build wordpress website in 5 days build motocms website in 5 days

What Plugins Are Under the Hood of the 15 Top WordPress Blogs?

Have you ever wondered what plugins do the top WordPress blogs use? What helps them to work smarter, faster and more productively? We have decided to lift the veil of mystery by reaching 14 of the most popular WordPress blogs in regard to their technical side, and provide you with a deeper insight into MonsterPost functionality as a nice add-on.

Every now and again, the web audience queries what plugins do the best web resources that are powered by WordPress have installed in their dashboards. While some blogs share under-the-hood lists of their extensions, others either keep this in secret or simply do not think that the web audience might be interested in finding that out.

That's why, MonsterPost editorial and our outreach team have joined forces and reached 14 WordPress blogs that we consider to be among the most helpful for the online community with the purpose to compile a list of best WordPress blog plugins. These include WPLift, WebAppers, CodeinWP, WPSuperstars, WPKube, WinningWP, WPBeginner, ShoutMeLoud, WPDailyThemes, TorqueMag, WPMU Dev Blog, FlyWheel, WPTavern, and WPMayor. And, of course, we couldn't have left you without an insight into MonsterPost functionality and added all WordPress plugins that we use on the list as well.

In order to make it easier for you to run though this pretty long list of 98 top WordPress plugins for blogs, we have decided to divide them all into two big groups:

What's more, we have organized all plugins in both groups by categories into the usable tables of contest, thus making it easier for you to reach the desired part with a click.

Plugins that are used more often than others

* * *

Site Performance Optimization WordPress Plugins

Redirection
Developer: John Godley
Price: Free

Installed on: WPLift, ShoutMeLoud, WMPU Dev blog, FlyWHeel, and WinningWP

Use it for projects that are migrating from an old website or change the directory of their WordPress installation. Also, the plugin helps WordPress blogs to keep their readers who have accidentally reached the old content while redirecting them to the new or updated one. The plugin captures the log of 404 errors and maps those to 301 redirects.

  • 3 main redirection methods: redirect based on the users' login status, redirect to random pages, redirect based on the referrer
  • 404 error monitoring
  • Full logs for all redirected URLs
  • Redirection statistics on the quantity of times that a redirect has occurred
  • Fully localized

***

Crayon Syntax Highlighter

Installed on: TorqueMag, WPMU Dev Blog, WPKube, WinningWP, and WPBeginner

Use it to highlight both URL and WordPress post texts. Once installed, the plugin can be fully customized as per your personal requirements. On top of that, it provides regular expressions and support for multiple languages.

  • Integrated Theme Editor and Tag Editor
  • bbPress 2 support
  • Remote request caching
  • Mobile/touchscreen device detection
  • Live Preview in settings
  • Dimensions, margins, alignment, font-size, line-height, float
  • Extensive error logging

***

Jetpack by WordPress.com
Developer: various
Price: Free

Installed on: CodeinWP, ShoutMeLoud, WPMU Dev Blog, WinningWP, and WPTavern

This is all about seamless and convenient centralized site management. Use it to take control of posts and plugins on your WordPress site any time to wish. In addition, Jetpack offers a plethora of features that are intended to speed up the image performance, secure your site from the malware of any kind, edit and publish blog posts, etc.

  • Centralized site management
  • Traffic growth tracker
  • Malware protection
  • Image performance optimization

***

W3 Total Cache
Developer: Frederick Townes
Price: Free

Installed on: WPSuperstars, WPMU Dev Blog and WPBeginner

This is a great option if you are looking for a free WordPress plugin to enhance page loading speeds and improve the users' experience. W3 Total Cache is intended to increase server performance while reducing the download times and providing integration of transparent content delivery network. As per the plugin's developers, any site that has it integrated into the dashboard is guaranteed to have 10x higher page speed, quicker page rendering, improved server performance, up to 80% bandwidth savings, etc.

This is not the easiest plugin to setup. However, if you decide to add it to your dashboard, here is a detailed step-by-step guide that will help you install and manage the plugin on your own.

  • Compatibility: shared hosting, virtual private / dedicated servers, dedicated servers / clusters
  • Transparent content delivery network management
  • Caching of minified and compressed pages, posts, CSS, JacaScript, feeds, search results pages, and database objects in memory or on disk

***

maxcdn

Installed on: WPLift, WPMU Dev Blog, WPKube, and WPBeginner

One of the best reasons to use MaxCDN is its seamless integration into WordPress. According to WPBeginner, the integration of the plugin has provided some sites with up to 350% better page performance. Faster page loading ensures higher ranking in Google search results and lower bounce rate. On top of that, website that have MaxCDN installed in their dashboards are more crash resistant.

  • Realtime control over your network/SSL Integration/Reporting
  • Realtime analytics with logs and realtime reporting
  • Making your account secure by means of the 2-step authentication

***

Google Analytics
Developer:
Price: Free

Installed on: WPKube, WinningWP and WPBeginner

This is the ultimate solution that allows you to have a better understanding of how the audience understands your site, what they like/dislike on your page, what browser/device/search engine did they use to reach you, etc. In a word, Google Analytics is the preferred freebie of the users who want to have a better understanding about their target audience browsing behavior.

  • Shows who visits your site, their geographical location, what language they speak, what browser they use, etc.
  • Reveals what people do on your site and for how long they stay on your pages
  • Provides a deeper insight regarding the time when they reach your site and via which search engine they managed to find you
  • Shows how people interact with your content, etc.

***

sumome

Installed on: WPKube, ShoutMeLoud and WPSuperstars

Use SumoMe to grow your site's traffic, discover where the users click on your page, what they read and share with others. The plugin includes an array of apps that are all intended to grow your site's traffic, including Content Analytics, Image Sharer, Welcome Mat, Scroll Box, Highlighter, Smart Bar, etc.

  • List builder will help you turn one-time visitors into your loyal subscribers.
  • Heatmaps functionality tells where exactly people click on your site.
  • Share option allows the users to spread the word about your content with their friends, followers, colleagues, etc. in a simple and intuitive way.

