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The 30 Awesome WordPress Plugins To Boost Your Blog

 WordPress Plugins
If you have just started a new WordPress blog (you should start one if you haven’t) then it’s extremely difficult to find the best WordPress plugins as there are over 29,000 plugins available in the WordPress Plugins Directory. I’ve already featured the Top 25 WordPress Plugins, of 2012 and 2013, here and here respectively.
So this is my 2014 list and today, I’m going to feature over 30 plugins and these are my personal favorites. That said, I’m not currently using all of them as I try to keep the number of active plugins less than 20. Why? Because using too many plugins affects the performance of your blog. Also, a single plugin that’s flawed can degrade your blog’s overall performance and it may even impact your search engine ranking as Page Loading Speed is now one of the ranking signals used by search engines.
So make sure that you’re installing only the plugins that you really need. One easy way to check the credibility of a plugin is by checking its Ratings, Downloads, and Last Updated stats on WordPress.org and that’s why this time I’ve included these three stats of each plugin at the time of writing here.
I have tried my best to avoid listing two plugins that do the same job but I’ve mentioned the duplicates as “Alternative(s)” so that you can try them if you don’t like the one that I have featured here. Also, I’ve included some plugins as “Add-ons”, they’re not duplicates and they can be used along with the other plugins listed here.

Most Essential WordPress Plugin

I’m categorizing Jetpack as the most essential plugin as there’s no replacement for them. All the other plugins that are listed here have an alternative but there’s no alternative plugin for Jetpack as it features over 25 modules to manage almost all aspects of your blog.

1. Jetpack by WordPress.com

Jetpack is a super-plugin that brings the power of WordPress.com cloud to your self-hosted WordPress. You need a WordPress.com account to enjoy all the features of this plugin. It’s a must-have with over 25 unique features to turbocharge your blog like Free Content Delivery Network (CDN), Analytics, Social Comment System, Contact Form, Mobile Theme, and a ton of other features.
Plugin Stats
  • Rating: 3.9
  • Downloads: 8,306,050
  • Last Updated: December, 2013
It enables you to connect your self-hosted blog to your WordPress.com account so that you can enjoy almost all the power features normally available to WordPress.com users. Jetpack is a must have plugin for all WordPress blogs and that’s exactly the reason why it’s featured as one of the best plugins of all time. Some of the features of Jetpack include quick stats of your blog, notifications, social sharing, social comment system, comment subscriptions, proof reading, contact form, etc.

Comments

Try a new Comment System or improve the performance of the default WordPress Comment System.

2. Disqus Comment System

Disqus Comment System replaces the default WordPress comment system with a hosted system powered by Disqus.com. It’s the hottest comment system in the blogosphere as it increases the readership of blogs. The problem with WordPress comment system is spam. Period. But Disqus is a hosted platform that features full spam filtering, blacklists and whitelists. Moreover, the commenters are required to login before commenting. So, if you’re using Disqus Comment System then you don’t need any other WordPress comment plugins. That’s why more and more blogs are replacing the WordPress comment system with Disqus.

3. Akismet

Akismet is an essential plugin for any WordPress blog that uses the default comment system by WordPress.org. It checks all the comments and trackbacks using their web service for spam and moves them to your blog’s “Spam” folder. And hey, if your comments are always marked as spam by Akismet when you leave comments on other blogs, then you can use the tip mentioned in this article so that you’ll never miss a backlink.
Plugin Stats
  • Rating: 4.1
  • Downloads: 18,115,714
  • Last Updated: August, 2013

Add-ons

Apart from Akismet, you can also install SI CAPTCHA Anti-Spam or Captcha or Growmap Anti Spambot Plugin. SI CAPTCHA Anti-Spam plugin adds a CAPTCHA to your WordPress forms, Captcha protects your blog from spammers by using math logic and the Growmap Anti Spambot Plugin adds a checkbox below your comment forms so that your users will be able to post the comment only if it’s checked.
Alternative(s): Antispam Bee

4. CommentLuv

CommentLuv rewards your readers by placing a link to their latest blog post automatically at the end of their comment. It’s a good way to encourage your readers to leave regular comments and discover new content. It also helps to reduce the bounce rate of your blog as your readers come back to leave another comment.
Plugin Stats
  • Rating: 4.3
  • Downloads: 781,212
  • Last Updated: January, 2014

Web Analytics

See where your visitors are coming from and what they’re doing….

