25+ must-have WordPress plugins

WordPress plugins are coming out all of the time, right and left. Every day, they’ve got new ones in the WordPress plugin repository for the curious developer to check out.

Over time, your average designer or developer will end up with a list of their favorites. Usually, they’re plugins that solve common problems, are up-to-date and well-maintained, with good support. With that in mind, we’re sharing a list of some of the best plugins out there.

Disable Comments

Disable Comments does… well… that. But instead of disabling comments for a single post, you can disable them for an entire post type, remove all comment-related fields for a post-type on the editing screens, and more. If you install it on a multi-site installation, you can disable comments for an entire network.

WP Maintenance Mode

Let your site’s visitors know that you’ll be back, and do it in style. Or let them know about your new site that’s still in the works. Either way, this splash screen comes with a visual editor, background images, optional countdown clocks, email forms, social links, and more.

BackupWordpress

BackupWordpress will do just that. It can back up your entire website, both the files and the database, on a schedule of your choosing. The free version will only back up files to your own server. The paid version supports Dropbox, Google Drive, FTP, and so much more.

Yoast

Ever-popular, WordPress SEO by Yoast helps you manage all of the little details required to rank relatively well in search engines. But not only does it handle the little details like inserting meta tags, it helps to evaluate your blog posts and gives you advice on making them more search-engine-friendly.

Instagram Image Gallery

Showcase your own Instagram photos, or grab all of the photos under any given hashtag, with this plugin.

Google Analyticator

Display your Google Analytics data right on your WordPress dashboard with Google Analyticator instead of logging in to the app every time.

ShareThis

Pretty much the ultimate post-sharing plugin. This plugin lets you add buttons for all the major social networks, share posts with other via e-mail, add the article to social bookmarking sites, and more.

SlideDeck2

Create a content slider that can feature more than just images, or links to your own WordPress posts. SlideDeck2 can handle content from Flickr, Youtube, Pinterest, and more to create sliders out of almost anything.

HTML5 jQuery Audio Player

Add this audio player to your site. Whether you want to play just one track, or a whole playlist, this plugin integrates a simple jQuery-based audio player that works on all modern browsers.

Jetpack

Jetpack comes from Automattic, the company that makes WordPress. It integrates a number of features that, while popular and useful, don’t belong in the WordPress core. These features include analytics, Markdown support, enhanced security, custom CSS, and many, many more. Each feature is a separate module, and can be activated or deactivated at will.

WP eCommerce

Start selling stuff through your WordPress site with WP eCommerce! Take advantage of the plugin’s built-in PayPal integration, or work with Express Checkout, Strip, or Authorize.net to collect payments from anyone, anywhere.

WP Mobile Detector

If you’re having trouble finding a responsive theme that works how you want it to, consider this plugin, which automatically recognizes mobile devices, and switches to a mobile theme for them.

Shareholic

More sharing buttons, this time with attractive, rounded-corner squares! Add this plugin to add all of the sharing buttons you’ll ever need on your blog posts.

Paypal for Digital Goods

Easily sell digital goods via PayPal. You can use it to sell any number of goods on the same page, using the PayPal for Digital Goods payment gateway.

Simple Membership

Protect your content, if you only want site members to see it. This way, you can keep things in a private group, or sell site memberships, or what-have-you. This plugin is compatible with multi-site installations.

WPtouch Mobile Plugin

Like WP Mobile Detector, this plugin detects when a user is on a mobile device, and presents them with a customized mobile theme instead of the default WordPress theme. There’re a few themes to choose from, with plenty of customization options.

Easy Pricing Tables

Need to put a price table on your site? Wanna do it fast? This plugin does that.

Manual Image Crop

Is WordPress’ automatic cropping not getting the job done? Do your images just not look right? Well, crop it yourself, right in your browser, with this handy little utility.

W3 Total Cache

If you want to speed up your WordPress site, and save bandwidth, then caching is the way to go. W3 Total Cache handles it so well that they boast users like AT&T, Mashable, Smashing Magazine, and many others.

iThemes Security

iThemes Security comes with a number of automatic protection options that fix common security holes. Each is easily activated with the click of a button, and the plugin itself will alert you of potential security problems.

WooCommerce

Completely transform your WordPress site into an online store. WooCommerce is powerful, extendable, and can support just about any payment method imaginable.

Disqus

Easily integrate the Disqus third-party comment system just by installing a plugin. It automatically replaces the default comment section.

Login LockDown

Limit the number of times someone can unsuccessfully attempt to log in to your WordPress admin with this plugin. This is done to prevent brute-force hacking attempts.

WP Flexible Map

Add Google Maps to your pages and posts with a simple shortcode. Specify your desired location in one of three different ways, and off you go!

Google Typography

If you tend to get lost in CSS files, but you want to change your theme’s font, leave the CSS alone. Just add the Google Typography plugin. It allows you to select from Google’s catalogue of web fonts with a list. Then you just have to pick the font size and color.

Frizzly

Frizzly adds social share buttons, not on posts, but when you hover over individual images. A great plugin for sharing images on photo blogs and other image-oriented WordPress sites.

Easy Digital Downloads

Another plugin for selling digital downloads. Where PayPal for Digital Goods is light, however, Easy Digital Downloads comes with plenty of features, including a full shopping cart, a variety of payment gateways, extensions, and many more.

TablePress

If you display a lot of tabular data on your site, take it to the next level by using TablePress. This plugin generates advanced tables with sorting options, advanced structure editing, and each table is its own entry in a custom post type, for more customization options.

WP Importer

You will need this plugin at some point, so it deserves a mention. basically, it allows you to import content from a local dev installation of WordPress, or move content from one domain to another, or any other use you can think of.

Justas Markus is the co-founder & chief operating officer of Refe. He's a traveler, blogger, athlete and entrepreneur. Catch up with Justas on Twitter More articles by Justas Markus
  • Great list. Many of these make my blogging life easier I don’t use all of them. A part of these must have WordPress plug-ins there are more plug-ins I want to suggest to you that you may like to add to your next blog like Relevanssi , WP Google map , Gallery, Image Widget and many must have plugins .

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