There are 47,429 plugins available in the WordPress plugins directory to choose from.
New plugins are added to the directory almost every month.
While you don’t need to install all those plugins to run a successful WordPress blog, there are a few of those that have helped us grow our blogs and will definitely help you grow yours.
The WordPress plugins listed in this article are the ones that we use ourselves, recommend and install on every WordPress site that we create.
These plugins will not only help you grow your website traffic but will also secure your website, make it faster and make your life easier.
12 Must Have WordPress Plugins List
1. Yoast SEO
Yoast SEO is an all in one SEO plugin for WordPress. With more than 34 million downloads, it is one of the most popular SEO plugins.
It not only helps you improve your on-page SEO, but it also helps you in writing better Search Engine Optimized content.
Yoast SEO is one of the easiest SEO plugins for WordPress I have ever used.
2. W3 Total Cache
W3 Total Cache is all you need to speed up your WordPress site. It is used and trusted by sites like Mashable, Smashing Magazine, CSS Tricks and thousands of other websites.
Increasing your website’s load time is a difficult task, and this plugin makes it pretty easy.
You just need to set it up once, and it handles everything itself.
3. WP Limit Login Attempts
WordPress on its own has no limit for login attempts. Making it prone to Brute Force attacks.
In a brute-force attack, the attacker simply tries a lot of different username and password combinations until he is able to login to your website.
Hackers use brute force software that are developed to test thousands of username and password combinations every second.
WordPress on its own doesn’t do anything to prevent brute force attacks.
This is where WP Limit Login Attempts comes to help. It simply blocks IP addresses after a number of login failed attempts.
4. Contact Form 7
Contact Form 7 is a free contact form creator for WordPress.
It allows you to create and manage multiple contact forms that can be used anywhere on your website.
You can embed your contact forms on any page by just placing a shortcode.
5. Google Analytics Dashboard For WP
Google Analytics Dashboard helps you install Google Analytics tracking code on your WordPress site.
It also adds a real-time Google Analytics widget to your dashboard.
Once you completely setup the plugin, you can view all your Google Analytics reports right in your WordPress dashboard.
It also allows you to stop tracking of logged in WordPress users like Authors, Administrators, and Contributors.
6. Google XML Sitemaps
If you want Google to index all the pages on your website, you will need to submit your website’s XML sitemap to Google Webmaster Tools.
Bad news: WordPress itself doesn’t generate XML sitemaps.
This is where Google XML Sitemaps comes handy. It automatically generates an XML sitemap for your website. Once you install this plugin, your sitemap will be available at:
7. Sucuri Security
Sucuri Security is the only plugin you need to secure your WordPress website.
It not only scans your website for Viruses and Malware but also hardens the security of your WordPress website.
Thousands of websites get hacked every day. If you want to protect your website from getting hacked, you need to start using this plugin.
It includes features that allow you to clean your hacked WordPress site.
Developed by Automattic, VaultPress is a real-time backup and security scanning service.
Real-time backups make sure every change you make to your website is safe.
Backing up your WordPress site manually is time-consuming.
Without VaultPress, you will need to manually create backups of your WordPress website every time you make changes.
VaultPress makes sure you never lose even the slightest changes you make on your WordPress site.
It also helps you easily migrate your site from one Web Host to another.
9. Monarch Social Sharing Plugin
Monarch is an all in one social sharing plugin for WordPress developed by Elegant Themes.
It offers over 20 social networks to choose from including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google Plus and much more.
Monarch comes with a lot of customization and tracking options.
You can change the colors, design, and icons.
If you are interested in using Monarch, you should read our Monarch review.
Elegant Themes’ Membership Starts at $69/year.
If you are looking for a free WordPress plugin and don’t need the functionality offered by Monarch, you can use Sharify.
Akismet comes pre-installed with WordPress. It is a service by Automattic, the company behind WordPress, that helps you detect and remove spam comments from your blog.
If you are using the default WordPress comment system, then I would highly recommend you to install and use Akismet to prevent your blog from spammers.
Setting up Akismet is pretty easy. You just need to install Akismet, Sign Up for the Akismet service, enter your API key and then Akismet starts preventing your blog from spammers.
Yet Another Related Posts Plugin (YARPP) is a free plugin for WordPress that enables you to automatically display related Posts at the end of your posts.
It uses an advanced customizable algorithm to find related posts.
It takes into account category, custom taxonomies, tags, content and post titles when finding related content.
You can customize how the algorithm works from the settings page of this plugin.
Jetpack by WordPress.com is a free WordPress plugin that helps you secure your site, improve its speed and get more traffic.
It improves the security of your website by preventing it from Brute-force Attacks.
It also helps you increase your blog traffic by offering tools like Publicize, Related Posts, Enhanced Distribution, and Sharing.
All the plugins listed in this article are the ones that we use ourselves.
These are the plugins that we ourselves install on every WordPress site we create.
These plugins will not only make your life easier but will also help you grow your blog.
What are your favorite WordPress plugins?
Did we miss anything?
Have some feedback for us?
Let us know in the comments section.