5. Google Analyticator

Google Analyticator adds the required JavaScript code to enable Google Analytics on your blog so you don’t have to edit the template files. It also includes several widgets for showing Google Analytics data on your blog or in your WordPress dashboard. Apart from that, Google Analyticator has the following additional features: Link Tracking, Event Tracking, Site Speed Tracking, Disable Admin Page Visits, etc.
Plugin Stats
  • Rating: 3.7
  • Downloads: January, 2014
  • Last Updated: 3,024,225

WordPress Optimization

And it’s time to optimize your WordPress blog for a great User Experience.

6. WordPress SEO

WordPress SEO by Yoast is perhaps the only SEO plugin that you’ll ever need. It’s the ultimate plugin for WordPress that allows us to optimize almost all the SEO aspects of our blog.
If you have enabled this plugin then you can eliminate several other plugins like – Google XML SitemapsPage Links ToRobots MetaRSS FooterBreadcrumbs, and your other Social meta-tag generators and SEO plugins.
Some of the features offered by WordPress SEO plugin are:
  • It checks whether a page is search engine optimized or not.
  • It enables XML Sitemaps, Breadcrumbs, RSS Optimization.
  • It lets you edit your .htaccess and robots.txt file from within WordPress dashboard.
  • It allows you to no-follow or no-index pages.
  • It allows you to define a canonical URL.
  • It allows you to redirect a page to any other page.
  • It offers Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ integration.
  • It’s multi-site compatible.
…and many other features.
Plugin Stats
  • Rating: 4.7
  • Downloads: 8,013,131
  • Last Updated: January, 2014
Alternative(s): All In One SEO Pack
You can try All In One SEO Pack if you don’t want all the advanced features offered by the WordPress SEO plugin. I guess most people prefer this plugin over WordPress SEO and that could be the reason why this plugin has over 17 million downloads.

7. W3 Total Cache

W3 Total Cache is the best WordPress plugin to increase the performance of your WordPress blog. It’s designed to increase the page speed of your blog thereby improving the user experience. You can use a tool like YSlow or PageSpeed Insights to compare the performance of your pages before and after installing this plugin.
Plugin Stats
  • Rating: 4.5
  • Downloads: 3,019,383
  • Last Updated: November, 2013
Alternative(s): WP Super Cache

8. WP-Optimize

WP-Optimize allows you to optimize and clean up your WordPress database without phpMyAdmin.
Plugin Stats
  • Rating: 4.6
  • Downloads: 752,579
  • Last Updated: January, 2014

9. WP Smush.it

WP Smush.it reduces image file sizes and improves the performance your pages by using the Yahoo! Smush.it API within WordPress. It follows the best practices by Yahoo for speeding up your blog.
Plugin Stats
  • Rating: 4.2
  • Downloads: 757,388
  • Last Updated: October, 2013

10. PuSHPress

PuSHPress adds PubSubHubbub support to your WordPress site, with a built in hub. So it will send the updates to your PuSH subscribers directly from WordPress. PubSubHubbub is the new standard by Google to let people and search engines know in real-time when your blog is updated and is a must have plugin to fight content scrapers. You can learn more about PubSubHubbub here.
  • Rating: 4.6
  • Downloads: 73,468
  • Last Updated: April, 2013
Alternative(s): PubSubHubbub

11. WPtouch

WPtouch is a mobile plugin that automatically enables a simple and elegant mobile theme for mobile visitors of your blog. It allows you to customize the appearance of your mobile theme without modifying the original code. And yeah, the visitors can always switch to the desktop version in one-click.
Plugin Stats
  • Rating: 3.9
  • Downloads: 4,811,070
  • Last Updated: December, 2013

12. WordPress Related Posts

WordPress Related Posts by Zemanta generates and shows a list of related posts with optional thumbnails and different styles to your readers. It also shows real-time page views, clicks, and the click-through ratio (CTR) in your WordPress dashboard. You can even customize the related posts that will be shown so as to improve the SEO and user experience.
  • Rating: 4
  • Downloads: 974,660
  • Last Updated: January, 2014

Add-ons

You can also try Outbrain, a hosted Related Posts plugin, that automatically shows your best content with thumbnails at the end of the pages to send your readers to other interesting content on your blog. As you can see, I’m using both WordPress Related Posts & Outbrain on my blog. Outbrain shows recommended posts at the end of each blog post while Zemanta shows related posts on the sidebar.

13. Popular Widget

Popular Widget shows the most commented or most viewed posts with thumbnails in a tabbed widget.
Plugin Stats
  • Rating: 4.3
  • Downloads: 60,891
  • Last Updated: November, 2013

Security

Secure your WordPress blog, now!

