This is a list of the WordPress plugins I am using after a few years of semi active blogging. I’ll list why I use them and what my opinion of them is so far. Also, this post will probably be updated once in a while when I add plugins or revise my opinion. I’m kinda surprised I haven’t seen this done much on other sites. If you have any feedback on specific plugins, or have better alternatives to suggest, feel free to let me know through a comment or through the suggestion form.
They way I got this set of plugins was relatively straightforward. I started with a blank installation and started adding plugins when I needed something WordPress didn’t offer. Naturally I often ended up evaluating multiple plugins for a single use, which is why I feel this list may be pretty useful to others. I might do separate posts on specific plugins in the future (if there’s enough interesting stuff to share about it). To find a plugin for a specific purpose I’d recommend using the default plugin search option in WordPress and paying close attention to overall score, number of downloads and when it was last updated.
One tip I’d like to mention: Lists like these (or top WordPress plugins lists) are great at figuring out which plugins are best for you. However, I’d recommend not paying too much attention to them if you are starting out. You can spend an insane amount of time just configuring / playing with plugins and writing no content at all. Or having spent time in configuring a plugin and when writing posts discovering it doesn’t work well or really isn’t that useful. And finally: You want to keep the number of plugins you use limited as most cost you performance in some way or another. That’s something I still need to look into myself (haven’t paid much attention to that so far).
Anyway, here is the list of WordPress plug-ins I now use. Do take into account that I’m in no way claiming these are always the best for the purpose I’m listing here. These are the one’s that are doing what I need and were the one’s I found:
|Adminimize||Yes||Right now I'm only using this to remove some menu options that Jetpack shows my users by default (which I don't want shown).||It's a bit sad I need a plugin to counter another plugin ;).|
|Akismet||Yes||To filter out spam comments||This is working wel so far, although the stop spammers plugin catches most of the comments first.|
|Broken Link Checker||Yes||To check for broken links.||Seems to be working well so far (haven't had any broken links yet). It even looks through the Tablepress tables.|
|Category Sticky Post||Yes||To mark a post as a sticky for a specific category (while it not being sticky on the homepage).||I have installed this one and I plan to use it to make a single sticky post for each category. I haven't produced the necessary content yet though.|
|Fast Secure Contact Form||Yes||For my suggestion form.||I initially used Jetpack forms, but that didn't have an option to use a captcha, so I switched to this one.|
|FooBox Free Image Lightbox||Yes||To have images in posts shown in a nice modal form instead of in a new page||I'd prefer one that you can use to view all images of a post at once, haven't found one like that yet though. And this was the fifth or so I tried.|
|Google Analytics Dashboard for WP||Yes||For the most detailed analytics possible.||I haven't gotten around to thoroughly checking out all the options google analytics has. This naturally uses a google service.|
|Infolink||Yes||To quickly add links to my blog posts.||I tend to go through a post and link the first instance of a specific term. This plugin makes doing that somewhat easier as you can select the text and search for a relevant link from within the post. I haven't used it much recently.|
|Jetpack||Yes||Multi purpose plugin||I'm a bit torn on this. Some features are pretty invasive, while others are pretty useful. So far it has been working pretty well; after I turned off some of the features and eliminated others with extra plugins. I'll need to reevaluate it's use eventually.|
|Login Logout||Yes||To replace the default meta widget||The default meta widget has a bunch of useless links. This replaces it perfectly with the minimum amount of fuss.|
|Menu Humility||Yes||To move Jetpack to the bottom of the menu.||A second plugin to combat Jetpack's default settings. This one makes sure Jetpack doesn't go above the Posts and Pages area.|
|My Category Order||Yes||To set the order in which the categories will appear in the sidebar.||One of the first plugins I installed. I use this to put the "By Subject" category before the "By Post Type" category on the left sidebar.|
|NextScripts: Social Networks Auto-Poster||Yes||To automatically publish posts to several social networks.||I'm very pleased with this plugin. You can publish to as many social networks as you want whenever you want (after setting them up ofcourse). With all kinds of options to do it optimally for that network.|
|Regenerate Thumbnails||No||To regenerate thumbnails for image attachments.||Apparently Wordpress doesn't have this option by default in the default gallery. This is necessary to do if you've changed any of your thumbnail dimensions. Otherwise your older images won't resize.|
|Shortcodes Ultimate||Yes||To be able to use spoilers / spoiler tags in posts.||Currently I only use it for it spoiler tags, but there seem to be some other useful formatting tags that may become useful later.|
|SI CAPTCHA Anti-Spam||Yes||To combat spam registrations / suggestions.||I'm using this to not get spammed with user registrations and fake suggestions. So far I've still had some registrations even with this active. Also it doesn't seem to work perfectly with the theme. I'll need to evaluate this eventually.|
|Social Login||Yes||To allow users to not register, but use an existing account from elsewhere.||Pretty powerful plugin. I'm pretty happy with how it integrates. Although I don't think anyone has used it yet ;).|
|Social Media Widget||Yes||To add a widget to my right sidebar with a number of links to my other web profiles.||I tried a few different one's and ended up liking this one best.|
|Stop Spammer Registrations Plugin||Yes||To stop spam registrations mostly.||This used to catch pretty much every fake registration that got through the Captcha. Support is being cut though, so I suspect I'll need to look for a new plugin soon.|
|Tablepress||Yes||To make these nice tables ;).||Customizing options could have been a bit better. But sofar I'm pretty happy with this plugin. I seem to need at least one table for most non spotlight posts.|
|Unattach||Yes||To unattach media items from a post||A small plugin that seems to fix a bug in Wordpress. Will need to check eventually whether or not I still need this.|
|UpdraftPlus - WordPress Backup and Restoration||Yes||Backup & Restore||This one really surprised me with the amount of different backup locations it provides and the free customization. Cloud backup requires some external setup. Excellent plugin.|
|WordPress SEO by Yoast||Yes||For search engine optimization / XML sitemaps||Pretty extensive SEO plugin which allows you to optimize every single page / post.|
These are the one’s I stopped using:
– Google Analyticator. The Google Analytics Dashboard gives more information immediately on your dashboard (and this one stopped working for a few days for unknown reasons).
– Google XML Sitemaps. The Yoast SEO plugin also has XML sitemaps which are comparable in quality, so I started using those. Which makes for one less plugin to use.