Essential WordPress Plugins for the New Blogger

must-have-wordpress-plugins
Oh no, yet another WordPress Plugin list. Stay with me a minute though. With this article I’m going to list the basic elements blogs have setup and offer different WordPress plugins that you can utilize for each part. I’ll list the features of each plugin and why you would want to use them. Go get your pen and paper ready new bloggers! It’s going to be a lot of information.

Note: Most of the plugins in this list are free. I do have a few affiliate links for premium plugins. I have clearly listed them with (affiliate) next to the link. Even though I will receive a bit of money if you do make a purchase – I recommended them in the list because I actually use them! 

Before you go through this list. Please make sure to do your own research before implementing any plugin or making a purchase! Find out from your Host if they will even allow you to use the plugin before trying to install it.

Table of Contents:

WordPress Security

With so many attacks on WordPress sites lately it is important that you have a good security plugin installed onto your new site. This will save you a lot of headaches and time if you do this before its too late. I personally suggest using either of the two below. Only choose one of them to run as you will run into issues if you attempt to load both on your website.

wordfence-logoWordFence - Although initial setup can seem daunting at first. It is well worth the effort to get this installed and setup correctly. What I really like are the built in statistics that display who and what is attempting to accessing your website. Then you can setup custom firewall rules to stop them from accessing your website. It also has an option to unlock additional features if you decide to go with their pro offering. A few of the features it offers:

  • Malware Scanning – With the plugin it will scan your entire site to see if it has been infected by Malware.
  • 2 Factor Authentication – You can setup the plugin so you receive a code to your smartphone in order to be able to login to your website.
  • Stop Brute Force Attacks – Limits the amount of times a person can attempt to login to your Admin backend of WordPress
  • Real Time Monitoring – With its real time logs you can see who or what is visiting your site and block them in real time.

ithemes-security-pro-logoiThemes Security – Formally known as Better WP Security this plugin does more than just scan and prevent brute force attacks. It will try and mask or hide elements of your WordPress site to offer a deeper level of security. Before using this plugin. Make sure to read their installation guide and make sure to backup your database! They also offer a premium service as well. A brief highlight on what this plugin offers:

  • Obscures – Provides ways to hide or remove elements of your site that potential hackers look for.
  • Protects – Actively scans and detects possible malicious threats to your blog.
  • Recovery – Performs backups of your WordPress database in case you do get hacked you can easily get your website online.

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WordPress Backup

If you don’t have a backup or are currently relying on your host to do it? You are already doomed to fail. The harsh reality today online is the odds of your site getting compromised are pretty good. So you need to have a backup plan in place so you can get your site back up to snuff as quickly as possible. Sure you can backup your website manually. But will you remember to do it? Here are a few solutions that will perform backups for you so you don’t have to stress about it.

backupbuddyBackup Buddy – This is the industry standard from other WordPress developers I’ve worked with and talked to. WordPress developers and people who manage a lot of sites use it. Although it does require an investment to using the service. If you only have the one site and a smaller budget? You might want to invest in something like:

codeguardCodeGuard - OK, I know this isn’t a plugin. It’s an online Cloud backup solution. It does start at only $5.00 / mo for a single site. I use this for my own site here at avgjoegeek. Its a great solution that takes daily snapshots of all of your files and can be setup to backup your database as well. Then you can go back in time and restore their snapshots if you need to. For all of the features and why I love it so much you can read the review I did on it awhile back.

Back WP Up Free – If you still want a free solution? Then you can use this one. I have issues with trying to rely on WordPress to backup itself. You have to rely that the host is up, the WP CRON job will kick off. Or that you push a button manually that you forget to press. Also you will need to check and make sure that plugins like these aren’t storing copies on your host taking up all that space.  This plugin offers the same features as Backup Buddy:

  • Allow you to backup your Site and Database
  • Store on Drop Box, Amazon S3, Backup FTP Server, Microsoft’s Azure
  • Backups in zip, tar, tar.gz, tar.bz2 format (needs gz, bz2, ZipArchive)

Note: You should pull down and test your backups! You never know if they failed. This is why I setup a demo WordPress site on my host. But you can set one up locally as well.

