WordPress is an extremely versatile platform for building websites. You can pretty much build anything with it these days. One of the most powerful features of WordPress are the literally thousands of plugins you can install that add all types of additional functionality and features. Here are 25 plugins that will improve nearly anyone’s site in the key areas.
Disqus – Probably the most widely used commenting system on WordPress. It integrates beautifully and can increase your comments.
LiveFyre – This is a newer commenting system but seems to be growing in popularity. Mashable uses this commenting system.
Askiment – The best SPAM killer in the business.
CommentLuv – Reward people who comment by placing a link to their last post at the end of their comments.
Subscribe To Comments – Users who leave a comment can check a box and be emailed notifications of further comments on a particular post.
Flare – Flare is one of my personal favorite sharing plugins. The icons are beautiful and it integrates really well. Flare is what is used on this blog.
Social Media Widget – Really nice plugin for displaying your profiles in the sidebar of your site. Social Media Widget is used on this site.
Social Locker – This plugin allows you to lock part of your content until someone likes or tweets it to reveal the rest. Can be very effective — assuming you have content worth reading.
AddToAny – An extremely popular sharing plugin. I’m not a huge fan because it can be temperamental depending on what theme you use and it can be a little slow loading. But it’s very popular so you may want to give it a try.
WP-Super-Cache – A fairly simple caching plugin that many sites use. We used to use it until our site got large enough that we needed much more robust options. Good one for beginners.
W3 Total Cache – We use this plugin currently. Very robust cache features plus minify and Content Delivery Network (CDN) capability.
WP-DB-Backup – Really good plugin for keeping your databases backed up.
DB-Optimize – An excellent database optimization plugin. Another one we use here.
Redirection – This is a good plugin for handling 301 redirects.
WordPress SEO by Yoast – There is only one plugin I’m recommending for SEO and it’s this one. There is no reason to mention any others because this is the best. Ask anyone. Seriously.
Yet Another Related Posts Plugin – We use this plugin to list additional blog posts at the end of our posts. Good for keeping people on your site longer.
Contact Form 7 – Probably the best contact form creator plugin there is. We use it on this site. Very popular plugin.
WP e-Commerce – Allows you to add shopping cart functionality to your WordPress site.
Jetpack – This adds too many things to list. Additional analytics, sharing, etc. This is a really nice plugin.
BuddyPress – Turn your WordPress site into a social network like Facebook.