Our MOST Recommended Must-Have WordPress Plugins
Welcome! You’ve stumbled upon another awesome post about great WordPress Plugins! We know, this post isn’t original. We understand that there are a lot of WP bloggers out there that have blogged about their favorite must-have WordPress plugins. Well, we have our favorites, too! The following blog post isn’t just the best WordPress Plugins for 2014, but we feel they are some of the best WP plugins of all time.
Before you start, PLEASE STOP! Stop installing WordPress plugins!
Before we begin mentioning our list of the best WordPress plugins for 2014, we have an announcement for the WordPress Noobs out there. STOP INSTALLING TOO MANY PLUGINS. Always remember, that less is best. Installing too many WordPress plugins WILL slow your WP website down tremendously. In addition, messing with WP plugins developed by unknown/not-so-popular/newbie developers is also a recipe for disaster; they could crash your site or get you hacked. Need elaboration? Read Jonathan Perez’s post on WordPress Bloat!
Now that we have that out of the way, let’s begin our list of the BEST Plugins for WordPress in 2014!
Envira Gallery: Best WordPress Photo Gallery Plugin
If you’re building a WordPress website and have a ton of photos you would like to display, then you’ll probably like Envira Gallery. This is in my opinion, the BEST Photo Gallery plugin for WordPress. It’s responsive, fast loading, and extremely easy to use. In fact, it allows users to create photo galleries quicker than the stock media manager that comes built with WordPress.
Soliloquy: Best WordPress Slider Plugin
To be honest, we really don’t like sliders, however many of our customers insist on having them. If we were to choose the best of the best WordPress slider, then we have to go with Soliloquy. Since we’re sticklers for fast page loads, Soliloquy is probably the best way to go, since it’s consider the fastest loading WordPress slider plugin on the market. This is also a premium plugin, but worth the money if you’re in need.
WordPress SEO by Yoast: Best SEO Plugin for WordPress
If you don’t know what SEO is, then you should probably Google it. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and if done correctly, it will most likely be the #1 web traffic source for your awesome website. WordPress SEO is a must-have plugin to manage tons of those SEO settings on your WordPress site. SEO settings to help improve your rankings on popular search engines such as Google. Here’s a few things that WordPress SEO does.
- Automatically creates XML sitemaps. (Be sure to submit sitemaps to Google & Bing Webmaster Tools.)
- Allows users to manage custom title tags and meta descriptions for every page and post.
- Set up custom default title tags. (Great for the times when you forget to write your title tags/meta descriptions.)
- Allows users to customize their social settings for Facebook, Twitter, & Google+. (Create custom descriptions for your social media channels on every page or post.)
- Admin area to set up Google Authorships
- Add custom content of your RSS Feed. (Add backlinks to your website in case scrapper sites decide to replicate your content. Helps search engines identify the originally source of the content.)
Gravity Forms: Best Form Builder Plugin for WordPress
Gravity Forms is a WP Plugin that lets users create custom forms quickly and easily. As easy as just a couple clicks. Why do you need forms? Forms are a great way to collect leads from your WordPress powered website. It’s also a great way to measure conversion, create custom member portals, or even set up payment gateways. Gravity Forms is a Premium Plugin, but totally worth the money because of its powerful flexibility and capabilities. Gravity Forms also makes it easy to do the following…
- Contact forms
- Quote forms for lead generation
- Polls for voting
- Create quizes
- Advanced user registration forms
- Tons of add-ons and integrations with multiple other payment gateways & online services.
- i.e.. PayPal, MailChimp, Awebber, Zapier, FreshBooks, Authorize.net, etc
Gravity Forms – Placeholders add-on
For people familiar with Gravity Forms, let me introduce you to the Gravity Forms “Placeholders add-on“. This plugin allows users to create placeholder text for the field descriptions.
FooBox HTML & Media Lightbox: Best Lightbox WordPress Plugin
This plugin is awesome for users that want an improved mobile responsive lightbox for their website’s rich media. For 2014, FooPlugins recently added an html lightbox to their awesome FooBox plugin. There are tons of customization options and lightbox styles to choose from. FooBox also has these cool little social sharing icons embedded right on top of the images. This particular plugin is also premium, but also totally worth the money.
WP-Optimize: Best Database Maintenance Plugin for WordPress
WP-Optimize is free WordPress Plugin to help you clean up your WP Database. Have too post revisions? WP-Optimize will delete the excessive post revisions that are clogging up your database. In a nutshell, it’s a great way to speed up your site. However, if you’re NOT using this plugin, then delete it. I would recommend only installing it to optimize your WordPress site every now and then. Optimization frequency depends on how active of a blogger you are.
Login LockDown: Best WordPress Security Plugin
Everyone knows that the BEST security for WordPress is a strong password. Login LockDown adds an extra layer of protection by locking out ip addresses from bots that attempt to crack your passwords via brute force intrusions. After so many failed attempts, LoginLock Down will ban the ip address from using the WP login form for a set amount of time.
Akismet: Best WordPress Comment Spam Filter
If you write great content that search engine like to index, then you’ll be LOVED by spammers. Akismet is the best protection for spam filtering. It’s FREE for most types of WordPress sites. Use Akismet today to block annoying comment spam today.
BackupBuddy: Best Backup Plugin for WordPress
BackupBuddy is a great plugin for automatic backups for WordPress. They always say to backup before you update any plugins, themes, or even the WP core. My recommendation is BackupBuddy! BackupBuddy is the best solution for backing up and migrating WordPress sites. Very useful for migrating a WP site from a local environment to a web host. Migrate an entire WordPress website in just a few clicks.
Did I forget to mention a Plugin?
Leave us a comment below and tell me what your favorite WordPress Plugin is and I’ll add it to the POLL.