 

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SEO – Search Engine Optimization

Otherwise Search Engine Optimization – this is where you make sure you have your website optimized so search engines can easily navigate through and index your content so it can be displayed in their Search Engine Results Page (SERP). While it is very easy to start going overboard here. There are a few plugins that will help make sure that your site is optimized correctly. But these are just tools to help. They are not the magic pill to get you to #1. You will still have to provide killer content and then promote it!

yoastseoWordPress SEO by Yoast – I’ve been using this plugin since the beginning. It has so many features that Yoast created a post a definitive guide on how configure it! I personally suggest using this plugin to help make sure that your site is optimized ‘just right’ for Search Engines. Yoast does offer a premium version as well. A few of the features that I really like:

  • Setup of Social Media and adds the necessary Meta Tags, OG Tag for Twitter Cards, Pinterest, Google Plus, and Facebook
  • Google Publisher and Authorship markup.
  • Sitemap that is highly configurable on how you can set it up so Search Engines crawl what you tell them to!
  • Built in Page Analysis – Checks to make sure you didn’t forget anything and offers helpful suggestions on how to improve your post.

Warning: Do not focus too hard on SEO! You could ‘over optimize’ the article which then reads terribly and could get you penalized by Google!

allinoneseoAll-In-One SEO – This plugin is a more simplified version of performing SEO Optimization. This plugin has also an integrated version for WooCommerce. My preference is Yoast only because it does everything I need in one place vs. this plugin which optimizes titles and articles. It doesn’t include the additional functionality such as markup info, xml sitemap, or the built in Page Analysis tool.

 

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Ad Banner Management

If you are going to be using Ad Banners or wish to sell banner space on your blog? You will need some management plugins that allow you to setup and easily manage them. There are two that I highly recommend using for this. Although there are a ton of free options that work fine. The two below are a great investment that I have used either on this site or other projects.

maxbanneradsproMax Banner Ads Pro (affiliate) – I use this plugin here on avgjoegeek. If you want an excellent banner management system and don’t plan on selling advertising? This is the best plugin I’ve found out that does it.  This is the beauty of this plugin. You can setup widget areas, ad banner rotation based on weight, timed banners that expire. It does that and a lot more. If you want to learn more check out the review I did on it before you go out and purchase it.

oiopublisherOIO Publisher (affiliate) – Now if you wish to sell advertising on your website? This premium plugin is the one that can take away all of the hassle involved in doing just that. You’ll setup your advertising areas on your blog and let this plugin handle the rest. People can sign up and manage their advertising and upload their images. Although the backend and subscription pages can use a little work – they are functional at least. Ad subscribers can even check how the ad is performing on your site. From how many times it was displayed, to how many visitors clicked on the ad, and get an estimated CTR % as well. It is well worth the $47.00 investment!

For the Month of May 2014 – You can use the following code to receive $10 off of your purchase! Copy/Paste the following code during checkout:  SPRING14-AJG

 

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Images

You should always optimize your images. Another important consideration when it comes to images?  You should always save them in the best format that balances quality vs. image size. When using images you should save it as the proper image type such as .gif, .jpeg, or .png. Some reasons why you will want to use an image optimizer to begin with:

  • File Size – You always want to make sure your images aren’t in the megabyte region. I try and keep mine to under 200 kb and even that can be considered pretty big if I have 5 images on the page at that size. It grows back up to 1 MB.
  • Site Speed – You want to provide the best experience for visitors. So having optimized images is one of the ways to ensure your page will load quickly!
  • Backups – If your backup is huge? It will take forever to perform and take up massive amounts of space. Since you only have a finite amount of space in the Cloud or even on your local hard drive. This will definitely help here too.

Tip: Use the size types set for your particular theme. Make sure that the images you use are re-sized appropriately. This will save a lot of space and you know your posts will have properly formatted images.

smushitSmush.it – This plugin uses the Yahoo Smush.it service to optimize your jpeg/png/gif images. I currently use it for avgjoegeek. I like the plugin – but I do not like how it wants to enable itself by default when you install it.

