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Silva Web Designs Top 9 Best Plugins for WordPress

Every WordPress developer has a bunch of plugins they tend to install on pretty much every WordPress site they develop, and we are one of these people. These plugins give great solutions for caching, security and adding other improvements that build on WordPress core.

That’s the beauty of WordPress – there are loads of plugins to choose from and they are so quick and easy to implement. Some plugins are just a case of downloading and activating, others provide a shortcode which you can copy and paste within your pages and others is a simple as dragging and dropping a widget where ever you wish to display it.

With so many free and premium plugins available, how do you distinguish from the good and bad plugins out there?

Below you will find our selection of essential plugins, all chosen based on their usefulness, quality and popularity.


WooCommerce – excelling eCommerce

WooCommerce is a great plugin and is really quick and easy to install. It turns your standard WordPress website into an eCommerce store and creates all the necessary pages for you (My Account, Checkout, Cart etc). It allows integration with secure payment methods such as Bank Transfer, PayPal, SagePay and many more. With a huge range of features that can be quickly changed in the Control Panel, this is definitely one of my favourites because of the speed you can set up a fantastic eCommerce website.


Contact Form 7

Contact Form 7 is another plugin I use on pretty much every WordPress site I develop. You can manage multiple contact forms, customise the form and the mail contents and again, it’s really easy to use. The form supports Ajax-powered submitting, CAPTCHA, Akismet spam filtering and many more. All the form elements are generated for you so you don’t even have to know any PHP code. If your not already using this plugin for your forms, I suggest giving it a try now!


WordPress SEO by Yoast

SEO by Yoast is a fantastic platform for SEO. I have used this plugin on 100% of the WordPress sites I have developed and it is the only plugin I use in terms of SEO. If set up correctly, it will improve your site’s SEO on all needed aspects. WordPress SEO forces you to choose a focus keyword when you’re writing your articles and then makes sure you use that focus keyword everywhere, it also ranks the SEO of all your pages and posts from ‘Bad’, ‘OK’ to ‘Good’ so you know if your content is going to have any chance of ranking on search engines. The best feature about this plugin is that it even tells you how you can improve the performance of each and every page on your site. It may say things such as, you need to include

tags or include an outbound link on your page/post. You will learn a lot about SEO if you run this plugin on your websites.


WP Statistics

WP Statistics is a comprehensive plugin for your WordPress visitor statistics. It allows you to track statistics for your WordPress site without depending on external services and uses arrogate data whenever possible to respect your user’s privacy. On-screen statistics are presented as graphs and can easily be viewed through the WordPress admin interface. It also comes with widgets you can simply drag and drop on to your site to display your site’s statistics (optional). Overall, it is a great plugin with a lot of statistical information, it can track the IP Addresses of visits you have had on your site and even shows a geographical Google Map to display where you site views are coming from. I would definitely recommend using this one.


Add Logo to Admin

Add Logo to Admin WordPress plugin is a plugin I have discovered quite recently. It basically allows you to customise your admin by adding your own logo to the header. It also replaces the WordPress logo on the login screen with the same custom logo and works across all web browsers. It also gives you the option to add the logo you choose to the top left of every admin control panel page. It is a great plugin to use which gives clients you develop websites for that you have great attention to detail as it’s giving them a nice personalisation. The best thing about this is that it only takes about 10-15 seconds to set up!


W3 Total Cache

W3 Total Cache is a very popular plugin for WordPress with over 4 million downloads to date so far. Caching is the best way to easily improve your user’s experience without having to make any changes to your site’s content. It will definitely increase the page speed and overall sites performance. It’s one of those plugins that once you know about it, you will install it on every WordPress site you develop.


BulletProof Security

BulletProof Security is quick to set up, reliable and easy to use, it will greatly increase the security of your website and it is definitely worth installing.

BulletProof Security Features include:-

  • .htaccess Website Security Protection (Firewalls)
  • Login Security & Monitoring
  • DB Backup
  • DB Backup Logging
  • DB Table Prefix Changer
  • Security Logging
  • HTTP Error Logging
  • FrontEnd/BackEnd Maintenance Mode
  • UI Theme Skin Changer

NextScripts: Social Networks Auto-Poster

This plugin automatically publishes posts from your blog to your Social Network accounts such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Blogger, Tumblr, Flickr, LiveJournal, Flipboard, FriendFeed, DreamWidth, Delicious, Diigo, Instapaper, Stumbleupon, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Plurk, VKontakte(VK.com), YouTube, App.net, Scoop.It, etc. The whole process is completely automated.

If you know anything about SEO, you will know the Social Media Marketing is a huge element in the process. This plugin will save you so much time. All you have to do is write a new post and either entire post or it’s a nicely formatted announcement with backlink will be published to all your configured social networks. You can reach the most audience and tell all your friends, readers and followers about your new post. The plugin works with profiles, business pages, community pages, groups, etc. Messages are 100% customisable and adopted for each network requirements.


MailPoet Newsletters

This plugin allows you to create newsletters, post notifications and autoresponders. It gives you the option to send your posts, images, social icons in your newsletter. Change fonts and colours on the fly. Manage all your subscribers. Definately one of the best Newsletter / Mailing list plugin I have come across. I was always using MailChimp and Aweber before I discovered this plugin, and now there is no turning back.

This plugin does allow you to have 2000 subscribers and send unlimited emails to your subscribers without having to pay anything, unlike other Mailing List plugins I have found. Should you go over the 2000 subscribers, you can always opt-in for the Pro Edition of this plugin which allows 10,000+ subscribers and offers you a range of extra features, but it’s only worth considering this should you near the 2000 subscribers milestone.


There you have it, our Top 10 Best Plugins for WordPress, I have you have found this blog post to great use and have discovered some plugins you may have not even heard about before.

Let us know in the comments how many of the above plugins you are already using and any plugins you are using that you are surprised are not featured here.

 

Nathan da Silva - Profile

Posted by: Nathan da Silva

Nathan is the Founder of Silva Web Designs. He is passionate about web development and web site design. His expertise is WordPress & Magento as well as many other frameworks. Would you like to work with Nathan? Send him an email on [email protected]

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