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GUIDE: Favorite WordPress Plugins10 min read

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Do you have your own beloved WordPress blog? Here are my fave plugins. Please share you own. Must haves preceded by *

Last Update: 05.26.2024
Added: Auto Tagger for Amazon, Font Awesome, Media Cleaner, SiteNarrator Widget
Removed: Disable Gutenberg, Disable Trackbacks, ReadAloud Widget

  1. Admin Trim Interface – customize wordpress admin pages.
  2. Advanced File Manager: no need to use your host’s FTP to view and modify files. Awesome.
  3. Aksimet – Usually comes with fresh WP install, well worth signing up to keep spam comments off your site.
  4. Amazon Affiliate Tag (Amazify): adds your Amazon affiliate ID to any links to Amazon products: you can just use the generic link to the products but then get credit if people click through and purchase from your site.
  5. Auto Excerpt Everywhere – If you would like your Home, Archive, and Category pages to show an excerpt with a thumbnail (featured image or first image in post), this does it automatically: no need to create featured images or excerpts manually.
  6. * Auto Featured Image (Auto Post Thumbnail) – If you typically use the first image in your posts as the featured image, this plugin will automatically set the featured image for you without your having to choose it.
  7. Automatic Post Tagger: Similar to apps that recommend related articles, this creates tags for you based on content.
  8. Auto Tagger for Amazon: Set your Amazon Affiliate Tracking ID (example-20) for your site just once and you’ll never have to manually create an Amazon affiliate link again. Any time you link to Amazon from now on, regardless of country, it’ll automatically tag the link with your ID so that you can receive commissions.
  9. * Autoptimize: optimizes html, java-script, css, and can add CDN for you if you know your CDN blog root directory URL
  10. Better Search Replace: Does what it says, no sql required.
  11. Blubrry Powerpress: My favorite podcasting helper.
  12. * Broken Link Checker: Checks your blog for broken links and missing images and notifies you on the dashboard if any are found.
  13. Catch-IDs: shows post/page/media/links/category/tag ID on the list pages for these items. Essential if you need to know the ID.
  14. * Child Themify: The quickest and easiest way to create a child theme. Check out this helpful how to video.
  15. * Classic Editor+: God I hate the new WordPress Block Editor. Install this plugin, maintained by WordPress, and you can have your old editor back. Ahh.
  16. Delete Multiple Themes: if you have too many themes installed, and would like to delete more than one at a time, this is your product. Note that this is not compatible with Minimal Admin plugin, which you can disable when you use this plugin.
  17. * Disable Comments: Deletes and removes comment functionality from existing posts, pages, and media. Nice.
  18. Drop Caps: Creates drop caps for your posts.
  19. * Easy Table of Contents: Awesome
  20. Easy Smooth Scroll Links: if you link to an anchor inside the same page, your site will scroll smoothly to it, it’s a real neato effect. Many effects to select from. No jQuery or JavaScript required.
  21. Enable Media Replace: upload a better image, will do all the remapping etc. Nice.
  22. EWWW Image Optimizer: optimizes your images on upload, and can also bulk optimize your existing media library. Very nice.
  23. File Manager Advanced: Cpanel for files management. Nice way to find your css files.
  24. Font Awesome: The official way to use Font Awesome Free or Pro icons on your site, brought to you by the Font Awesome team.
  25. * Footnotes Made Easy: Easily configured to match your existing tags.
  26. Glossary: add words to your custom glossary, allows for custom link and popovers with definitions. I’m still looking for one that just lets me import definitions based on an online dictionary.
  27. Grab and Save: Download images from your WP media library in one swoop.
  28. Infinite Scroll: only works with certain themes, but replaces pagination for adding more as people scroll down
  29. * Jetpack: Lots of great basic features, including autoposting to social networks, replaced my older security plugins. I use mostly for brute force attack protetion.
  30. LearnDash: the best LMS plugin (not free) out there. Better than Woo Sensei because it has more quiz types, and is just more innovative. Integrates with myCred too.
  31. * Lightbox with Photoswipe: I’ve had so many issues with lightbox plugins not working on my site: some didn’t pick up the captions consistently, some didn’t pick up all the images on the page, some didn’t show controls and pretty much locked up the browser tab, This one just works. I’ve not enabled any slideshow or animation tweaks, but the default animation is good enough if all the other stuff works.