Tip: If you find images are taking some time to show up after installing this plugin? Go to Settings -> Media and uncheck the box that tells it to Smush upon uploading. I also don’t recommend using the Bulk Smush.it option especially if your on a shared host such as HostGator. The connection might time out (especially if you have a LOT of images) and even worse you could corrupt them.

ewwimageoptimizerEWWW Image Optimizer – This does the same as above. It uses a different service mechanism to perform the image optimization. It allows for ‘Bulk Optimizing’, Optimize images upon upload and all the rest. Another feature that I do like is the ability to turn JPEG into PNG. Though.. there are instances where you will want the quality of the JPEG and not want to convert it…

I’ve tested both – and they seem to do about the same in terms of optimizing for file size and not sacrificing quality.

bj-lazy-loadBJ Lazy Load – Now that you have your images optimized? Make sure that they load in the background while your content displays first. I’ve tried other plugins like this. This one seems to be the most compatible/user friendly out of the bunch.

 

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Reviews

This is only if you plan on doing reviews of products and services on your website. If not? Then move onto the next section. A lot of people perform reviews though on their blogs. Especially when it comes to the technology/gaming niche. If your going to do reviews then there is only one plugin that I can recommend.

author-hreviewAuthor hReview (affiliate) – I use this plugin here at avgjoegeek. I really do like what it does. Although I’m not fond of the pricing at $49/yr for support and updates. It is still the best one out. With it you can get the review markup onto your site. On the bottom of the posts you will get a big review window with a short summary of whatever you are reviewing. You can use the button it provides to link to either your article or to an affiliate link as well. It also has a nifty sidebar widget (look to the right here to see what it looks like).

As of this writing I just received an email about an upcoming new product by the Author. So.. I might wait to make the purchase! *sigh* Click on the link to take you to the page and the update information as well.

 

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Affiliate Links

Affiliate sales is my #1 money generator here at avgjoegeek. And it is for a lot of bloggers too. The issue? You get these long ugly looking URL’s in which people can alter and you end up losing out on sales because of it.  There are two plugins I highly suggest getting if your going to be offering any type of affiliate sales.

Tip: Make sure that you never use the “CLOAK” feature as its considered a TOS violation to Google and to the affiliate programs you sign up for.  Also use “NO FOLLOW” for any of these types of links to avoid receiving a penalty from Google.

gocodesGo Codes – This is a free link converter plugin. Although this plugin hasn’t been updated in a long time. You can use it to turn any long ugly link into into the following example: http:// www. example.com/go/examplenamehere. Then you will need to remember the link and insert it manually wherever you wish to display it.

Go Codes  also offers an important feature of adding the ability to “No-Follow/No-Index” affiliate links. Which is a good thing! The update also changed the use of 302 redirects to 301 which shows Google that the link is a redirection to wherever you are pointing it. This will help solve the potential for duplicate content that might have happened when using 302 redirects.

pretty-linksPretty Links Lite- This plugin does all of the above and more. With better reporting. Use of either 301 (permanent) or 307 (temporary) redirects for handling links. I do recommend using this plugin over the other two mentioned because of the rerouting it will use for links. Also it will allow you to create clean links instead of having the ‘go’ in the url your using to link to your affiliates.

Another feature that I really like is the bookmarklet it has that you can drag to your browser. Now you can create “Pretty Links” on the fly at the click of the button! If you want additional feature such as social sharing with Twitter, or advanced reporting? You will need to upgrade to the Pro (affiliate link) version of the plugin. Click on the link provided to learn about the additional features you’ll get with the Pro version.

Warning: I would be careful using the Keyword look up feature to automatically place links. Less is more if you don’t manage it correctly you could end up slowing down your site considerably as well. I recommend manual placement of any affiliate links.