14. Better WP Security

Better WP Security is one of the most popular WordPress security plugin with over 1.5 million downloads. You can improve the security of your blog in one-click as it will turn on all the basic features of the plugin automatically without activating any features that may interfere with your other plugins or themes or content. What’s more? It also takes regular backup of your database (if it’s enabled by you).
Plugin Stats
  • Rating: 4.8
  • Downloads: 1,513,150
  • Last Updated: January, 2014
Alternative(s): Wordfence Security

15. Limit Login Attempts

Limit Login Attempts limits the rate of login attempts for each IP address and it’s fully customizable.
Plugin Stats
  • Rating: 4.8
  • Downloads: 465,314
  • Last Updated: June, 2012

Add-ons

You can also try Google Authenticator, an advanced plugin that enables two-factor authentication using the Google Authenticator app for Android/iPhone/Blackberry. If there’s any problem, you can disable the two-step authentication by simply deleting the plugin directory using FTP.

Backup

They say “The most expensive backup is the one you never did!” and it says everything.

16. BackWPup

BackWPup is one of the most popular backup plugin for WordPress with over 1 million downloads. It allows you to backup your complete WordPress installation to an external service like Dropbox, FTP, Amazon S3, Windows Azure, SugarSync, etc. Additional features include: Database Backup, WordPress XML Export, Database Optimization, Database Repair, File Backup, etc.
Plugin Stats
  • Rating: 4.3
  • Downloads: 1,094,620
  • Last Updated: December, 2013

Monetize

17. Ad Injection

Ad Injection allows you to add any ads into the WordPress posts, pages, or sidebar. You can add the ad codes directly, set the types of pages where you want ads to appear and it will inject ads to those pages. The plugin settings also allow you to set ad placement options like: you can show ads only to search engine visitors, block IP addresses, maximum ads per page, etc.

Add-ons

You can also try the new Google Publisher Plugin which is the first official plugin by Google for WordPress. With Google Publisher Plugin, it’s super easy to add AdSense codes anywhere on your blog without adding any codes or modifying the template files. What’s more? You can also verify your blog with Google Webmaster Tools with just one-click.
Alternative(s): AdRotateAdSense Manager

Social Media

Let your readers follow you or spread the word…

18. Shareaholic

Shareaholic is one of the most popular social sharing plugin for WordPress with over 2 million downloads. You can add attractive social sharing buttons and related posts widget to your posts, pages, or index. You can show the social buttons as a top bar or as classic buttons aligned horizontally. Wait, it also shows social analytics so that you can track the most popular pages, referral information, etc.
Plugin Stats
  • Rating: 3.5
  • Downloads: 2,078,292
  • Last Updated: August, 2013
Alternative(s): Sociable

19. Digg Digg

Digg Digg is a floating share bar by Buffer that adds all the popular social sharing buttons (Twitter, Facebook, Buffer, Google+, Pinterest, Pocket, etc.)  to your blog.
Plugin Stats
  • Rating: 3.5
  • Downloads: 808,476
  • Last Updated: July, 2013

20. Simple Social Icons

Simple Social Icons is an awesome plugin to show your social media icons that links to your various social media profiles. You can select the profile, customize icon colors, and can even adjust alignment.
Plugin Stats
  • Rating: 4.6
  • Downloads: 170,550
  • Last Updated: November, 2013

21. Pinterest Pin It Button For Images

Pinterest Pin It Button For Images adds a “Pin It” button over the images so that your users can pin your images to Pinterest in one-click. It’s an essential plugin if your blog has a lot of interesting images. For example, Recipe blogs, Travel blogs, etc.
Plugin Stats
  • Rating: 3.4
  • Downloads: 58,627
  • Last Updated: January, 2014

Newsletters / Lead Generation

Start sending newsletters, show your Call To Action banner, or let your visitors e-mail you…

22. MailPoet Newsletters

MailPoet Newsletters allows you to create newsletters, post notifications, auto-responders and helps you manage all your subscribers. You can easily drop your posts, images, social icons in your newsletters and can even customize fonts and colors.
Plugin Stats
  • Rating: 4.9
  • Downloads: 805,615
  • Last Updated: December, 2013

23. WP Hello Bar

WP Hello Bar adds a horizontal toolbar at the top of your blog. You can show a custom message and a call to action button to your visitors so as to get their immediate attention. Go create your Hello Bar here.
Plugin Stats
  • Rating: 3.7
  • Downloads: 6,413
  • Last Updated: December, 2012

