The WordPress Plugin Directory is a treasure trove of free and free and free-to-try WordPress plugins. There are plugins ranging from short-spectrum functionality providers to broad-spectrum bug fixers.
If you are reading this then I assume you’ve been to the WordPress Plugin Directory at least once. Staring at the Most Popular section, you may have wondered, “Hey! That’s not very useful. I might never have to use it.”
While the Most Popular section perfectly reflects the most downloaded and talked-about plugins, it certainly does not reflect the most useful ones.
Here’s my choice of WordPress plugins that you actually need.
Top 10 WordPress plugins you actually need
Yup. You can’t avoid downloading this one.
This plugin connects your self-hosted WordPress website or blog with the actual WordPress.com. This means that you can login to WordPress.com and monitor your self-hosted WordPress site. JetPack provides realtime stats, Publicize feature, email subscriptions, social network connection, After The Deadline spell checking AI, mobile theme support and so much more. Thus, Jetpack by WordPress.com earns the first place in our top 10 WordPress plugins that you actually need.
This is one plugin that you can not go without. Click the heading for more information about its features.
When your WordPress website becomes more popular by the day, you can’t expect visitors to come by and check your website everyday. Now, you may be thinking, “Well, then I’ll just update my social network pages to inform them!” While that is a very good alternative, it is worth noting that the visitors are busy catching up with their social lives when they log on to social networks!
The best way to keep them informed is via newsletters and what better plugin for doing that than MailPoet Newsletters. This plugin provides a WYSIWYG editor to create marvellous plugins to leave your visitors dumbstruck (in a good way). The newsletters are automatically produced according to a schedule you set and mailed to your visitors. The newsletters are produced according to a template you set.
Believe me when I tell you this, It is EXTREMELY important that you generate and save regular backups of your WordPress website or blog. You may think that security breaches only happen to other people but wait till it happens to you. After spending countless months working on your website, only to see it hacked and overrun by someone… Gives me the creeps!
Most web-hosts provide automated backups but if you are one of the unfortunate ones to not have the automated backup feature then this plugin is for you!
Make this a rule for yourself, never ever host videos on your own WordPress website (unless you have some epic tier web-hosting). Videos eat up bandwidth and slow down your site. If somebody shares or embeds your videos elsewhere, again it’s your bandwidth at stake. Each time somebody views that video, it is your server that provides the computational power when someone views it.
The best alternative is to upload your video on video hosting sites like YouTube or Dailymotion. Then all you have to do is embed your video on to your website. It’s killing two birds with one stone! You get views on your YouTube and get videos on your WordPress website or blog.
The best way to embed videos on your WordPress site is by using Viper’s Video Quicktags. You can set the size, default quality, auto-play feature as well as the design of the video player. Sweet!
Use this plugin to spice up your posts. Shortcodes Ultimate provides thousands of completely customizable shortcodes. You can add things like buttons, tables, highlights, tabs, Google Maps and so much more!
The plugin adds a neat menu to your post editor. You can use this menu to add whatever you want.
The Coming Soon / Maintenance mode Ready! plugin is the best solution for your website, while it’s under construction. It adds a unique Coming Soon page that is displayed to visitors while the website is still in its development stage. You can completely customize the Coming Soon page to look like whatever you want. It hides the main website while it still in its ugly developement and/or maintenance stage.
Whether or not your website provides a lot of files to download, this plugin is a must to make it look professional. It provides neat icons for prompting users to download instead of a noobish ‘Click here to download’.
What’s more, it also provides statistics for individual files available for download. There are also various themes available for the download prompts which you can customize as you see fit.
This plugin is great for configuring redirects without having to mess around with your htaccess.
Quick Page/Post Redirect Plugin is very simple and easy to use. Just provide the link.
This plugin is extremely useful for advanced users only. Those who like to mess around with the PHP files face the hassle of using the default WordPress editor.
This plugin, when enabled, provides syntax highlighting, line numbers, full-screen editing and what not.
Do you want to keep your posts and content original? Do you want to stop bots and hackers from copying your content for their own use? Do you want to stop people from downloading your images? Then this is the plugin for you!
This plugin disables right-clicks and content highlighting. It even disables keyboard shortcuts like Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V. ‘Hold to copy’ feature on mobile phones also gets disabled. What’s more, it even stops tech-savvy users from viewing the source code. Copy protection at its finest!
There you have it folks! If you think that there are other plugins that should have been in this list then comment below.