After almost two years of using a variety of stock plugins, I have amassed a collection of 15 of my all time favorite WordPress Stock Plugins. These are the plugins I install on almost every site, stock. This comes after numerous updates, use, and research of other collections.
Yoast is the WordPress SEO guru. He is renowned in the WordPress community for whipping sites into shape, and creating the ultimate SEO guides. This plugin simply optimizes your WordPress site for search engines or Search Engine Optimization (SEO). This plugin tackles the following items…
- Post titles and meta descriptions
- Robots Meta configuration
- Permalink clean up
- XML Sitemaps
- RSS enhancements
- Edit your robots.txt and .htaccess
- Clean up head section
Because this plugin was developed by Yoast it covers a lot of bases and still runs light. All around great plugin.
One of the default must-haves for WordPress. Have collaborative authors, bots, or hackers causing mischief on your site? Akismet keeps spam in check, and makes your site squeaky clean. What more do you want? If you need some extra help check out some of my .htaccess hacks. Included is a ban list of some nasty IP’s/users.
Produces Jquery Lightbox scripting to your site. Gives you that cool blown-up image view when users click on an image. Automatically attaches itself to all images on your site and also gives you some options under the appearance tab. You can select different styles, or just leave it at the defaults.
A very fast caching engine for WordPress CMS that produces static html files. This allows pages/posts on your site to be cached as appose to being called from the database. This might not seem like much, but on higher traffic sites, this plugin will help keep load times down and server stress low. Gives you options on what to cache and how often, so you can make sure the homepage gets special attention. Caching can be user defined as well, so you can remove caching for your most lucrative users. Includes CDN integration and has been noted to work better and faster than W3 Total Cache.
Let’s be honest, the built in excerpt control for WordPress is lacking. Any excerpt plugin should help. I like this one because it is simple and east to manage. Control excerpt by character or word count, remove and keep html markups, override custom excerpts, and control it all under the settings tab. For SEO purposes, auto excerpts are usually bad, but most clients like to cut corners and why not at least give them some automation. Something is better than nothing.
No one likes broken links especially the Google bots. This plugin continuously scans your entire site and notifies you of links that have dropped off the deep end. It will list the URL, the post, and all link son your site. This is a nice little fail-safe plugin to have installed.
Extremely powerful social plugin, and it’s free! Adds share icons, follow links, Facebook likes, Twitter Tweets and other buttons on your site displayed exactly how you want. In addition to adding buttons to each post and page, you also get access to drag-and-drop widgets that list social buttons for users to follow you. This widget will grant you visibility on social networks, which is key for any growing blog. Save yourself some time and install this plugin.
I am looking into alternatives to this one. This plugin seems very taxing on my page loads. Anyone know of a better solution that is free?
Custom post types are a new include for WordPress 3.0 and newer. They allow you to call your Posts something other than a “Post”. This allows WordPress to become a full-featured CMS. You can also create custom page types as well as custom taxonomies. Super powerful plugin, but works best when included with the Simple Custom Post Type Archives.
Also, I have made a short tutorial on using this plugin, so check it out if you want to start using custom post types.
This is a super powerful plugin for multi-user sites. This plugin let’s you maintain user roles and privileges to the max. Control what users can do, and what they can see. Everything is controlled under a neat admin panel. This plugin also supports custom post types which is a huge plus for those full featured CMS sites. Check out the link above to read more.
Made by Yahoo!, this plugin automatically compresses images and removes their meta data to cut down on file size. With this plugin installed, it will automatically do this when media is uploaded to the WP library. Extremely helpful when you have a multi author site and users don’t always compress images.
The WP e-Commerce shopping cart plugin for is an elegant easy to use fully featured shopping cart application suitable for selling your products, services, and or fees online. It is fairly easy to use and style. With additional 3rd party plugins that attempt to create add-ons to WP e-Commerce, this plugin is pretty versatile and tested. Standard for any shop site.
This plugin adds 16 plugins to TinyMCE: Advanced HR, Advanced Image, Advanced Link, Advanced List, Context Menu, Emotions (Smilies), Date and Time, IESpell, Layer, Nonbreaking, Print, Search and Replace, Style, Table, Visual Characters and XHTML Extras. Basically this beefs-up the default visual editor to allow for some more easy to use code implementation. Great for any WordPress site.
This plugin replaces all the default WordPress widgets in an effort to give you more options and control. This plugin replaces the following…
- Bookmarks (Links)
- Navigation Menu
This is a pretty beefy list that really goes a long way in keeping work minimal and quality output high. From SEO to powerful widgets, these plugins are sure to make your WordPress CMS a classy workhorse. I would love to know what you use! Feel free to post a comment below and recommend (or un-recommend) plugins. Thanks!