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Related Posts

Although I did a pretty in-depth review of related posts already I’ll give you a brief rundown here as well.  Related posts plugins are great ways to keep visitors interested in your content and get them to stay longer on your website. If setup correctly and not filled with the latest gossip junk? They are a great way to keep “eyeballs on the page” as it were.

Note: I have personally started noticing the same ‘banner blindness’ where visitors will tend to skip over them. So make sure to keep an eye on how effective they are for you. If they aren’t doing their job? Find a different method/format to use or remove them completely.

yarpYARP Plugin – Yet Another Related Posts plugin is a favorite to use from the WordPress repository. With it has a widget feature to allow you to display related posts based on the different parameters you setup.

 

outbrainOutbrain - If you get a LOT of traffic? Then this is the plugin for you. With this plugin you will get your content shared across their network to other websites who use the plugin. If you don’t have a lot of traffic? It’s still useful for displaying related content. Just don’t expect it to share across other sites.

nRelate - I use nRelate here at avgjoegeek. I like it as it is customizable, it does a fair job of displaying related posts. And it takes some of the load off of the server to help with load times. You can also monetize the section using their ad services as well.

linkwithin-logoLink Within – This is just like nRelate without all the bells and whistles. If you want a simple related posts plugin then this is it.

 

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Social Media

I love Social Media and what it has done for me with avgjoegeek.net. If you aren’t using it to promote your site? Your missing out on huge potential for networking, promotion, and traffic. So your new blog definitely needs to make it as easy as possible for visitors to be able to share your content! My only issue? I don’t like most of what is out there. They are either too bloated, too many options, or they just don’t work.

shareaholic-logoShareaholic - This one has been popular for quite awhile. It has a ton of options, placement settings, analytics, and the list goes on and on. The only thing it doesn’t have is a floating sharebar that a lot of blogs like to use out of the box.

 

diggdiggDigg Digg – This is a really simple social share bar that resides on the left or right side of your blog. Brought to you by the folks over at Buffer. It will ‘float’ along with the blog post so people can quickly and easily share the article. Some people have issues when they implement Cache plugins such as W3 Total Cache. So make sure to test after you implement it to make sure it works.

wpbeginnerWP Floating Sharebar – Another solution is this one from WP Beginner. It is pretty light weight. It looks and works great. And it will float on the top part of your blog articles so people can share with their favorite social media sites. I was using this one until quite recently even.

I’m testing out a new one that looks like it will be even better… but its still in testing. So I can’t really tell you more about it until its done. :)

 

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Commenting

There are many ways to change the default Comment system in WordPress. From third party plugins, to integration of Social Media such as Google Plus or Facebook. It all depends on where you receive the most engagement on which one you would want to use.

commentluvCommentLuv (affiliate link)- Although I have changed my stance on allowing “Do-Follow” links down in the comment section. I still think this is a great premium plugin. With all of the configuration settings it has it is a great way to get other bloggers to leave comments, allow them to leave a link, add a Twitter account, and more. Its other ‘behind the scenes’ plugins such as GASP, and Anti Backlink plugins help defend against SPAM. And you can setup customized emails to ensure that those who comment stay in the conversation. It is $97 though to get all of this.

livefyreLiveFyre – It has changed over the years and has evolved into a great polished comment system. If you don’t like what CommentLuv has to offer? Than I suggest taking a look at this one. It has some great features – I especially like the popout where you can continue the conversation outside of the normal reply form.

disqusDISQUS - I did a review on this free comment system awhile back. I’m using it here at avgjoegeek.net (for the moment). You really need to be on a decent host for it to work correctly. Why? Well it pulls everything from their servers and it can cause issues if your server is overloaded or poorly optimized. That and super aggressive caching might cause some issues as well. I do like this comment system as people can login multiple ways. And I have a means to moderate through email or through the DISQUS website.

comments-evolvedComments Evolved – This has become my second favorite free plugin to use for commenting. If you receive a lot of engagement through Facebook or Google Plus? Then this is a very simple plugin to setup and use. What is even better? You could use all of the above along with G+ and Facebook and have a super overboard tabbed comment section! I would suggest only using two at most. The more choices people have… the less chance they will actually make one and leave a comment.

