytics support. It has all the basic SEO Optimization features. If you don’t need fully advanced SEO by Yoast, then All-in-one SEO is the good choice.
3. Google XML Sitemaps
Google XML Sitemap has only one function, that is creating XML Sitemaps to index your blog and pinging the major search engines (Google,Bing ) whenever you have created the post and updated the post in your blog. The same thing has been done via WordPress SEO by Yoast also.
4. SEO Friendly Images
SEO Friendly Images automatically adds alt and title attributes to all your images improving traffic from search engines. This plugin is very useful to get more traffic from Google Images, and other image search engines.
Best Caching Plugins for WordPress
1. W3 Total Cache
W3 Total cache is the one of the best WordPress Plugin to cache the WordPress Sites in lightening fast. This plugin has all type of cache options such as a page cache, browser cache, CSS/js/html minification with cache and Of course the CDN integration with all major CDN service providers. Also, You can use Cloudflare service integration feature for your WordPress blog to increase the speed of the site.
2. WP Super Cache
Unlike the Advanced W3 Total cache, WP Super cache is simplest cache plugin and have all cache options as above except object and database cache. It delivers the fast cached static files.
Best Social Plugins for WordPress
1. Really simple Facebook Twitter share buttons
There is many social plugins are available to choose for your blog. I’ve tried many of them, but they are heavy and slow down my site and leads to power site performance. After that I’ve found the useful and really simple social plugin “Really Simple Facebook Twitter share buttons.” This simple plugin performed what it is claimed in my site and there is no slowdown while loading social buttons like before. It supports Digg, Facebook Send, Flattr, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google Buzz, Stumbleupon, Hyves, Email, Reddit, Tipy, Tumblr, Buffer, Pinzout
Sharebar adds a dynamic and fully customizable vertical box to the left of a blog post that contains links/buttons to popular social networking sites.
3. Tweetily – Tweet Your Posts Automatically
Tweetily is the RELOADED version of the Tweet Old Post plugin. Tweetily will automatically tweet your posts or pages on Twitter with hashtags and site links to keep your content alive and drive traffic to your site.
4. Facebook Page Promoter Lightbox
This plugin is very essential to increase your Facebook Fans to get more traffic from Facebook. It will display the Facebook Fan page widget whenever user visits your web page. The Frequency of the display can be changed in settings page.
Best User (Visitor) Engagement Plugins for WordPress
1. nRelate Flyout
This will display a cool fly out box with your related post like nytimes.com. It will keep down your bounce rate tremendously. You can choose many fly out styles in nRelate settings page or you can create your own style.
2. Hello Bar
The simplest plugin will help you to increase your email newsletter readers remarkably. Also, you can use this little plugin to market or promote any of your product within your site elegantly.
3. nRelate Related Posts
Another one plugin to display the related posts in single posts and widgets. The best thing is nRelate index your site in its database and reduces the load on your server. It shows the most related post based on the current single post content. The beta feature of this plugin will give support to crawl the related posts by search engine spiders. It also gives many style formats to choose for your site.
Best Database Managers and Optimization Plugin For WordPress
1. WP Optimize
To reduce the load of Database, You have to optimize it regularly. Especially if the blog has 100+ post and counting, WP Optimize is must have plugin. This effective plugin allows you to clean up your WordPress database and optimize it without phpMyAdmin.
2. WP DB Manger
This plugin is very essential to you to optimize database, repair database, backup database, restore database, delete backup database , drop/empty tables and run selected queries. Supports automatic scheduling of backing up, optimizing and repairing of database.
Best Backup and Security Plugins for WordPress
This plugin is directly from WordPress developers (Automattic). This plugin is bundled with Jetpack All-in-one WordPress plugins. So If you have installed Jetpack in your blog already, then just a click will do the magic. Of Course, it is a monthly subscription based paid service, So you have to choose your plan as per your blog needs. This service backs up your site and automatically restores when disaster happens. The premium package also secures your WordPress blog from online threats.
BackWPup is the best free WordPress plugin to back up your entire WordPress site effortlessly. The backup files can be used to save your whole installation including
/wp-content/ and push them to an external Backup Service, if you don’t want to save the backups on the same server. With the single backup .zip file you are able to restore an installation.
Do you use these same plugins? Any alternatives that you would recommend?