42 Experts Reveal Their Top 10 Must Have WordPress Plugins!

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Do you know what the best WordPress plugins are to get the job done?

I asked 42 professional bloggers, industry experts and thought leaders to share their top 10 must have wordpress plugins in categories like  “Best SEO plugin”, “Best SiteMap Plugin” & More to finally settle the score. When the dust settled we were able to come together with some awesome responses and insights.

Why Do an Expert-Roundup?


It has been said that humanity as a whole tends to address difficult questions more accurately when they pool their input together – This is commonly referred to as Widsom of the Crowd. It states that a crowd of people collaborating on a problem is often more effective than any individual response. In this case we have a pretty phenomenal “crowd” in our quest to find the best WordPress Plugins. (Thanks Experts!)

A classic example of the Widsdom of the Crowd:
In a 1906 county fair, 800 people were asked to guess the weight of an ox(that’s right a freaking ox). While no one person was able to guess the correct answer. The combined total of the 800 participants was within 1% of the correct answer! This my friends, is the true power of roundups like these. 🙂

The Top 10 Must Have WordPress Plugins – Infographic!


Alright, So lets look at the results already!

42-Experts-Share-Their-Top-10-Must-Have-WordPress-Plugins-Infographic

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The Experts


Below I’ve listed all of the contributing experts alphabetically, you can click on one of the jump links below to skip to your favorite experts response, or start scrolling to take it all in. 🙂

 

Abhijeet Mukherjee – GuidingTech.comAbhijeet-Mukherjee


What, in your opinion are the Top 10 must have WordPress plugins for the following categories?

1.) Best SEO plugin? WP SEO by Yoast
2.) Best WP Backup Plugin? I use VaultPress
3.) Best SiteMap Plugin? WP SEO plugin has that function. So no need to use a separate one.
4.) Best Cached content Plugin?  W3 Total Cache.
5.) Best Social Media Plugin? I use Sharebar and have found it to be pretty decent. It does not use too much RAM/CPU like Digg Digg and other such plugins.
6.)  Best Anti-Spam Plugin? Akismet
7.)  Best Image Optimization Plugin?  Don’t use any.
8.)   <a personal favorite>  Google Analytics for WP
9.)   <a personal favorite>  Capability Manager
10.) <a personal favorite>  n/a

Adam Connell – BloggingWizard.comadam-Connell


1.) WordPress SEO by Yoast – The best all round SEO plugin right now, it’s free and actively developed.
2.) BackupBuddy – I’ve tried so many backup plugins (free and paid), but BackupBuddy never fails.
3.) WordPress SEO by Yoast – This takes care of sitemaps too, no need for another plugin.
4.) W3 Total Cache – Out of the box this works quite well, with some tweaks it can work even better.
5.) Easy Social Share Buttons For WordPress – This is a premium plugin from Codecanyon, the best $14 I have ever spent.
6.) GASP – I love that this plugin helps to cut down spam without adding captcha’s. Captcha’s don’t slow down bots and just hurt usability.
7.) None, I use Photoshop – Before uploading images to WordPress, I optimize them using Photoshop and then upload them.
8.) OptinMonster – If you want to build your email list, you need to invest some cash because most free opt-in form plugins suck.
9.) OptimizePress – Landing pages are a must for any website, I use OptimizePress to create custom landing pages without any messing around. It’s a premium plugin but worth the price tag.
10.) WP Rich Snippets – This is a premium plugin from the creator of Author hReview, it helps my reviews stand out and allows me to add rich snippets too. The best reviews plugin I’ve found so far.

Anil Agarwal – BloggersPassion.comAnil-Agarwal


1.)    Best SEO plugin? Yoast SEO Plugin
2.)   Best WP Backup Plugin? BackUpWordPress
3.)   Best SiteMap Plugin? Google XML Sitemaps
4.)   Best Cached content Plugin? W3 Total Cache
5.)   Best Social Media Plugin? Digg Digg Plugin
6.)   Best Anti-Spam Plugin? Akismet Plugin
7.)   Best Image Optimization plugin? WP Smush IT
8.)   Easy WP SEO for onpage optimization
9.)   WP Optimize for optimizing databases etc
10.) Nrelate for showing related posts

Bob Dunn – BobWP.comBob_Dunn


1.) Best SEO plugin? – WordPress SEO by Yoast
2.) Best WP Backup Plugin? – BackupBuddy (premium plugin, but only one I recommend)
3.) Best SiteMap Plugin? – since Yoast builds one through his plugin, I don’t use a separate one. But if I did, Google XML Sitemap is what I recommend
4.) Best Cached content Plugin? – I don’t use these, and have more issues than good results. But WPSuper Cache is my recommendation if it’s a must for anyone
5.) Best Social Media Plugin? For social icons to connect with, I like Simple Social Icons. For sharing buttons, I like the Floating Social Bar
6.) Best Anti-Spam Plugin? Combination of Akismet and Cookies for comments
7.) Best Image Optimization plugin? I don’t have this one as I recommend optimizing images before uploading to WP.
Personal Favorites
For Contact Forms, my favorite is Gravity Forms
For commerce sites, WooCommerce is my favorite
Although I don’t always consider my opinion to say it’s the “best” but more or less what I have experience with and recommend. 🙂

