As a frequent WordPress user, I felt obligated to put together a list of 10 super duper useful WordPress plugins that I use on a daily basis that are very handy. Each plugin extends or adds a new functionality to the default WordPress system.
WordPress SEO by Yoast
This is probably the most popular SEO plugin for WordPress and for a good reason. It’s simple to setup, is packed with features, and overall has a non-intrusive interface. One cool feature is that it can also generate XML sitemaps so you can upload them directly to Webmaster Tools. In addition, it has a method of calculating how SEO-friendly your page or post is while you are editing it, so your aim will always be to make the little light turn green (as opposed to yellow, orange, or red).
Akismet comes with WordPress out of the box, but you still need to register an API key on Akismet’s website. Even if your website is not popular or getting a lot of traffic, I would still advise you to install and setup Akismet on your website or blog. The reason for that is because the spambots will always find a way to your website even before legitimate traffic does, and they will try to leave hundreds, if not thousands, of spammy comments.
Enhanced Text Widget
This is very similar to the default text widget that comes bundled with WordPress except Enhanced Text Widget supports more advanced stuff like PHP. This comes in handy when you need some basic level of dynamic code such as generating the current year for your copyright date in the footer widget. You could simply do <?php echo date(‘Y’); ?> to get the current server year that way you won’t have to change the year in your copyright line every January.
Captcha is a different “captcha” than what you’re used to seeing. It doesn’t have weird distorted characters that you can barely read. Rather, it simply asks you to solve a simple mathematical equation such as eight minus blank = 2. So you would have to get the correct value in the blank position. The good part about this plugin is that not only does it add the captcha to the comments, but also to your login page. That’s super handy in case you’re getting a bunch of bots trying to crack your admin password.
Visual Composer ($28)
Visual Composer for WordPress is not a free plugin, but it is a very handy plugin to have. Especially useful for people that are not comfortable with HTML code, Visual Composer allows the user to create a page layout by dragging and dropping various widgets inside the columns and rows that you create. And perhaps the best part about Visual Composer is that it is all responsive so your layout will be flexible and respond correctly to the user’s device screen.
If you need to do tabular data in WordPress in an easy to manage way, then look no further. TablePress is the perfect table plugin you’ve been looking for. Its interface is easy to use, and you can easily add, modify, and delete new rows and columns. It also has DataTables library bundles with it so you can have fancy sorting, search, and pagination in your table. That comes in especially useful if you have a very long table that’s hard to scan though.
Another premium plugin, LayerSlider is one of the most feature-packed slider plugins you will find out there. You can literally have any type of slider with it and it includes many fancy animations and transitions. It even has a responsive mode so that it can scale well on mobile devices. At first you might be a bit over-whelmed by its vast amount of features, but when you play around with it for a bit, you’ll get a hang of it and be glad that it includes everything that it does.
If you have a large website with many pages and features, sometimes it is hard to organize it all in the navigation. That’s where mega menus come in. But if you’ve used WordPress for a long time, you would know that mega menus do not come naturally with WordPress. There’s no easy way of getting it done. That’s why UberMenu plugin exists. It allows you to do spectacular mega menus that even go as far as embedding widgets such as maps, forms, tabs, and dynamic content in the menus. Can’t beat that!
W3 Total Cache
Caching is a boring subject for most people and that’s why W3 Total Cache plugin exists. You just install it, set it up once, and forget about it. This plugin will take care of all your caching needs including CDN connection, code minification, page cache, and browser cache. Every once in a while you’ll find yourself having to clear the cache which might be a little cumbersome, but easy nonetheless.
If you need to sell stuff on your WordPress website, WooCommerce is an excellent way to do so. It has so many features that it almost transforms WordPress into this big powerful e-commerce platform. And what’s even more amazing is that it has hundreds of available extensions for it. Yes, the WooCommerce plugin has additional plugins that extend its functionalities! When it comes to WordPress, sky is the limit and there is not much you cannot do and WooCommerce proves that.