20 Essential WordPress Plugins to Turbocharge your blog in 2012

Best WordPress Plugins 2012WordPress plugins which add functionality and new features to your WordPress Powered blog, without even editing a single line of code is extremely essential. There are few essential plugins, you can’t even think of your WordPress blog without it.

Out of 1000s of plugins, I have chosen 20, which are the Best WordPress Plugins to make your blogging career successful in 2012.

Few of the top plugins I personally use on my WordPress Powered blog MoneyCTL.com ( the blog you are presently reading).

BEST WordPress Plugins for 2012

1. Akismet: This is the mother of all plugins. Almost 90% of WordPress users have installed Akismet spam blocker on their blogs. If you are getting sleepless nights due to plenty of spam comments on your blog, then, this is the right plugin for you. Just install it and kick all the spammers in to the bay. For personal use it is absolutely FREE.

2. All in One SEO Pack: The big daddy of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) for WordPress blogs. It gives excellent results, if you judiciously use this plugin. The common mistake bloggers do is – after installing All in One SEO Pack plugin they just forget everything, and expect it will do everything for them.

If you use it religiously for your every blog post then the result is outstanding. Most interesting part is, you can control the title, meta description and meta keywords for each blog post and page very easily. Definitely one of the best SEO plugins available for WordPress blogs. Thanks Michael Torbert.

3. Personal Favicon: Favicon is considered to be the signature of the blog. And, Personal Favicon WordPress plugin is the best favicon manager. You have to just add the URL of your favicon in the URL box of the plugin, rest everything will be take care by Personal Favicon WordPress plugin.

4. WP-PageNavi: Most essential plugin for your WordPress blog, if you are a serious blogger. It adds a beautiful page navigation at the bottom of your page, just like mine (MoneyCTL.com). Moreover you can customize the look and feel of the Page Navigation according to your needs. From SEO point of view and to increase the page-views I have added Page Navigation to my  categories, archives and tags also.

5. Slick Social Share Buttons: Social sharing is the latest trend and every body are just diving in to this holy river. Slick Social Share Buttons is an extremely essential plugin for your WordPress powered blog for 2012 for sure. It works  wonderfully for Facebook, Twitter, Digg, StumbleUpon etc.

6. Google XML Sitemaps: Spidering and indexing of all your articles by search engine spiders are extremely important for appearing in the SERP ( Search Engine Result Pages). Google XML Sitemaps generate a site map so many times in a day, there by providing essential data to search engine spiders for indexing of your blog articles. One of the BEST WordPress plugins for sitemap generation for 2012 for sure.

7. iWPhone: Responsive web design is the latest craze in webdesign world. Designers are making websites which fits for all devices available to surf the web, not just the desktop or laptop. By using this essential WordPress plugin your blog will be iPhone compatible. I am personally using this plugin on my blog and it is compatible with all the smartphones available in the market, not just the iPhone. Rock your blogging career in 2012 with this awesome WordPress plugin.

8. Contact Form 7: Contact form is most essential to communicate with your subscribers and clients. Have you checked my Contact Form on MoneyCTL.com ? Isn’t it beautiful ? This plugin is updating its version frequently and definitely going to rock 2012.

9. Subscribe To Comments: If you want to engage your reader by making them visit your blog frequently, the Subscribe to Comments is the right plugin for you. Whenever a reader click the check box, she gets notification via Email about any new comments on the same article. A great way to engage your readers. Isn’t it?

10 WordPress Related Posts: This plugin display a string of related posts below each article, thereby offering your visitors to read more and more articles during each visit. You can set the number of articles you want to display by setting in the plugin.

11. Redirection: A WordPress plugin to manage all your 301 permanent redirection and also take care your 404 errors. This is a great plugin for changing permalink structure in your WordPress blog or simply changing certain URLs.

12. Really Simple CAPTCHA: It adds a captcha to your contact form to prevent spam. It is a must for all WordPress powered blog to avoid cluttering of spammy message.

13. WordPress Database Backup: Have you ever imagined – While editing your WordPress theme folder, you put some wrong codes and POOF !, everything is gone. Your all the hard work will be a big zero. Install this WordPress plugin and schedule a database backup, at least once in a week. This plugin is going great and gonna rock 2012 as well.

14. WP Super Cache: Imagine, you blog post is featured on the home page of StumbleUpon for a really witty article. 10s of thousands of visitors came to your blog. Is your blog ready to receive this huge traffic ? Certainly not. Here, WP Super Cache come to your rescue. This WordPress plugin keeps a catched version of your blog in the browser and helps to load your blog very fast. A must have WordPress plugin for 2012.

15. CloudFlare: The best WordPress plugin for CDN ( Content Delivery Network). Yes, it works great for WordPress Platform. It make your blog lightning fast. Definitely an essential WordPress plugin for whole 2012.

16. WP-Polls: By adding a poll question, the interaction of visitors increases on your blog. Wp-Polls is a great plugin with plenty of customization option, making it a sure sort candidate for rest of 2012.

17. WP-Forum: If you want to extend your WordPress blog by adding a forum, then this plugin is certainly for you. Run a hassel free forum right from your blog.