Brian Honigman – BrianHonigman.comBrianHonigman_v2


1.) All in One SEO Pack
2.) BackWPUp
3.) Yoast SEO
4.) W3 Total Cache
5.) Digg Digg
6.) Akismet
7.) Yoast SEO
8.) Wp Bakery Visual Composer
9.) WordPress Releated Posts
10.) MailChimp

 Chris Gilchrist – HitReach.co.ukChrisGilchrist


1.) Yoast’s WordPress SEO
2.) We switched from Infinite WP to Manage WP a while back for various reasons and prefer the latter
3.) Yoast’s plugin covers this for SE submission. Sitemaps for users/crawlers often redundant if there’s a good IA/UI in place.
4.) W3 Total Cache
5.) Aside from the adding social media share button plugins of which there are tons, I previewed a plugin Matthew barby made which displays and totals up all the social shares each page has had recently which is very cool.
6.) Askimet
7.) I tend to avoid using these and prefer local optimisation prior to uploading to ensure it’s done properly
8.) WooCommerce is  great option for small ecommerce sites with a huge range of addons
9.) There’s so many good plugins it’s hard to pick just a few. There’s mobile navigation, heat tracking, member access, role editors, store location managers and so much more it’s really dependant on the project as to what the most useful is
10.) Why not make your own? If there’s something you need a site to do and a plugin doesn’t exist, or is too limited to achieve what you need, just map out the options/functionality and hire a developer to create it for you which can be sometimes be quicker to do than you might imagine.

 Chris Guthrie – EntrepreneurBoost.comchris-guthrie


1.) Yoast
2.) Unsure
3.) Google XML Sitemaps
4.) Don’t use one
5.) Sharebar (but we’re building our own)
6.) Growmap Anti Splog
7.) Don’t use one
8.) Best Amazon Affiliate Plugin* – http://boostwp.com/products/easyazon-pro/
9.) Best affiliate linking plugin* – http://boostwp.com/products/better-links-pro/

These are plugins we built though so perhaps I’m a tad bias. I do believe they are the best though.

Dan Shure – EvolvingSEO.comdan-shure


1.) Yoast SEO
2.) Online Backup For WordPress
3.) Yoast SEO
4.) WP Super Cache
5.) I don’t use any social media plugins on my own site…
6.) Akismet
7.) Personally, I don’t use any and prefer to ‘Save As Web’ from photoshop and compress/optimize there.
8.) Google Analytics For WordPress(by Yoast)
9.) Login Lockdown
10.) WP Optimize

Daniel Scocco – DailyBlogTips.comdaniel-scocco


1.) All-in-One SEO
2.) VaultPress
3.) SGR Clean Archives
4.) W3-TotalCache
5.) Social Media Feather
6.) Akismet
7.) Portfolio Gallery
8.) YARPP
9.) RSS Footer by Yoast
10.) WP-Touch

David Aston – IncomeDiary.comDavidAston


1.) Best SEO plugin – WordPress SEO
2.) Best WP Backup Plugin – ManageWP
3.) Best SiteMap Plugin – XML Sitemaps
4.) Best Cached content Plugin – Wordfence
5.) Best Social Media Plugin – JetPack or Digg Digg (JetPack allows icon customization)
6.) Best Anti-Spam Plugin – Akismet
7.) Best Image Optimization plugin – OptimizePress

3 Personal Favorites
8.) PopUp Domination
9.) OptimizePress
10.) Wordfence Security

Dinesh Kumar – SysProbs.comdinesh_kumar


1) The built in SEO feature of Genesis framework does the work great. Otherwise I will recommend WordPress SEO from Joost de Valk 
2) I do not use
3) WordPress SEO from Joost de Valk  have the feature of XML creation. Otherwise Google XML sitemaps.
4) W3 Total Cache
5) Digg Digg
6) Sucuri wordpress plugin and Akismet
7) WP Smush.it
8) nrelate Related Content
9) Simple URLs
10) Redirection

 Eric Ward – EricWard.comEricWard


1.) Without a doubt, it’s WordPress SEO by Yoast.
2.) There are three I really like, but if I have to pick one, I’d go with VaultPress, even though it costs a few bucks a month.
3.) Yoast’s XML sitemap generator that’s a part of the WordPress SEO Plugin.
4.) W3 Total Cache – Hey, if it’s good enough for mattcutts.com, that says a lot.
5.) Again, WordPress SEO by Yoast, unless you want a standalone sharing plugin, in which case I’d go for Digg Digg as it has excellent customization options.
6.) IMO this depends on how much spam your blog/site is having to deal with, and if you want to moderate or simply automate, and want to pay or want a freebie. If the decision is mine, I use Anti-spam by CleanTalk.
7.) WP Smush.it – I like that it compresses all images you upload automatically, including those already on your site.
8.) Broken Link Checker – Checks posts and comments for broken links and missing images, and notifies you if any are found.
9.) Yet Another Related Posts Plugin (YARPP) – Displays a list of related posts on your site
10.) Yoast’s Local SEO plugin – Provides Google and other search engines with the exact information it needs to show your company website in the local search results. Works for one office or multiple locations.

