12 Essential WordPress Plugins That Will Make Your Life Easier

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With a new blog starting in every 7 seconds, the competition is fierce for each and every author.

Most of the bloggers emphasis on producing quality content to get more leads to their small business, but forget about building social presence and making their business blog search engine friendly.

Yet, with this article I want to share 12 Essential WordPress Plugins that can give you huge boost of traffic and make your blog more search engine friendly.

#1. Digg Digg

Digg digg is a very cool plugin that allows you to add float social media buttons in your articles. It’s an all in one social media solution for a WordPress blog.

Digg Digg social media buttons plugin

With the recent BrightEdge research, it has proven that placing social media buttons on your blog can drive more traffic.

  • It allows you to display all the popular social media buttons on your blog. They recently added the Pinterest & Buffer app button to their list of social sharing buttons
  • It has great customization options. You can choose a floating bar like here or add sharing buttons at the top or bottom of the post like we have here.
  • Lazy loading to increase the performance of the blog.
  • Digg Digg has all the social media button that one would ever need, but doesn’t allow to add your own social media buttons unlike other social sharing plugins.

Get the Digg Digg Plugin

#2. The Slide

Simplereach will help you get more eyeballs on your articles. The Slide recommends related posts from within your site on a widget that “slides” in at the bottom of the page.

The Slide Simple Reach WordPress plugin

You have seen a similar content recommendation widget on sites like Mashable, and now SimpleReach is allowing anybody to take advantage of this awesome plugin for free.

One of the best thing of this plugin is, it don’t just suggest anything. It uses a new algorithm to pick the most relevant article for your readers.

  • Increased sharing on Twitter and Facebook via embedded social buttons
  • Access to full analytics in ‘Reports’ at SimpleReach.com
  • Customize The Slide’s style and functionality
  • It works smoothly with all the WordPress themes and doesn’t effect the speed of your site

Get the The Slide Plugin

#3. FooBar

A very powerful plugin that every blogger needs to know about is FooBar. It simply lets you add a sticky message at the top of your blog. It can be something that you want to promote or may be a blog post.

foobar WordPress Notifier plugin

I’ve been using it for most of my business sites to promote affiliates, new products and blog posts. It works great and gives fantastic results. It’s very similar to the HelloBar plugin.

  • The plugin literally takes less than a minute to set up everything.
  • Customize colors, fonts and even textures with the Hello Bar editor.
  • You can embed the foobar on almost any type of sites.

Get the FoorBar Plugin

#4 W3 Total Cache

W3 Total Cache is the most complete Website performance solution for WordPress. It improves the user experience of your site by tweaking the performance of your servers and caching the every element of your site.

W3 Total Cache WordPress Plugin

With the help of this free plugin, you can increase the speed up to 10 times and get more traffic by the search engine giant, Google.

  • Improved web server performance; sustain high traffic periods Up to 80% bandwidth savings via minify and HTTP compression of HTML, CSS, JavaScript and feeds
  • Compatible with shared hosting, virtual private / dedicated servers and dedicated servers / clusters
  • Browser caching using cache-control, future expire headers and entity tags (ETag) with “cache-busting”

Get the W3 Total cache Plugin

#5 WordPress SEO by Yoast

There are many free and paid SEO plugins available out there. Before WordPress SEO plugin, All in one SEO used to be go to plugin when it comes to doing SEO for WordPress.

WordPress SEO Plugin By Yoast

The plugin comes with some great set of features like a snippet review, page content, meta titles and much more.

  • It analysis your page / post for simple things that you’re bound to forget. For Instance, if you have images in your post and whether they have an alt tag containing the focus keyword for that post.
  • Easily allows you to control the correct canonical on each page, including the homepage, tags and categories.
  • Meta & Link Elements – The SEO pluginWith the WordPress SEO plugin you can control which pages Google shows in its search results and which pages it doesn’t show.
  • Multi-Site Compatible – The plugin has the multi site compatible functionality.
  • Import & Export – One of the most amazing feature of this plugin i like is, it easily lets you import or export the SEO settings to thesis or genesis or any other framework out there with the support of SEO Data Transporter plugin.

Get the WordPress SEO Plugin

#6 GASP Anti-spam Plugin

Growmap Anti spam plugin is a fantastic Anti-spam plugin that uses a simple algorithm to stop the spammers & spam bots. The plugin adds a client side generated checkbox to your comment form asking users to confirm that they are not a spammer. It’s way better than Akismet plugin.