18. SEO Rank Reporter: When you publish an article, do you eager to know its present Google rank ? Everybody do! SEO Rank Reporter instantly tell the present Google rank of your article.

19. Google Analyticator: It displays your Google analytics on your blog dashboard itself. You don’t have to visit your Google Analytics account every time. Most essential plugin for 2012.

20. Jetpack by WordPress.com: My favorite WordPress plugin for 2012. I remember, I installed this multi-tasking plugin on Jan 1st, 2012, early morning. Its a plugin to die for due to its multi-tasking nature. Checkout this awesome and essential WordPress plugin for 2012.

Recommend your Essential and Best WordPress Plugins for 2012 for blogging success, to make the list more better.

Comments

  1. Cherrie Donnie says

    I’d update this with a link to Gladinet Cloud Desktop. With that installed, Amazon Cloud Drive most certainly is backup for your local drives. viva la Cloud!

    • says

      Thanks Reza. You should test-drive the free version of CloudFlare CDN before going for premium.

      Surprisingly, the FREE version of CloudFlare also works great!

    • John says

      Hello webmaster. First, thanks for all the info here. I do have three questions if you don’t mind:

      1. On my WordPress blogs, the word “Reply” doesn’t look like a button the way yours does. How did you accomplish this if you don’t mind saying?

      2. I’d like the “add a reply” to appear right after my initial post. Do you know of any way to do that?

      3. I also like the other stuff (Twitter handle, spam check, etc.)

      I guess what I’m asking is, did you use a plugin to accomplish all this?

      Your Pal, John.

  2. says

    I have only just started using wordpress and this list has made my day. Thank you so much for putting this list together.

    I really like the All in One SEO Pack plugin :)

  3. says

    Very useful list of WordPress Plug-ins. I’m using W3 Total Cache for caching. So I would recommend it. And the following plug-ins can be also added to the list:
    * WP Reply Me
    * SEO Smart Links
    * WP Smush It

  4. says

    WP-PageNavi is not necessary. Because this plugin add numbered page navigation feature. Which is already present in any WP theme!! :)
    anyway,
    I am using only few plugins from above list. :)

  5. says

    What a great list you have put together here! I already use several of these but some I hadn’t even thought of until reading this post.

  6. says

    Hey Nandita,
    I am just setting up my own personal blog and was looking for the most up to date list of plugins and your article here has helped me massively so I just wanted to say thanks!

    Keep up the great work.

  7. says

    Hello Nandita B,

    I am a new blogger and searching over the internet that what we all should know about the successful running of our blog.

    You reduced my one problem by publishing your post related to plugins that we should have install on our blog. I am very grateful to you. I will promote your blog through my website, promise, but you have to help me time to time OK …Just Kidding
    Thanks a Lot

  8. says

    Hi Thomas,

    iWPhone WP Plugin is the answer to responsive web-design. With a couple of clicks your blog becomes mobile compatible (not just iPhone).

    Glad, you liked the post! Thanks.

    • says

      Hi Iwan,

      You should go for W3-Total Cache for your WP Mu site.

      For best result, use MaxCDN (Premium) + W3-Total Cache = In terms of result (Fastest) and affordability this is the best combination.

  9. Peter Fox says

    Thank you Nandita for a really helpful list, probably my fave Wp plugin list I’ve found!

    I’m a designer so not completely savvy with code or development but am currently using Wp as a CMS on a site I’m working on….Do you know of any plugins that will help me customise a theme using my own images? If not I have a workaround but would like to know if there is a plugin that could allow me to have a footer image or Nav bar that stretches as the browser expands?

    Many thanks

    Peter

  10. says

    Thanks for the great tips.

    We’re a blog just starting up on wordpress and some of the plug ins you’ve suggested solve problems we hadn’t even considered yet!

    Great work :)

  11. says

    Thanks so much for the list, I am in the process of installing social share buttons, wp database backup, SEO Rank Reporter, & Google Analyticator. Just being able to see my analytics in my dashboard is going to be a huge time saver! Thanks!

  12. says

    I love it when people write about WordPress plugins. There is always one that I have never tried! I too am a lover of WordPress and want to try to establish professional relationships with as many WordPress bloggers as I can. You haven’t seen the last of me!

  13. says

    This is a really good post and I really did find the plugin which I was searching for through the post, but I have a couple of questions
    1. Which theme are you using ?
    2. What is commentluv could you tell me a little about it.

  14. says

    I love your website! Thank you so much for all of the useful information. I am bookmarking it now and will be implementing some of these plugins into my site. :)

  15. says

    I know may be this is not the right place to ask – But I am looking for plugin that shows user name and state name where user is from. All my user are going to be from USA only but I want to show their Username & state name as well. Any help with this? premium plugin are fine too…

  16. says

    This was a great article. we are trying to get our SEO strong after years of ignoring it. If you have any other tips please let us know. we are looking to get that number one spot.

  17. says

    You might consider adding Google Analytics for WordPress plugin to your list. It is designed by Joost de Valk. It provides more functionality than Google Analyticator.

  18. says

    I have used Digg Digg, ShareBar and Sexy Bookmarks but did not satisfied with their performance. Each one loads their javascript increasing load time. I prefer to use own codes.