 

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WordPress Maintenance

If you want your WordPress site to remain in tip top shape? You need to perform some basic maintenance to keep it that way. The database will end up getting cluttered with junk over time and it will affect how fast your website performs. I have an easy to use safe solution for performing basic maintenance though:

wpoptimizeWP Optimize – I’ve been using this plugin ever since I first installed WordPress. It is the one plugin that I definitely use for all the websites I run and manage. Why? Its a ‘one-click’ solution. You don’t have to worry about breaking anything when you use it. And it just works!  It has been updated quite a bit since I started using it.

What does it do though? It goes through your WordPress database and removes any Post Revisions, Unapproved Comments, SPAM, and will even try and use the Optimize Database feature if its available which will do some additional tweaks for you.

Note: I suggest that you avoid clicking the boxes outlined in red and you should be OK.

 

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WordPress Optimization

This last section is for helping you speed up your websites load times. How fast will your own site be if you implement these plugins? Unfortunately I can’t answer that due to how many different variables involved.

I highly suggest you take a moment to read the post I did on my own adventure with trying to speed up WordPress load times. Then you will get a better understanding of what I’m talking about.

w3totalcacheW3 Total Cache – This is a great all in one plugin solution to use for setting up Web Caching, minify/compress your CSS, JavaScript, and HTML. It will also integrate with popular CDN Services such as MaxCDN and CloudFlare. It has even offers more advanced features if you can use APC/Varnish caching.  Even though it sounds complicated? It really isn’t. The good news is depending on your host – you might already have a tutorial waiting for you on how they recommend you set it up!

Note: They have introduced a “Pro” Service as well. If you run a Genesis theme and have the budget for it? They promise that with their pro service they can optimize your site to load even faster. I haven’t tested it so I would do additional research.

wpsupercacheWP Super Cache – This is another great solution with less features. It will handle all of the cache duties and even will help you link up your CDN services. It doesn’t offer any type of minify handling with your CSS or JavaScript though. For that I suggest getting this other plugin listed next.

Note: This is the plugin that HostGator recommends you use. I would take a look at their tutorial on how to set it up as well. This will prevent possible issues that might arise if you set it up incorrectly. (Such as suspending your account!)

betterwpminifyBetter WP Minify – There are a lot of these types of plugins out there. I have the best success when I use this one. It isn’t the best “beginner” plugin out there. It is one of the best for minifying your CSS and JavaScript. It will also move .js files to the bottom of your page so your content will display quicker. I’m really hoping he gets his next revision completed and released. It is going to be even better than what it currently is!

Tip: Make sure to use just the JavaScript ‘name’ i.e. “jquery” and not the entire path to what you wish to have moved inside of the plugin. Otherwise it won’t work!

 

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 Wait? No JetPack?

Nope. No JetPack. Why? I love big plugins that that can do everything. There is a certain point when a plugin becomes TOO big though. And JetPack has hit that point. Most people just want the analytics from it (hint: Use Google Analytics instead) or they tend to use bits and pieces of it never utilizing EVERYTHING it has to offer. Not only that – it bogs down your websites load time! There are better alternatives out there for what JetPack does. Hmm.. I foresee an upcoming article on how to do that!

Conclusion

WOW – This is a huge post!  I didn’t originally intend on it growing the way it did! This article didn’t even touch on the other 30,000 + plugins that are available!  These are the ones that I have personally used or recommend though.

Now its your turn! Do you have a better one that you would recommend instead? Did I miss one? Don’t mention sliders… I don’t recommend them either lol!  Leave a comment below if you have any questions about the list. Or if you need help? I can offer that as well!

Image Copyright: gopixa / 123RF Stock Photo

Related
  • Constantin Druc

    WP3 total Cache isn’t realy a must have plugin, at least not for newbies and you can make your blog a do-follow by simply editing some of your code. No plugin necesary there.

    Thanks for WP-optimize. I really needed something to clean my db.

