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23 useful WordPress plugins

23 useful WordPress plugins

Sandalsand is using WordPress as a blogging platform and content management system – and so are 60 million websites across the globe.

This post was first published on 18. October 2014 and has been updated with the latest developments.

WordPress is a versatile platform capable of handling just about anything you like. This is largely due to its free and open source technical base and not least the variety of themes and plugins available for integration.

Read why and how I moved into using WordPress.

My websites, Sandalsand and its Norwegian language sister Sandalsand på norsk, both use the Aggregate theme from Elegant Themes. In addition I have (as of 2017) 26 active plugins adding functionality to the websites. 

Over the last years I have tried a number of other plugins as well. Some ran into conflict with other plugins and had to be deleted, others did not deliver on their promises, and some were not updated by their makers and produced a future compatibility risk for the websites. Obviously some plugins come and go, others become so essential to running your blog or website that you will run into serious trouble if you deactivate or delete them.

Here is my present list. Deleted ones are not included.

 

PluginOfficial plugin descriptionMy description
All In One SEO Pack Out-of-the-box SEO for your WordPress blog. Search engine optimisation. I have made some basic adjustments.
Alpine PhotoTile for Instagram The Alpine PhotoTile for Instagram is capable of retrieving photos from a particular Instagram user or tag. Inserts Instagram images in a post or page (not much in use, might be dropped).
Broken Link CheckerChecks your blog for broken links and missing images and notifies you on the dashboard if any are found.Very handy. Runs in the background and checks all links.
Cookie Notice Cookie Notice allows you to elegantly inform users that your site uses cookies and to comply with the EU cookie law regulations.Pops up once a month to advise readers of my privacy policy. This is good web practice as well as to comply with regulations.
Elegant Themes Updater Enables automatic updates for all Elegant Themes productsAutomates updates to my theme.
Elegant Themes Support Creates a temporary account to use for support queriesThis is only because I use this theme.
JetpackBring the power of the WordPress.com cloud to your self-hosted WordPress. Jetpack enables you to connect your blog to a WordPress.com account to use the powerful features normally only available to WordPress.com users.A number of possibilities. I'm using only a few, like handling comments, a Twitter timeline and statistics.
MailChimp FormsMailChimp Forms to get more email subscribers. Subscribe your WordPress visitors to your MailChimp lists easily. By MailMunchUsed for generating new subscribers to my weekly updates. Useful and reliant.
Map My PostsDisplay a Google Map or Geochart visualization, using map locations associated with categories or tags.Categories (countries) are mapped and the number of posts are included.
NextGEN GalleryThe most popular gallery plugin for WordPress and one of the most popular plugins of all time with over 9 million downloads. By PhotocratiOne of my most important plugins. Handles all my 6000+ pictures. Works generally fine but makes the site slow.
NextGEN Gallery Image ChooserComfortable image chooser for the NextGEN Gallery. Based on g2image.Supporting plugin making insertion of images into posts much easier.
One-Click Child ThemeAllows you to easily child theme any theme from the themeUsed only once to make a child theme. I have made a few changes to my theme and a child is recommended to avoid problems after theme updates.
Print, PDF, EmailThe #1 Print, PDF, Email button. Stylish, full featured, customizable. Add custom header, footer, and more.Adds a more sophisticated environment around printing articles, a service to my readers.
Regenerate ThumbnailsAllows you to regenerate all thumbnails after changing the thumbnail sizes.Wordpress basic plugin.
Social Media WidgetAdds links to all of your social media and sharing site profiles. Tons of icons come in 3 sizes, 4 icon styles, and 4 animations.Visible on the right hand sidebar with a number of links to my other social media.
TablePressTablePress enables you to create and manage tables in your posts and pages, without having to write HTML code, and it adds valuable functions for your visitors.Works fine if you want a nice table in your post. Like this one!
Ultimate Tag Cloud WidgetThis plugin aims to be the most configurable tag cloud widget out there, able to suit all your weird tag cloud needs.This plugin handles my colourful tag clouds in the right hand sidebar.
UpdraftPlus - Backup and RestorationBackup and restore: take backups locally, or backup to Amazon S3, Dropbox, Google Drive, Rackspace, (S)FTP, WebDAV & email, on automatic schedules.Makes a backup to Dropbox and Google Drive.
Use Google LibrariesAllows your site to use common javascript libraries from Google's AJAX Libraries CDN, rather than from WordPress's own copies.Search engine optimisation. I read somewhere that this helps.
W3 Total CacheThe highest rated and most complete WordPress performance plugin. Dramatically improve the speed and user experience of your site. Add browser, page, object and database caching as well as minify and content delivery network (CDN) to WordPress.Optimising database by using caching. The most recommended plugin ever.
Wordfence SecuritySecure your website with the most comprehensive WordPress security plugin. Firewall, malware scan, blocking, live traffic, login security & more.An absolutely essential plugin (or type of plugin) to have on your site. You'll be shocked to see how many hackers it stops every day.
WordPress Database BackupOn-demand backup of your WordPress database. Navigate to Tools → Backup to get started.Not much in use as I use UpdraftPlus for all backups.
WP-OptimizeThis plugin helps you to keep your database clean by removing post revisions and spams in a blaze. Additionally it allows you to run optimize command on your WordPress core tables (use with caution).Optimising database by clearing unnecessary memory. Alright plugin.
WP-PageNaviAdds a more advanced paging navigation to your WordPress blogMakes navigation between posts easier.
WP-Pro-QuizA powerful and beautiful quiz plugin for WordPress.Presently only used on Sandalsand's Norwegian pages.
WPS Hide LoginProtect your website by changing the login URL and preventing access to wp-login.php page and wp-admin directory while not logged-inHackers are a constant frustration. This plugin may help divert their efforts to other sites.

 

 

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