I originally wrote this article almost exactly 5 years ago. I was recently asked about plugin recommendations, and I realized I’d only written one article specifically recommending more than just one plugin at a time. I shared this article, but realized that three of the plugins on this list are things I wouldn’t recommend any longer.
Those two plugins are WordPress Firewall, Compfight and WebReader for Word Press. The first started messing with a couple of my blogs so it had to go. The second pretty much stopped working, which meant you had to go to their site to continue using the images they were highlighting from Flickr that you could use (go to Pixabay to find free images instead). The third might still be fine but the company went to a paid model and, though I’m not necessarily against paying for certain things, it turned out not to be mobile friendly so I discontinued using it.
Initially, I received an email asking me to write on this topic, which has never happened before I wrote this article. The request was more for what I use to stay productive or what I use for financial purposes. I don’t use any of that stuff for the blog (although I probably should think about it), so those won’t be things I’m talking about. Instead, I’m going to mention 10 plugins I don’t think I could do without, some of which I believe you should be using also.
1. Ajax Edit Comments. Let’s face it, no one’s perfect. Sometimes you make a mistake of some kind while writing your comment. This plugin allows people to edit and correct their comments within 5 minutes. If it took you longer than that to figure out you made an error, unless you left a truly epic comment, you’re out of luck.
2. All In One SEO Pack. Everyone has their favorite SEO plugin but I’ve stuck with this one. I used to hate it but I figured out how to configure it to give me what I want. The best feature is being able to write a description in if you don’t want the search engines posting the first so many words of your blog post instead.
3. Broken Link Checker. This is a great plugin if you’re been writing on your blog for a long time and either linked to outside sources or had people who commented no longer having a live blog. The only problem with it is that if you leave it on all the time it’ll eat up your resources and slow things down. I turn it on once every 3 or 4 months, let it do it’s thing, then go through the list to decide what has to go or what might need changing, since it also looks at your own blog’s links.
4. CommentLuv. I have the premium version, but that’s no longer available so get the free version, which has been updated by someone new. Its best feature is showing current or previous blog posts of your commenters. It’s what helps folks, including myself, decide whether we want to visit those blogs to read what the writer has to say.
5. Stop Spammers. Anyone who knows me well knows how much I hate spam. This plugin not only stops spam using its own filters, but allows you to st up other things you don’t want to see or places you don’t want to receive spam from. It’s helped to reduce the amount of spam I get around here, but in reality there’s so much spam coming my way daily that it’ll never be perfect… but it’s pretty good.
6. Limit Login Attempts. You know hackers are always trying to get into your blog right? It’s one reason why it’s always recommended that you change your admin name and have long passwords.
This plugin allows you to set how many times a person gets to try to get in before it shuts it down for however many hours you set it for. Also, after so many sessions you can shut it down for… well, 999 hours if you wish. Sure, they might have it automated, but even with that it’ll take them forever to get in, even if your username and passwords are weak.
7. Simple Share Buttons Adder. You need to have share buttons on your blog to make it easy for people to share your stuff. After AddThis decided to go wonky and make you create an account on their site (so they can charge you for stuff later on) I found this one and it’s perfect. You can even customize how it looks.
8. Wordfence Security. I started using this plugin about 6 months ago when my firewall plugin started going wonky. This plugin is more comprehensive in what it offers in protecting your blog in many ways.
It has a firewall, which was the most important reason I added it. It has its own process for logon protection, which you can use if you don’t want to go with the standalone plugin I mentioned at #6. It’ll scan your blog for security issues as well as tell you which plugins you have haven’t updated in a while. It’s got a lot going for it, and there’s also a premium version that offers even more protection.
9. Smush. This used to be called WP Smush, but that version sometimes messed up with WordPress upgrades. In general terms, this plugin gives you the opportunity to reduce the size of most of your images already on your blog and reduce the size of images before you add them to your newer blog posts. This definitely helps your mobile speed, especially if you use it with the last plugin I’m recommending.
10. WPtouch Mobile Plugin. You’ve heard that Google is now looking for websites to be mobile friendly correct? This plugin does the trick. If you don’t change a thing just adding it makes your blog pass muster. There are a few font choices you can make, but it turns out a couple of them takes you out of their good graces.
Those are my present top 10 plugins. What are you using that you might recommend to replace what I’m recommending above?