    • http://avgjoegeek.net avgjoegeek

      Constantin – thanks for dropping by.

      I agree looking back after writing this that WP3 Total Cache is probably not for the new blogger. I do think it is needed though – especially if you have a ton of javascript, a huge *.css file, and you want your page to load fast.

      As for the DoFollow code? You are correct – some can change it with a few lines of code. But the new blogger probably won’t know that. This is a simple script to ensure your blog is DoFollow friendly.

  • Kris Edison

    wp popular post doesnt work on mine. But as an alternative, good alternative, try BAW popular post.

    • http://avgjoegeek.net avgjoegeek

      Kris – thanks for the visit and the tips. What isn’t working for you for WP Popular Posts? I know for me I had to use the “Featured Image” option in order for thumbnails to be displayed on the sidebar.

      I’ll have to take a look at BAW Popular Post.

  • Kris Edison

    sometimes,w3 cache causes failures. I really don’t know a lot about it but i won’t suggest it for newbies too unless he/ she knows w3 terms.

    • http://avgjoegeek.net avgjoegeek

      Kris thanks for dropping by!

      I agree looking back on this that w3 Cache is probably a little advanced for the “new” blogger.

      But I still think it is essential to have your site load as quickly as possible. I just swapped it out from WP Total Cache – which although it worked was a complete pain when I needed to make changes on the fly.

  • Nishadha

    Thanks for this awesome list. I have heard about most of them and have them installed in my blogs. First time I heard about Linkwithing and minify though. Will definitely give those plugins a try.

    • http://avgjoegeek.net avgjoegeek

      Nishadha – Thank you for stopping by to visit! I stumbled accross LinkWithin and it was exactly what I was looking for!

      Minify is definitely needed to try and get your pages to load quicker. This is another tool though that should be for a WordPress blogger that has a decent understanding of what it does before installing it.

  • Amit Shaw

    Hey Great List. My fav is CommentLuv and thanks for listing it on this list. :)
    Thanks for sharing the list avgjoegeek.

    • http://avgjoegeek.net avgjoegeek

      Amit – thanks for stopping by! Good luck with your contest on blogengage. Comment Luv rocks – I’m glad that I purchased the Developer edition so I can use it on future projects!

  • Suraj

    Hi,
    Thanks for sharing this wonderful article. It helped me gain a lot of info.

    • http://avgjoegeek.net avgjoegeek

      Suraj – thanks for stopping by avgjogeek.net! If you have any questions let me know and I’ll be happy to try and answer them.

  • Andrew

    fantastic post i really enjoyed reading it, it is filled with such valuable information. Thank you for sharing this post.

    • http://avgjoegeek.net avgjoegeek

      Andrew, thanks for dropping by. Glad you enjoyed it!

  • web development

    Word press seems to become one of the most favorable platform for all those webmasters who are in any way lack in some technical knowledge. I will vote Word press for its rich resources of plugins. They really rocks, even I have heard Google spam engineer Matt Cutt recommending Word press platform.

  • Sarah

    Great list! I have to agree, Contact form 7 seems to be easiest and most most straightforward contact form plugin and I will definitely be trying out WPtouch. Thanks!

    • http://avgjoegeek.net avgjoegeek

      Sarah – thanks for visiting! Glad you enjoyed the list! WP Touch is easy to setup and it looks good enough for a quick solution for mobile users. Also you can monetize it with Adsense if you wish as well!

      • Saksham Talwar

        I’d choose Gravity Forms over WPCF7. It’s simpler, has more features and not to forget premium support which is why I like it more than WPCF7! :)

        • http://avgjoegeek.net avgjoegeek

          I would too – but I like free that works :)

  • Raaj Trambadia

    Agree with all EXCEPT the first one! How I hate Akismet! CommentLuv Premium does all the work for me, and other thousands of people! When I used Akismet, in about 6 months my spam folder said – 300. And after using CommentLuv premium, I haven’t got 1 spammy comment! It’s worth buying!

