There are tons and tons of WordPress plugins out there for various purposes. Some work great, others not so much. This is my personal list of plugins I keep around for reference.
Note: This list is constantly being updated, and as such is always “under construction”. This means there may be incomplete entries.
Popups & Mailing List Growth
Hustle – Full featured marketing plugin for building mailing lists. Includes custom popup creator as well as inline content creator.
Popup Maker – Great plugin for creating all sorts of popups. You can have popups triggered by clicks on the site, by page visits, by images, and more. Very versatile.
Better Search Replace – Advanced search & replace across your whole WP site. Warning, if you mess up here the only way to fix it is to have a backup of your database to restore via phpMyAdmin. Use at your own risk.
Max Mega Menu – Powerful and feature rich menu replacement plugin. Free plugin is fantastic, and Pro plugin has additional features like adding shopping cart totals to your menu.
Post SMTP – Reconfigure your WordPress email to use SMTP, preferably through Mailgun.
SVS Pricing Tables plugin – Beautiful pricing tables plugin with easy drag & drop interface.
PDF & Print by BestWebSoft – Allow visitors to download your pages as PDF documents.
Elementor – The current front runner for page builders. Elementor powers over 4 million sites and has an advanced page builder along with a Pro version with more features. There are also a lot of 3rd party plugins available to extend and add features to Elementor.
WPBakery Page Builder – WPBakery powers about 2 million WordPress sites and has been included with premium themes for years. It has a lot of tools to work with other plugins (like contact forms, eCommerce, widgets, etc), can create a lot of different layouts.
Imsanity – This plugin is for your “image sanity checks”. If you or someone on your site has a habit of loading in images that are too large, this plugin will automatically resize them. If you’ve already loaded in a thousand images that are too large, there is a bulk resize option.
Smush – This plugin optimizes images as they are uploaded and has a bulk option to resize existing images. It uses lossless compression, so you get smaller images without loss of quality (yes, some form of magic was used).
EWWW Image Optimizer – Very much like WP Smush, but it does have a couple of additional options (such as the type of compression used for PNGs is selectable).
Preventing Comment Spam
One thing bloggers hate is comment spam. There are both a lot of robots and humans on the web creating comment spam. In addition to this list, take a look at our article How to Fight Comment Spam on WordPress.
Combatting Comment Spam FAQ – Some common questions and answers regarding comment spam.
Akismet – Comes installed with WordPress, this plug-in requires an API key. This is free for personal blogs, and has a yearly fee for everyone else.
CleanTalk – Great plugin to reduce spam. Low yearly cost, and worth the frustration-free experience.
A very popular feature on websites is a content slider. These can contain pictures, text and even videos.
Meta Slider – This is my go to slider for basic things, and it’s free. If you just need a slider with a little basic text or a link, this is perfect.
Revolution Slider – The most popular slider plugin on WordPress. This comes included with a lot of themes. The one downside to it being included with themes is that it does’t remind you to update it. Older versions of Revolution Slider are regularly targeted by hackers.
Huspo Share Buttons – Easy to use and install social media sharing buttons.
Simple Share Buttons Adder – Quite easy to use and even allows you to have custom icons.
If you want to automatically broadcast your posts on social media, read our Broadcasting WordPress Posts on Social Media tutorial.
If you want to display a Twitter Feed on your website we a tutorial for Adding a Twitter Feed to You Website.
Custom Facebook Feed – Display a facebook feed on your website. A good number of features in the free version, extensive options in the paid version.
Forminator – Great plugin with a ton of integrations available including eCommerce and mailing lists.
Contact Form 7 – This is a relatively easy to use plug-in. In order to customize the items on your contact form you do need to read some documentation and implement some short codes, but the documentation is well done. It also has a lot of add ons available for free.
Gravity Forms – If you need more than a basic form, Gravity Forms probably has you covered. Built in are options for basic eCommerce (such as a simple bill pay), anti-spam honeypots, database logging, and more.
PureChat – Plans start at free and include a mobile app, scheduling of your chat availability and several other easy to use features. Includes mobile phone app so you can manage your chats on the go. Simple plugin install and the service works off your site, so it doesn’t reduce load time.
Olark – Online chat service with integration into common messaging platforms (like Skype) so that you and your agents can interact with website visitors on the go.
Speed Up Your Site
WP Rocket – A premium plugin which simplifies the process of setting up caching on your site.
WP-Optimize – Great plugin to use every few months to clean out excess junk that accumulates in your database.
WooCommerce – When you need more features in your eCommerce experience. This is useful for everything from a 1 item store to full eCommerce website build out. There are TONS of extensions available and Automattic (the company that makes WordPress) just acquired them.
Need an overall WP Guide?
Try the free WordPress Manual from Easy WP Guide.