* * *

Navigation WordPress Plugins

***

Swiftype Search
Developer: various
Price: Free

Installed on: WPMU Dev Blog and WPTavern

Use this plugin to make your search results more relevant and re-order specific search results within a drag and drop interface in the plugin's dashboard. To use it, you do not need to have any specific coding skills, as Swiftype Search was made intuitive in installation and customization.

  • Simple drag'n'drop interface to manage the ordering of search results on your blog
  • Includes detailed search keywords analytics and improved keyword-based relevance algorithm

* * *

Security WordPress Plugins

VaultPress
Developer: various
Price: Free

Installed on: CodeinWP, WPSuperstars, ShoutMeLoud, WPDailyThemes, WinningWP, and WPBeginner

With VaultPress you may be certain that all your posts, images, videos, themes, plugins, drafts, site settings, comments, and so much more will be kept safe and secure. While connecting your WordPress site to the VaultPress servers, the plugin makes it possible to make an up-to-date backup of all your site's data, including both daily and realtime syncing of all your WordPress content. In order to ensure the high level of transparence, VaultPress performs daily security scans and provides you with access to fix threats.

  • Realtime backup activity monitoring
  • Scanning sites for threats daily
  • Automatic backups restore
  • Daily security scans
  • Browse and download a backup

***

Installed on: WPLift, CodeinWP, WPDailyThemes, WinningWP, and WPBeginner

Sucuri is a world's recognized plugin specializing in WordPress security. When installed on one site together with the VaultPress, these two options make up a perfect combination. While the latter will take care of backing up all the site's content, Sucuri will run a deep scanning of your site to ensure that it is free from malware of any kind every three hours, from both back-end and front-end. One of the best parts of the plugin are its notifications. As soon as the system configures Twitter, email, SMS, RSS or IM alerts, the site's owner gets automatically notified.

  • Security Activity Auditing
  • File Integrity Monitoring
  • Remote Malware Scanning
  • Blacklist Monitoring
  • Effective Security Hardening
  • Post-Hack Security Actions
  • Security Notifications

* * *

Comments WordPress Plugins

Akismet
Developer: various
Price: Free

Installed on: WPlift, CodeinWP, WPDailyThemes, WPBeginner

Use it to filter all comments that are left on your site by those that look like spam and the ones that don't. Also, the plugin provides access to all the spammy comments, which are stored in the 'comments' section in the dashboard.

  • Automatically checks and filters spam.
  • As a moderator, you can see the number of approved comments for each user.
  • Each comment has a status history.

***

Disqus Comment System
Developer: various
Price: Free

Installed on: MonsterPost, WPTavern, Torguemag, WinningWP, and CodeinWP

The plugin is intended to create a real commenting community on your blog. What's more, when creating a Disqus account, the users will automatically receive notifications regarding replies to their comments, no matter what blog or site they are browsing.

  • Threaded comments and replies
  • Notifications and reply by email
  • Subscribe and RSS options
  • Aggregated comments and social mentions
  • Powerful moderation and admin tools
  • Full spam filtering, blacklists and whitelists

***

Installed on: Turquemag and WPTavern

Make use of this plugin to create a realtime chat experience on your WordPress site and improve your site's SEO performance at the same time.

  • WordPress native comments
  • Realtime with minimal server load
  • Fully ajax commenting for both sending and receiving comments
  • Front end moderation with realtime updates

* * *

Contact Form WordPress plugins

Contact Form 7
Developer: Takayuki Miyoshi
Price: Free

Installed on: MonsterPost, WPlift, ShoutMeLoud and WPDailyThemes

Contact Form 7 allows you to get tons of comments and feedback from your readers. The clean code and detailed documentation make it easier for the developers to work with the plugin. It is rather simple, but still requires some minimal HTML knowledge from your side.

  • Supports Ajax-powered submitting
  • Includes CAPTCHA
  • Akismet spam filtering

***

gravityforms

Installed on: WPKube, WinningWP and WPBeginner

This is an optimal solution to create your own, unique contact forms and share them on your site on the fly. With the pricing starting from $39 for 1 site and 1 year of support, Gravity Forms lets you create, add and edit your forms within your WordPress dashboard. You can even share your forms with the world by means of the shortcode that it automatically generated as you work.

  • Create unlimited forms inside your WordPress site
  • Make multi-page forms
  • Schedule forms and restrict number of entries
  • Create WordPress posts from entries
  • Save forms and finish filling them out later
  • Add-ons to integrate with payment platforms and more

* * *

Email WordPress Plugins

Installed on: MonsterPost, WPMayor, FlyWheel, ShouMeLoud and CodeinWP

In order to create highly converting forms, WordPress popups, floating headers, footer bars, etc. you will need to create an OptinMonster account first. The plugin is not free. Priced starting from $9/mo ($49/year), the plugin is intended to turn accidental visitors to your site or blog into your loyal readers by means of an easy-to-use subscription form.

  • 8 types of optins: popup forms, floating bars, slide-ins, sidebar forms, after-post forms, in-line forms, mobile-only popup forms, and Canvas
  • Seamless integration with all marketing services
  • Advanced Page Level Targeting and Behavior Personalization
  • A/B split testing
  • In-depth conversion analytics, etc.

***

MailChimp for WordPress
Developer: various
Price: Free

Installed on: Torquemag, WPMU Dev Blog, WinningWP and WPBeginner

Use it to enhance your email marketing strategy. MailChimp boasts a great user interface, which allows you to manage subscribers, send emails, crate email templates, split test your campaigns, and do a whole lot of other things within one email marketing service. There is a free plan that includes about 2,000 subscribers and 12,000 emails per month. If you want to get more, you will need to go premium.

  • Easy drag'n'drop interface to manage campaigns
  • Marketing automation tool
  • Built-in Google analytics
  • Integration with SurveyMonkey, Google, Twitter, Facebook, Shopify, and more app and services

***

Peter's Collaboration E-mails

Installed on: ShoutMeLoud and WPMU Dev Blog

The plugin will be especially useful for guest blogging. For example, it will send automatic email notifications to guest writers regarding the guest post status (pending, scheduled or published). As a blog owner, you will receive automatic notifications about new guest post requests and the posts that have been already published on your web resource.

