One of the best things about WordPress is the ability to add plugins. Plugins are a great way to expand WordPress and adapt it to suit your needs. They are also easy to install and are often available for free.
Below are all the plugins that we personally use and recommend to all of our clients. Please note that a few of these links are affiliate links.
If you are looking to monetize your blog or website, then you will probably need a way to serve up advertisements. OIO Publisher is a very powerful plugin that adds a complete ad management system to WordPress. Best of all, it allows you to cutout the middleman (ad networks) and keep 100% of your advertisement sales.
The plugin allows you to set up automatic billing as well as track various statistics for your ads. It even allows you to serve up 3rd party ads when you have slots available so you can maximize your revenue.
Why Do Work
If you are running Google Adsense on your WordPress blog or website, you may find this plugin very useful. It allows you to control which posts you display ads in. For example, you can set it up to only place ads in posts that are older than 30 days (or any length you specify). This allows you to hide ads from your daily visitors and show up only to people who find your old posts (search engine traffic). It is a great way to squeeze better click rates out of your ads and make more with the Adsense program.
Search Engine Optimization
All In One SEO Pack
Of all the search engine optimization plugins available, we personally recommend the All In One SEO Pack. Not only does it allow you to specify certain meta information for each post and page, but it also allows you to control your title tags, keywords, and description of your home page.
Scribe is a brand new plugin that is now available for WordPress. It works on top of the All In One SEO Pack and gives you more than enough options to optimize your site for the best search engine results. Scribe also allows you to analyze your posts and gives you recommendations on what you should do to increase your results.
It is very useful tool, especially if you are new to search engine optimization. The post analyzation alone makes this plugin worth using.
Google XML Sitemaps
One of the best things you can do for your blog or website is a create a sitemap. A sitemap is essentially a list of all the different pages and posts that are found within your blog or website. You can then submit the sitemap to various search engines including Google.
The Google XML Sitemaps plugin will automatically generate a sitemap for you. It will even rebuild the sitemap automatically whenever you add or change the content of your blog or website.
Contact Form 7
One of the first plugins we install on every website we set up is Contact Form 7. It is a great plugin that makes it really easy to create, manage, and integrate forms into WordPress. It even allows you to create multiple forms, which works great if you have more than one page that requires a form.
Want even more power with forms? Gravity Forms is an awesome plugin that takes forms in WordPress to a whole new level. The plugin offers a handful of features including submission limits, form scheduling, and email notification routing. If you want the best bang for your buck, we recommend taking a look at Gravity Forms.
Membership / User Registration
One of the most common things people ask us is how we run our WordPress Crash Course. Believe it or not, we use WordPress for everything. We personally use Wishlist Member, which is a great plugin that allows you to use WordPress as a membership site.
The great thing about Wishlist Member is it used the built-in WordPress user registration system. You can set custom levels of access for different membership packages and charge accordingly. The plugin works with a handful of different payment systems including PayPal and Clickbank.
Security / Maintenance
WordPress Database Backup
Lets face it, sometimes things break. This is especially true for databses and websites in general. The WordPress Database Backup plugin allows you to schedule backups of your WordPress database. You can then have them emails to you or uploaded to your server.
We personally use this plugin on all of our sites and love it. The fact that you can set it up once and forget about it is great. You never have to worry about losing your website or database again!
If you ever need to make changes to your blog or website, you might wan to put up a maintenance page. Luckily this plugin will do this for you with the click of a button. Once activated, the Maintenance Mode plugin will put up a custom landing page that can be changed to suit your needs. It even lets you put a countdown timer if you know when you site will be back up and running.
Theme Test Drive
Much like the Maintenance Mode plugin, this plugin will make it much easier for you to make theme/design changes. Theme Test Drive allows you to activate a new theme but limit it only to administrators who are logged in. This allows you to work on your new theme right on your website, without bothering your readers. Once you are finished up, just activate the theme like usual and it will go live.
WP Super Cache
Is your blog or website running a tad slow? If so, the WP Super Cache plugin is just what you need. This powerful plugin generates static html files from your dynamic WordPress blog or website. After a html file is generated, your server will serve that file instead of processing the WordPress PHP scripts.
Looking For Something Else?
Head over to our WordPress services page and submit your request. We will be happy to help you find a plugin to suit your needs.