Considering this blog has “Geeky” in its name, I really don’t write enough geek-related posts. Maybe I’m not the huge geek I thought I was? However, I recently read and was inspired by Stephanie’s 18 Best Free WordPress Plugin post, so I wanted to share a list of my favorite WordPress plugins as well :)
WordPress is the most widely used blogging platform today, and with good reasons – it’s simple enough that a complete html/css newbie could start blogging, yet powerful and versatile enough for any designer/developer to tweak it to fit their needs. I actually started blogging with B2 back in the early 2000’s, and migrated to WordPress when B2 stopped being supported. I’ve never even considered another blogging platform because WordPress already does everything I want, and if it doesn’t, well I know there’s a plugin out there that can. Here are my top 8 WordPress plugins that I love and highly recommend to any blogger:
The best spam filter, hands down. Spam comments and trackbacks actually hurt your SEO, so if you want to increase your search rankings, this WordPress plugin is a must.
Contact form, commenting system, related posts, social sharing, tiled galleries, you name it, this plugin has it. So instead of downloading 10+ different plugins, you just need this one.
If you have images in your posts, you should definitely have this plugin. It adds a nice “Pin In” button to all your photos (which you can customize), allowing people to easily add them to their Pinterest board.
This is a great WordPress plugin if you do product reviews. All you need to do is add a rating=5 to your post, and it automatically converts the 5 to hearts or stars!
If you design your own themes, this WordPress plugin is a must have. It’s a great way to test your themes on your site without disrupting what the reader see.
A caching plugin will improve your site’s performance tremendously. This one has plenty of features, from minimizing your js/css files to setting up a CDN to your blog. I’ve definitely noticed an improvement in performance after using this plugin.
I love the page analysis functionality of this plugin – it gives you a breakdown of the different items that affect your site’s ranking, and how well you’re doing for each one. Of course it has a bunch of other features like focus keyword, seo title, and meta description as well.
This WordPress plugin optimizes all your blog images without decreasing the quality. I’ve noticed anywhere from a 3% to 15%+ decrease in file size after I’ve “smushed” my images, which means faster load time for your readers.
That’s it? What about plugin XYZ?
I used to have a lot more plugins, but having too many can increase the loading time of your blog, which can actually hurt your SEO. When I installed JetPack, I was also able to remove a lot of plugins since JetPack already has those functionalities built in.
A while back I used to use Disqus for my comments, but I noticed that my comment count actually decreased when I switched to Disqus, and increased again when I switched away! I know a lot of people rave about it, but for me it increases the load time and I prefer to have control over the comment design.
Hope you found this list helpful! If you have any favorite WordPress plugins, please share in the comments below!