top-wordpress-plugins.jpg

Top 60 WordPress Plugins of 2014

WordPress powers over 150 million blogs online. It’s the fastest and easiest way to create your own website online. In fact, some of the biggest companies in the world use Wordress. Including the Wall Street Journal, CNN, People Magazine, and Yahoo.

Celebrities are doing the same. Richard Branson, Tony Robbins, Guy Kawasaki, Mark Cuban, and many others all run their blogs on WordPress.

WordPress has quickly become the industry standard. With thousands of themes to choose from, you can create a gorgeous blog in under 30 minutes.

But in this post, I want to show you how to power-up the engine with additional features.

So without further ado, here are the Top 60 WordPress plugins (listed by Category)…

Categories:


The Essentials | Social Media | Content Marketing | Build Your List | Statistics & Tracking | Images, Audio & Video | Membership Sites | Marketing |Selling Your Own Products | Other Cool Stuff

The Essentials:

WordPress SEO by Yoast – WordPress is pretty search engine friendly right out of the box. But you’ll want to fine-tune the engine using a plugin like Yoast WordPress SEO or the All-In-One SEO Pack.

Both of these are excellent options. WordPress SEO by Yoast is a bit more advanced while the All-In-One SEO pack is much easier to configure. So it really comes down to personal preference.

One of the things I do like about Yoast is the page analysis tool. On every post / page, this widget will analyze your content and give recommendations on how you can improve the copy for better search engine rankings.

Fast Secure Contact Form – A super customizable contact form that lets your visitors send you email.

BackWPup – This plugin allows you to easily backup your WordPress blog and restore previously saved versions. Simply choose a day, time and how often you wish to perform your backup. It’s then
automatically send to your Dropbox!

W3 Total Cache – If you care about the speed of your site, you MUST have this plugin installed. Quick Cache basically creates static versions of your pages so that they can be served to your visitors without querying the MySQL database. W3 Total Cache also allows you to easily connect to a CDN (content delivery network) to really supercharge your blog’s speed and performance.

WP Smush.it – Allows you to automatically optimize your image file size when uploading. It essentially ‘shrinks’ the size of your images without any loss in quality. Images can really slow down your page load times, making this an essential plugin.

Better WordPress Minify – Allows you to minify your CSS and JS files for faster page loading for visitors.

Disqus Comment System – Disqus is truly revolutionizing the blog comment system, allowing you to instantly turn your blog into a social media community. Disqus allows you to create a much more interactive blog community that connects seamlessly with all of the top social media sites online. Disqus also provides threaded comments, which allows your commenters to engage with other commenters directly, rather than replying in general to all. The threaded replies are indented, making it easy to track sub-discussions. They also allow for video commenting through Seesmic.

Pretty Link – This plugin allows you to cloak your affiliate links with ease. Pretty Link also allows you to track each hit on your URL and provides a full, detailed report of where the hit came from.

Better WP Security – Attacks on blogs have become more and more prevelant these days. It’s critical that you keep your blog safe with something like ‘Better WP Security’. Which makes it super easy to secure your site in just a few seconds.

Duo Two-Factor Authentication – Adds an additional layer of security to your blog. Rather than relying on a password alone, Duo Security adds a second step to the login to verify your identity. This is generally through your mobile phone. Highly Recommended.

Anti-Spam – I was getting hundreds of spam comments PER DAY before I came across this little gem. (a.k.a lifesaver). Anti-Spam is a free plugin that stops spam comments without a captcha.

Social Media

Facebook Like Box – Allows you to easily add a Facebook Like Box to your sidebar.

Digg Digg – Adds a floating share bar to your articles – making it super easy for your readers to share your articles on their favorite social media sites.

Floating Social Bar – For those of you who would prefer a horizontal share bar that scrolls down the page, this is the one for you. Maximize your social media shares without slowing down your site. You can see this in action at http://www.wpbeginner.com/.

Really Simple Facebook Twitter Share Buttons – Allows you to easily add Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Plus, Pinterest, and other share buttons above or below your posts.

Social Share Starter – Allows you to create social sharing buttons similar to those
on Mashable and Smart Passive Income. I must admit… they look pretty snazzy :)

NextGEN Facebook Open Graph+ – This one is a MUST-HAVE if you want to improve your presence on social media. The Open Graph plugin allows you to easily control how your posts look when shared on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and others. Allows you to customize your Open Graph data for Facebook. Setup Pinterest Rich Pins, Twitters Cards, and more.

