Essential WordPress plugins

Wordpress Love


Regular readers of my blog (are there any?) will know that I love WordPress. It is incredibly easy to use and theme. Since I started using it I haven’t considered building a site with anything else.

As I custom theme each WordPress site I build, I try to build in most of the essential site functions through the.. erm …functions file. However, there are a few plugins that I run to after each WordPress install.


First up is Michael Torbert’s All in One SEO pack. It provides an easy way for novice users to maintain and improve the SEO of their site. While WordPress is built well for SEO, adding this plugin allows you to change the meta title, description and keywords for pages and posts in a search engine best practice way.


Contact Form 7 is my go to plugin for form creation. Easy peasy set up, and styling allow me to rapidly deploy secure web forms with whatever fields the client wishes for. Contact Form 7 lets you set up multiple forms and insert them anywhere into posts or pages with WordPress short codes. It also includes validation to prevent spam.


Google XML Sitemaps is another helpful Search Engine Optimisation plugin. It builds a sitemap for you and notifies the popular search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo) of changes to your site. It even allows you to change the frequency with which search engine spiders crawl your site.


One of my favourite plugins is W3 Total Cache. It allows you to minify HTML, CSS and JavaScript on your site as well turning on browser caching, disk caching and database caching. If those features weren’t enough to warrant an install, it also allows you to hook up a Content Delivery Network (CDN) to ensure your site loads quickly from anywhere in the world.


Finally, no site should be without some kind of backup. Using WP-DBManager allows you to schedule regular database backups in addition to optimising the database or running SQL queries.


Do you install these plugins on your site? Do you prefer others? Which are your favourite plugins?

Thanks for reading,



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