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 2019.

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

Still a really good contact form creator, which you can use to easily add forms to any page or post. It now uses v3 of Google’s reCAPTCHA, which works in the background rather than with an “I am not a robot” checkbox. The paid Gravity Forms are amazing if you want a more robust form builder.

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. Updraft Plus Backup

Our new go-to free backup plugin, easily backs up your files, database, or both. We also use the paid Backup Buddy from iThemes to back files off-server (server corruptions happen, believe us).

6. Tablepress

Creates amazing tables with sorting capabilities, alternate row colours and much more.

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. Nice!

8. Envira Photo Gallery

A really nice photo gallery plugin, which correctly uses the Media Library. Great popup lightbox effects too.

9. WP Sweep

Cleans out old database tables, making your website much faster.

Security

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

10. 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,

11. 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.

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 – they grab visible email addresses from websites and add them to spam lists. This plugin automatically encrypts any visible email address (adds the words “at” and “dot” but leaves it clickable) so the address can’t be recognized by those damn harvesters.

16. Child Themify

A “child theme” (template) allows for customization to your website, which are not affected by future updates to you “main mother theme”. Create “child themes” with the click of a button. Easy.

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 easily schedule a post to publish on a future time and date (just add a future time and date, funnily enough) but you can’t bring it down on a future time and date. 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 via 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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