  • Automated collaboration with guest authors
  • The plugin sends emails to guest writers regarding the current status of their posts

***

bloom

Installed on: WPLift and WPDailyThemes

Use this email opt-in plugin to create customizable forms within your WordPress site and integrate those forms with the popular email marketing systems. The plugin provides with full control of when, where and how often your forms appear. Bloom is not free. The plans start from $69 per year.

  • 6 different display types
  • Automatic pop-up and fly-in triggers
  • 100+ pre-made designs
  • Targeted display settings

* * *

Social Media WordPress Plugins

Installed on: WPLift, CodeinWP and WMPU Dev Blog

Developed byCodeinWP

As the name implies, this social media plugin lets you keep your posts alive while sharing them on Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin with the purpose to drive more traffic from the popular social networks.

  • Share new and old posts in social media
  • Choose the time between posts and the number of posts to share
  • Use hashtags to focus on topics
  • Include links back to your site
  • Exclude categories and specific posts

***

Click To Tweet
Developer: CoSchedule
Price: Free

Installed on: CodeinWP and ShoutMeLoud

Use it to add beautiful 'click to tweet' boxes anywhere on your site.

  • Lets you create tweetable content with ease
  • Includes the option to add pullquotes and custom messages inside the body of
  • your posts in order to make it easier to the readers to find information that can be shared to Twitter

* * *

WordPress Plugins for Other Purposes

Yoast SEO
Developer: Joost de Valk
Price: Free

Installed on: MonsterPost, WPKube, Torquemag, WPDailyThemes, ShoutMeLoud, WPSuperstars, CodeinWP, and WPlift

Use this plugin to improve your site's SEO on all aspects needed. It forces you to focus on keywords while writing your content. In that way, you can optimize the SEO title, meta descriptions and the body of your posts in a way that each of them will contain a specific keyword.

  • Includes Page Analysis to check if your content contains the focus keyword
  • Allows you to take control of Meta and Link elements
  • Import functionality for other WordPress SEO plugins
  • Social media integration
  • RSS optimization

***

Editorial Calendar
Developer: various
Price: Free

Installed on: Torquemag and WPMU Dev Blog

The management of blog publications will get way easier with this tool. Once integrated into your blog, you will have an overview of your blog publications all gathered in one easy to use environment.

  • Manage posts from multiple authors
  • See the status of posts, manage drafts and publish posts
  • Change post publishing dates within a drag'n'drop interface

***

Roost Web Push
Developer: various
Price: Free

Installed on: ShoutMeLoud and WPMU Dev

This is a great solution to engage your readers with push notifications. Compatible with Chrome (Android and desktop) and Safari (desktop), it will keep them updated on the latest news from your blog.

  • Chrome and Firefox notifications
  • Category filters
  • bbPress subscriptions
  • Scheduled post notifications
  • Detailed Analytics

Plugins that are used by individual blogs

* * *

Content Optimization WordPress Plugins

Drop Shadow Boxes
Developer: stevehenty
Price: Free

Installed on: CodeinWP

The plugin can be used to highlight the most important content in posts, on your blog pages and in widget area in a more visually pleasing manner.

  • Drop shadow effects: raised, lifted, perspective
  • The shadow is supported by the majority of web browsers
  • A widget and shortcode builder with a preview are available

***

RICG Responsive Images
Developer: various
Price: Free

Installed on: CodeinWP

With this plugin installed, all images that you upload to your blog will automatically include all available image sizes, which ensures proper content display across a variety of the modern devices.

  • Automatic resolution-switching
  • Compatibility with WordPress version 4.4

***

Shortcodes Ultimate
Developer: various
Price: Free

Installed on: CodeinWP

Even though it is available for free download, the functionality that it offers can bring it into the line with premium solutions. With its help you can save loads of time and effort on the creation of tabs, buttons, sliders, responsive videos, and so much more.

  • 50+ shortcodes
  • Shortcode Generator
  • Fully responsive
  • Multilingual and RTL support

***

ShortPixel Image Optimizer
Developer: AlexSP
Price: Free

Installed on: CodeinWP

Intended to make your site load faster by reducing the size of images, without compromising on their quality. The plugin optimizes both old and new images on your site. Bulk optimization option is available as well.

  • Compatible with PNG, JPG, GIF (still and animated) and PDF
  • Featured images and thumbnails are also optimized
  • Bulk optimization with one click
  • Free to use with 100 images per month, images optimized less than 5% are bonus

***

The app was not found in the store. :-( #wpappbox

Links: → Visit Store → Search Google

Installed on: ShoutMeLoud

This is a great option for busy bloggers who write their content in Microsoft Office and Google Docs. Having it integrated into your blog you can import all data from the latter (including images, bullet points, URLs, and post formatting) in a few seconds. On top of that, the plugin will automatically upload images into the media library.

  • Supports .DOCX file format
  • Imports up to 8 documents/month from your computer
  • Standard Support that Works Rigorously

This is what the Lite version of the plugin offers. If you wish, you can go premium and get the following options:

  • Import unlimited amount of documents from PC, Google Docs or Dropbox
  • One Year Priority Support & Updates

***

Installed on: WPDailyThemes

Use this plugin to provide the users of handheld devices with a more enjoyable experience of viewing larger versions of images, without compromising on their quality.

  • 6 responsive lightbox scripts: SwipeBox, prettyPhoto, FancyBox, Nivo Lightbox, Image Lightbox, Tos "R" Us
  • Automatically add lightbox to WordPress image galleries, WordPress image links, WordPress video links (YouTube, Vimeo)
  • Highly customizable settings for each of the lightbox scripts
  • Multisite support

***

upPrev
Developer: Marcin Pietrzak
Price: Free

Installed on: WinningWP

Use to display fly-out or fade box with related content. The latter can be chosen at random, by tag, previous in tag/category or just previously published post.

  • The box is displayed at the bottom of the page
  • Shows the previous or a randomly selected content

***

Title Experiments Free
Developer: Jason Funk
Price: Free

Installed on: WPSuperstars

Use it to increase click through rates while running A/B tests with multiple titles for a single blog post.

