Choosing the right plugins for your WordPress site can help improve performance and encourage more interaction. I’m a big believer in only installing the ones that will be useful to you and your blog, so take a look at my list and see what you think. This is a short list of plugins that have added truly useful capabilities to my site, or solved an actual problem.
Easy Recipe – This is a WordPress recipe plugin for non-geeks. I chose this one because it’s easy to install and use (hence the name) and displays well on my cooking posts. It’s also print-friendly. The Easy Recipe Plugin works well with Google’s Recipe View. Here’s an example of a Turkey and Sausage Stew recipe on my site using the Easy Recipe plugin.
Limit Login Attempts – Spam is not the only thing you will fight as a blogger. Attacks come in other forms, too, like bruce force assaults with a rapid number of automatic login attempts. This type of attacks tries to break in your site by sheer numbers. You can stop this kind of attack by limiting the rate of allowed login attempts (including via cookies) with the Limit Login Attempts plugin. You can also temporarily block problem IP addresses.
Simple Share Buttons – I saw this one another blogger’s site and loved it. Simple Share lets you add a small row of social media buttons to the top and/or bottom of each post or page. You can customize sizes and colors, as well as which social media accounts you want listed. Here’s an example of Simple Share at the top of one of my recent posts:
WP Super Cache – No blogger wants a slow site that lags in loading. WP Super Cache is a tried and true caching plugin that will help speed up your site’s load time. It works in the background so you don’t have to do a thing. A caching plugin works by saving HTML files and then delivering them from the cache (in other words, using previously loaded data).
Updraft Plus – I installed this highly rated backup plugin after experiencing the ups and downs of changing web hosts two different times. You just never know when a full backup of your site will come in handy! Updraft Plus can be set to automatically back up and restore your entire WordPress blog, so it will ALL be there when you need it. Take backups locally, or backup to Amazon S3, Dropbox, Google Drive, Rackspace, (S)FTP, WebDAV and email. It’s all done in the background while you’re blogging away.
Which WordPress plugins have you found most useful over the years?