Click to Tweet – Easily create beautiful Click To Tweet boxes anywhere in your blog post. Cool tool to instantly increase your retweets.

Tweet Old Post – Don’t let your old posts gather dust! Use this simple plugin to automatically drip feed your old posts on Twitter. No need for scheduling. This plugin allows you to generate a constnt stream of traffic to your website with minimal effort on your part.

jQuery Pin It Button For Images – Makes all of your images instantly ‘Pinnable’. “Pin it” button appears when a user hovers over an image – allowing them to quickly and easily share your content on Pinterest.

Triberr – Sends your posts directly to Triberr – allowing your Triberr teammates to instantly share your posts on their own social media platforms. Triberr is one of the best platforms for increasing your social media shares. To learn more about Triberr, click here.

NextScripts: Social Networks Auto-Poster – Automatically share your latest blog post on all the top social networks. Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Scoop.it and more. (Best plugin for auto-posting to numerous social newtorks)

OnePress Social Locker – Allows you to lock a portion of your content until a visitor shares the page on Facebook, Twitter, or Google Plus. You can use this to immediately increase your social shares. Have your visitors share your content to download a PDF, cheat sheet, or Part 2 of your article.

Social Metrics Pro – Track your tweets, likes, pins, and +1s directly from your WordPress dashboard. This social media dashboard allows you to monitor all of your social media activity in one glance.

Content Marketing:

WordPress Editorial Calendar – Plan an entire month’s worth of content using this free plugin.

Magn WP Drag and Drop Upload – Speed up the content creation process with this plugin. This plugin allows you to drag and drop images directly into your posts.

Building Your List:

Hybrid Connect – Turn your blog into a list building machine! Hybrid Connect allows you to add beautiful opt-in boxes anywhere on your blog. (In the sidebar, footer, inline with the content, and more) Also allows you to create highly effective pop-ups that will double or triple the number of subscribers you generate each day.

Optin Monster – Create smart pop-ups based on exit-intent technology. Also includes A/B testing, page level targeting, in-depth analytics, and more.

Welcome Gate – This simple plugin allows you to add hundreds of extra subscribers to your list each month by leveraging your home page traffic. So for example, if someone comes to your blog via Twitter. They read your article and then they click to go to your home page to see what else you’ve got. At this point they would be redirected to your Welcome Gate (once) where they are given the opportunity to opt-in to your newsletter or grab a free gift. You can see examples at Mixergy.com, AppSumo.com, and even the WhiteHouse.gov.

Lead Pages – My favorite tool online for creating squeeze pages, thank-you pages, webinar invite pages, and more. LeadPages also comes with a WordPress plugin that allows you to import all of your pages directly into WordPress.

WP Squeeze Pro – 24 Plug-N-Play Squeeze Page Templates. If you need a way to create squeeze pages quickly (but without the cost of Lead Pages), this is a great alternative.

Pippity – I couldn’t leave out Pippity as it’s what we use here at BuzzBlogger.com :) Elegant pop-ups with lots of advanced targeting features.

Statistics & Tracking:

Google Analytics for WordPress – Allows you to integrate Google Analytics with just a few clicks. Plus, adds lots of additional features to track additional data. Track outbound clicks & downloads. (Tracked as events within Google Analytics) Track pages views per author. Also allows you to easily track your affiliate links.

Google Analytics Dashboard for WP – Allows you to display your Google analytics data right inside your WordPress blog (admin dashboard).

WordPress Heatmaps – Generate heatmaps for your website to see exactly where people are clicking. Very cool.

Images, Audio & Video:

Audio Player – Simple mp3 player for all your audio needs.

Lightbox Plus – https://wordpress.org/plugins/lightbox-plus/ – You’ve probably seen them before. The popup box that darkens your website in the background. Creating a cool ‘movie theater-type effect”. Allows your users to view your content (images, slide shows, and videos) in a popup lightbox. Perfect for displaying your portfolio, view larger versions of an image, or a quick inline contact form.

Blubrry PowerPress Podcasting Plugin – Takes the tech headaches out of publishing your podcast. Creates an HTML 5 player with direct iTunes integration. Easiest way to publish a podcast on your blog.

Membership Sites:

MemberMouse – The Rolls Royce of membership platforms. MemberMouse is that near-perfect combination of extremely powerful features and a clean easy-to-use interface. This scalable platform allows you to sell unlimited subscriptions and products with 1-click upsells, downsells, and even one-click purchases INSIDE your member’s area. Integrates seamlessly with PayPal, Stripe, Authorize.net, Braintree, and Clickbank.

