My Favorite WordPress Plugins
I feel like I have been living inside WordPress lately and I wanted to share all the plugins that I don’t know what I would do without. I will be very brief in my description of each because there will be a lot of them and I know you just need the gist of what they do before trying it our for yourself. =) In alphabetical order because that’s how I roll. (All these plugins are free unless I state otherwise) Add Descendants As Submenu Items This plugin has saved me from the problem WordPress has with adding too many menu items. This plugin solves that issue by adding a simple checkbox to each menu item that you can check to have all it automatically add all its descendants as submenu items. AddToAny Share Buttons This one is nice for any website that you want people to know about. I activate it on almost all of my websites because it automatically adds sharing options to the bottom of all of your pages that can be turned off independently. Akismet This is essential for keeping the trolls and the spammers at bay. It requires signing up for an Askimet account but you can use that account for as many websites as you want. They ask you choose how much you want to donate to sign up but allow you to choose $0 if you can’t afford to donate. Add Local Avatar I don’t think many people know about this one and it hasn’t been updated in over 2 years but it doesn’t need to be because it works perfectly. I really love this plugin because it automatically generates a unique identicon profile picture for all users based on their email address. There are a bunch of different identicon options but my favorite is “Retro” because it makes everyone look like something out of an Atari game. BackUpWordPress This is a really nice plugin that automatically backs up all your files and your database based on daily and weekly schedules that you can customize and even have it send the backup to you via email every time it completes a backup. CloudFlare This is a really powerful CDN and caching service that is a little complex if you don’t host your own server like I do. Custom Post Type This is really handy when you’re trying to import content from one WordPress site to another because it lets you create any custom post types that one site has that the other doesn’t. It obviously has much more uses than that because creating custom post types allow you to add more admin panels and customize them to your liking. Best of all, it allows you to create taxonomy categories for each of your post types as well. BBPress Essential if you want to have a forum on your site. It is by far the most popular option, I probably didn’t even have to mention it. BuddyPress Another famous one that I probably don’t need to mention but it is amazing the way it turns your site into a full-fledged social media network. I should mention that it is a very particular plugin and will only work if you have your server and site setup perfectly but I finally managed to figure it out and It was worth the effort. Duplicate / Clone Pages and Posts I don’t know what I would do without this plugin and it actually not that well known. The name says it all, it lets you duplicate pages and posts which is such a time saver. Easy Twitter Feed Widget The name says it all, really… FeedWordPress This is an amazing plugin that makes it incredibly simple to automatically pull posts from one WordPress site into another. Follow Us Badges This is a nice little plugin for adding social media profile follow buttons to your site. Formidable This one cost money but it is so powerful that it is worth the money. It lets you create extremely advanced forms that with the ability to have content automatically filled in based on the users profile info. It also lets you add conditional logic to your fields with is incredibly handy. They also have a bunch of add-ons but the only one I currently use is “Registration Lite” which lets you choose which role you want to register users who fill out the form as. Google Drive WP Media This is a pain to setup because the instruction are extremely dated for setting up the Drive API but if you are good with Googles Developer Console you should have no trouble. I think it is really cool the way it creates a whole new Drive account and shares it with you and all the files you store within it can be pulled into your WordPress media library whenever you need them. GTmetrix for WordPress By far my favorite plugin for testing your site speed ratings and troubleshooting ways to make it run faster. Live Composer This is an excellent free drag & drop page builder if you’re like me and don’t want to pay to get visual composer for each site you want to use it on. MailPoet Newsletters Great for gaining newsletter subscribers and creating & sending email blasts. Moderation Notify Author This is a simple but effective plugin that notifies the author of a post that a comment needs to be approved. Nav Menu Roles A very handy plugin that adds checkboxes to nav menu items that allow you to choose who can view that item based on their user role or by if they are logged in or not. Nextend Facebook Connect Lets your users connect their account to Facebook so they can easily login to your website. Nextend Google Connect Lets your users connect their account to Google so they can easily login to your website. Nextend Twitter Connect Lets your users connect their account to Twitter so they can easily login to your website. Parallax Scroll This plugin is a must for adding parallax scrolling backgrounds to themes that don’t come with Visual Composer or some other way to add parallax backgrounds. Post Connector Allows you to add custom connections to the bottom of posts like “Related Posts” or whatever else you want. Postman SMTP Makes it incredibly easy to setup your WordPress site to be able to send out emails. Rating-Widget: Star Review System This is a really powerful and flexible rating system plugin for your blog with various options for both star rating systems and like/dislike voting systems. ShiftNav – Responsive Mobile Menu This is a very easy to setup slide out mobile navigation panel with a toggle button that follows you down the page. Subscribe2 This plugin is incredible! It automatically sets up subscription lists for your blog posts based on the categories you set, so users can easily manage their own subscriptions of what categories/authors they want to be notified about via email when a new post is uploaded that matches their selections. W3 Total Cache An incredibly popular site for improving performance by caching all the content on your pages to make them load faster. (Don’t use this if you use Cloudflare because it handles cacheing as well) What The File Very useful when trying to figure out what file you need to edit to mess with the code of the page you are viewing. Wordfence This is one of the most popular security apps that projects your website from hackers. WooCommerce Another famous one for eCommerce websites. WP Time Tracker This one cost quite a lot of money but I think it is worth it if you run your own business and need to keep track of how much time you spent on each project and invoice your clients all through your WordPress site. WP to Buffer If you use Buffer and post a lot of blog then this is the plugin for you. WP-UserOnline Simple plugin that gives you a new widget that displays the users currently online. WPFront User Role Editor Personal Pro I know this plugin cost money but it is absolutely worth it. It is the only way I currently know of to create a new user role but it does so much more than that. It actually makes the Nav Menu Roles plugin pointless because it does all that too. Yoast Breadcrumbs If your picky like me it might take some tweaking of your themes template files and the breadcrumbs plugin to make it fit your needs but I think this plugin is essential for any sites with deep navigation. If you are unfamiliar with breadcrumbs they are the links at the top and bottom of posts that provide links back to all the parent pages including the home page. YouTube Embed This is a simple plugin that adds a button to your post & page editor that lets you embed any YouTube video and gives you a bunch of different options of how to add it.