Seven Integral WordPress Plugins

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.


  • John R. Adams

    What’s up with Media Temple not standing behind what their support reps promise? Weird policy. Causes customers to post stuff like this. One rep explains the planned migration, says not a word about how we will lose email services, then after the migration we are told that we have to pay extra to keep email services. Apparently their policy changed a year ago, and their service made an honest mistake and forgot. So, because MT makes an “honest mistake”, we are expected to pay for a migration that has now been abandoned.

    • Hey John, we’re sorry to hear about the difficulties you’re having. If you can give us a little bit more information as to the domain in question (like the domain name), we can certainly help. If you don’t feel comfortable with that, reach out via support ticket or chat, mention my name (Alec), and we’ll make sure to ameliorate the situation as easily and quickly as we can. Once again, we’re sorry for the misinformation and look forward to fixing this issue for you. ^AR

      • John R. Adams

        Hello, Alec. Thanks for reaching out. The domain is The migration was requested by my colleague Catherine; she was moving from Grid service to Managed WordPress. Catherine was very careful to get assurances from the MT rep that moving to MWP would have a specific set of costs. The migration enrollment did make it clear that email would not be migrated, but of course she wasn’t trying to migrate email (only the website), so this obviously would not affect her.

        Imagine her dismay to be told, after the migration, that MWP does not offer email (apparently it did until last year; which appears to be the source of the rep’s mistake). We have since abandoned the migration, and are sticking with Grid for now (so that we get website hosting and the same email services).

        MT’s position was that they had already paid CloudTech for the migration, and that therefore it was “impossible” to refund us for the moot migration, which was based solely on MT’s incorrect assurances. Again, an honest mistake by the MT rep results in our loss.

        Apparently a supervisor has already decided that a refund is “impossible” (which is absurd, of course — MT can issue a refund if it wants to), in spite of also admitting that the MT rep made an “honest mistake”.

        Apparently the supervisor is hiding behind the disclaimer that explained that email services would not be migrated — which Catherine consented to — but of course, Catherine was not expecting or wanting email services to be migrated. Mighty odd way to run your business: the service rep that is knowledgeable in your own offerings makes an honest mistake, and MT insists that the customer pay for the rep’s honest mistake.

        Seems to me that MT should be apologizing for its mistake. I also find it unfortunate that MT changed its story on the delay in the migration. It was first admitted (in a recorded chat session) to be due to a mistake on MT’s side about how the “information form” was not properly processed. You see, we submitted the information form within 20 minutes of placing the order, and the migration was “Pending” for a week; according to the MT rep, it was stuck waiting for the information that had already been submitted. Later, that reason was dismissed in favor of “we were just really busy.” No mention ever again about the real reason for the delay, which of course was just another “honest mistake” (this time, some sort of software glitch at your end). We can handle honest mistakes; no problem. Lying about mistakes is not palatable, however. And being expected to pay money for MT’s mistake is just crazy.

  • Thanks for the shout out on Give!

  • ericbullet

    Total cache is disabled in my media temple hosting. Media temple has a built in cache

    Yost Seo is better than just have a sitemap.

    Beaver builder and similar builders will all slow down your site. Just learn to code a little bit or hire someone.

    Smush is great!

    Sliders are all the way out. Don’t bother.

    Disqus — no comment

    • ha… I see what you did with the Disqus remark

  • Danial Wilson

    All listed plugins are great. Thanks for sharing.

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