5 free plugins every WordPress website should have


WordPress plugins can make your website even more powerful. Image: Flickr / teamstickergiant / CC-BY

WordPress runs a huge percentage of websites, and for good reason. The powerful platform is flexible and well-supported. While you can run a website purely off a clean WordPress install, there are five plugins that every WordPress website should have.

The Essentials

1- Social Sharing

Social sharing is important. Not giving your users an easy, instant way to share posts and pages is shooting yourself in the foot. WP Socializer is one of the most extensive and flexible sharing plugins.

2- Search Engine Optimization

Your website should always have Search Engine Optimization plugins in order to edit meta information and the robots.txt file. The All In One SEO Pack is a well-supported and well-known plugin, and it is very effective.

3- Spam Protection

The Akismet anti-spam plugin protects your website from spam comments.

4- Analytics

No matter what kind of website you are running, the data that analytics can provide is incredibly important. Google Analyticator plugs your website into Google Analytics.

5- Make it Mobile

There is absolutely no reason to skimp on making your website mobile. WP Mobile Detector detects and rewrites your website for a wide variety of mobile devices.

Bonus Pack

Not every website can use these plugins, but they can be very useful, depending on the style of website you are running.

1- User-generated content

If your website calls for user-generated content, uCan Post provides some flexible options.

2- Advertising Management

Running ads on your website can get complicated. Ad Injection manages these ads in a powerful and flexible way.

3- Twitter Posts

Making tweets look good in your posts makes the tweets you are copying look that much better. Check out Blackbird Pie as a way to improve the look of tweets.

4- Contact forms

Contact forms can protect your email inbox from an onslaught. Contact Form 7 creates contact forms that are flexible and protect your information.

5- Speed it up

Especially with lots of plugins, WordPress can be a server hog. WP Super Cache caches the static pages of your website to make it faster. Be warned, however, that WP Super Cache can cause problems with some dynamic features of your website. Proceed carefully.

6- E-Commerce

To run e-commerce on your WordPress powered site, GetShopped is free and flexible. The plugin, as with all others, has problems, but WPEC is the industry standard.

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