Confirm your are not a spammer GASP Plugin for WordPress

A check is made that the checkbox has been checked before the comment is submitted so there’s no chance that a comment will be lost if it’s being submitted by legitimate human user.

Get the GASP Plugin

#7 Backup Buddy

What if one day you wake up to find out that all the work you’ve done on your blog was gone? Wouldn’t that be your worst nightmare.

Backup Buddy is the plugin that I’ve been using for all my blogs. It’s a must have plugin for WordPress. It’s a premium plugin.

Backup Buddy Premium Backup solution for WordPress

You can even backup your blog manually or with a free plugin.

But, it’s important that you understand the importance of having a backup of your blog. Most of the free plugins only back up the pages, posts & comments, whereas Backup Buddy back all the data – content, comments, users, settings, themes, plugins, etc within few minutes.

If you still don’t understand the importance of using a Backup buddy as a backup solution, I’d defiantly recommend you to go with the free option.

Get the Backup Buddy Plugin

#8 Editorial Calender

The Editorial Calendar makes it possible to see all your posts and drag and drop them to manage your blog. I’ve recently started using it and love the simplicity to manage & schedule the posts. With the Editorial calender, you can set drafts or schedule posts and view them live on a calendar within WordPress.

Editorial Calender WordPress plugin

The editorial calendar gives you an overview of your blog and when each post will be published. You can drag and drop to move posts, edit posts right in the calendar, and manage your entire blog.

Get the Editorial Calender Plugin

#9 Smush.it

WP Smush.it is a simple plugin that reduces the image file sizes and improve performance using its API within WordPress.

WP Smushit WordPress plugin

It offers an API that performs these optimizations automatically, and this plugin seamlessly integrates Smush.it with WordPress.

  • The plugin is very light weight and works perfectly with WordPress. I’ve been using it from an year and half and never had any issue.
  • Stripping meta data from JPEGs and un-used colors from indexed images
  • Optimizing JPEG compression
  • Converting certain GIFs to indexed PNGs

Download the WP Smush.it

#10 Optin Skin

Who don’t want more leads, more subscribers, etc. I do and every one who wants to make money looks for getting more leads. With the help of optin skin plugin, you can get more leads / subscribers without putting any extra effort.

optinskin Lead generation plugin for wordpress

The plugin comes with 18 beautiful designed forms to choose form. Many bloggers in the industry has already started using this little plugin. It costs $47 and you can run the plugin on unlimited sites.

  • It easily lets you test all the elements of your opt-in form.
  • Customize every single element of your form with their “Simple Editor”.
  • Allows you to add social media buttons with few clicks.
  • Works perfectly with all the email service providers – Aweber, Mailchimp, mailchimp, iContact and Feedburner.

Get the OptinSkin Plugin

#11 Thirsty Affiliates

I never liked those ugly affiliate links and that’s why I’ve been using Thirsty Affiliates plugin for all my business blogs.

Best Link Management plugin for WordPress

Thirsty Affiliates is a premium plugin that helps you cloak the ugly affiliate links. Here’s how a non cloaked aff. link looks like

http://www.shareasale.com/r.cfm?b=346198&u=416513&m=28169&urllink=&afftrack=

And after cloaking it with the Thirsty Affiliates plugin, it would became

http://www.wpkube.com/go/studiopress

If you don’t want to spend money on this plugin, Pretty link is a good alternative.

Get the Thirsty Affiliates Plugin

#12 WP Touch

As more and more people accessing sites or blogs from their smartphones / tablets, it’s very important to have your site optimized for mobile devices.

If you haven’t optimized your site, you’re missing a big opportunity to spread your content in a new way. Fortunately, optimizing a WordPress site is very easy. All you have to do is to install the WPtouch plugin.

WPtouch automatically transforms your WordPress website into an application-like theme, complete with ajax loading articles and effects when viewed from the most popular web browsing devices like the iPhone, iPod touch, Android mobile devices and BlackBerry OS6 mobile devices.

The plugin allows the ability for visitors to switch between WPtouch view and your site’s regular theme.

Get the WPTouch Plugin

The WPTouch PRO version comes with a slew of new features like more style, color and branding customizations, themes, 10 languages, more advertising options and Web-Application mode.

Over To You

Which WordPress plugins do you use on your site?  Do you have any other WordPress plugins that you would highly recommend?

If you find this blog useful please do like it on Facebook and share it on Twitter.