  • Tests multiple versions of titles for pages/posts
  • Counts the number of views and impressions of each title
  • Shows a similar title to the returning customer

***

Optimizely
Developer: various
Price: Free

Installed on: MonsterPost

Use it to create catching headlines through A/B testing. The plugin allows you to create 6 different titles for each of your blog posts, which will change each other, so different groups of users will be introduced to a different title of your publication. The tool tracks which title is the most clickable and analyzes what factors made it so popular among the readers. In that way, you can come up with your own perfect formula of writing post titles.

  • To use it you will need to create your own account at Optimizely.com
  • A/B testing of blog posts
  • Supports up to 6 different variants of titles for 1 post

* * *

Plugins to Preview Post Drafts

WP Product Review
Developer: various
Price: Free

Installed on: CodeinWP

Developed by: CodeinWP

The plugin is intended to make your posts more informative and diverse by means of pros/cons sections, ratings, affiliate links, user reviews, and so much more.

  • Custom Review Icons
  • Preloader functionality
  • Unlimited Options
  • PROs/ Cons

***

Share a Draft
Price: Free

Installed on: WPMU Dev Blog

As a rule, WordPress post drafts are visible only to the registered users, i.e. editors and blog administrators. While integrating this plugin into your blog, you will be able to show drafts of your posts to literally anyone you wish, without the need to create an account for him/her.

  • Creates a unique link to a draft for a limited time
  • Shows drafts to the users without registration in your blog's admin panel

***

Installed on: CodeinWP

The plugin works pretty much similar to the previous one. Letting anonymous users to preview your posts before they are published.

  • Anonymous post draft preview
  • Generates an URL that expires once being given out for a public preview

* * *

Similar Posts WordPress Plugins

Contextual Related Posts
Developer: various
Price: Free

Installed on: CodeinWP

Coming with support for thumbnails, shortcodes, widgets, CSS styles, and more, the plugin is an optimal solution to display a list of related posts on your blog or in your feed. To provide the users with the content that would be of the greatest interest to your readers, it creates a list based on the content of titles and/or posts that are relevant to the ones a user has recently seen.

  • Automatically caches the recently viewed content
  • Related post are added to a widgetized area on your blog
  • You can display the most popular posts anywhere on your site by means of shortcodes
  • Supports the option to create custom post types

***

Popular Widget
Developer: Hax
Price: Free

Installed on: CodeinWP

As the name implies, you can use this plugin to display the most popular publications on your site. A tabbed widget allows you to filter all posts by categories or by date range.

  • Set interval within which a post is considered as popular
  • Filter posts by categories
  • Calculate the number of visits and page views
  • Display thumbnails

***

WordPress Popular Posts

Installed on: WPSuperstars

The fully customizable plugin will showcase the most trending publications on your blog to the audience. By saying that it's fully customizable we mean that you can manage the way the most popular posts will be displayed: by the number of comments or views (per day or another period of time).

  • WPML ready
  • WordPress multisite support
  • Multi-widget compatible
  • Custom post type support

* * *

Plugins for a More Effective Work with Authors

WP Engine GeoIP
Developer: various
Price: Free

Installed on: Torquemag

Use it to display an author bio, photo and social media buttons at the button of each publication on your blog.

  • Released under a GPL license
  • Displays author bio, photo, social sharing options

***

Good Writer Checkify
Developer: pythoPhpSteve
Price: Free

Installed on: WPMU Dev Blog

The plugin was developed to enhance bloggers' writing techniques. If you are an experienced writer, the developers of this tool offer you to choose the top 10 of your most successful publications and pick a set of principles/techniques that you consider effective, and add those to the plugin's settings. Each time that you work on a new publication, the tool will check for the availability of the aforementioned techniques in your text.

  • Add blogging guidelines to WordPress
  • Set the number of words that make a post SEO friendly
  • Fully customizable settings page

***

Post Pay Counter
Developer: Ste_95
Price: Free

Installed on: FlyWheel

The plugin will be of great use to multi-author blogs. With its help a blog administrator can set criteria upon which payment should be computed (e.g. pay per word, post, visit, image, comment). All history and stats are automatically saved by the tool.

  • Pay per incremental or zonal system
  • Customize permissions in order to make stats (that the users are not supposed to see) invisible
  • Personalize the users' settings
  • No registration required

***

Author Avatars List
Developer: various
Price: Free

Installed on: WPTavern

Here is another great tool for multi-user blogs. With its help you can show lists of avatars somewhere on your blog, insert avatars into a post or page by using a shortcode.

  • Show specific groups of authors
  • Limit the number of avatars that are being displayed
  • Group authors by their blog
  • Show a user's name and bio (optionally)
  • Manage the order in which authors will be displayed

***

CoSchedule
Developer: CoSchedule
Price: Free

Installed on: WPSuperstars

Use it to automate the publication of posts on your social media pages. While using a simple drag and drop editorial calendar, you can schedule blog posts and the corresponding social media messages at the same time. As soon as a blog post is re-scheduled, the social media post publication date is automatically switched.

  • Create blog publications and social media messages within one interface
  • Drag'n'drop editorial calendar
  • The option to schedule social media while you blog
  • Editorial comments
  • Team workflow management

* * *

Caching WordPress Plugins

WP Super Cache
Developer: various
Price: Free

Installed on: WPLift

Use it to generate static HTML files and deliver those to 99% of your blog visitors while utilizing mod rewrite, legacy caching or PHP. The plugin is very easy to use. In order to activate it, just press Caching On in the Easy tag, and the tool will start caching your pages.

  • Advanced settings area allows you to choose what type of caching you use
    files compression
  • The option not to cache files for the known users
  • Content delivery networks support
  • Allows several more plugins to be loaded in WP Super Cache, i.e. Bad Behavior, the Jetpack Mobile Theme, and WPTouch

***

Installed on: ShoutMeLoud

Use it to clear CloudFlare cache each time you update a post and protect your blog in terms of DNS.

  • Requires a CloudFlare account
  • Purge CloudFlare cache from WordPress admin dashboard
  • Integrate with iThemes Security, Contact Form 7 and WordPress Zero Spam
  • Blacklist IP if attempt to login with bad username

* * *

Social Media WordPress Plugins

Easy Social Share Buttons
Developer: Andrew L
Price: Free

Installed on: WPLift

Simple in use, the plugin does not require you to download any images, font icons or external javascript. All that you need to use it is an optional 4kb CSS file , with the help of which you can add social sharing buttons to your posts and images, minimize them and add the option to display the number of times a post was shared on each service.

  • Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, and Email options included
  • Displays buttons in the header/footer of posts
  • Buttons integrate by means of shortcodes

***

WP Social Sharing
Developer: Arjun Jain
Price: Free

Installed on: WPDailyThemes

With the help of CSS3, the plugin will add large, beautiful and responsive social sharing options to your posts, pages, media or any custom post type. Lightweight and easy to use, it includes an option whether you want to include plugin CSS/JS or not.

  • Provides support for Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Linkedin, Pinterest, and Xing
  • Custom social button text
  • Auto display to post, page, media and custom post type
  • Reorder social icons' positioning

***

Floating Social Bar
Developer: various
Price: Free

Installed on: WPBeginner

Use it if you want to add the most popular social sharing options to your blog, without compromising on its load speed. The plugin supports the 5 major social networks, i.e. Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, and Linkedin. Thanks to its intuitive drag and drop interface, you can manage the way social buttons will be displayed effortlessly. For developers, there is a template tag available for custom use cases.

  • Adds a floating horizontal bar to blog posts, pages and other post types
  • Uses the socialite script to load social buttons
  • Intuitive drag'n'drop interface

***

Simple Social Icons
Developer: various
Price: Free

Installed on: WPSuperstars

Use it to add social media options to any widget area on your blog.

  • Displays icons that link visitors to your social media profiles
  • You can easily choose which profile to link each icon to
  • Customize the color and size of icons

* * *

Productivity Optimization WordPress Plugins

ManageWP Worker
Developer: various
Price: Free

Installed on: WPLift

Use it to manage all your WordPress sites in one simple dashboard. Plugin installation and updates, approving comments or deleting spam, scheduled backups, site migrations, track which keywords are the most effective and which should be better optimized - all this and much more can be managed within one interface.

  • Multi-site management
  • One-click management of plugins, comments, updates, etc.
  • Backup & restore functionality
  • Quick site migration
  • SEO & keyword ranking

***

Google XML Sitemap

Installed on: WebAppers

Use it to generate sitemaps for news sites. Featuring lots of settings options, the plugin doesn't let you create sitemaps for images or videos, solely for your site's pages.

  • Lets Google know about all the pages on your site
  • Creates a list of your pages URLs

***

WP-Optimize
Developer: ruhanirabin
Price: Free

Installed on: WebAppers

This cleanup and optimization tool allows you to remove post revisions, spammy comments, comments that are waiting for the administrator's approval, and a host of other things with just a few clicks. The plugin will be of great use to beginners as it doesn't require you to go to PHPmyAdmin.

  • Removes WP posts revisions
  • Removes spammy and un-approved comments
  • Changes usernames
  • Applies MySQL optimize commands without touching PHPmyAdmin
  • Displays database table stats

***

WP-PageNavi
Developer: various
Price: Free

Installed on: WebAppers

The plugin is an excellent solution to manage masses of content on your site with a user-friendly navigation. Instead of the traditional 'next' and 'previous' options, the plugin will display a list of page numbers. The users can click any to be taken to the desired page of your site.

  • Provides the 'wp_pagenavi' template tag which generates fancy pagination links

* * *

SEO Optimization WordPress Plugins

Installed on: CodeinWP

Use it to boost CTR while displaying a brief summary of your page in the search results by means of photos, star ratings, authors, pricing details, etc. The plugin is compatible with all the major search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo and Facebook.

  • Reveals precise information about your page in search results snippets
  • Interactive snippets include photos, star ratings, price, author, and other details
  • Displays proper information when the users share your links on Facebook

***

WP Smush - Image Optimization

Installed on: ShoutMeLoud

Optimize your site's performance with the help of this image compression tool. Once installed, the plugin allows you to compress individually chosen images, apply bulk compression or choose to compress visual data on the upload.

  • Process JPEG, GIF and PNG image files.
  • Auto-Smush your attachments on upload.
  • Manually smush your attachments individually in the media library, or in bulk 50 attachments at a time.
  • Smush all images 1MB or smaller.
  • View advanced compression stats per-attachment and library totals.

***

Reduce Bounce Rate
Developer: Okoth1
Price: Free

Installed on: WPDailyThemes

Compatible with Google Analytics by YOAST, the tool calculates the time the users spend on your site based on the difference between the time a person reached your site and the moment he/she opened the last page.

  • Code placement choice between header and footer
  • Track what percentage of a page has been scrolled
  • Change time event frequency
  • Set maximum tracking time

***

Search Meter
Developer: bennettmcelwee
Price: Free

Installed on: FlyWheel

Use it to get a deeper insight into what your readers were searching for on your blog during the last day, week or month. You will be provided with stats regarding the searches that were unsuccessful. Based on that knowledge, you will have a better understanding of what kind of content the audience wants to find on your site, and create new posts based on those topics.

  • Requires no configuration
  • Allows you to track the users' searches
  • You can manage statistics by deciding who can see the full search stats
  • You can type in a list of filter forms; any search terms containing those words won't be displayed in the Recent Searches

***

Author hReview
Developer: Hesham Zebida
Price: Free

Installed on: WPKube

Use is to let Google better understand your content. The plugin includes rich snippets, providing the users with the key information on what a web page may contain, including star ratings and descriptions. In that way, the users can find the most relevant information in the search results, and help you gain more web traffic.

  • Lets you implement rich snippets
  • Google Rich Snippets Testing tool for checking your markup
  • Spam reporting for Google Rich Snippets

* * *

Redirect WordPress Plugins

Pretty Link Lite
Developer: Blair Williams
Price: Free

Installed on: WPKube

The plugin is available in Lite and Pro versions. The Lite version includes the functionality to shorten your domain name, create clean links, track each hit on the link and reveal information regarding the OS, host or browser that a user came from. The Pro version adds more tools and redirection types, allowing you to automate the process of creation of pretty links, replace keywords through your blog with such links, and more.

