WordPress is designed to accommodate plugins. Plugins extend the software’s features and increase its functionality, improving the overall customization and experience. WordPress currently provides 45,137 plugins with 1,305,047,498 total downloads, according to its site.
WordPress plugin features vary from increasing search engine optimization (SEO) to social media promotion. There are even plugins to help increase WordPress security. Here are some of WordPress’s most popular plugins and their features.
WordPress is highly revered for its SEO functionality, however Yoast SEO takes its capabilities to a new level. Designed by Joost de Valk, Yoast SEO provides technical optimization that’s not available through WordPress as-is. One of the plugin’s best features is that it forces you to become intentional when creating your content. You have to choose one keyword to optimize per page or post you write. Once you select a keyword or phrase, the plugin will assist your optimization efforts and provide prompts to help you strengthen your keyword usage as you create and publish.
WooCommerce is the most popular free eCommerce plugin for users. It provides WordPress users the ability to sell anything they’d like on their website. Beautifully coded, WooCommerce provides complete control to both site owners and web developers. WooCommerce users praise its flexibility, as the product’s use can be extended in many ways through free and premium extensions, including those of shipping. Currently, WooCommerce is said to power over 30 percent of all online stores, which is telling: that’s more than any other comparable platform on the market.
Self-proclaimed to be the “most downloaded WordPress security plugin,” Wordfence provides enterprise level website security. Powered by a web application firewall that’s consistently updated, hacks are prevented with live traffic monitoring. As a result, you’ll receive quick alerts in the event your site is compromised. Wordfence also provides additional tools to help you really manage your site’s security.
Google XML Sitemaps
Google XML Sitemaps has been available for almost a decade – and for good reason. You can install this plugin to produce a special XML sitemap that Google and other sitemaps can use to better interpret and review your site structure. This leads to a stronger web crawl, and allows your site to be indexed powerfully. This also boosts SEO because search engines get notified whenever you add a new post or page to your site.
As a WordPress owner, it can get tough managing comments. What’s even worse is managing comments that tend to be bulk-delivered SPAM. (When will spammers ever learn?) Fortunately, Disable Comments comes to the rescue. Disable Comments provides web administrators the power to disable comment functionality on pages, posts, attachments, and any other pages on WordPress sites that allow them. Comment-related items can also be disabled from the site’s dashboard, widgets, and even the admin bar.
Just as it sounds, Duplicate Posts allows you to clone a post for easy modification to a new draft. This plugin also comes with template tag capabilities, giving you the ability to edit pages in a particular style without spending an abundance of time copying the formula. You can copy the original post and page date, as well as its publishing status (draft, published, pending), plus any attachments and excerpts. Duplicate Posts also provides the ability to copy over the posts taxonomies and custom fields.
W3 Total Cache
A staple for improving website performance, W3 Total Cache is almost a staple for experienced WordPress users. W3 Total Cache is praised by several WordPress related companies, including Go Daddy, Synthesis, HostGator, DreamHost, MediaTemple, and Page.ly for its ability to improve site experience and speed. It’s also trusted by AT&T, Matt Cuts, Smashing Magazine, John Chow, and thousands of other major online brands.
All-in-One WP Migration
All-in-One WP migration provides administrators power to export their database. Move media files, themes, plugins, and content without depending on any extensions. Not only does not relying on extensions make for nimble use, but it also allows the plugin to work with just about every PHP hosting provider. All-in-One can import and export WordPress data in 3 second time chunks, allowing it to operate below the 30 second max execution time that most web providers allot.
Broken Link Checker
WordPress administrators love the Broken Link Checker plugin. It’s a helpful plugin that monitors WordPress sites, seeking out broken links in posts, comments, pages, and custom fields. Site owners are notified of missing images, links, and redirects that don’t work through their WordPress dashboard or email. Site owners have the option to protect the professionalism of their site by preventing Google, Bing, and other search engines from being able to follow broken links. Best of all, links are editable directly from the plugin page, removing the need to manually update posts one by one, which can be draining and consume time.
Social Media and Share Icons
Social Media and Share Icons allows WordPress owners to extend their post and page functionality for social media sharing. Extend your post’s virality with email, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube, and over 200 other forms of social media. This plugin provides 16 distinctive social media icon designs, allow icons to serve multiple purposes (such as linking to your Facebook page and liking it), and allow for animation. Icons can also float along the page, or remain sticky and stationary to a fixed position. Pop-up options are also available, so visitors can be prompted to like and follow you on social media.
MailChimp for WordPress
As they say, the money’s in the list – your email list. MailChimp provides free email marketing as soon as one signs up. MailChimp for WordPress allows you to take advantage of this by letting you add a widget for easy email capture. Create attractive sign-up forms for visitors to add their email address to, or allow it to integrate with other aspects of your site, including checkout, comment, and contact forms.