    • http://avgjoegeek.net Jason Mathes

      Raaj, Thanks for visiting the site! I use and love CommentLuv as well. The built in spam protection is great. But askismet has been doing a fair job of blocking the spam comments.

      I’ll have to try turning it off and see how much spam I get. Hmm.. I wonder if it has been filtering out “real” comments?

  • shadab

    I did not use any cache plugin before. Now, I have installed the W3cache plugin and hope it will reduce our blog loading time. Thanks for your valuable post.

    • http://avgjoegeek.net Jason Mathes

      It should speed things up considerably. Make sure you are using the minify app as well. What theme/framework are you using for your website? If it is Thesis make sure it is updated to 1.8.4 as that has further optimization’s built into it now.

  • guidi593

    nice info..i install all plugin but w3 total cache cannot install..

    • http://avgjoegeek.net Jason Mathes

      What is the error you get with W3Cache? Sometimes it depends on the server your hosting from that needs to be updated/tweaked to get it to work right. There are other simple versions of this plugin but they don’t work quite as well as this one!

  • Becca

    I think installing comluv premium had it own advantages – I think the investment for that plugin really worth.

    • http://avgjoegeek.net Jason Mathes

      Becca – thanks for dropping by! I agree CommentLuv has been the best investment I’ve made. I have the Developer license so if I decide to start another blog I can use it there too!

  • http://www.blogginglove.com/ Ravi Chahar

    Hey Jason,
    I really like the list of plugins you have mentioned.
    May I know which social share plugin you are using?
    I would be thankful to you.

    ~Ravi

    • http://avgjoegeek.net/ avgjoegeek

      Its still in beta. I’ll be doing a review as soon as its released. Still has some work that needs to be done.

  • Adrienne

    Wow Jason, awesome post and you’re right it’s not yet another post on WordPress plugins.

    I do a plugin post each year because people use to ask me all the time what plugins I use so I just update it yearly since we all know that things change. At the same time though people are searching for plugins to use and which ones are recommended for what so I think these types of lists are still very important. I think people need to know the pros and cons of course so thanks for all the details with this one.

    I see only a few I use because I think less is best and I don’t use JetPack either! ;-)

    Great job!

    ~Adrienne

    • http://avgjoegeek.net/ avgjoegeek

      Adrienne – thanks! I went through and ‘re-purposed’ the post as it was pretty .. well it was crap when I originally wrote it a few years back. I’ve been on a mission to re-do the content I have and try and improve them.

      I’m considering turning this into a page instead of a post where I don’t have to swap the date when I do a major revision now lol.

      I admit I have a very bad plugin problem. I love plugins. Why? Because if I have the work being done using a great written plugin (which is important) if I change themes? I don’t have to reconfigure everything that was changed. But I’m down to 27 from the 30+ I’ve been using. I’m always on the hunt for different ones though.

      JetPack is a great idea – just poor execution. If they would have it to what WooCommerce does it would be an awesome plugin! As it stands you download everything and enable/disable what you want. Instead I would have everything displayed.. and have people download/install the add ons they offer.

  • http://www.blogmat.net/ Mohammed Saimon

    Thanks Jason for sharing these needed plugins. Thanks

    • http://avgjoegeek.net/ avgjoegeek

      Mohammed – glad you enjoyed the list of plugins. Do you have any favorites that might not be on it?

      • http://www.blogmat.net/ Mohammed Saimon

        I think my favorite plugins are get listed here. Thanks Jason.

  • Jenny Brown

    I love Comment Luv it is popular and the Premium version of the plugin is starting to popup on more blogs too! I love how much power it’s brought to blog commenting!

  • http://avgjoegeek.net avgjoegeek

    Jenny thanks again for dropping by! Yea CommentLuv has been a godsend for my blog. BUT – there is a darkside to it. I can’t tell you how many people try and sneak a comment in just to get a backlink to their sales page. Although this is technically not a bad thing. I’m going to have to think about how to handle it. This plugin is for Bloggers to be able to share and assist them with their backlinking… not for sales pages. :-/ Hmm.. I’ll have to ponder this some more.