  • Allows for 301 and 307 redirects only
  • Tracks the number of (unique) hits per link
  • Reveals click details including ip address, remote host, browser (including browser version), operating system, and referring site
  • Send your Pretty Links via Email directly from your WordPress admin
  • Download hit details in CSV format, and so much more

***

Better Search Replace
Developer: various
Price: Free

Installed on: CodeinWP

The plugin will come in handy when you decide to move for a different domain or server. It replaces/updates URLs and other data in order for everything to work properly in the new place.

  • Serialization support for all tables
  • The ability to select specific tables
  • The ability to run a "dry run" to see how many fields will be updated
  • No server requirements aside from a running installation of WordPress
  • WordPress Multisite support

***

Quick Page/Post Redirect Plugin

Installed on: CodeinWp

Quick (301) and Individual redirects can be achieved with the help of this tool. The things that the plugin cannot do include: Home page redirect, modification of .htaccess file, wild-card redirect.

  • Works with WordPress Custom Post Types
  • You can set a redirected page or menu item to open in a new window
  • You can completely re-write the URL for the redirect
  • Destination URL can be to another WordPress page/post or any other website with an external URL.
  • Request URL can be a full URL path, the post or page ID, permalink or page slug

***

Installed on: WPDailyThemes

Use it to handle 404 error pages by using 301 redirect. You can manage the plugin to redirect all 404 pages to home page or any other customized page.

  • 301 redirect
  • Change the target page via a control panel

* * *

WordPress Plugins to Manage Code

Disable Emojis
Developer: Ryan Hellyer
Price: Free

Installed on: CodeinWP

Use it to disable the new emoji functionality in WordPress 4.2.

  • Emojis will still work in browsers that include support for them
  • Removes script and junk code

***

oEmbed Gist
Developer: various
Price: Free

Installed on: CodeinWP

Use it to embed a program sources from gist while simply adding the URL into the code.

  • Embed your source from gist into WordPress while pasting the URL of your Gist.
  • Embed a specific revision of the Gist.
  • Embed an individual file that is part of a multi-file Gist.

***

FV Code Highlighter
Developer:
Price: Free

Installed on: WMPU Dev Blog

It allows you to highlight code snippets with Adobe's Dreamweaver style and color scheme. The plugin comes with multiple coding languages and long codes support.

  • Supports the highlighting of PHP, (x)HTML, JavaScript, CSS and XML
  • Fully customizable output of the plugin
  • Make the code more recognizable for your visitors

***

SiteOrigin CSS
Developer: Greg Priday
Price: Free

Installed on: CodeinWP

With the help of this CSS editor you can make quick code adjustments in real-time. Intended for both beginners and pro users, it includes an array of options to facilitate and speed up the workflow. These include simple visual controls, real-time preview and code autocompletion.

  • Inspector to identify the best CSS selector
  • Visual Editor to choose colors, styles and measurements with ease
  • CSS Editor

* * *

Notifications WordPress Plugins

Scroll Triggered Boxes
Developer: various
Price: Free

Installed on: CodeinWP

Use it to add flexible CTA to your WordPress site, which can slide or fade in any point. The boxes can contain any content that you wish.

  • Boxes can contain shortcodes, links, custom HTML, etc.
  • Choose from the centered or corner position
  • Manage for how long dismissed boxes remain hidden
  • Load the box on certain pages only
  • Choose between a fading or sliding animation

***

Simple Parse Push Service
Developer: dtsolis
Price: Free

Installed on: ShoutMeLoud

Use it to send push notifications regarding post updates via admin panel or each time a post is updated or created.

  • Compatibility: iOS, Android, Windows8
  • To use it, you must have a Parse.com account, with enabled cURL
  • Manage the channels through which you want to receive notifications
  • Add an extra parameter to the playboard (any key or value)

***

Subscribe to Comments
Developer: various
Price: Free

Installed on: WMPU Dev Blog

The plugin enables commenters to subscribe to email notifications on all the subsequent entries.

  • Sends email notifications commenters
  • Includes a fully featured subscription manager
  • Allows to unsubscribe to certain posts, block all notifications, and change email address

***

Installed on: MonsterPost

Use it to get feedback from your customers, get a deeper insight into their preferences and boost conversions in real time. The tool allows to get closer to the audience and provide them with what they need. In order to save your time on optimization, ready-made notification forms, options to gather feedback and banners come pre-loaded into the pack.

  • Adds a customizable 'feedback' tab to your site
  • Lets you receive notifications via email
  • Lets you create short surveys for all or particular pages on your site
  • Displays push notifications on your website
  • Works in all browsers (including IE6!)

* * *

Dashboard Management Plugins

Custom Login Page Customizer

Installed on: CodeinWP

Developed by: CodeinWP

Use it to customize, personalize or simply bring brand identity to the admin page of your blog/site. The plugin is available in Lite and Pro versions. In addition to the standard set of features from the Lite version (like login page customization and preview changes before saving the settings), you can get a number of security addons to prevent malware attacks to your site's dashboard.

***

WP Plugin Info Card

Installed on: CodeinWP

Use to style and bring more order to the dashboard. As its name implies, the plugin lets you display plugins and themes identity cards in cool boxes with a 3D rotation effect. To use it, pick a valid API of the plugin/theme that you work with and then insert the shortcode in any page to see the quick results.

  • Large templates support
  • You can add a list of slugs in the shortcode slug parameter
  • Create your own template files
  • Overload the plugin rendering

***

WP Rollback
Developer: various
Price: Free

Installed on: WPDailyThemes

It will free you from the necessity to download and FTP the files or doing some manual fuss of any kind each time you need to get to the previous/newer version of a plugin or theme. To roll back or upgrade to a newer version of any plugin of theme, all that you need to do is to select the right option and confirm.

  • Rollback WordPress plugins and themes
  • Translation ready
  • It's recommended to create backups before updates

* * *

Email Service WordPress Plugins

wpMandrill
Developer: various
Price: Free

Installed on: CodeinWp

Use it to start sending outgoing email with or without attachments from your WP installation through Mandrill. All emails are being tracked and tagged for statistics. If you wish, you can generate tags to every separate email.