Paid Memberships Pro – A free WordPress plugin that allows you to setup an unlimited number of membership levels. You can do one-time payments, monthly subscriptions, free trials, paid trials, and more. Integrates seamlessly with Stripe, Braintree, PayPal, and Authorize.net.

Digital Access Pass – DAP is an extremely powerful membership platform for WordPress. They have a rich set of features, extensive documentation, and fanatical support. Some of the more advanced
features that initially attracted me to DAP were the 1-click Upsells and Downsells, the built-in affiliate program, advanced content dripping, and the built-in email autoresponders and broadcasts.

MemberSonic – This is one of the easiest membership sites to setup. The Setup Wizard allows you to configure your membership settings in under 10 minutes. But one of the biggest reasons I’ve included
it in our list here is because it integrates with JVZoo – one of my favorite affiliate platforms.

Simple Press – the number one forum plugin that integrates seamlessly into your WordPress website. If your membership site runs on WordPress (like ours does :) this is hands-down the best plugin for adding a forum to your membership site.

Shortcodes Ultimate – This free WordPress plugin allows you to easily insert buttons, icons, boxes, tabs, video, audio, notes and more into your posts. I love using this plugin to add premium graphical elements to our membership site pages.

Marketing:

WordPress Calls to Action – This is a super cool plugin that allows you to build your subscriber list, increase your sales, and improve conversion rates. Plus, you can also run an unlimited number of a/b or multivariate split tests to see exactly what works best. Find out exactly which banner design, position, or opt-in box converts best. This is by far one of my favorite tools for turning your blog into an optimized platform for leads and sales.

MailPoet Newsletters (formerly Wysija) – The premier WordPress plugin that allows you to send newsletters, post notifications, and autoresponders directly from the WordPress dashboard. Includes over 50+ Newsletter Themes. Integrates easily with SendGrid, Elastic Email,

OIO Publisher – The best platform online for selling and managing your ad space. You can rotate ads. Offer buyers a discount for buying several months of advertising. It’s a self-serving ad platform
without the high costs of a middleman.

Advertisers simply select the ad spot they want to buy, fill out their information (payment method, ad image, link, etc…). And the ad will immediately go live as soon as you approve it.

OIO Publisher even sends regular updates to the advertiser to let them know how well the ad is performing. With no work on your part. http://www.oiopublisher.com/

Split Test Dynamo – Easily setup A/B split tests directly within WordPress.

WP Affiliate Surge – Create plug-n-play promotional tools for your affiliates. This plugin makes it easy to create your own affiliate tools pages in ten minutes or less. Drag-and-drop your affiliate
tools onto the page. Plug-n-Play banners, tweets, emails, articles, and rebrandable reports all customized with your affiliate’s id.

Selling Your Own Products:

Easy Digital Downloads – The easiest way to sell digital products through WordPress. Integrates seamlessly with Stripe and PayPal. Many other payment gateways are available as add-ons. In-depth reporting stats. Discount Codes. There’s even an add-on for plug-and-play software licensing that allows you to sell WordPress plugins, themes, desktop applications, or any other kind of software. Also has add-ons to integrate with MailChimp, Aweber, MailPoet, iContact, and others.

Simple PayPal Shopping Cart – Sell your products easily with WordPress and PayPal.

WP Secure Link – Secure your download links so they’re not able to be shared around the web.

S3 Flow Shield – Protect your Amazon S3 videos.

Other Cool Stuff:

Cre-Animate – Create on scroll animations for any element on your website. Your images, text, buttons, and anything else on your page can fade-in, slide-down from the top, slide-in from the left, rotate-in, and more!

Q2W3 Fixed Widget (Sticky Widget) – This plugin allows you to create a ‘sticky’ widget in the sidebar that floats down the page as your visitor browses your website.

Theme Test Drive – Allows you to test drive any theme as an administrator, while your visitors contine to see the default theme. This is perfect for when you’re working on a new WordPress design but you’re not quite ready to go live yet.

Comment Redirect by Yoast – This free plugin allows you to redirect first time commenters to a custom page on your website. This is a great place to introduce yourself with a personalized video and point them towards your best content. It simply provides you another excellent opportunity to engage with your community.

Open in New Window Plugin – A simple but very useful plugin that ensures that all external links open in a new window.

Broken Link Checker – Get instant notifications anytime your posts, pages or comments contain a broken link.

WP Google Fonts – Allows you to easily add fonts from the Google Font Directory. Over 600+ fonts to choose from.