  19. says

    I’m looking for a wordpress plugin that allows me to publish a post to social media in one step from the wordpress admin, rather than creating a post in wordpress, copying the link, and using something like seesmic or hootesuite. Any recommendations? thanks

  20. Johan Sven says

    Lovely collection of plugins – Akismet is just brilliant, I also love ClickDesk – which I use to chat with my site visitors.

  21. says

    All plugins are very good. But this list is too big, if all installed , the website may not afford the heavy load. you’re not supposed to install ALL of them. Many offer duplicate functionality anyway. The point is to use this list to find the best plugins suitable to your site.

  22. says

    YOU are so good at it we have problem of web site popularity on share and options and futures in india, please writ how to make wp and wesite popular thanks

  23. says

    I have used some of these plugins and my blog is relatively new, but I am not getting enough visitors, can u please give me some tips to get good traffic. I am planning to post daily one tech tidbits on my blog which will be useful for the readers to understand about technology in a simple way.

  24. Gaude says

    you’ve collected great gallery of WP plugins. I use some of them and since i have installed them my website is really more interesting for customers. Also there is one more great plugin which you did not mention – it is called UP YOUR SALE in codecanyon. That one is very good if you want to increase your sells, it can force your website to generate real money.

  25. says

    Thank you Nandita for suggesting all WP plugins.Great collection on wp plugins butt ALL IN ONE SEO is better to others plugins.I really like this plugin.Mostly Thanks to this Plugin.Keep it up and post more.

  26. says

    Hey thanks for this list. working my way down it now :) i like the sound of cloudshare, I am always wanting my site to be faster and wasn’t quite sure what CDN was when I was reading it in places..

  27. says

    Hello! Using these many (20-30) plugins can slow down your blog. Can’t it? What is the ideal maximum number of plugins a website on shared server should have?
    Are you on shared hosting? If yes, please tell me how many plugins you use.

    • says

      There is nothing like a fixed number of plugins for a WordPress blog on shared server. It’s completely depends on you and the features/functionalities you want to add to your blog.

      Again, a blog using 20 plugins (with a good CDN) loads faster than a blog with 10 plugins (without a CDN). Page speed also depends on other factors besides the number plugins.

  28. says

    Good plugins. I wish I can try later. For the related post plugin, I’m just do it manually because I can manage more suitable for my content.

  29. says

    I am not sure why All-in-One SEO is recommended everywhere. I use it and like it a lot but they do not rename titles for Catgories or Tags. I have to use it with SEO Title Tag. I would prefer to use just one SEO plugin, so I have been on the search for one and keep seeing All-in-One touted. I wish they would update this feature of their plugin OR other plugins step up and combine this feature.

    I have seen Ultimate SEO listed, by its name it seems good. One feature that stuck out was that it helps with automatically redirect 301 when you update the URL or Permalink (this feature is also not available in All-in-One SEO).

    I like All-in-One and for now still use it. Definitely easy to use and great features, but I recommend using it with SEO Title Tags if you are going to use it.

  30. says

    Nice list, I have got almost all of them except CloudFlare. Of late, I have heard many people saying that it reduces the ppc of adsense and other stories. To be on the safer side, prefered not implement it.

  31. says

    I really like the Favicon pluggin. Many of my blogger friends are using it and it is really the signature of blogs. I don’t know how many people use it, but as long as I know and feel, it is definitely a user-friendly one. Unlike other plugins which take a long bandwidth time, in this there is no such thing.

  32. says

    Nandita,
    This list is going to help me significantly, but more importantly it will help my clients! I run a web design and marketing company that offers one CMS: WordPress. These plugins have really hit the spot and will substantially increase the effectiveness of my business. Thanks for sharing.

  33. says

    Nandita,
    This is a fantastic list. I’m already using a lot of these but learned about a few new ones thanks to you!

    What is commentluv and which commenting system are you using (is it commentluv)

  34. says

    This all plugin are very helpful and interesting.. with this plugins IndiaNIC is glad to share you the more plugin which makes your blog easy and attractive. Here give is the FAQ plugin through which you can Manage your Faqs Group. (Add, Edit, Delete and Order Question)
    Filter and search Faqs Group Admin Side
    Manage your Faqs Question. (Add, Edit, and Delete)
    Filter and search Faqs Question Admin Side
    Bulk Action with Move Quetion to Another Group.

  35. says

    Some of them are my favorite too.
    Alternative ways:
    - Personal favicon, You may use short html code and paste it in header instead of installing this plugin.
    - Cloudflare, You may straight away sign up and check the stats in their own site instead of installing.

  36. says

    I was searching for a good backup plugin and here I found it on this page. You have done a very good job by providing an essential list of plugins which every WP blogger must know and have some of them at his arsenal

  37. says

    Hi Repoulin,

    You are very correct about the features of All-in-One SEO Pack.

    The fact is – All-in-One is a basic SEO plugin with minimal features and an easy to use UI. Suites the needs of newbies or non-SEO Savvy bloggers.

    All-in-One + SEO Title Tags = Much better features/results. Thanks for the suggestion :)

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