  • Replaces the wp_mail function included with WordPress
  • Sends outgoing emails via Mandrill
  • Automatically tags emails for statistics

***

WP Change Default Email

Installed on: WPMU Dev Blog

By default, WordPress sets wordpress@your-domain.com as your email address. If you wish to personalize it, use this plugin.

  • enter the desired from name and email in WordPress admin

* * *

Security WordPress Plugins

Installed on: WPSuperstars

Use it to safeguard your site from malicious attacks and strengthen user credentials. Featuring one-click activation and a set of features for more experienced users, the plugin can be managed by developers of all skill levels.

  • Scans your site to instantly report where vulnerabilities exist and fixes them in seconds
  • Bans troublesome user agents, bots and other hosts
  • Prevents brute force attacks by banning hosts and users with too many invalid login attempts
  • Strengthens server security, and so much more

***

WangGuard
Developer: various
Price: Free

Installed on: ShoutMeLoud

When used for personal purposes or on sites with less than 5,000 daily registrations, the plugin is free. The plugin will protect your site from spam users and sploggers, who might want to hack you. In order not to irritate your new users, the plugin doesn't use complicated captchas.

  • Compatibility: Standard WordPress (non-multisite), WordPress MU, WordPress Multisite, BuddyPress (multisite and non-multisite), bbPress 2.0, and plugins like WooCommerce
  • Cleans your database of Sploggers, spam-users or unwanted users
  • Includes a centralized database of sploggers
  • Blocks users emails by domains
  • Security questions

***

WP Security Audit Log
Developer: various
Price: Free

Installed on: ShoutMeloud

Use it to have complete control over everything happening on your blog, from the user login attempts to the post publications. The plugin records all the actions completed within your blog by the user name and his/her role on the blog, source IP, time, date and the specific type of action that was completed.

  • Track and record suspicious user activity
  • Monitor WP users activity and productivity
  • Get notifications about changes on your WordPress blog
  • Generate HTML and CSV WordPress reports
  • Multi-language support, and much more

***

No CAPTCHA reCAPTCHA
Developer: Collizo4sky
Price: Free

Installed on: WPDailyThemes

Protect your site against spam by adding the NO CAPTCHA reCAPTCHA functionality to WordPress login, registration and comments sections.

  • Activate CAPTCHA in login, registration, comment and BuddyPress registration forms.
  • Choose a theme for the CAPTCHA.
  • Auto-detects the user's language.

***

Login LockDown
Developer: mvandemar
Price: Free

Installed on: WPKube

The plugin records the failed login attempts from a certain IP address within a set period of time. After, say, three failed login attempts, the system will lock the user for an hour.

  • The possible number of failed login attempts and the time within which a user tries to access your site or is locks can be modified via the Options panel.

***

Wordfence Security
Developer: Wordfence
Price: Free

Installed on: MonsterPost

The plugin filters life traffic and verifies your source code integrity. It prevents your site or blog from being hacked, and in case this happens WordFence will help you recover quicker that always. The plugin collects data from all WordPress web resources that have it installed, and uses this knowledge to protect you from the web malware of any kind.

  • Real-time blocking of known attackers.
  • Block entire malicious networks
  • Rate limit or block security threats like aggressive crawlers, scrapers and bots doing security scans for vulnerabilities in your site
  • Choose whether you want to block or throttle users and robots who break your security rules
  • Includes two-factor authentication, also referred to as cellphone sign-in
  • Checks the strength of all user and admin passwords to enhance login security
  • Includes login security

* * *

WordPress Plugins to Manage Commercials

Ad Injection
Developer: reviewmylife
Price: Free

Installed on: ShoutMeLoud

This is an advanced plugin with loads of options to inject ads and other content into your WordPress posts and pages. With the help of this tool you can control the number of adverts based on their length. What's more, you can restrict the users who can see such content by their age, visitor referrer or their IP address. Ads can be displayed either in your blog posts or in widget areas/sidebars.

  • Automatic advert injection
  • The option to add adverts into sidebars, widgets and other areas on your WordPress page
  • Define multiple adverts for the same ad space
  • Works with random, top, bottom, widget/sidebar ads
  • The option to block ads by referrer
  • Category, tag, author, post ID, post type filters
  • Block ads from IP addresses, etc.

***

Smart App Banner
Developer: stephend
Price: Free

Installed on: ShoutMeLoud

It makes Smart App Banners appear in iOS 6 and above. The plugin provides a consistent look and feel of such commercials across the web, making those recognizable for the target audience and user-friendly at the same time. Being displayed at the top of the page, ads include prominent and touch-friendly close buttons, which the users can click to dismiss.

  • Compatibility: iOS 6+
  • Displays ads at the top of the page, instead of a full-screen location
  • Supports affiliate data and app argument display

***

BuySellAds
Developer: barchard
Price: Free

Installed on: WPDailyThemes

This is an advertisement buy-sell marketplace, where marketers can list their websites and advertisers can check the stats or buy your ads spots. As soon as you accept ads for your site, the tool will start displaying commercials that are relevant to your business over there and credit money to your BuySellAds account as soon as a conversion takes place.

  • Ad options: banners, text ads, text+image ads, RSS ads, Twitter ads
  • Offer payout via PayPal
  • There's no affiliate program for publishers or advertisers
  • It provides you with an easy to use Graphical User Interface to sell, serve, and manage ads on your site

* * *

Plugins for Affiliate Marketing

affiliatewp

Installed on: ShoutMeLoud

This is a premium affiliate WordPress plugin. With plans starting from $49 per year, the tool is intended to help you increase traffic and generate more sales from your WordPress site. AffiliateWP was developed to work with such popular membership and eCommerce plugins as JigoShop, WooCommerce, Gravity Forms, Wishlist Member, Shopp, and others. The plugin allows an unlimited number of affiliates to keep on promoting your products and services.

  • Translation-ready
  • Reliable affiliate tracking and coupon tracking
  • Moderated or fully open registration; there is an option to create accounts manually
  • Real-time reporting
  • Individual affiliate reports, and so much more

***

ThirstyAffiliates
Developer: various
Price: Free

Installed on: WPBeginner

Easy to use, the plugin includes a variety of extensions that are intended to monetize their WordPress sites with affiliate marketing. With this plugin you can make use of link redirection and link cloaking, providing the users with pretty affiliate links and protecting your commissions from thefts. With its help you can administer your links, insert them into your posts and pages, and so much more.