Do you have some other cool plugins we should know about?

Please share them in the comments below…

 


  • Killer list! I knew about most of these already but definitely going to check out Social Share Starter. I love the way those look. And I’m sure there’s at least some level of blindness towards plugins like Share Bar or DiggDigg at this point.

  • Awesome list Kim. I loved the use of categorization. Some of the plugins were new to me.

  • Great list! I use a lot of these and have only had major issues with Shortcodes Ultimate. I try to keep my plugins to a minimum to optimize loading, but this is an awesome list, thanks so much!

    • Thanks Carol! I’ve never had any trouble with Shortcodes Ultimate. It’s one of my faves. It’s probably conflicting with another plugin. And you are definitely right! You don’t want to overload on the plugins as it can slow down performance.

      • Yeah, I loved that plugin too – really cool features! :) Couldn’t get rid of the other ones, so had to let it go. Love Disqus commenting system, and you are the first one to tell me about that, so thanks!!

        • Oh very cool! Do you have the Optimize Press plugin on that blog by any chance! The Shortcodes didn’t play well with OP for us.

          • Actually, no I don’t, but thanks for checking! :)

    • Just a suggestion, the J-Shortcodes plugin does a similar range of jobs and is very stable, might be worth trying this as an alternative?

  • Marian

    Thanks for the nice list of useful plugins! I use also

    MaxBlogPress Ninja Affiliate on most of my blogs.

  • Al

    One that I like is Paper Template for making simple and quick squeeze pages.

  • I’d like to add WP RSS Aggregator

    http://wordpress.org/plugins/wp-rss-aggregator/

    This plugin allows you to publish news items from multiple RSS feeds in one page or post. I use it for my portfolio page to automatically show my latest posts from all of the blogs I contribute to. It’s great for freelance bloggers and guest bloggers to showcase all of their work in one place.

    http://kikolani.com/create-latest-posts-portfolio-page-wp-rss-aggregator.html

    • What an honor to see you here Kristi!! I’m a big fan of your writing :) Thanks so much for the addition!

  • Mission0ps

    Great list here Kim – Plenty to add to my WP Fav’s – As far as one I’d love to see on the list… SoreThumb for sure

  • Great post Kim! Found some new goodies here today! Aloha :)

  • As someone who tries to keep the addons down tot he pure minimum I found a few of these addons very useful. Has anyone used better WordPress minify plugin for minify options for CSS and JAVA? Does it work better than the W3 total cache options for the same task?

    • Syl

      For what i know W3 Total Cache isn’t suited for all websites because of it’s weight. If you’re on a sharehosting plan, you’d bette think about a smaller plugin and this one could be Worth it. About your question though, i don’t know if the results are the same or better, but i’ll give it a try and test it for myself.

  • Jim Somchai

    This is great and thank you for sharing this information. Is there a limit of maximum number of the plugins you can install to a site? I heard that too many plugins will slow down your site.

    • Hey Jim! You’ll want to limit your plugins as much as possible. 10-20 range. But… the bigger factor here are the plugins themselves. Some plugins cause decrease performance more than others. So it also depends on the specific plugins that you’re using. You can use ‘Plugin Performance Profiler’ to see if any specific plugins are slowing down your site.

  • Andrew Hunter

    Hi Kim!
    Thank you so much for selecting a couple of our products in your top 60 plugin list… I’m thankful and humbled.

    Andrew

  • Leslie

    Once again, amazing content Kim! I just downloaded and used Shortcodes Ultimate to add a buy button to my website. I really look forward to getting emails from you…thanks!

  • Tatiana Skach

    Kim, thank you very
    much for a great post & generous gift. Do you know a useful
    plugin that helps with WP’s Editor Fonts. I installed Ultimate TinyMCE, it
    does not help.

  • Virtual high-five for this list Kim – Thank you very much :-)

  • Thank you Kim. premium plugin OptinSkin for opt-in forms is also popular.

  • Kevin Kavanagh

    Top class information Kim , thanks for sharing your knowledge

  • Marlene Mcpherson

    I always enjoy your post and the information that you readily gives, this one is no exception.

  • As always, great information! I have been hosting with WordPress for over 4 years, yet I learned some great ideas from this post that I am going to implement today. Thank you, Kim!

  • Thanks Kim for posting this . Lots of very helpful info . Keep up the good work ;-)

  • Kristian Lee

    Thank you for doing all that research and then sharing! Some of these plugins and your great summaries gave me some ideas for my own WP site. Thanks!