Farnoosh Brock – ProlificLiving.comFarnooshBrock


1.)  Best SEO plugin? Yoast – we were using Scribe but it got complicated after the last upgrade. Yoast has been amazing on all 3 major websites I’m running, easy to use and I recommend it to all my clients too. Plus it’s free.
2.)  Best WP Backup Plugin? – we don’t use a plugin for this anymore. We started using managed services provided by Synthesis after a major hack on our sites and we’ve been very happy with this.
3.)  Best SiteMap Plugin? Clean Archives Reloaded
4.)  Best Cached content Plugin? Not sure. My husband handles this one. Sorry.
5.)  Best Social Media Plugin? We custom code everything, no plugin here.
6.)  Best Anti-Spam Plugin? Akismet.
7.)  Best Image Optimization plugin? N/A. Optimize images prior to upload to Media Gallery.

 

Experts Choice
8.)   Instagram Image Gallery
9.)   Disqus Comment System
10.) Jetpack

Francisco Perez – iBlogZone.comFrancisco_Perez-150x150


1.) Best SEO plugin? – WP SEO Yoast
2.) Best WP Backup Plugin? – WordPress Backup to Dropbox
3.) Best SiteMap Plugin? – Google XML sitemaps
4.) Best Cached content Plugin? – WP Super Cache or W3TC
5.) Best Social Media Plugin? – Shareaholic
6.) Best Anti-Spam Plugin? – GASP
7.) Best Image Optimization plugin? – WP Smush.it
8.) Best Security Plugin – iThemes Security
9.) Best Related Posts Plugin – Related Post by Zemanta
10.) Best WP CDN Plugin – jsDelivr – WordPress CDN Plugin

Gianluca Fiorelli – ILoveSEO.netGianluca_Fiorelli


1.) Best SEO plugin?
WordPress SEO by Yoast without any doubt. Yoast himself wrote the best guide for its implementation: https://yoast.com/articles/wordpress-seo/
2.) Best WP Backup Plugin?
3.) Best SiteMap Plugin?
Even if WordPress SEO has a SiteMap function, I still prefer to use Google XML Sitemaps.
4.) Best Cached content Plugin?
WP Super Cache, because it’s quite easy to set-up also for not experienced users, but with very powerful options.
5.) Best Social Media Plugin?
Digg Digg still is my favorite plugin for social media sharing.
6.) Best Anti-Spam Plugin?
I consider that Askimet stil is very good. But, in the recent past, I saw myself obliged installing the Captcha plugin, because spam commenting – even if filtered – increased to horrible volumes, such to put in danger the server stability.
7.) Best Image Optimization plugin?
WP Smush.it, but I would not forget Lazy Load.
8.) Authorsure for everything related to Authorship
9.) Schema Creator by Raven

Ian Cleary – RazorSocial.comIanCleary


1.) Best SEO plugin? – Yoast WordPress SEO
2.)Best WP Backup Plugin? –  Backup buddy
3.) Best SiteMap Plugin? – Yoast WordPress SEO
4.) Best Cached content Plugin? – W3 Total Cache
5.) Best Social Media Plugin? – Filament.io
6.) Best Anti-Spam Plugin? – Akismet
7.) Best Image Optimization plugin? – Yoast WordPress SEO
8.)   *a personal favorite* – Optinmonster
9.)   *a personal favorite* – Editflow
10.) *a personal favorite* Gravity Forms

Ishan Bansal – ILoveFreeSoftware.comIshan_Bansal


1.) Best SEO plugin? – Wordpress SEO by Yoast
2.) Best WP Backup Plugin? -Vaultpress
3.) Best SiteMap Plugin? – No separate plugin; just use the Sitemap feature of WordPress SEO plugin.
4.) Best Cached content Plugin? – W3 Total Cache
5.) Best Social Media Plugin?- ShareThis
6.) Best Anti-Spam Plugin? – Disqus
7.) Best Image Optimization plugin? – WP Smush.it
8.) Custom Field Template
9.) Google Analytics for WordPress by Yoast
10.) Members by Justin Tadlock

Jake Bohall – Virante.comJakeBohall


1.) Best SEO plugin? – Definitely WordPress SEO by Yoast.  I’m also a fan of All In One SEO Pack, but I think Yoast is better built and easier to use.
2.)Best WP Backup Plugin? –  Backup buddy
3.) Best SiteMap Plugin? – The Yoast SEO Plugin takes care of this
4.) Best Cached content Plugin? – W3 Total Cache… Loaded with features such as tie-ins with CDN, default settings are fine for most people.
5.) Best Social Media Plugin? – For social media integration, I prefer to use the functionality that comes with Jetpack plugin (also has a ton of other amazing features)
6.) Best Anti-Spam Plugin? – Never needed anything more than Akismet.
7.) Best Image Optimization plugin? – For image optimization, we typically use WP Smush.it to compress, SEO Friendly Images plugin to ensure alt tags, and Media File Renamer to get the title of the image as the file name and fix the references to the image url throughout the site.