About the Author: Devesh Sharma is a WordPress fanatic and loves experimenting with WordPress themes & plugins.Get more from Devesh on  and Twitter.
57 comments… add one
  1. Richie says

    Thank you so much for this information. I am a novice as far as blogging and information like this is dynamite to me.
    Regards
    Richie

    • Devesh says

      Hi Richie,

      Your welcome and thanks for stopping by. I hope this information has helped you.

      If you need any help regarding blogging or WordPress, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

      -Dev

  2. thatjeffsmith says

    A few of these I had already known about. The W3 Total Cache and WP Touch plug-ins I installed immediately after reading this post, and I look forward to the immediate improvement!

    Thanks Ana and Devesh!

  3. thatjeffsmith says

    What’s your take on The Slide vs Link Within? Obviously you prefer The Slide, but what do you like about it over say a plugin that offers multiple suggestions at the bottom of a post?

    • Devesh says

      Hi Jeff,

      Both are two different plugins.

      The Slide shows only one related post through the slide out widget, while Link Within shows multiple posts at the bottom of the page. I think having both the plugins would be a good fit.

      Btw. – I’d still suggest you to go with The Slide plugin, which has better functions. Alternatively, you can use upPrev plugin, as the The slide plugin is currently in beta.

      Thanks for stopping by, Jeff. Have a great time.

      -Dev

  4. kiki says

    This is a GREAT post! Thanks so much for sharing this.

    Great content is one thing, but the techy stuff like this really helps bloggers get the most out of their blog, and get the word out there.

    Much appreciated.

    kx

    • Devesh says

      Hi Kiki,

      That’s great to hear, ki. Great content is must, but one can’t ignore the techy stuff.

      Thanks for the nice comment, ki. Have a great weekend.

      -Dev

  5. Stacy says

    Thanks for sharing this list, Dev. There are some that I haven’t heard of and am going to check out!

    Stacy

  6. Amit Shaw says

    Currently i am using W3TC, Sumsh It its really awesome plugin for speed up your WordPress Blog. I never heard about #2, #3, #6 I would like to give it a try. Thanks Davesh for sharing the list.
    Thanks.

    • Devesh says

      Hi Amit,

      So glad I could able to help you. W3 Total Cache and smush it plays a great role in increasing the site speed.

      Thanks for the nice comment, Amit. Have a nice day.

  7. Clay Franklin says

    Great list. Smushit really increased my load speed. Still going for less than 2 seconds. I found some widgets like Klout were slowing it down.
    I just switched from akismet to GSAP last night. I’m getting more spam comments today but that is my own fault for listing my site on the do follow directory.
    Also Yoast stated that his Google analytics does not play well with Thesis so I have not installed it on my site that runs on Thesis.
    Good list referred to me by Ana.
    Thanks,
    @ClayFranklin

    • Devesh says

      That’s fantastic to hear, Clay. How’s GASP is doing for you?

      Ana is a fantastic blogger and I must thank her for referring this list.

      Thanks for the nice comment, Franklin. Have a great weekend.

      -Dev

  8. Scott says

    Cheers for the article – learned some things! I have a question regarding the cache. I have heard W3 Total is one of the best, but since I’m not totally competent at managing its features, Quick Cache is much simpler to handle. Do you feel one is better than the other regarding performance?

    • Devesh says

      Hi Scott,

      Quick Cache is a great option for not so techie users as it work out of the box with the default setting and do a perfect job. I know using W3 Total Cache might cause difficulties for the non-techie users but still it’s most powerful caching plugin out there.

      If you’re having a difficulty or issue with W3 Total Cache, than I would strongly suggest you to go with Quick cache.

      Thanks for stopping by, Scott.

      -Dev

  9. Ming@Passive Income says

    Great list Dev :) Checking out Simple Reach now. It is very stylish :) Will give it ago! How’s their CTR comparing to normal yet another post?

    Cheers,
    Ming

    • Devesh says

      Hi Ming,

      That’s nice to hear. You would love the Simple Reach plugin. It’s converting very well because of the algorithm it uses to slide out the post at the bottom of the page.

      The Related posts doesn’t do well, because it looks simple and every other WordPress blog uses it. I’d prefer to go with Simple Reach over YARP or Related post plugin.

      Thanks for the comment, Ming. Have a great weekend.

      -Dev

  10. Herbert says

    I have used some of the plugins listed above and indeed they all works like charm. This Foobar and Smush It seems to be promising. I think its worth a try :)

    Thanks for this one Dev

  11. Michael says

    Thank you Devesh for this great list. I used it while I was reading to install 2 plugins that I had heard about but had not implemented yet. I was so glad to see the Digg Digg had integrated pinterest into their lineup. A little thing maybe, but I was looking for an easy way to get all my social widgets lined up on one line. Very cool. Thank you.