  • Affiliate link shortening/link cloaking
  • Hierarchical link categorization to easily segment links
  • Insert affiliate links in posts, pages and comments with handy affiliate link picker tool
  • Full backup compatibility via standard WordPress backup solutions
  • Add your graphics, banners and other images to affiliate links, etc.

* * *

WordPress Plugins for Ready Made Forms

GetResponse Forms by Optin Cat

Installed on: WPKube

Use it to convert the maximum number of your blog visitors into subscribers. The plugin is easy and intuitive to use. A simple drag-and-drop dashboard allows you to create custom made forms without touching a line of code. Texts, CTA color as well as the position of the form on your site can be managed with a few clicks. Post boxes, sidebar widgets, pop-ups, and two-step opt-ins can be all created and managed with this free tool.

  • In order to run GetResponse Forms from Optin Cat, you will need to have a GetResponse account
  • All forms were optimized to look fantastic on any screen size
  • Unlimited customization options
  • Analytics feature included

***

Installed on: CodeinWP

Developed by: CodeinWP

This is a user-friendly contact form that allows you to get closer to your audience. In order to create a contact form, you can either use the [pirate_forms] shortcode of the 'Pirate Forms' widget.

  • Fully customizable forms (you can change the field labels, decide on the 'error page' text, choose which fields to include into the form, etc.)
  • Provides reCaptcha
  • Includes SMTP option to ensure that none of your site visitors' emails will be left without attention
  • All contacts are stored in the database

* * *

WordPress Search Plugins

Installed on: WinningWP

The plugin is intended to replace the standard WordPress search with a more keywords-specific one. Lots of features and configuration options of the plugin allow you to provide the users with more relevant results presented in a an easy-to-follow manner.

  • Search results are sorted in the order of relevance
  • If complete words don't match, the plugin automatically activates fuzzy matching (matching partial words)
  • Search for phrases "with quotes"
  • Highlight search in documents as a user clicks through search results
  • Search comments, tags, categories and custom fields

***

Breadcrumb NavXT
Developer: various
Price: Free

Installed on: WPBeginner

Use it to show your site visitors' path to their current content location. The tool is of special use to those users who find your content from social media, search results or just another website. Breadcrumb navigation will provide them with quick access to the rest of your site's content.

  • WPML and bbPress compatible
  • Extensive breadcrumb customization via a settings page
  • Network admin settings page to manage breadcrumb setting for all subscribers
  • Comes with built-in WordPress widget
Breadcrumb
Developer: PickPlugins
Price: Free

* * *

Other ...

Installed on: ShoutMeLoud

Use it to add a sticky widget area, which will remain in sight of your site's visitors as they scroll the page up or down.

  • 'Fix' more than one widget in different sidebars
  • Multi-language support
  • Doesn't work with all themes, jQuery 1.7 required. jQuery 1.8.3 (or later) is recommended

***

WP Engine GeoIP
Developer: various
Price: Free

Installed on: TorgueMag

Use it to display content that it catered to the visitors' location. With its help you will have the ability to access variables as big as a country to as specific as longitude and latitude.

  • Marketing campaigns targeted at specific geo locations
  • The option to redirect incoming traffic to content in the local language
  • Directing customers to the relevant business branches
  • Displaying country-specific shipping, tax and sales data
  • Filtering merchandise that is not available in a certain local store

***

Polldaddy Polls & Ratings
Developer: various
Price: Free

Installed on: WPMU Dev Blog

Feel the ease of creating and managing polls within your WordPress dashboard with the help of this tool. All polls are fully customizable and user-friendly. Polldaddy allows you to set a specific date for each poll, decide whether to display the results to the visitors or keep them in secret, create multiple choice polls, etc. There an option to embed full customizable rating into your posts, pages and comments.

  • The plugin requires PHP 5
  • 20 different styles available
  • Multi-language support
  • A fully customizable ratings menu
  • Add ratings to posts, pages and comments
  • Top Rated widget for the most popular posts, pages and comments included

***

Client Dash - Backup Buddy

Installed on: WPKube

Use it to create and download backups from the client dash help screen. The latter allows webmasters to take the full control over their WordPress dashboards, manage the WordPress admin panel by means of a drag-and-drop menu system, customize the user roles, etc.

  • Create safe and secure backups of the Client Dash data
  • Works with Client dash 1.4 or later only

***

Meta Slider
Developer: Matcha Labs
Price: Free

Installed on: MonsterPost

This is a quick and easy solution to create and add fully customizable sliders to any of your site's pages. An intuitive drag-and-drop interface allows you to change the order of images in your slider, add captions and URLs, and manage SEO fields within one intuitive interface.

  • 4 different slideshow types (Flex Slider, Nivo Slider, Responsive Slides & Coin Slider)
  • Responsive, SEO optimised slideshows
  • Drag and drop slide reordering
  • Built in Widget and Shortcode
  • Compatible with translation plugins (WPML, PolyLang & qTranslate)
  • Extensive Developer API (hooks & filters), and so much more

***

Query Monitor
Developer: John Blackbourn
Price: Free

Installed on: MonsterPost

In addition to the standard set of feature that WordPress debugging plugins commonly use (like database queries, PHP errors, redirects, etc. the tool includes a variety of smart options like automatic AJAX debugging, REST API debugging, the possibility to narrow down things by plugin or theme, etc.

  • Displays all database queries that are performed on a certain page
  • The option to filter queries by component or calling function lets you see which plugins, functions or themes are making the most/slowest database queries
  • Shows hooked actions, their priorities and components
  • Reveals PHP errors, enqueued scripts and styles, all HTTP requests performed on the current page, memory limit and error reporting levels, any transients that were set, and so much more

We hope that you found this post useful and it provided you with answers regarding the functionality of the top WordPress blogs that you read on a regular basis. Now we'd like you to speak up. Are there other cool plugins that you would recommend MonsterPost to install? Are there other cool WordPress blogs that are worthy to be mentioned on this list? You are welcome to share your thoughts with us below this post.