  32. Media Cleaner: Clean your WordPress! Eliminate unused and broken media files. For a faster, and better website.
  33. Media File Renamer: By updating the name of the image / media, this plugin will rename physically the filename nicely, update all the references to that media in the associated post if there is any
  34. Media Tools: imports and attaches all external referenced images in your posts, finds the first attached image to post and sets it as the featured image, add post thumbnail support to your site, set additional thumbnail sizes.
  35. Nextend Social Login: Allow users to create accounts or log in with their social credentials (Facebook, Twitter, etc.)
  36. Open Graphite: Control how your content is viewed when shared on social media. Especially if FB fails to pick up your featured image correctly. This plugin replaced Facebook Thumb Fixer for me.
  37. Plugin Organizer: some great common sense improvements to the plugin admin screens. My favorite is, when viewing ALL, it moves the deactivated ones to the bottom of the list.
  38. Podlove: may replace Blueberry as my favorite podcast app. Now with support for chapters! Awesome.
  39. Post Tags and Categories for Pages: adds the ability to use your existing Tags and Categories on Pages. All WordPress functions based on tags and cats will like Archives will now include your pages. Nice video tutorial.
  40. Postie: advanced features for posting by email. Great for photo sites where you just want to email in your new photos.
  41. Public Post Preview: allows you to share a draft post with your contributors without publishing it: it’s secretly published, you just share the URL.
  42. * Reference 2 Wiki: using simple double square brackets, add a link to the Wikipedia page for the text.
  43. RefTagger: Transform Bible references into links to the full text of the verse.
  44. Remove Query Strings From Static Resources: This plugin will remove any query strings from static resources like CSS & JS files, and will improve your speed scores in services like PageSpeed, YSlow, Pingdoom and GTmetrix
  45. Reposter Reloaded: Reposter Reloaded recycles your posts on a schedule of your choosing. Reposter Reloaded will find the oldest post in a specific category, and re-date it with the current date and time. It does this on the schedule of your own choosing or randomly, which can be as frequently as every 6 hours or as spread out as 21 days.
  46. Restrict Widgets: allows you to show or hide widgets based on page or post type, category, etc.
  47. Shortcode Exec PHP: add boilerplate to your posts.
  48. * SiteNarrator Widget: Speechify your website with the SiteNarrator Text-to-Speech widget. Awesome and free.
  49. Social Media Widget: unhappy with how your theme shows links to your Social Media pages? This simple and elegant plugin adds a widget.
  50. Social Media and Share Icons: when you need floating follow buttons, this will do it
  51. SumoMe: you know those annoying subscription popups that sites use? This is the one. You need to do it too.
  52. * Taxonomy List Widget: Lists your tags with widget, includes post counts.
  53. * Uncanny Automator: My current favorite autopost to social networks – replaced Jetpack, SNAP, others
  54. UpdraftPlus: Backup/Restore: Auto-backup into the cloud (Amazon S3 (or compatible), Dropbox, Google Drive, Rackspace Cloud, DreamObjects, FTP, SFTP, SCP, WebDAV, OpenStack Swift and email) and restore with a single click. Backups of files and database can have separate schedules.
  55. Use Google Libraries: allows your WordPress site to use the content distribution network side of Google’s AJAX Library API, rather than serving these files from your WordPress install directly (so you are using their CDN for common stuff)
  56. W3-total-cache: Dreamhost tech told me this is one of the best cache plugins out there. It covers all of your cache, compression, and minifying. WARNING: If your server does not have enough memory, this will KILL your site. I no longer use it.
  57. * Worth the Read – Adds reading time to your articles, as well as progress bar. Nicely configurable. Free!
  58. * WP Dark Mode – Creates a floating dark mode CSS toggle.
  59. WP Page Navi: If your theme lacks a good pagination widget, this one does it all.
  60. Yet Another Related Posts Plugin (YARRP): I used to use Contextual Related Posts , but for some reason, it stopped giving good results. This one works, and has a Pro version too.

Other WordPress Tools

  1. WXR File Splitter: Importing your WP site to a new host? XML file too big? Use these directions to split your file, including the WRX File Splitter (download from me if no longer available, I promise, no virus/adware)