Experts Choice:
8.)   Jetpack is an awesome plugin with features to enable monitoring for site uptime, quick contact forms, social media integration, spellchecking, custom css editor, automatically creates mobile versions, pulls log data for traffic stats, and a ton of other cool things.
9.)   Rich Contact Widget, automatically does all of the markup for business name, address, etc..
10.) Slick Contact Forms – great plugin to quickly put a contact form up on a site.  It scrolls down the page, gives you custom thank you page, etc..

Jeff Bullas – JeffBullas.comJeff_Bullas


1.) Best SEO Plug-in for WordPress:
The WordPress SEO Plugin by Yoast provides great SEO options for beginners to the more advanced SEO experts.
2.) Best WP Backup Plug-in
BackWPup Free. The BackWPup Free allows you to keep backup including /wp-content/ and save into an external Backup Service, like Dropbox, S3, FTP and many more. You are easily able to restore an installation with a single backup .zip file.
3.) Best Sitemap Plug-in
Google XML Sitemaps. 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.
4.) Best Cache content Plug-in
WP Super Cache. WP Super Cache is the most popular cache plugin available for WordPress. The plugin promises to deliver static files to 99% of your visitors by utilizing mod rewrite, PHP, or legacy caching
5.) Best Social Media Plug-in
AddThis-Founded way back in 2004, the AddThis service supports over three hundred social media services. The WordPress plugin allows you to choose from a variety of icon sizes and designs. It also shows analytical data on what people are sharing.
6.) Best Anti-Spam Plug-in
Anti-spam by CleanTalk (No CAPTCHA). No CAPTCHA, no questions, no counting animals, no puzzles, no math and no spam bots.
7.) Best Image Optimization Plug-in
EWWW Image Optimizer. The EWWW Image Optimizer is a WordPress plugin that will automatically and losslessly optimize your images as you upload them to your blog. It can also optimize the images that you have already uploaded in the past.

3 Personal Favorite Plug-ins
8.) Disqus Comment System. The Disqus comment system replaces your WordPress comment system with your comments hosted and powered by Disqus.
9.) Marketizator– Marketizator is the simplest way to convert your visitors into prospective customers or buyers. It helps increase your conversion or subscription rate.
10.) WPtouch – A plugin which formats your site with a mobile theme for visitors on Apple iPhone / iPod touch, Google Android, Blackberry Storm and Torch, Palm Pre and other touch-based smartphones.

Jenn Lisak – MarketingTechBlog.comJenn


1.) Best SEO plugin? – WordPress SEO by Yoast
2.) Best WP Backup Plugin? – BackWPup
3.) Best SiteMap Plugin? – WordPress SEO
4.) Best Cached content Plugin? – Don’t Use.
5.) Best Social Media Plugin? – JetPack Publicize feature: You authorize your social accounts so you can quickly manage sharing your posts in the backend and having your readers share on the front end.
6.) Best Anti-Spam Plugin? – Akismet
7.) Best Image Optimization plugin? Don’t Use.

Experts Choice:
8.) Gravity Forms – It’s robust and is perfect for developing forms, calculators, etc. for your site:
9.) Shortcodes Ultimate – If you don’t have a developer or just need a quick and easy way to insert shortcodes, this is the plugin for you:
10.) Pinterest Pin It Button for Images – Easy way to share your blog posts or images.

Kevin King – SproutSocial.comKevinKing


1.)        Best SEO plugin? – Yoast WordPress SEO Plugin
2.)        Best WP Backup Plugin? BackUpWordPress Plugin
3.)        Best SiteMap Plugin? Google XML Sitemaps or Yoast WordPress SEO Plugin has one built into it
4.)        Best Cached content Plugin? W3 Total Cache Plugin
5.)        Best Social Media Plugin? ShareThis Plugin
6.)        Best Anti-Spam Plugin? Akismet (comes with WordPress but only works when registering)
7.)        Best Image Optimization plugin? EWWW Image Optimization Plugin

Experts Choice:
8.)       Edit Flow Plugin – a editorial workflow plugin for creating content
9.)       nRelate – displays relevant articles from your site within individual blog posts
10.)     OptinMonster – creates opt in forms for capturing leads (popups, floating bars, slide-ins)

