I often get asked which plugins I use on my WordPress sites or for my clients. Every website varies and there are many plugins you can use, but for someone looking to make sure they have the key basic plugins that every WordPress website should have, here are my top WordPress plugins for beginners, and best of all, they are all FREE!
Wordfence Security is a free enterprise class security plugin that includes a firewall, anti-virus scanning, malicious URL scanning and live traffic including crawlers. Wordfence is the only WordPress security plugin that can verify and repair your core, theme and plugin files, even if you don’t have backups.
Wordfence is now Multi-Site compatible. View Plugin
Kills spam dead in it’s tracks. Be gone evil demon spam!
Stops automated spam while remaining as unobtrusive as possible to regular commenters.
The Spam Destroyer plugin is intended to be effortless to use, simply install and enjoy a spam free website. View Plugin
Contact Form 7 can manage multiple contact forms, plus you can customize the form and the mail contents flexibly with simple markup.
The form supports Ajax-powered submitting, CAPTCHA, Akismet spam filtering and so on. View Plugin
Improve your WordPress SEO: Write better content and have a fully optimized WordPress site using the WordPress SEO plugin by Yoast.
This plugin is written from the ground up by WordPress SEO consultant and WordPress developer Joost de Valk to improve your site’s SEO on all needed aspects.
While this WordPress SEO plugin goes the extra mile to take care of all the technical optimization, it first and foremost helps you write better content. View Plugin
WooCommerce is a powerful, extendable eCommerce plugin that helps you sell anything. Beautifully.
Transform your WordPress website into a thorough-bred eCommerce store. Delivering enterprise-level quality and features whilst backed by a name you can trust. Say “hello” to the WooCommerce eCommerce plugin.
Google Analytics Dashboard gives you the ability to view your Google Analytics data in your WordPress dashboard. You can also alow other users to see the same dashboard information when they are logged in or embed parts of the data into posts or as part of your theme.
This plugin will generate a special XML sitemap which will help search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo and Ask.com to better index your blog. With such a sitemap, it’s much easier for the crawlers to see the complete structure of your site and retrieve it more efficiently. The plugin supports all kinds of WordPress generated pages as well as custom URLs. Additionally it notifies all major search engines every time you create a post about the new content. NOTE: Use Get Page IDs plugin and you can easily hide specific pages/posts from your sitemap too!
A plugin for WordPress that will check your posts (and pages), looking for broken links, and let you know if any are found. The broken links show up in the Tools -> Broken Links tab along. If any invalid URLs are found a notification will also show up on the Dashboard widget.