As WordPress grows with every core update, so do the wide variety of plugins that become essential to the world’s most popular CMS. Here are some of our current favorites.
Google XML Sitemaps: With a legacy almost as old as WordPress itself (9 years and running), WordPress developer Arne Brachhold made it simple to for search engines to find WordPress sites. The sitemap generated by this plugin reveals the site structure to crawlers and automatically notifies search engines about a new piece of content on any site – it couldn’t be easier.
W3 Total Cache: Possibly the most popular caching plugin on WordPress, but for good reason: It’s the most comprehensive one as well. Sites both large and small can take advantage of the CDN-like power of W3 Total Cache, which will improve load speed, reduce download times, and do some nifty SEO tweaks as well.
WPSmush: Image compression is an easy way to speed up site load times and reduce the overall site footprint. But… it can’t be done in WordPress’ image database. Until now. WP Smush not only resize images but also compress and optimize them for almost any site. Smush away!
Soliloquy: Sliders are in, sliders are out… and now, sliders are back in again. Utilizing a technique called “dynamic asynchronous ajax preloading,” Soliloquy let’s anyone easily add responsive sliders to a WordPress site in mere minutes. Go forth and slide in confidence.
Give: Ever want to do some fundraising for a good cause? Give is the perfect (and only) app for that. Used by over 20,000 nonprofits, Give’s donation form is simple, easy to use, and comes with a slew of tracking metrics for the data geek on your team.
BeaverBuilder: BeaverBuilder takes WordPress and, unbelievably, makes it even easier. Not exactly a plugin, this design tool for responsive sites takes away heavy lifting of editing a WordPress site and packages it in a WYSIWYG-esque editor. This is a great tool for designers and developers who need to edit dozens of sites on the fly.
Disqus: So good that it’s been an essential part of this very blog, Disqus makes commenting and regulating comments a cinch. The comment moderating dashboard allows users to track and regulate the flow of discussions while providing in-depth analytics to maximize the reach your next trending topic.