Knowledge Base

What Are Some Essential WordPress Plugins?

You’ve installed WordPress, added a beautiful theme, and now you’re salivating over thousands of plugins WordPress has to offer. But before you install a single plugin, read on!

Folks love to install plugins, sometimes several that do essentially the same thing. What’s the harm, you think. Well, for one, plugins use up resources and can slow down your site. They can also potentially open up security holes. They can cause conflicts. In short, they can wreak havoc if you’re not careful.

Fear not, I’m here to help! But first, do me a favor and uninstall the Hello Dolly plugin (shows random lyrics from Louis Armstrong’s “Hello, Dolly” on your admin page). If you miss Louis, print this photo and tape it to the top corner of your screen… it’s light on resources, conflict-free, and poses no security threat.

Louis Armstrong

With that out of the way, here’s a recommended list of essential and powerful plugins. Click on each to read about configuration and usage details. It isn’t exhaustive, as every website has its own custom needs, but it’s a great starting point. Just remember that some information can eventually become outdated so be sure to always check the provided links for the latest documentation.

  1. Adaptive Images for WordPress
  2. Akismet
  3. BackupBuddy
  4. FooBox Image Lightbox
  5. Genesis Columns Advanced (only if your theme uses the Genesis framework)
  6. Genesis Simple Share (only if your theme uses the Genesis framework)
  7. Gravity Forms
  8. iThemes Security Pro
  9. Jetpack by WordPress.com
  10. Magic Liquidizer Responsive Table (only needed if you have HTML tables in your site)
  11. Redirection
  12. TinyMCE Advanced
  13. VaultPress
  14. Widget Context
  15. Yoast SEO
  16. ZigTrap

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