Lewis Ogden – CloudIncome.comLewis-Ogden


1.)           Best SEO plugin? – WordPress SEO by Yoast
2.)           Best WP Backup Plugin? – Undraft – WordPress backup to Dropbox
3.)           Best SiteMap Plugin? – WordPress SEO by Yoast has this feature built in, no need for 2 plugins!
4.)           Best Cached content Plugin? – WP Super Cache – by far the best i have used
5.)           Best Social Media Plugin? – SNAPPwill auto post your articles to your social media accounts
6.)           Best Anti-Spam Plugin? – Aksmet Pro – used it for years, never any problems
7.)           Best Image Optimization plugin? – EWW Image Optimizersuper simple to use

Experts Choice:
8.)          Pretty Link Pro for managaing and tracking affiliate clicks
9.)           Tablepress for building really nice looking, sortable, custom tables
10.)         Q2W3 Fixed Widget – makes widges sticky so they scroll with the user

Lowell Heddings – HowToGeek.comLowell_Heddings


Honestly I’m not a big fan of third-party plugins. They are often full of security holes, and are almost always a performance killer. Almost everything on my site is custom.

Random notes:
 – I’ve been using a caching plugin but none of them work as well as I would like – I’m switching to a modified version of WP-FFPC, which is similar to what WordPress.com actually uses.
 – None of the WP Backup plugins make any sense, and they often fail to backup properly. Rsync, mysqldump, and a shell script are the way I do it.
 – I don’t do SEO
 – I’m using Discourse instead of the WP comments so I don’t need anti-spam.
 – I just added the social media buttons to my theme directly instead of using a plugin
 – Image optimization… the only thing that works, and I’m switching to it in about a week, is the Google nginx / apache PageSpeed module.

Martin Brinkmann – Ghacks.netMartinBrinkmann


1. WordPress SEO by Yoast
2. don’t use
3. WordPress SEO by Yoast
4. WP Super Cache
5. Social Media Feather
6. Akismet
7. don’t use
8. WP Touch
9. All in One Schema.org Rich Snippets
10. Better WordPress Minify
11. PubSubHubbub
12. WP SMTP

Michael Chibuzor – ContentMarketingUp.comMichaelChibuzor


My top 8 must have wordpress plugins are:

All in one seo pack
bulletproof backup
ShareBar
limit login attempts
sharebar
wpoptimize
ping optimizer
quick adsense
google analytics

Miriam Schwab – illuminea.comMiriamSchwab


Best SEO Plugin – Yoast’s WordPress SEO without a doubt. Yoast updates the plugin based on the latest developments in the world of SEO, almost immediately. I wrote a post on this: http://wpgarage.com/plugins/6-reasons-yoasts-wordpress-seo-plugin-is-more-awesome-then-you-realize/

Best WP Backup Plugin – we actually don’t use a plugin anymore for backups, but rather a system – InfiniteWP. It’s a dashboard for managing many aspects of multiple sites, and one of its features is that it can back up any and all of the sites connected to it, to Amazon S3, Dropbox, and other places.

Best Sitemap plugin – again, Yoast’s WordPress SEO plugin. This plugin has a built-in XML Sitemap feature, so there’s no need to use another one to achive this if you’re already using WordPress SEO, which you should be 🙂 His plugin also has a little-known feature – the ability to create an HTML sitemap with a shortcode. More on that in my post on WPGarage that I referred to above.

Best Cached Content Plugin – I don’t know, we’ve had problems with all of them so I can’t weigh in on this. However, Cloudflare has had some good results for us.

Best Social Media Plugin – first of all, WordPress SEO takes care of a lot of the code-level integrations that you need for your site to perform optimally in social media, like Google+ rel=publisher, rel=author, Facebook Open Graph Tags and Twitter Cards. For sharing, we prefer the ShareDaddy module that is included in JetPack. It’s elegant and works well.

Best Anti-Spam plugin – Akismet, of course. But there have been times where it for some reason stopped catching spam on sites, plus it’s actually a premium plugin now and site owners may want a free option. An excellent alternative is Ryan Hellyer’s Spam Destroyer plugin. It’s under active development and Ryan makes sure to update it on a regular basis. We’ve used it with great results on many websites.

Best Image Optimization Plugin – Smush.it is problematic because it relies on an external server for processing, and last we checked users were limited in what they could optimize with the free version. I personally prefer Photoshop for optimizing images, but a good on-site option is the Ewww Image Optimizer.

Favorite WordPress plugin – Gravity Forms, without a doubt. If you want your site to convert users, you need forms. Gravity Forms is robust, easy to use, and integrates with almost any third-party service you could ever need. And their support is amazing.

Another Fave – Events Calendar Pro – the best way to add a full-featured calendar to your site.

