15 Must Have Plugins for WordPress

As I have installed, configured and tested over 62 WordPress Plugins over the past two years as a blogger, I thought it was time to share my official "Must Have" plugins for WordPress.  These are the plugins that I use and recommend not only on all of my own WordPress sites, but when working with any customers who call me in for WordPress consulting I always recommend them. 

These plugins will cover you from an SEO, AdSense, Copyright, Administration and SPAM protection perspective and should be the starting point for anyone running a WordPress blog.

Here are the list of my Must Have Plugins for WordPress!

Note:  If you download the Improved Plugin Installation plugin for WordPress and then just copy/paste the following list inside your "Install Plugins (Add New)" field, you can instantly install all of these plugins at once.

Admin Management Xtended
Growmap Anti Spambot Plugin
All in One Adsense and YPN
All in One SEO Pack
CommentLuv
Contact Form 7
Dashboard: Scheduled Posts
Facebook Like for Tags
Google Analyticator
Google XML Sitemaps
RSS Footer
Subscribe To Comments
Tweet old post
W3 Total Cache
WordPress Mobile Edition

 

Admin Management Xtended

This plugin will provide you more options when you click on your "Posts" screen and allow you to do many additional edits without having to open each individual post separately.  I use this to add quick tags, change categories and do other quick tweaks to posts after they have been published.  Admin Management Xtended makes it a little easier to do updates on multiple posts from your post summary screen.

 

Growmap Anti Spambot Plugin

This is an alternative to Akismet, WP-Spamfree and a host of other comment spam management plugins.  This plugin works well and has virtually no false positives.  I have been using the plugin for a short time and am very impressed with its capability.  I highly recommend the Growmap Anti Spambot plugin for WordPress as you will have have to deal with fewer pending comments and spam comments that you have to weed through.

 

All in One Adsense and YPN

This is the best plugin I know of and use for adding AdSense blocks inside posts automatically.  It will allow for random sizes and or placement, changing colors and even support an AdSense Channel.  You just install the plugin and input your AdSense ID and Channel, configure away and you now have AdSense blocks on all your posts so you can start increasing your earnings.  Note, this isn’t a required plugin for WordPress if you don’t plan on monetizing your posts with AdSense, but All in One AdSense and YPN makes it easy to configure your posts to have AdSense blocks in them.

 

All in One SEO Pack

This is the most heavily downloaded SEO plugin for WordPress for a reason.  It has the ability to help streamline your SEO by configuring TITLE, DESCRIPTION and KEYWORDS tags based on your article content, excerpt and tags.  The plugin does so much more like setting custom meta information for pages, homepage and you can get overwhelmed easily.  The good thing is you can install and not do any configuration except activate the plugin and you will still have an SEO optimization benefit.  Nothing beats the All in One SEO Pack for WordPress, I have tried several other plugins and always came back to this one.

 

CommentLuv

I have been a fan of CommentLuv for a long time, this plugin rewards your commenters by showing their most recent article (or one they select) from their own site.  This link shows up under their comment and this is a great way to encourage people to leave comments on your blog.  Likewise the system is invaluable for when you want to visit others blogs and leave a breadcrumb with a link back to your latest article.

 

Contact Form 7

I used CFORMS II by Delicious Days but Contact Form 7 is the easiest form for embedding a custom form inside a WordPress post or page.  It sets up instantly and you don’t even have to add custom fields if you don’t need them.  Contact Form 7 is a must for any blogger who needs a contact form simply and easily.

 

Dashboard: Scheduled Posts

For Bloggers who like to write several days worth of content in advance this plugin is invaluable in its ability to show all your scheduled posts right from your WordPress dashboard.  Dashboard: Scheduled Posts allows you to easily see what you have publishing in the next few days and know when to schedule your next post for.

 

Facebook Like for Tags

This plugin adds a like button for your posts that not only allows readers to promote your article on Facebook but subscribes them to future posts that are in the same category or "keywords".  They will automatically receive notifications when you post a new article that matches the same criteria as an article that the user shared.  The Facebook Like for Tags plugin is a cut above the casual Facebook like plugins that only share your post on Facebook.

 

Google Analyticator

This plugin not only installs all the Google Analytics code you need for your site, but also displays a dashboard widget showing you the last 30 days of Google analytics and to pages on your site.  It is basic analytics at a glance and helps cut down on the number of times you need to open Google Analytics.  There is a reason why Google Analyticator has over a million downloads from the WordPress plugin library.

 

Google XML Sitemaps

This is the standard plugin for creating a sitemap.xml for your WordPress blog, this plugin endorsed by Google itself.  A sitemap makes it easier for search engines to find content on your site and list your pages in the search engine databases.  This is one of the most important features for any website or blog.  Google XML Sitemaps is a must have plugin for your WordPress blog.

 

RSS Footer

RSS Footer allows you to customize your blog RSS feed and add copyright information and even some links back to your original article or site.  This helps brand your feed in case it is imported into other sites online and helps establish and show the origins of the feed.

 

Subscribe To Comments

This allows your readers to subscribe to comments on a blog post so that they will be notified for all future comments or replies left on that particular blog post.  I would always offer the choice for the reader to subscribe, but never subscribe them automatically which can be intrusive and annoy readers.  I recommend offering Subscribe To Comments and you can optionally use it in combination with the ReplyMe plugin (see Review below for more details).

 

Tweet Old Post

Tweet Old Post is a brilliant plugin that I installed recently which retweets out your older articles at specified intervals on Twitter.  You can restrict it to certain categories and set how often the plugin will showcase your older content.  This can be a great way to revitalize your older blog posts that would otherwise go unnoticed.

 

W3 Total Cache

One of the best WordPress caching plugins is W3 Total Cache which gives you complete control to cache your WordPress blog and even database calls and minify your pages to improve pageload times.  Caching is important for allowing a higher throughput without suffering page load performance and with Google Caffeine basing your PageRank and possible SERP listings on your site pageload times this is something important to consider.

 

WordPress Mobile Edition

Many mobile phone browsers are still limited in function and display, this WordPress plugin + Theme will display a very simple minimal display to mobile phones so that user scan read your WordPress blog with ease and not have to struggle to navigate around sidebars, menus and other potential distractions that wouldn’t be an issue on a normal computer screen.  This plugin does its job well and simply puts your site content instantly at your readers fingertips when they access your site from a mobile browser.

 

In Review

These are my top 15 WordPress Plugins but there are several other good plugins out there that deserve special mention.  ReplyMe is a plugin that automatically notifies your commenters by email whenever somebody replies to their comment without them having to subscribe to the whole post.  Blubrry PowerPress is my favorite WordPress plugin for adding audio podcasts to your blog and you can customize it with a little logo that displays in the play audio box.  I use this plugin on all my blogs for when I embed audio content.  There are of course many others that didn’t make it into the top 15 because not everybody needs those plugins, but still if you have an idea on something you want for your site you should dig around the WordPress Plugin Library and see if you can find something that fits your needs.

-Dragon Blogger

Justin Germino
I have been obsessed with computers, tech, gadgets and games since the early 1980's having grown up on the Commodore 64 and Amiga computers. By day I work in the IT Security Industry and have been in IT for over 20 years. On my spare time I am a Vlogger, Blogger, Streamer, Gadget Reviewer, affiliate marketer, influencer and entertainer. I am also an avid movie fan, TV Show fan, Anime fan, video game fan and fan of trying anything and everything new.
Justin Germino

@dragonblogger

Content Creator/Owner of https://t.co/iWP6afuOc9 for Tech, Game, Entertainment and streamer at https://t.co/594fXMdMIA
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