Over the last couple of months I’ve worked hard to increase the loading speed of this site. Part of this process was stripping out as many WordPress plugins as possible and I’ve managed to get down to using just 15 WordPress plugins. Below you can see the 15 essential WordPress Plugins that I use.
Adds a contextual spell, style, and grammar checker to WordPress. Write better and spend less time editing. Visit your profile to configure. See the Proofreading Support page for help.
Replacement for the built in RSS widget that adds an optional link target, shortcode_handler, and page conditionals.
I use this instead of the default WordPress RSS widget as I spotted that the WordPress RSS Widget pulls in the full text feed, which is a lot of maybe useless content for SEO purposes
Provides a drop-down to select different templates for posts from the post edit screen. The templates are defined similarly to page templates, and will replace single.php for the specified post.
With this plugin, you can safely change your permalink structure without breaking the old links to your website,and even doesn’t hurt your google pagerank.
I moved from blogware to WordPress many years ago, and this plugin ensures that links to old posts still work.
The Disqus comment system replaces your WordPress comment system with your comments hosted and powered by Disqus. Head over to the Comments admin page to set up your DISQUS Comment System.
This plugin allows me to eliminate a handful of other WordPress plugins.
a quick and dirty WordPress plugin to enable image lazy loading.
I use this plugin to speedup the loading of my pages, by delaying when images are downloaded.
A NextGENeration Photo Gallery for WordPress.
Manage all your 301 redirects and monitor 404 errors
SEO Auto Links & Related Posts, a combination of related posts plugin and auto links plugin. The auto links feature will automatically convert related posts title, meta keywords and post tags into internal link.
This is a new addition, replacing my old YARPP plugin. It does everything I need like adding related posts (with thumbnails if so desired) to posts and feeds, but it also allows me to auto link important keywords to improve SEO.
Automatically adds alt and title attributes to all your images. Improves traffic from search results and makes them W3C/xHTML valid as well.
Removes common words like ‘a’, ‘the’, ‘in’ from post slugs to improve SEO.
After installation, you must click ‘Settings ? SimpleReach Slide’ to turn on The Slide.
The results of this plugin have been fantastic and I’ve been achieved >5% CTR on some of my sites. The team behind the plugin are very approachable, and even added in the ability to display the plugin on Pages as well as Posts after I requested it.
The highest rated and most complete WordPress performance plugin. Dramatically improve the speed and user experience of your site. Add browser, page, object and database caching as well as minify and content delivery network (CDN) to WordPress.
This plugin can be painful to use and configure, but is worth the effort. If (correctly) configured it will significantly increase loading times.
The first true all-in-one SEO solution for WordPress, including on-page content analysis, XML sitemaps and much more.
Reduce image file sizes and improve performance using the Smush.it API within WordPress.
Do you have any WordPress plugins that you can’t live without?