Natalie Sisson – SuitcaseEntrepreneur.comNatalieSisson


1.) Best SEO plugin? SEOby Yoast – like how it gives you a breakdown of why your SEO is good, bad or non-existant
2.) Best WP Backup Plugin? BackWPup
3.) Best SiteMap Plugin? SEOby Yoast
4.) Best Cached content Plugin?  Don’t Use.
5.) Best Social Media Plugin? Shareaholic for social sharing in posts
6.) Best Anti-Spam Plugin? Akismet
7.) Best Image Optimization plugin? Don’t Use.
8.) Pretty Link for simple tracking

Neil Patel – QuickSprout.com / NeilPatel.comNeil_Patel


1.)   Best SEO plugin? – Yoast SEO Plugin
2.)   Best WP Backup Plugin? – Vault Press
3.)   Best SiteMap Plugin? – Yoast SEO Plugin
4.)    Best Cached content Plugin? – W3TotalCache
5.)    Best Social Media Plugin? – Flare
6.)    Best Anti-Spam Plugin? – Akismet
7.)    Best Image Optimization plugin? – Don’t know…
8.)    Popularity Contest

Oliver Dale – WPLift.comOliverDale


1.) Best SEO plugin? – Yoast by a Mile
2.) Best WP Backup Plugin? – Backup Buddy
3.) Best SiteMap Plugin? I created my own, tutorial HERE.
4.) Best Cached content Plugin? – W3 Total Cache
5.) Best Social Media Plugin? – I use Easy Social Share buttons
6.) Best Anti-Spam Plugin? – Akismet I guess, good but not perfect.
7.) Best Image Optimization plugin? – WP Smushit looks good but not tested thoroughly yet…

Peter Lee – ComputerHowToGuide.comPeterLee


1.) WordPress SEO
2.) BackUpWordPress
3.) Yoast
4.) WP Super Cache
5.) AddThis
6.) AntiSpam Bee
7.) WP Smush.it
8.) Easy AdSense
9.) Broken Link Checker (Only activate once every 2 weeks as it eats up lots of resources. But it’s an awesome plugin)
10.) CommentLuv AntiBacklinker

Raju PP – TechPP.comRaju_PP


1.) WordPress SEO by Yoast
2.) Vaultpress
3.) WordPress SEO by Yoast
4.) W3TC
5.) WP Social SEO Booster Pro
6.) Akismet
7.) WP Smush.it
8.) Yet Another Related Posts (YARPP)
9.) Role Scoper
10.) Login Loockdown

Richard Marriott – Clambr.comrichard-marriott


1. Yoast SEO plugin – If you don’t have this already take a good look at your Google analytics for this month. Then plug it in and watch what happens the next month. Seriously, this bad boy is a game changer.

2. WordPress Backup to Dropbox – Being a huge Dropbox fan this plugin makes backing up a breeze. I back up all my sites using this and can easily recover whenever fiddling with the PHP brings a site down 😉

3. Google XML Sitemaps – Unless you enjoy the laborious process of making a site map you’ll want this plugin.

4. (I don’t use a cached content plugin)

5. Flare – Flare is a social share bare and I use it on all my blogs. I think I first found it on Quick Sprout and thought if Neil uses it then it’s gotta be a winner.

6. Akismet – Some spam still gets through but this plugin at least helps stop the bulk of it.

7. (I don’t use an image optimisation plugin)

8. SumoMe – Exit intent optin forms are by far the best way to capture emails from a lightbox and SumoMe gives you exit intent optin forms for free.

9. Hello Bar – Hello Bar helps direct people to your important posts in a non obtrusive manner (which I really like). It drops down from the top of your blog.

10. ThristyAffiliates – Cloaking your affiliate links is a must and this makes it damn easy – especially if you want to create various links for one product so you can track which page converts best.

Ruhul Amin – TipsAndTricks-HQ.comRuhulAmin


1.) Best SEO plugin? – All in One SEO and Yoast SEO. I am going to pick both these two because I like them both.
2.) Best WP Backup Plugin? – I think “BackUpWordPress” is pretty good for a free plugin.
3.) Best SiteMap Plugin? – Probably Google Sitemap
4.) Best Cached content Plugin? – My favorite is W3 Total Cache. WP Super cache is pretty good too.
5.) Best Social Media Plugin? – I think JetPack’s social plugin is pretty good. I personally use a very lightweight social media plugin that I created ( I have my reasons 🙂 )
6.) Best Anti-Spam Plugin? – Akismet
7.) Best Image Optimization plugin? 
I personally just optimize my images before uploading it. So I don’t use a plugin for optimizing image anymore. If I had to pick one, I would go with the following one:

8.) *a personal favorite* – http://wordpress.org/plugins/all-in-one-wp-security-and-firewall/

Ruth Zive – Xpressly.caRuthZive


1.) Best SEO plugin? – Yoast, by far
2.) Best WP Backup Plugin? – Backup Buddy (though I now use WP Engine as my host, so no need for that)
3.) Best SiteMap Plugin? – Google Sitemap
4.) Best Cached content Plugin? – Don’t use
5.) Best Social Media Plugin? – Socialize
6.) Best Anti-Spam Plugin? – GASP
7.) Best Image Optimization plugin? – Don’t use
8.) *a personal favorite* – Love Commentluv
9.) *a personal favorite* – Embed Code Generator for Infographics
10.) *a personal favorite* – Google Analytics Dashboard for WP

