WordPressWe think WordPress is a wonderful tool but is so much better with some of the best WordPress plugins. Here are our essentials and some favorites, updated for 2017.

Essential

1. MonsterInsights (Google Analytics)

MonsterInsights make analytics easy for WordPress. See how visitors find and use your website, so you can keep them coming back. Simply put, get stats that matter.

2. WordPress SEO by Yoast

It’s still hard to beat Yoast’s WordPress SEO plugin for getting your site to rank well in the major search engines. With some outstanding features, which are always being updated, it’s a must.

3. Contact Form 7

A really good contact form creator, which you can use to easily add forms to any page or post.

4. Duplicate Post

You know, small can be beautiful and this one just saves time! Have multiple posts? Use this to quickly duplicate an existing one that took you an hour to create then off you go.

5. Login Logo

By default, the WordPress logo is visible in your login page. Use this one to upload your own logo and brand your login page (you’ll need server access).

6. Display Widgets

This will allow you to display widgets on specific pages using a single sidebar. Without it, your widget would display on every page or post using that sidebar. For example, you might want to have a location map on every page EXCEPT the Contact page.

7. Post Snippets

Create common elements then easily add them to your site in multiple places. Want to make a change – do it in one place.

8. Gallery by Envira

A really nice photo gallery plugin, which correctly uses the Media Library rather than NextGEN, which does not.

Security

It’s important to keep your site as secure as it can be. These tools add another level to harden your website.

9. iThemes Security (formerly Better WP Security)

An excellent security tool with almost any feature you want available: database backup, hardening, notifications of attempted logins, malware scanning,

10. Sucuri Security – SiteCheck Malware Scanner

From those great guys at Sucuri, this one can scan your site if you have a malware attack and get the dreaded red screen of death by Google. You can also “harden” exposed directories with one click! It won’t PREVENT malware but will help you remedy a bad situation.

11. Captcha

Adds a small mathematical question at login, adds security to your site.

Just Cool

12. Shortcodes Ultimate

An outstanding plugin, which gives you so many cool features to easily add – columns, accordions, drop caps, tabs – all responsive too!

13. Menu Icons

Adds small icons to your navigation bar.

14. Coming Soon Page & Maintenance Mode by Seedprod

A handy tool for adding a holding page with a place to put your Google Analytics tracking code.

15. CryptX

Email harvesters are the scourge of the Internet. Just add an email address to a post or page and let this one automatically encrypt it so the address can’t be recognized by those harvesters.

16. Child Themify

Create “child themes” from any non-child theme at the click of a button, which means that if you want to make code changes to your theme, make them to the “child theme” instead to leave your main theme untouched.

17. LDW Mobile Contact Optimizer

Unbelievably cool tool, which easily add links (phone, email address and location map) available at all times at the bottom of your pages in a mobile device.

18. Post Expirator

With WordPress, you can schedule a post by putting a future date in but you can’t bring it down. Use this one to do just that.

19. Embed Any Document

Want to display a PDF or Word document visibly in your site rather than a download link? This will do it.

20. Better Search and Replace

This one is incredibly useful when you need to change links across your entire site, especially if you have just moved from one domain to another. It won’t, however, change links in your widgets so you’ll need to do those manually.

Don’t forget to make a donation to these fine plugin developers. Need help you with your WordPress site?

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