10 Essential WordPress Plugins

WordpressIf you are running a website these days it is highly likely that you are using WordPress. I personally do all of my websites for myself and my customers in WordPress as it is easy to use, customize, maintain and has good SEO characteristics. One of the great things about WordPress is its plugins. There are thousands of plugins that can help your WordPress install do all kinds of things. To help you get started with some WordPress plugins I have put together a list of my top 10 plugins that every website should be using.

Google XML Sitemaps
In order for search engines to be effective, an XML sitemap needs to exist to help them find new content. This plugin is dead simple and runs automatically once setup.

At the time of this writing, JetPack has 31 different features from contact forms, ways to speed up your images, ways to publicize and share your content, and much more. This is an absolutely essential plugin.

Lockdown WP Admin
There are scripts running on compromised machines whose sole purpose is to hack into your WordPress admin panel. This tool allows you to hide the admin login under a different URL like /maintenance or whatever. This pretty much kills those scripts dead and helps protect the security of your website.

This is the only paid plugin I use but it is extremely valuable in helping to optimize your content and search engine optimization. The license is $47 but it is more than worth it. I have seen traffic skyrocket on sites I have installed it on within a few weeks.

Wordfence Security
This is one that needs to be built into WordPress soon. With all of the potential hacks and scans in the wild, this plugin helps ensure that your site is as safe as possible, will lockout possible intruders, and notify you of any issues.

Click on the image in this post, that’s done with this plugin.

Yet Another Related Posts Plugin
See the related posts under this article, that’s done with this plugin

w3 Total Cache
Search engines will actually use the speed that a website loads as part of how high a site should rank. This plugin helps your site to load as quickly as possible.

TinyMCE Advanced
Wordpress’ editor leaves a lot to be desired and only provides for some of the most basic editing and layout functions. This plugin lets you totally customize the editor by adding tons of new features and abilities to it.

Smart Youtube PRO
This plugin is only for sites that want to embed YouTube videos. All you have to do is paste the video URL into your post and its ready to go. You can also set quite a few options such as size, auto play, and others to customize it for how you want it to work.

That is my list of my favorite WordPress plugins, if you have a favorite, be sure and tell us about it in the comments.


Kerry Garrison lives in Castle Rock, Colorado with his wife and two dogs. With 10 years of experience shooting products and 5 years of experience in the wedding industry, Kerry brings a good deal of technical know-how and can explain topics in easy-to-understand terms.

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