Satish Kumar – SEOSiren.comSatishKumar


1) Yoast SEO
2) Online Backup for WordPress
3) Google XML Sitemaps
4) WP Super Cache
5) Digg Digg
6) Akismet
7) Wpsmush.it
8) Quick Adsense
9) Wpsiren Recent Posts
10) Date Exclusion SEO

Slobodan & Kelsey – SearchEngineJournal.com


Here’s our choices:

1.) WordPress SEO
2.) VaultPress
3.) WordPress SEO
4.) W3 Total Cache
5.) Fanciest Author Box
6.) Akismet
7.) WP Smush.it
8.) Link Patrol (though I am biased – It’s our plugin! But it really is useful)
9.) WordFence
10.) Shareaholic

**Slobodan Manic, our CTO, gave answers 1-7. I gave the others.

Steve Scott – SteveScottSite.comstevescottpic


First off, I am not too fancy in my addons.  I am more concerned about content over style, so I may miss some hip and cool ones.

But here are my thoughts:

1) All in one SEO
2) VaultPress
3) Google XML sitemaps
4) WP Super cache
5) Digg Digg
6) Askimet
7) WP Smush it
8) Pretty Link Lite
9) Ad rotator
10) Pop-up domination

(my favorites are those things which lead toward the most important blog focus IMO: list building)

Syed Balkhi – WPBeginner.comSyedBalkhi


Best SEO Plugin — WordPress SEO by Yoast
Best Backup Plugin — VaultPress (although it’s a service) … if plugin then BackupBuddy
Best SiteMap Plugin — I use WordPress SEO by Yoast
Best Cache Plugin — W3 Total Cache
Best Anti-Spam Plugin — Akismet
Best Image Optimization Plugin — None (you should use image editors like GIMP etc to optimize images). Alternatively use services like JPEG Mini. The server load some of the other plugins put on the upload process is counter intuitive.

Tamar Weinberg – TechiPedia.comtamarweinberg


1.)     Best SEO plugin? WordPress SEO by Yoast
2.)     Best WP Backup Plugin? BackWPup
3.)     Best SiteMap Plugin? Dagon Design Sitemap Generator
4.)     Best Cached content Plugin? W3 Total Cache
5.)     Best Social Media Plugin? not using any plugin – built into theme
6.)     Best Anti-Spam Plugin? Akismet
7.)     Best Image Optimization plugin? nothing here either 🙂
8.)      JetPack!

Venchito Tampon – DigitalPhilippines.netVenchitoTampon


1.)  Best SEO plugin? – SEO Yoast
2.)  Best WP Backup Plugin? UpdraftPlus Backup
3.)  Best SiteMap Plugin? Google XML Sitemaps
4.)  Best Cached content Plugin? W3 Cache
5.)  Best Social Media Plugin? Flare
6.)  Best Anti-Spam Plugin?  Akismet
7.)  Best Image Optimization plugin?  SEO Friendly Images
8.)  Many Contacts
9.)  Q2W3 Fixed Widget
10.) OnePress Social Locker

Vikram Kinkar – TechNorms.comVikramKinkar


1) Best SEO plugin – WordPress SEO by Yoast. Its pretty easy to understand and has a ton of options to control all major SEO settings from one page.
2) Best WP Backup Plugin – VaultPress, Worth every penny.
3) Best SiteMap Plugin – Google XML Sitemaps by Arne Brachhold. Been doing its job well for years. Is regularly updated.
Honorable mention: Google XML Sitemap for Images by Amit Agrawal. Helps to get all the blog images indexed and we receive a fair bit of traffic from the image search.
4) Best Cached content Plugin – W3C Total Cache. It’s the best among all other similar plugins.
5) Best Social Media Plugin – AddThis Smart Layers. Simple, Smart Effective. Would like to hear what other bloggers prefer to use.
6) Best Anti-Spam Plugin – Good Old Akismet, does its job well. We are on a pretty secure hosting platform with custom firewall and other security implementations. This plugin is is good enough for our needs.
7) Best Image Optimization plugin – Compress PNG for WP. UI used to do it the hard way by uploading heavy PNG images to tinypng.com. This plugin has automated the process by using their API and saves me a ton of time and bandwidth.
8) Login LockDown – Stops miscreants from messing with the login form. With the proper setting you can eliminate the possibility of brute force hacking or dictionary attacks. Since they don’t force users to show their link on the form, the person trying to log in doesn’t even know that their failed attempts are being recorded and their IP is being blocked.
9)  P3 Profiler – Helps users figure out which WordPress plugins are slowing down the blog and take action. Generates a pie chart detailing the time it takes to run each plugin while loading webpages on the blog.
10)  WP Security Audit log – Gives the admin extensive options about what exactly they would like to monitor on the blog. If there are multiple authors on the blog or the admin wishes to keep a look out for specific changes to his site, this can be pretty useful to keep an eye on the activity.

