There are so many plugins in WordPress that people often get confused to choose one for a particular use. After so many years of blogging, I still keep shifting from one plugin to another depending on the requirement, functionality, and efficiency. It’s not as easy as it sounds, and I get a lot of questions from newbie bloggers asking me to suggest them the best plugin for particular functionality. So I decided to write an article on the various plugins I use and plugins which I don’t use on AllTechBuzz but use them on other blogs.
Before finalizing the plugin I use, I do a lot of research on various plugins which can perform the same functionality. There might be few exceptions but here are the things I look into:
- Google for the functionality or requirement and check if there are any plugins available.
- Check all the plugins, the number of installations, their reviews, and ratings.
- Check if the plugin is compatible with the current version of WordPress.
- Check the screenshots (if provided), just to understand how simple or complicated the plugin is.
- Check if there are any bugs reported recently on the plugin support page.
- Finally, install the plugin and check if it satisfies your requirement or not.
If you are a newbie blogger, go through this article on how to install plugin and theme on WordPress. And I recommend you to follow the drill for every plugin.
Here’s the list of plugins I use on Alltechbuzz:
- Akismet Anti-Spam
- All In One WP Security
- Accelerated Mobile Pages
- Facebook Comments Plugin
- Instant Articles for WP
- Smart 404
- Table of Contents Plus
- Ultimate Nofollow
- Ad Injection
- Yoast SEO
- 1 #1. Akismet Anti-Spam
- 2 #2. All In One WP Security
- 3 #3. Autoptimize
- 4 #4. Accelerated Mobile Pages
- 5 #5. Facebook Comments Plugin
- 6 #6. Instant Articles For WP
- 7 #7. Redirection
- 8 #8. Smart 404
- 9 #9. Table of Content Plus
- 10 #10. Ultimate Nofollow
- 11 #11. Ad Injection
- 12 #12. Yoast SEO
- 13 Other Plugins which I recommend to use:
#1. Akismet Anti-Spam
Akismet is now a default plugin for every WordPress installation. It’s a free anti-spam tool which blocks all the spam comments on your website. WordPress sites generally get a lot of spam comments from bots, so it’s highly recommended to use the plugin.
The plugin has a basic and a plus version which is paid. Usually, the basic version is good enough and you don’t have to waste few bucks on the paid version.
In the plugin settings, it asks you for an API key, which can be obtained by signing up to the basic version.
#2. All In One WP Security
As the name suggests, this is a security plugin with a wide range of security options available to the user. Security is a major concern to any WordPress site, and keeping your website safe can often be tricky and might include technical stuff. But this plugin allows, even a newbie blogger, to clearly understand what the settings are, how they will help you, what is recommended and what not, which is one of the best things about it.
One downside I found is that the captcha, sometimes, doesn’t work properly. It might be because of the cache or a bug in the plugin. So you either have to clear the cache or re-install the plugin in such situations.
The plugin settings might confuse you. So I’ll write a clear article on this plugin too.
#4. Accelerated Mobile Pages
AMP has been a very important technical update on Google search and there are hardly any plugins on WordPress on this. Apart from the default plugin, this one makes your life easy in many ways. You can design the AMP version of your site, play around with the settings, place ads, analytics etc., which will need a bit of technical knowledge if they have to be done manually.
One downside for the users is that the main plugin doesn’t allow you all the functionalities you need, and there are paid extensions which you need to install.
#5. Facebook Comments Plugin
This is a free plugin which allows you to implement Facebook comments on your blog. This plugin is really good for bloggers who get traffic from Facebook, especially from Instant Articles. The installation is pretty straightforward, and it also allows you to sync the comments with your page.
#6. Instant Articles For WP
Having 301 or 404 errors affects the blog’s SEO and there by the rankings. This plugin allows you to manage 301 redirections and monitor 404 errors.
#8. Smart 404
Smart 404 is a free plugin which rescues the visitors from 404 errors. Many users might end up landing on a wrong page or you might change a URL to a similar new one, so this plugin will automatically use the current URL to attempt to find matching content and redirect to it.
#9. Table of Content Plus
This plugin will automatically create a table of content from the heading tags on every post or page you want. It’s useful both for the visitors and also the bloggers in terms of SEO.
#10. Ultimate Nofollow
A simple plugin which allows you to add a rel=nofollow tag to particular links. You don’t have to mention it manually in the text format everytime.
#11. Ad Injection
This is a free WordPress plugin which allows you to insert ads in various places depending on the requirement. I generally prefer this plugin because of the flexibility and range of options it offers to the users. It’s one of the default plugins I use on almost every website.
#12. Yoast SEO
Yoast SEO is one of the most important plugins which I use on every blog. It’s an all in one solution for all the on-page SEO a blog needs. It also has a premium version with additional options.
The settings can get a little tricky, so I wrote a complete article on it a while ago. You can go through: How to Install and Setup WordPress SEO by Yoast Plugin in 2017 – Settings
Other Plugins which I recommend to use:
- BJ Lazy Load – To enable the lazy load of images, videos etc. Helps in improving site speed.
- WordPress Related Posts Thumbnails – To show related posts by category, tag, etc., under the post.
- Broken Link Checker – To check and solve broken link issue.
- WP Hide Post – To hide your posts from the homepage, category page, archive page, etc.
- Q2W3 Fixed Widget – To fix your widget on scroll.
- Import External Images – Useful while migrating your website.
- Auto Post Thumbnail – Automatically generates a thumbnail from the post’s images. Also useful while migration the site.
I keep replacing or adding new plugins from time to time. I will update this article every month, so keep an eye on this space.
On a personal note, I usually prefer to avoid plugins where ever I can, especially for a simple functionality or a one-time work. Adding more unnecessary plugins will just increase the server and script requests and also, there are many plugins which are not updated from time to time, which leads to site’s vulnerability and more risk of getting hacked. So, I recommend my fellow bloggers to consider this as well.
Let me know your views about this and comment below if I missed any good plugin or there is a better alternative.