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Best WordPress Plugins

Best WordPress PluginsWordPress is arguably the best Web publishing platform in existence. Since it was first rolled out in 2003, the free and open-source blogging platform/content management system has won the hearts of millions of Web publishers. It’s currently used in 19 percent of Alexa’s top 1 million websites, and handles 22 percent of all new websites created in 2012.

So why is it so popular? Well, aside from being completely free, WP has likely been embraced by the Web community for it’s extensibility. Thanks to the fact that it’s open-source, developers have created a massive library of WP plugins that allow users to do just about anything imaginable. The WP library currently has more than 22,000 free plugins available for download, as well as thousands of paid-for premium plugins. Don’t worry though, you don’t have to spend all day sifting through this massive catalog of great plugins – we’ve done it for you! Read on to see which WordPress plugins are our favorites. 

Slider Revolution

There are tons of sliders out there that’ll give your site a snazzy look, but none can match the wide range of customization options that Slider Revolution has. You can embed just about everything: simple images, text, 3D images, and videos; and you can add some killer transitions between them as well.

LayerSlider

LayerSlider is another slider plugin for your WordPress landing page that allows you to create gorgeous interactive sliders by using layers. It works with just about any HTML content you can throw at it: text, images, embedded videos, flash content, and any mixture of these that you can think of.

WordPress SEO by Yoast

WordPress SEO by Yoast
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Yoast is a dead-simple SEO plugin that helps your posts perform better in search engine results. Written from the ground up by WordPress SEO consultant Joost de Valk, it was designed to help improve SEO for your site in just about every way. Check the link for more info.

Global Gallery

You guessed it; this plugin lets you create an unlimited number of photo galleries on your site. It’s more than just a static array of pictures though; each one is fully responsive and easy to customize.

All in One SEO pack

With well over 12 million downloads, the All in One SEO Pack currently holds the title for most popular WordPress plugin – and for good reason. Among other things, it automatically optimizes your titles for search engines and allows you to override and set any title, meta description, or keyword that you choose.

Visual Composer

Just as you’d expect, Visual Composer allows you to compose WP pages and posts in a highly visual way. It gives you the ability to choose different types of media from a drop-down menu, and quickly arrange them into an aesthetically pleasing format. Follow the link and check out the video to get a better idea of how it works.

wpStickies

wpStickies
Image used with permission by copyright holder

wpStickies is an awesome image tagging plugin that gives users a simple way to interact with images on their site. Users can tag things with simple dots or tag entire areas by drawing a box around them. When users hover over these points, the information you specify is displayed in a bubble.

FontPress

FontPress allows you to customize the typography on your site quickly and efficiently. You can tweak fonts that appear anywhere on your page, and can change their style, color, size, line height, and shadow. 

After the Deadline

ATD is a spell checker plugin/digital grammar wizard for WP. If you’ve ever used MS Word, you probably have an idea what it does, but this little plugin puts Microsoft to shame. It uses contextual spell checking, customizable style checking, and intelligent grammar checking – all of which help you spend more time writing and less time editing your work. 

What Would Seth Godin Do?

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could distinguish between new and returning visitors to your site and offer a welcome to those who are visiting for the first time? That’s exactly what WWSGD does. It uses cookies to determine whether a person has been to your site before.

Hotfix

hotfix
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Hotfix helps WP work better by providing unofficial fixes for selected bugs. It won’t fix every bug you might encounter, but it does a good job of fixing the ones that matter. However, installing Hotfix will not eliminate the need for you to update WP every so often. 

Akismet

Tired of having your comment threads bombarded with spam comments for erection pills and herbal supplements? Akismet can help. It’s essentially a filter that blocks spam comments. Each time a new comment, trackback, or pingback is added to your site, it’s submitted to the Akismet Web service which runs hundreds of tests on the comment and returns a thumbs up or thumbs down.

UserNoise Pro

UserNoise is a plugin for gathering and discussing user feedback on your site. It’s got a simple, minimalist interface that’s incredibly easy to customize, and comes with the added bonus of giving you deep debug info each time feedback is submitted. 

bbPress

Designed by the folks who made WordPress, bbPress is a super lightweight forum plugin that’s lean, but powerful. Simple to install and even easier to use, bbPress lets users assign admins, moderate forum posts, and more.

Social Slider

Want to give users a simple way to share content on their favorite social network? Give the Social Slider plugin a look. It’s got tabs for over 35 of the most popular social sites, and is completely customizable.

W3 Total Cache

W3 Total Cache
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Studies have shown that page performance plays a big role in how long people stay on your site. To make sure that your site loads quickly, give W3 Total Cache a try. The plugin boosts load times and improves user experience via caching.

uPricing

If you sell a product or service and offer an array of different pricing or payment options, check out uPricing. It displays a stylish, professional, and fully interactive grid for your pricing plans, and allows you to insert any information you’d like. Check out the live preview to see it in action.

CSS3 Responsive Web Pricing Tables

This one is remarkably similar to uPricing, but it has a slightly different admin interface. 

SocialPop

Just about every card-carrying website on the net has buttons that allow users to connect with them via social media, and there are a number of plugins that’ll give these buttons some flair. SocialPop is easily one of the best in this category. It currently supports 27 different social networking sites, and will make buttons pop up when hovered over with your cursor. 

Sexy Bookmarks

SexyBookmarks is a lot like SocialPop, and looks incredibly similar. Made by Shareaholic, the plugin also offers a Classic Bookmarks plugin, as well as a plugin called Sassy Bookmarks that’s optimized for mobile devices.

Foobar

Foobar puts a simple and easy-to-customize bar at the top any page you choose, giving you a clean, minimally intrusive way to post notifications on your site. It can handle anything from custom HTML to social links and RSS.

Hello Bar

Similar to Foobar, but packing a different look to it, Hello Bar displays a customizable bar at the top of any page you choose. The plugin helps you drive traffic to specific areas of your site, promote certain posts, sell products, get email signups, or display links to social media sites. 

WP Touch

WP Touch
Image used with permission by copyright holder

This nifty little plugin will quickly create a version of your site that’s optimized for mobile access without modifying a single bit of code. It comes with all the requisite customization options you’d expect and gives users the option of viewing your pages in either the mobile or full-size format. 

upPrev

upPrev is a fantastic tool for keeping readers on your site. When users reach the end of an article or post, a pop-up will appear in the bottom right corner of the screen and provide links to similar stories for them to read. 

The Slide

Yeah, this one is essentially the same thing as upPrev, but looks a bit different. Want to see what it looks like? Scroll to the bottom of this page and you’ll get an idea. 

What do you think of our best WordPress plugins list? Did we miss something? Let us know in the comments below.

Editors' Recommendations

Drew Prindle
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Drew Prindle is an award-winning writer, editor, and storyteller who currently serves as Senior Features Editor for Digital…
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