Top 21 WordPress Plugin Picks for 2014

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Plug conceptIf you are using WordPress for your website or blog, you will want to bookmark this list. One of the best things about the WordPress platform is the ability to quickly and easily customize your site, even if you have zero coding or design skills.

Following are some of my top picks for WordPress plugins for 2014. The majority of these are free, so even if you are on a small on non-existent budget, there will be something here for you!

Broken Link Checker

This plugin detects broken and missing links, both of which can damage your relationship with the search engines and with your readers. You can even choose to receive notifications via email when a link isn’t working.

WordPress SEO by Yoast

An oldie but a goody! This plugin gives you a built-in template for optimizing each of your pages and blog posts. It’s extremely easy to use, and takes the guesswork out of SEO for your content.

SEO Facebook Comments

Ever wonder how some blogs have a Facebook comment box in addition to their native WordPress comments? This plugin is one way to implement this feature. It will allow visitors to your site who are logged in to Facebook to use the Facebook comment box. It also pulls in comments made on Facebook, adding user-generated content to your site (which is GREAT for SEO!)

Flare

There are tons of social icon plugins available, but this is one of my favorites (you can see I’m using it on my own site). I love that you can display your share buttons above and below your posts, or have it float beside your content. It’s also customizable, so you can choose which social buttons and counters you want to display.

JM Twitter Cards

This plugin will allow you to automatically get Twitter cards for each of your posts. This means that when you or one of your visitors tweets a link to one of your posts, any pictures, videos or metadata attached to your post will show up within the body of the tweet.

All in One Schema.org Rich Snippets

We know that rich snippets are becoming increasingly important for search engine rankings, but unless you’re a programmer, implementing them can be difficult. This plugin makes adding rich snippets easy, giving you a ‘meta box’ that is easy to fill in when you create a new post.

Contact Form 7

If all you need is a basic, good-looking contact form, Contact Form 7 is still one of the top picks among marketers and webmasters.

Simple Pull Quote

Readers love quotes, and this plugin is one of the easiest ways you can insert attractive and customized pull quotes into your content. This will ensure your readers see important quotes, and it’s also great for breaking up and adding interest to large chunks of content.

Author Bio Box

If you currently accept guest posts on your blog, or if you simply want to make sure you’re credited for each piece of content on your site (both by your readers and for Google Authorship), you may want to consider installing Author Bio Box. You choose the image and blurb you want it to display, and it will insert your bio (or your guest posters’ bios) underneath each blog post or article.

Backup Buddy Premium

Although there are free backup plugins available, none are quite as robust or reliable as Backup Buddy Premium. Priced at $80 for a lifetime license, it’s a bit of an investment, but having the assurance that both your WordPress files and database are safe and secure is priceless.

Nrelate Related Content

Having trouble getting visitors to stay on your site? Offering related content is one way to increase both time-on-site and overall pageviews. This plugin simply needs to be activated, and it will automatically scan your content, associating and displaying similar articles.

WP Smush.it

If you find your site takes a long time to load, the problem may be the size of your images. Rather than manually ‘shrinking’ all your images and then re-uploading them, this plugin allows you to automatically run through all the images currently on your site and compress them. It will also automatically compress all new images you upload to your site.

WooCommerce

Want to add an ecommerce feature to your WordPress site without having to pay for a complete redesign? This plugin allows you to easily convert your existing theme into an ecommerce store.

Google Analytics for WordPress

This plugin allows you instant access to your traffic data all within the comfort of your WordPress dashboard.

Google XML Sitemaps

It’s critical that you have a proper XML sitemap on your site so the search engines can find and index all your valuable content. This plugin automatically creates one, allowing Google, Bing and Yahoo to see the complete structure of your site.

BuddyPress

Have you ever thought about adding a forum to your WordPress site? BuddyPress allows you to quickly and easily set up an online discussion board and allow private messaging between members.

Facebook Chat

With one click, you can add public and private chat to your website or blog. Facebook Chat gives you the ability to connect with your website visitors in real time, meaning you can dialogue with visitors about your content, or even offer live customer support.

The Events Calendar

If you frequently host events – either live or online – this plugin will save you oodles of time. It allows you to easily create and display events on your website, improve the SEO rankings of your events, and even allows visitors to search for events on your site.

Search Everything

If you’ve ever had visitors complain about the built-in search function on your site, this plugin may be the solution. It improves the search functionality on your site, and even gives you the ability to customize, highlight or exclude specific pages and posts from search.

Ultimate Coming Soon Page

Not quite ready to launch your website, but want more than just a generic ‘coming soon’ page? This plugin allows you to easily set up an attractive and customized ‘coming soon’ page, without any coding or design knowledge. You can even collect emails so you can notify visitors when the site is live!

Rating-Widget

Ever wonder how some sites get those cool little ratings stars next to their content and products? This plugin will allow you to easily add a rating system to your site, allowing visitors to rate and review your content using stars or thumb ratings.

There are so many great plugins I could have added to this list, but these are some of my favorites.

Which plugins would you add to this list? Let us know below!

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Comments

    • Kim Garst says

      I would find someone to help you troubleshoot this. It sounds like you have a conflict in your plugins somewhere. I recommend checking into wpfixit.com. Great resource!
      Look what Kim Garst just posted..The 12 My Profile

  1. says

    I have a couple to add:

    Anti-spam. Currently, the best plugin I’ve found for keeping comment spam off of my blog. No captcha, nothing for the user to see.

    Advanced Image Styles. Adds back in some of the image editing functionality lost in the latest WordPress updates.

    TinyMCE Colorpicker. Color picker that stores the custom colors you use.
    Look what Lesa just posted..Is Copying Someone Else a Path to Success?My Profile

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