Plugins – those tiny apps that add functionality to your site – are like wines. You fall in love with one for a while and think it completes your life, and then another must-have bottle comes along and the old one is forgotten, deleted.
And then there are the wines – er, plugins – that you keep coming back to time and again, because they just continue to perform and offer value.
As they say in the wine world, your favorite wine is the one you’re drinking now.
In the world of WordPress, my favorite plugins are the ones I’m using now. Since I haven’t done this kind of list in a year, here are the top 8 plugins I currently have on my blogs.
“Used by millions, Akismet is quite possibly the best way in the world to protect your blog from comment and trackback spam.”
This is no exaggeration. Akismet kills spam like Roundup to weeds. Comes standard with some themes, but you still need to sign up for an API key to connect the service. Payment is by estimated donation.
Avoid at your peril.
Better known simply as Yoast, WordPress SEO is the motherlode of search engine optimization. On the page or post it shows you where place your keywords in order to make search engines notice your site. And its analysis offers lots of food for improvement thought.
Yoast also does the work of many other WordPress plugins like: Social, Sitemaps, Robots, Redirects and more, making it a true all-in-one type of plugin.
If you are weary of finding and installing third-party plugins, there is one plugin you need: Jetpack.
Jetpack is not one plugin but a suite of plugins that you can access by simply connecting to your free account at WordPress.com. Once connected, you can access a whole menu of plugins created by the folks at WordPress.
My favourites are Stats, Subscriptions, Custom CSS, Publicize and Sharing, Extra Sidebar Widgets, Widget Visablility, Tiled Galleries, and Shortcode Embeds, but there is much more
HMS Testimonials displays your testimonials according to groups or randomly, rotating or static, and either on the page or in a widget.
The formatting can change according to your theme and can be customized with HTML tags it provides. Pretty nifty.
This is a text widget that allows you to place an image or icon and a call to action button.
Fields include: Title, Sub-Title, Image URL and Placement, Text, Button Text and URL. Handy!
“OptinMonster is the #1 lead generation and email list building tool” even though it was releasing only last Fall.
This is a paid plugin but worth the $49 to get a theme customizer, mail integrations, analytics and configurations to create smooth, clean opt-in popups.
With this plugin, you can adjust an image’s margins and set borders in the Visual Editor.
Since the WordPress v. 3.9.1 did away with these function, this plugin has become essential to image control.
“Requires very strong passwords, repels brute force login attacks, prevents login information disclosures, expires idle sessions, notifies admins of attacks and breaches, permits administrators to disable logins for maintenance or emergency reasons and reset all passwords.”
The description says it all. I uploaded this during a Brute Force Attack last year and it sends me emails announcing the number of times a bot has came knocking at my site’s door. It continues to nag me about having my subscribers change their passwords. Good plugin.
Only My Top 8 Plugins
But the WordPress World is full of great tools and these are only my top 8 plugins. What are your must-have plugins?