  • Yey, I’m on the list. I mean, my plugin is. Thanks for featuring Social Share Starter! :)

  • Alexander Leo-Hansen

    Very nice and detailed list with all the best plugins. I foind some new plugins I will try on my website. Thank you! :)

  • Guy Porter

    Thanks for that list! I especially like the discussion about widgets to speed content delivery

  • Very good list, i like the greater focus on speed enhancing plugins, since this is an area often overlooked in WordPress, and slow sites are NOT cool

  • Detlev Artelt

    great post – some verrrrry useful tools…. thx

  • Michelle

    Great post thanks for sharing!

  • sounDesign

    wow, great great links, some of them were unknown to me, thanks for this list!!!

  • Elizabeth Hall

    I definitely use some of these and then there are others I haven’t heard of. Great comprehensive list. I hope poeple don’t try to install all of them. (I’m laughing as I write that.) It could happen. Thanks for the great info.

  • Great post, you have put a lot of efforts in publishing this post, deserves a share. :)

  • Elisabeth Kuhn

    Wow! What a great list, Kim! I will install that anti-spam plugin everywhere. And a bunch of the others too…

  • Julie Franke

    Excellent info, thanks! Glad to see several of my favorites on top :)
    While I’m sure everyone has their favorite list, I’d respectfully add Wordfence to the list too as a great monitor and security tool. Saved my bacon more than once on PHP trojans

  • Bill

    Thanks for the list. I spent all day yesterday looking for a mailing list and auto responder that uses the WordPress database. I see you chose the one I decided on which is good.

    I’d also (like Julie) like to add Wordfence to the list. I use it on all my blogs. Speaking of which I have over 45 of them so another plugin that’s a must for me
    is MainWP. It was for sale recently on WF but then they released it for free to the plublic (grrr) but it handles all the updates for all my blogs with one click plus does more.

    Updating 40+ blogs every
    day is a huge drain on my time. With MainWP I click one “Update all” button and it’s done. Wordfence send me an email telling me there’s an update and MainWP updates them all for me. You can post to all at once or one at a time as well as other features. You can slo set it to “autotrust” updates so they updates happen silently (if you trust the plugin).

    It’s been the biggest time saver for me since wordpress was invented so I thought it was worth mentioning.

  • Lara Carter

    Thanks for the list. There were a few here that I hadn’t heard of. I’m swapping to a custom built theme on a client site soon and am going to give “theme test drive” a try.
    By the way, there is a wee typo there – contine should be continue.

  • Awesome list. I use quite a few of these already such as Hybrid Connect. I will definitely look at adding some more.

  • Richard

    Thanks for the fantastic list! Installed three I never even heard of.

  • What a great list Kim! I think I’ve installed about half of these based on your recommendation!

  • This is a very good list. I do want to point out when I visit a site with the floating social media bar oftentimes it gets in the way of the content I want to read so I always end up leaving the site. Have you heard anything about this from others?

    • Hi Eva, I personally haven’t heard this before but I think the key is making sure that your setup for the floating bar doesn’t interrupt with the overall design. When setup correctly it shouldn’t interfere with the content itself.

      Thanks for your question!

    • That’s so true.Same with you. Call to action or social sharing buttons coming in the way of content is really irritating often leading the readers end up leaving the site.

  • Huge list, great effort thanks for sharing

  • Really cool Stuff

  • Great lists i love this, keep it up

  • Ah-mazing! now I have about 20 open tabs of plug-ins I will be downloading for my blog. Very useful post. Thank you!

  • Thanks bunches, I have a huge list to go through now and figure out what I need… haha, thanks!

  • Drew Cymatics

    Thanks for this :) Found exactly what i was looking for!

  • I wish I had found this a year ago. It took me a lot of energy finding the plug-ins I use. Although I use a couple of these mentionee or at least comparable. However not all is lost, I did implement a compatible version of the WP optimizer and I love the idea of the comment luv and comment redirect. Thanks

  • This post just helped me help a client of mine that needed a very complex form in their site. I was struggling to get 3 plugins to do the job, and it still wasn’t what they were looking for. After reading this, I downloaded gravity forms, and 2 hours later, their perfect form is up. They think I’m a genius! Thanks for this post!

  • Annie Martin

    Hi,
    For effective automation of social media their is an user friendly cross posting plugin name Blog2Social. A user can cross-post blog posts on social media automatically, customized and scheduled. It allows the post author to advance directly to the posting dashboard of Blog2Social Word-press, in which pre filled posting texts are provided