All favourite plugin lists are subjective to some extent. We all hone our likes and dislikes regarding plugins over the years. Bearing this in mind these are the ones I currently like and use a lot.
Our Favorite Free WordPress Plugins
Some people dislike this plugin but I like it a lot. It allows you to switch off (deactivate) individual modules if you don’t need them. So I deactivate everything except the following modules
- WordPress.Com Stats – I like to see the stats and top posts on my dashboard
- Omnisearch – Generally useful for searching everywhere
- Custom CSS – Risk free way to make style changes to your site. You can add them to style.css when you are sure
- Monitor – Jetpack servers will check your site every five minutes and will send you an email to the connected WordPress.com account address when there is a problem.
- JetPack Comments – People have to sign in via WordPress, Twitter of Facebook to comment
- Enhanced Distribution – tell search engines when you post
Anti Spam. I have gone full circle on this. Used to use CommentLuv but have come back to Akismet.
Cannot live without this plugin. There is an alternative now built into Jetpack, but I deactivate that in favour of the real thing.
Helps to keep your WordPress database trim. It allows you to decode how many versions of pages and posts are to be held in in the database.
Another of our plugins – we have a new update coming out on this to make use of the newer HTML5 tags. It allows you to add images with captions and a choice of frames. But this plugin is via shortcode only – if you are a visual editor junky it’s not for you.
Simple Social Icons
The ultimate solution to placing your links to Facebook, Twitter etc and making buttons colors match your theme.
If you also use the Genesis Club Pro plugin, then Simple Social Icons will work even better for you. Simple Social Icons has some limitations which are removed when used in conjunction with Genesis Club Pro.
Set up properly with Genesis you can really tighten the on-page SEO of your site, integrate with Social Media and provide an XML sitemap for Google and you are set.
Genesis Simple Sidebars
I use this in conjunction with the Genesis Club Pro plugin and Widget Logic to control sidebar content. The three plugins work very well together to arrange specific stuff in sidebars for certain pages, posts or parts of your site.
Our Favorite Premium WordPress Plugins
We use Gravity Forms for all contact forms – it is so easy to use, and worth paying for if you are a webs designer and have to create a lot of forms for clients. Makes it quick and easy with full form validation and honey-traps built in to discourage spammers.
Genesis Club Pro
This is one of ours and I use it on every site we build. It’s just too useful – which is why we built it. Huge time saver and performs currently 50+ tasks that we do routinely on Genesis sites. We’re adding new functionality all the time, so watch out. Genesis themes only though.
Whenever I set up a new Genesis site, there are several premium plugins that go onto it, every time. Two of these are Genesis Club Pro and Genesis Extender. With these two plugins I can do almost anything.
Coming Soon Pro
This is a very useful plugin that enables you to set up an attractive holding page to display before your site goes lives, or a maintenance page when you need to take your site down for maintenance. It can also collect sign ups before you go live too.