15 Must Have WordPress Plugins for 2016

WordPress plugins are bits of software that can be uploaded to to extend and expand the functionality of your WordPress site. Literally, there are tons of WordPress plugins available for free download from the WordPress.org Plugin Directory. We recommend the plugins listed below based on their overall usage and performance. Remember though, the more plugins you install, the slower your site will be, so there’s a delicate balancing act between features and performance.

Yoast WordPress SEOyoast seo for wordpress plugins

It is the most functional SEO plugin in WordPress plugins market, and download for free. This beats many of the paid SEO plugins that are available today. You can manage your Meta Title, Meta Description, and Meta Tags, as well as ensure your target keyword is present where it needs to be. It gives you a checklist to ensure you have everything in place before you post. You can even manage permalinks and social media elements.

While this Yoast SEO plugin goes the extra mile to take care of all the technical optimization, more on that below, it first and foremost helps you write better content. Yoast SEO forces you to choose a focus keyword when you’re writing your articles, and then makes sure you use that focus keyword everywhere.

Jetpackjetpack for wordpress plugins

When you search WordPress plugins on WordPress.org, this plugin definitely appears in the front line. It is a comprehensive plugin that contains a wide range of features: notifications in your toolbar, connect site to social networks and automatically share, view concise stats, allow subscriptions to your posts to receive notifications, share content with Facebook, Twitter and more.

Contact Form 7contact form 7 for wordpress plugins

Contact Form 7 can manage multiple contact forms, plus you can customize the form and the mail contents flexibly with simple markup. The form supports Ajax-powered submitting, CAPTCHA, Akismet spam filtering and so on.

With Contact Form 7 you can easily create instant drop in forms for the visitors of your WordPress blog. This way you will be able to stay in touch with them without providing your email address. Your readers can contact you any time and your email remains spam-free.

W3 Total CacheW3 Total Cache for wordpress plugins

Are there any WordPress plugins to improve user experience and page speed for the WordPress site? Well, don’t miss this great plugin, W3 Total Cache is a behemoth that can seem like it needs an engineering degree to set up correctly. If you don’t need to serve millions of pageviews a day, or perhaps can’t install W3 because your host disallows it (or handles caching themselves), you can still get the benefits of minification with this simple hands-off plugin. Simply install, and it will automatically figure out which JS and cSS files are being loaded, combine them into a single file, and minify. It’s simple – and it works.

WP Super Cachewp super cache for wordpress plugins

For simple page caching needs, SuperCache might suffice. It makes static HTML pages, and serves those instead of dynamically generating new ones each time (which is what WordPress does by default). If you’ve tried W3 Total Cache and found it bewildering, give this a go instead.

This plugin generates static html files from your dynamic WordPress blog. After a html file is generated your webserver will serve that file instead of processing the comparatively heavier and more expensive WordPress PHP scripts.

Google Analyticatorgoogle analyticator for wordpress plugins

It’s so eazy to view your Google Analytics and real-time statistics inside WordPress plugins! If you don’t want to manually edit Analytics code into your theme’s header file, Analyticator is the easy way. Simply log in to your account to authorize the plugin, then choose from your list of sites – the plugin will handle the rest, as well as allowing you to ignore certain users, and adding an attractive widget to your Dashboard for at-a-glance stats overview.

Related Postsrelated posts for wordpress plugins

You want to keep your visitors on your site, which means you can keep them reading by using the Related Posts plugin to show them posts related to the one they are on. This shows them that they can get even more information on the topic that interests them, thus keeping them on your site. The longer they stay on your site, the more they trust you. You can even see how people are interacting with the related posts so that you can adjust how they are displayed.

Disqus Comment System
disqus comment for wordpress plugins

Disqus, pronounced “discuss”, is a service and tool for web comments and discussions. Disqus makes commenting easier and more interactive, while connecting websites and commenters across a thriving discussion community.

Drop-in replacement for the boring standard WordPress commenting system – offering a range of login options, share buttons, spam protection, user tagging, and more useful features. Highly recommended if you find WordPress comments rather lacklustre.

Akismetakismet for wordpress plugins

Akismet is an advanced hosted anti-spam service aimed at thwarting the underbelly of the web. It efficiently processes and analyzes masses of data from millions of sites and communities in real time. To fight the latest and dirtiest tactics embraced by the world’s most proficient spammers, it learns and evolves every single second of every single day. Because you have better things to do.

WooCommerceWooCommerce for wordpress plugins

In the past, there were lots of competing eCommerce plugins and it wasn’t really clear which was best. That’s all changed now: WooCommerce has pulled out well ahead of any competitors, and offers a fantastic feature set for the low price of nothing. Additional plugins can be pricey, but out-of-the-box is such a complete and feature rich system that if your requirements are flexible you may not need anything extra.

Add To Anyadd to any for wordpress plugins

If you are looking for a good social WordPress plugin, this is a good one. It allows you to keep track of the social activity on individual posts. As the visitor scrolls through the site, this social bar follows them, reminding them that they can click and share your content on their social media pages.

MailPoet Newsletters
mailpoet newsletter for wordpress plugins

The MailPoet Newsletters plugin is nothing short of brilliant, and yes you can use this instead of Mail Chimp or Awber. The really good thing about this is that they have a free version as well. You would really love this plugin because it has everything from sign-up forms, mailing lists management, newsletter management and the list goes on.

Redirectionredirection for wordpress plugins

Monitors your site for 404 Not Found errors and presents you with an easy way to301 Redirect them. Shouldn’t be needed for most sites, but if you’ve recently changed the site structure, deleted lots of posts, or find you’re otherwise getting reports of 404 errors from users, it might be worth seeing what this can do for you.

NextGEN Gallerynextgen-gallery for wordpress plugins

NextGEN Gallery provides a powerful engine for uploading and managing galleries of images, with the ability to batch upload, import meta data, add/delete/rearrange/sort images, edit thumbnails, group galleries into albums, and more. It also provides two front-end display styles (slideshows and thumbnail galleries), both of which come with a wide array of options for controlling size, style, timing, transitions, controls, lightbox effects, and more.

WordFence Securitywordfence for wordpress plugins

Completely free WordPress security suite – firewall, malware scanning, strong password enforcement, plugin and theme repairs. If you’ve had problems in the past or aren’t confident of where your theme or plugins come from, it’s worth giving your site a thorough scan. In most cases though, as long as you keep WordPress and plugins up to date (WordPress updates itself automatically now anyway), you probably won’t need this.

About the author: Ronda Murphy

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