My favorite plugins for WordPress have been discovered over the years by trial and error. I usually had a need, and then found some plugin to fill that need.
Not all plugins work with all WordPress themes, so you too will have to compose your own list of favorites. Using a plugin makes it easy to customize your website into your vision.
My Favorite Plugins
1. Rich Snippets (All in One Schema.org) – Free.
Use for Search Engine Optimization (SEO). This very easy-to-use plugin allows you to control the information that comes up in search results. Basically, it is a fill-in-the-blank form which couldn’t be easier.
2. Anti-Spam by Clean Talk – Small fee.
I manage a number of websites, and have found that spam in comments is rampant. I purchased Clean Talk to filter the spam, and each month, I receive an email listing the number of spam comments that were blocked per site. Invaluable for saving time if spam becomes an issue for you. Good, cheap plugin that works exactly as they advertise.
3. Jetpack – Free.
Came with my theme and I use it for all types of applications from posting on social media to site stats, contact form, etc. etc. It’s not a favorite with everyone, but it works great for me.
4. UpdraftPlus – Free.
I have my websites regularly backed up by this plugin, and I can’t say it enough: YOU MUST DO SOME TYPE OF BACKUP with your website. I promise you: you will lose data if you don’t. They give you various choices as to where to put the file, and I chose a cloud application.
5. W3 Total Cache – Free.
It cleans up the website speed and enhances your users’ experience. In the background, but really vital.
6. Yoast SEO – Free.
This is one of the best plugins to use. It creates a fill-in-the-blank form beneath your post or page text, and forces you to determine key words, meta descriptions, etc. After you do that, it creates a list of strong and weak points in your seo. REALLY good plugin and they have great blogs about seo on their site.
These plugins work for me and I can recommend them all highly (without compensation from any of them, by the way).
You will find, as you work with your website, that you want to do certain things or something is missing. This is when you go to the plugins to see if anyone has fixed the problem you are facing. Try to keep your plugins to a minimum, for at some point, they might begin to slow down your site.
Do you have any plugins that have worked well for you?