24. Contact Form 7

Contact Form 7 is the best contact form plugin with over 14 million downloads. It can manage multiple contact forms and you can customize the form the way you want. Contact Form 7 supports AJAX powered submission and you can install this plugin to enable CAPTCHA or can depend upon its in-built spam filtering powered by Akismet.
Plugin Stats
  • Rating: 4.4
  • Downloads: 14,901,663
  • Last Updated: December, 2013

Create Tables

Want to create a beautiful pricing table or a comparison table in your blog? Try…

25. Pricing Table Ready

Pricing Table Ready allows you to create CSS pricing tables or comparison tables in an easy way. You can create and manage the pricing tables from your WordPress dashboard and can show on any page/post. It comes with 5 different styles to choose from.
Plugin Stats
  • Rating: 3.4
  • Downloads: 67,459
  • Last Updated: January, 2014
Alternative(s): Price Table | Pricing Table

26. TablePress

TablePress allows you to create and manage custom tables. It’s different from the pricing tables as it adds valuable functions for your visitors – like sorting column entries, search function, etc. and absolutely no coding skills are required.
Plugin Stats
  • Rating: 5
  • Downloads: 305,131
  • Last Updated: December, 2013

Miscellaneous / Random

These are not must-have plugins but you may need them at times. Hence you can definitely give them a try if it sounds interesting.

27. SEO Friendly Images

SEO Friendly Images automatically adds the “ALT” and “TITLE” attributes to your images so that your images will be SEOed and will get more traffic from image search engines.
Plugin Stats
  • Rating: 4
  • Downloads: 1,153,614
  • Last Updated: January, 2014

28. NextGEN Gallery

NextGEN Gallery is the most popular WordPress gallery plugin with over 9 million downloads. It allows you to upload and manage image galleries with powerful features like batch upload, albums, thumbnail creation, sorting, etc.
Plugin Stats
  • Rating: 3.9
  • Downloads: 9,163,570
  • Last Updated: November, 2013

29. Lightbox Plus ColorBox

Lightbox Plus ColorBox allows users to view larger versions of your images, simple slide shows, videos and content – all in an overlay.
Plugin Stats
  • Rating: 4.3
  • Downloads: 978,926
  • Last Updated: February, 2013

30. Simple URLs

Simple URLs is a complete URL management plugin that allows you create, manage, and even track external links on your blog. It uses custom post types and permanent 301 redirects to avoid performance issues.
Plugin Stats
  • Rating: 4.6
  • Downloads: 34,982
  • Last Updated: January, 2013

31. Redirection

Redirection helps you to manage 301 redirections and track 404 errors. It’s quite useful if you’re changing the directory of your WordPress installation or if you’re migrating to another domain name.
Plugin Stats
  • Rating: 3.9
  • Downloads: 1,553,469
  • Last Updated: December, 2013

32. Broken Link Checker

Broken Link Checker checks your blog (posts, pages, comments) for broken links and missing images and notifies you via email or on the dashboard if any are found.
Plugin Stats
  • Rating: 4.1
  • Downloads: 2,303,207
  • Last Updated: December, 2013

33. WP Google Fonts

WP Google Fonts plugin allows you to add fonts from the Google Font Directory to your WordPress theme. Google Fonts is a free font directory by Google.
Plugin Stats
  • Rating: 4.4
  • Downloads: 571,527
  • Last Updated: November, 2013

34. WP-PageNavi

WP-PageNavi adds a better and more advanced paging navigation to your blog.
Plugin Stats
  • Rating: 4.1
  • Downloads: 4,058,869
  • Last Updated: January, 2014

35. Liveblog

Liveblog enables live blogging on your existing WordPress theme. It’s an awesome plugin if you want to update your blog as quickly as possible – let’s say when you want to live blog an event – right from the front-end of your blog.
Plugin Stats
  • Rating: 4.3
  • Downloads: 12,128
  • Last Updated: January, 2013

36. Infinite-Scroll

Infinite-Scroll enables infinite scrolling on your blog so that when a user scrolls to the bottom it automatically appends the next page of posts via AJAX.
Plugin Stats
  • Rating: 4.4
  • Downloads: 166,568
  • Last Updated: January, 2013

37. Widget Logic

Widget Logic allows you control on which pages, a widget appears, using WordPress’ conditional tags.
Plugin Stats
  • Rating: 4.3
  • Downloads: 708,330
  • Last Updated: December, 2013
Gaurav Mahajan

Gaurav Mahajan

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