    And I love the idea of the editorial calendar, already have been using that this morning.

    • Devesh says

      Hi Michael,

      Your welcome. I’m glad you found this list useful.

      Digg Digg is a great social media plugin and has all the social media buttons & features that one would need to add the social media buttons.

      Thanks for the comment, Michael. Have a great weekend.

      -Dev

    • Devesh says

      Hi Vijay,

      I’m using all the plugins listed above except GASP & WordPress SEO by Yoast.

      Thanks for stopping by.

  12. Matt says

    Wow really good selection of plugins and a nice mix too. I particularly like the SimpleReach slide, been seeing it on sites but couldnt figure out what it was or how it worked, until now! Thanks for that. The only thing missing is a security/protection plugin, how to beef up the security of your WP site. Maybe that can be your next blog post? :)

  13. Sunil says

    i have install the digg digg plugin on my blog… its awesome…..

    now i need a good security plugin….

    my Google search engine leads are getting redirected…. i don’t know why it is happening !

  14. Lina says

    Whenever I initially left a comment I clicked on the Notify me when new comments are added checkbox and currently each and every time a comment is added I get four email messages with the identical comment.

  15. Arjun says

    This helps me a lot! I have started a blog 7 days ago. I don’t have much plug ins. Now I have got idea what plug in I should install. Thanks!

    • Devesh says

      That’s great to hear, Arjun.

      Thanks for the comment. Don’t hesitate to contact me if you need help with anything related to WordPress.

  16. Sergio Felix says

    Hey Dev,

    Really cool list of resources man.

    Just one quick question though, do you use a plug-in for your upper right part (the social media widgets) or is that manually coded into your theme?

    Thanks in advance,
    Sergio

  17. Anson says

    Hello,

    Anyone know why ? the Digg Digg bar doesn’t show up? It is supposed to work with every theme correct?
    If anyone knows why it may not show up please let me know.

    Thanks!

    • Devesh says

      Hey Anson,

      Digg Digg works with every theme that follows the best WordPress Practices.

      I just checked your site and it seems Digg digg is working fine. You would need to increase the right margin.

      Another great alternative of Digg Digg is – Share Bar Floating plugin.

      Thanks for stopping by.

  18. jeni says

    I have used most of the plugins you listed down, but I haven’t tried yet the editorial
    calendar. It is very timely, this is one I am looking for. We are holding classes/events for
    insurance adjuster and I would like to post events through calendar. Currently I use event calendar plugin but found to be buggy. I will try this new plugin.

    Thanks for taking time listing down these plugins..

    • Devesh says

      Hi Jeni,

      I’m so glad I could able to help you in your insurance project. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a nice comment.

      Have a great weekend.

  19. Robin Jennings says

    There’s a good mix of reliable old Plug-Ins as well as some great new plug-ins I haven’t heard of. Great post.

  20. Mairaj Pirzada says

    Hi Dev,

    You Always Post Great Info, this one also inspired me! great List, thanks for the List, and want to Ask You that How Should I start with Building Email List, What Things will I need for it, what do you say about WP-AutoResponder! Thanks

    Regards,
    Mairaj Pirzada

  21. Steve Borgman says

    I always love descriptions of the best wordpress plugins. I’m using at least half of these. The slidebar plugin looks interesting; I may have to give it a go. Can you tell me how Thirsty Affiliates differs from Pretty Link Lite?

  22. Paul Mycroft says

    Thanks for this article. I wasn’t even aware of the first three.

    I recently started using Sucuri Security to harden any directories and scan the site for malware.

    Another silly but essential one is Duplicate Post. Not sure why it’s not built in to WP.

    Thanks again.

  23. Gajendran Megajolla says

    Hi Devash,
    Good article it helps me more, it is useful for poor bloggers,
    waiting for more information.
    keep sharing.

  24. Chris says

    Devash,
    Awesome post – thanks for taking the time to do this round-up. I hadn’t seen a lot of these.
    I’m not sure if it’s a plugin, but is there a plugin for the “You May Also Like:” article recommendations at the end of your blog posts? Looks like a really simple and clean integration.

    Thanks!
    Chris

  25. vinodh says

    thanks for the info. are these sufficient plugins?.
    what about all in one seo/easy wp seo/seo pressor.
    regards
    vinodh

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