There you have it. My top choices for each of the category you mentioned and 3 of my top favorite plugins from quite a few others.

Yaro Starak – Entrepreneurs-Journey.comyaro_Starak


1) I use All In One SEO Pack
2) I use VaultPress, much more thank just a plugin though!
3) I have the WP Realtime Sitemap, although my tech person chose this one!
4) I am on W3 Total Cache like everyone else I know!
5) WP Socializer – again my tech person chose this for the custom integration she did
6) Akismet since the early days!
7) Nothing active at the moment – but now I’m going to look into it!
8) Love OptinMonster for exit-intent popups.
9) Love KingSumo Headline Tester for split testing my blog post headlines
10) Click To Tweet which helps me get more twitter shares

 


 

A Huge thank you to all of the experts who contributed to make this roundup possible! And a special thanks to Richard Marriott from Clambr.com for helping me out along the way and generally just being an awesome guy. 

This post took an enormous amount of time and energy – If you found it helpful, all I ask for is a simple share 🙂

Results Recap:

1.) Best SEO Plugin: WordPress SEO by Yoast – 36 Votes
2.) Best Backup Plugin: VaultPress – 11 Votes
3.) Best SiteMap Plugin: WordPress SEO by Yoast – 20Votes
4.) Best Cached Content Plugin: W3 Total Cache – 23 Votes
5.) Best Social Media Plugin: Digg Digg – 8 Votes
6.) Best Anti-Spam Plugin: Akismet – 29 Votes
7.) Best Image Optimization Plugin: WP.Smushit – 13 Votes (but you should probably optimize your images manually!)

Experts Choice:
8.) Gravity Forms – 5 Votes
9.) Optin Monster – 4 Votes
10.) Google Analytics for WP – 4 votes

For anyone that is interested in looking at the raw data from the Roundup, You can download the Excel spreadsheet HERE.

 

So what are your Top 10 Favorite WordPress Plugins?

 

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  • Richard Hale

    Quite interesting to get a perspective from a variety of marketers on some of the more popular plugins for WordPress. If I may suggest and agree with others, OptinMonster is a great plugin. Nice post.

  • OnSynergy

    oh dear! There is enough stuff here to keep me busy testing for the rest of the week. Awesome post!

  • Love lists and compilations like this especially when it’s on something as subjective as WP plug-ins. Definitely helps to learn about different options you may not have known about otherwise and would like to compare. Thanks!

    • Yea some of the end results I kind of seen coming – but the experts choice section was a real eye opener. I came across a few really cool plugins going through all the responses 🙂

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  • Great piece, thank you! For your next survey, please would you include the experts’ choice of security plugins? I see that some did venture an opinion in this regard.

    • Thanks, glad you found it helpful. Security plugins would be another great post idea, I’ll keep that in mind 🙂

    • steinm10

      I just posted above, but I install Google Authenticator and Wordfence on every site. Nothing is 100% secure, but these two plugins make me feel a little more at ease. Choosing a WP hosting provider is important too. If it’s in your budget, wpEngine is one of the best in the biz. Hope that helps.

  • Excellent and very interesting article Ryan. There are many plugins I was not aware with in experts list. Its a Top 10 by Top 42. Great stuff.

  • John

    Thank you Ryan for that cool list!

    In the “social media” category I’d like to draw attention to a 100% FREE plugin which we released recently: https://wordpress.org/plugins/ultimate-social-media-icons/

    We think it’s the best one on the market and user feedback seems to confirm that: in less than 4 months we got over 60k downloads, >280 5-star-reviews and an overall rating of 4.9/5.0.

    If you ever think about creating a similar list – please don’t forget us! 🙂

    John

  • Thanks Ryan you’re sharing great info here!
    It’s impressive to see how much agreement there’s on the best SEO plugin. Yoast is crushing it.
    I just wonder if this will make it somehow less effective?

    I’m also surprised to see how many folks don’t use an image optimization plugin. Smush.it for me is a must.

    Cheers

  • steinm10

    Great information. Nobody uses Google Authenticator to increase security measures? Quite shocking. It may crack my top 5.

  • Thanks for sharing……

  • I wish I had found this a year ago. It took me a lot of energy finding the plug-ins I use. Although I use a couple of these mentionee or at least comparable. However not all is lost, I did implement a compatible version of the WP optimizer and I love the idea of the comment luv and comment redirect. Thanks

  • Thanks for the tip about using Updraftplus. Backing up my work is a task I have ignored but must really take care of. I have no excuses really- I have WP Backup built into my Blog Dashboard but have not used this tool yet.

  • Thanks for these definitive and complete list, it was well worth reading.