Over the past few years WordPress has gone from a relatively specific publishing platform using primarily by bloggers to a fully fledged Content Management System (CMS).
Having a good knowledge of WordPress is an absolute core skill that anyone who is keen to make money online can’t do without.
Side Note: If you’re brand new and are not sure about WordPress yet then check out this tutorial in which I show you how to create a WordPress website completely from scratch within 24 hours. Plus sign up for Kick-Start Profits using the form on the right for loads more weekly tutorials like this one.
Now, one of the coolest things about WordPress is that there are thousands of plugins available that have been created by third-party developers. Some you have to pay for and some are free but these plugins are part of what makes WordPress so incredibly flexible.
I recently received an email from a subscriber asking what my top 10 WordPress plugins were.
I was SURE I’d written a post about this before but after a failed search I discovered in fact I hadn’t! 😮
So here it is, a list of my Top 10 WordPress Plugins Of All Time….
(Note: This list is in no particular order!)
This plugin allows you to add a cool player to add audio files in posts and pages. One thing I love about it is that it has a great range of display custom options.
Contact Form 7 (Really Simple Captcha)
As the name implies this allows you to add a contact form within a separate blog page (or anywhere you choose really).
It’s a great idea to add a captcha code as well which prevents robots and spammers send you junk. Install the free Really Simple Captcha plugin to do this – it works happily alongside Contact Form 7 to get the job done!
Google XML Sitemaps
Sitemaps make it easier for search engines to index your pages. This plugin is very simple to install and set up (just click a button). A no-brainer really!
Subscribe To Comments
This plugin adds the “Notify me of followup comments via e-mail” check box at the bottom of the comment section in your blog posts.
This allows people to be informed of new comments on a particular post that they’ve contributed to. Hence they are more likely to come back and post again, increasing traffic and social proof on your site.
This is a video library and player.
It has lots of custom display options (size, look, feel, autoplay etc) and makes managing videos very easy. Much better than just using embed code straight from YouTube. It works in conjunction with JW Media Player which is another WordPress plugin.
You can check out a demo of the player (and a clip on me playing guitar) by clicking here.
Wishlist Member instantly turns your WordPress blog into a membership site!
It takes a day or two to get comfortable with it but after that it’s very easy to use and is the ideal tool if you want to set up a premium area on your blog that only certain paying subscribers get access to.
I’m not really a fan of using advertising to monetize your blog. You need a LOT of traffic to make it pay well and I think there’s usually more profitable options such as affiliate marketing or creating your own products.
However, I do still own a small site which makes me money by displaying Google ads (which is what Adsense is). So for this reason I’ve included the Quick Adsense plugin I use in this list.
This plugin is responsible for the Twitter and Facebook icons and buttons that you see at the bottom of this post.
Please do click them if you enjoyed this post :-). Using the plugin allows you spread the word about your content and gain new subscribers.
Anyone who has experienced WordPress will know that spam blog comments can be a real issue.
Spammers use automated software to post messages all around the web in the hope that they’ll gain authority for they own sites. It’s stupid really but people still do it.
To prevent spam, Akismet is the best plugin to get the job done. I recommend choosing the free option until you start making money and then you can switch to a low prices business option.
This is great for adding “show/hide” sections to your blog, which comes in very handy when you want to post, say, long transcriptions for audio interviews. Here’s a simple example…
[spoiler]The transcription text for your audio would go here… [/spoiler]
There are many more useful plugins than can help you and by no means is this list exhaustive. Also there are many alternatives to the ones I’ve mentioned here. However, this list is my personal preference.
Let me know what you think (and if you have any questions) by posting a comment below….
I use some of those plugins, love Akismet, tries other spam plugins that didn’t work as well so only use that now.
Subscribe to comments is the one I keep meaning to install and then something else crops up. Silly really cos it only takes a minute to install.
I am going to use Aweber WordPress opt-in plugin on my next blog and I love my sidekick plugin (not free).
I am a bit wary of using too many plugins as I heasr they can cause problems, but so far I haven’t had any problems with mine.
Completely agree on Akismet Dee, definitely the best option out there.
Thanks for letting us know about Sidekick. I’d never heard of it before but it looks pretty cool 🙂
Thanks for your input Dee, always great to hear your thoughts!
this is a great post, so many people when getting started are overwhelmed with the options with all these plugins and there are great ones and bad ones so this list is going to help people find the good from the bad and akismet is a must.
Thanks – glad you enjoyed it! 🙂
Where would we be without plugins? They certainly make WordPress very easy and user friendly.
Yes I have not used all that you have nominated but I use most. I think it would be a lot harder to keep you blog clean if you do not use Akismet. I will go and have a look at all that you talk about here.
To YOUR success
Thanks for stopping by with your thoughts.
Yes, Akismet is definitely and essential piece of kit and any blogger 🙂
All the best,
Excellent post Rob, many thanks.
Can I ask your opinion please? I set my blog up using blogger, and it has around 200 posts on it – do you think it would be worth me switching to wordpress and moving everything across?
Glad you enjoyed the post 🙂
Ideally, it’s much better to have your own domain as you get so much more control.
If the existing blogger blog isn’t getting much traffic and not making any money then I wouldn’t definitely go ahead and port it.
If it is already quite popular then one option is to start a fresh blog on your own domain and direct your existing readers over to it with a new post.
Hope this helps a little Ged!
So much I want to ask you!
Your blog here is excellent because amongst other things it’s easy to navigate.
Can you give me a clue as to how it was built? I’m not a techie so maybe I’m asking a dumb question but is it wordpress built?
As you can see I have my own hosting company( Justhost.com) so should I use them to to build my niche blog page using Fantastico or do it direct with wordpress? I’m a content creator for that’s what I like doing and I suffer from information O/L because I can’t avoid it.
I’ve said it before but for the short time you have been developing your business you’ve done marvels and you are the first teacher that I’ve been remotely able to understand.
Glad you’re enjoying the content – thanks for your comment!
This site is WordPress using a Thesis Theme. Very easy to set up and really WordPress is the way to go these days.
Here’s a tutorial on how to create a WordPress site that I created: https://www.gainhigherground.com/ksp3createawebsite/
I’d also recommend you sign up for Kick Start Profits if you haven’t already, you’ll get tutorial like this every week straight to your inbox!
Hope this help for now 🙂
Great thoughts in this post! How many plugins are too many?
Right now, I am running about 9-10. Have you ever used more? 20? 30+?
I don’t think there is a fixed max but in my experience WordPress does slow a little if you have too many. Also, I don’t really see a need for more than around 10. Probably like most things, always better to keep it simple if you can 🙂