Plugins can add almost any imaginable functionality to your WordPress blog.
With more than 23,000 free and 1000s of premium plugins available; life of a blogger has become very easy these days.
I’m listing here – My collection of Top 20 WordPress Plugins for bloggers of every niche in 2014. Most of the plugins mentioned here are not only essential for every bloggers, but also the best in their respective categories like anti-spam, sitemap, security etc.
1. Akismet: The one and only plugin every blogger activates just after installing a fresh copy of WordPress for his blog.
This is the plugin, you can’t imagine your blogging career without it. It fights against comment spams in the best possible way.
Basically it moderates all your blog comments via the Akismet Web Service and display the spammy looking comments on your Admin Screen. It’s up to you, to SPAM or UNSPAM them. Undoubtedly the top anti-spam WordPress Plugin for 2013.
2. Google XML Sitemaps: Indexing of all your blog posts and pages in major search engines should be the top priority of every blogger.
How can web-readers find your creations if they are not indexed in search engines?
This Plugin exactly do the same as soon as you publish a new post or page, by generating a special XML sitemap and prompting search engine bots to crawl and index your content efficiently.
3. Jetpack by WordPress.com: Probably the best plugin you can gift to your WordPress powered blog.
You can add a number awesome features to your self-hosted WordPress blog, which were available to WordPress.com users only.
Free features like Photon, Infinite Scroll, Mobile Theme, Social Media Sharing, Email Subscription, Jetpack Comments, WordPress.com Stats and Gravatar Hovercards are available under a single roof.
Created by Automattic, the company behind WordPress – is the favorite of almost all WP bloggers.
4. All-in-One SEO Pack: My all time favorite SEO (Search Engine Optimization) Plugin for WordPress blog.
These days newbie as well as intermediate bloggers (blogging for 1 to 2 yrs) are getting carried away by the glitters of SEO, and losing ranks due to over-optimization.
And the main reason is – Use of complicated SEO plugins, which displays Keyword Density, Scores etc., and tempts to over-optimize by keyword-stuffing resulting in low quality posts. Instead of concentrating more on the quality of blog post, they are staring more on the digital parameters of these misguiding SEO Plugins.
With 13,451,174 downloads and counting; the simplicity of this Plugin makes it the BEST in its category.
5. WordPress Backup to Dropbox: Backing-up your blog regularly should be your top priority. Nobody knows, when it may crash or get hacked by a boring kid.
And the Best and Safest way to backup all your data is by using this out of the box Plugin.
Compatible with the latest version of WordPress, great support and secured backup makes it the Best Backup WordPress Plugin.
6. WP Super Cache: This Plugin makes your blog Super Fast.
Everybody knows – A fast loading site is how much important from SEO (ranking) as well as user experience point of view.
WP Super Cache produces static HTML files from your dynamic WordPress blog, and serves them to 99% of your visitors. A must have plugin for blogging success in 2013.
7. Better WP Security: One of the top WordPress Security Plugin available, which protects your blog from hackers in a most effective way.
It protects you from all the vulnerabilities like obsolete plugins, software, weak password, and keeps the attacker away from sensitive areas like login, admin etc.
It also stores a regular backups of your database and helps to get back online faster in case your site get hacked.
8. Redirection: 404 Error pages are very common problem of every bloggers, which also a component of Panda algorithm (large number of 404 pages) due to its low quality.
This plugin keeps a track of all your 404 errors and helps you for 301 permanent redirection, easily and effectively.
Very useful plugin, if you are migrating from your old WordPress blog to a new address (new domain).
9. Social Media Widget: Social media sharing plays a vital role for your blog like – Higher search engine ranking, traffic and brand building etc.
This Plugin makes your job easy by placing a sidebar widget with Social Media Icons of your choice.
Supports all possible social media networking sites, option to choose your icon size (3 sizes) and package (4 packages), and animation options are noteworthy. You can also choose to use the rel=”nofollow” tag in your links.
10. WordPress Poll: Adding a Poll to your WordPress blog is a great way to entertain and engage visitors.
It adds an AJAX Poll System to your blog, which is extremely customizable via templates and CSS Styles. It also supports multiple selection of answers.
I personally use this awesome plugin on my blog to host polls, every now and then. A top WordPress Plugin in Polling category.
11. Slick Social Share Buttons: Sharing your posts and pages with your social media friends and followers are as important as sharing your Home Page (via Social Media Widget).
As social sharing acts as a search engine ranking signal, and helps you to achieve higher ranks in SERPs. Also brings tons of traffic as an act of sharing.
A highly customizable social media WordPress Plugin. I am using this beautiful plugin on my blog which you are reading now.
12. SI CAPTCHA Anti-Spam: It adds a CAPTCHA to all your forms, registration, lost password, login etc.
It ensures added security by preventing spams from automated bots. It’s highly configurable and works great with Akismet.
Go for this beautiful CAPTCHA Plugin if you are a security savvy blogger.
13. Contact Form 7: A simple yet highly configurable contact form Plugin for your blog.
With it, you can manage multiple contact forms on your blog, which supports CAPTCHA and AKISMET Spam filtering.
Add this Plugin to your blog for ease of use and better flexibility.
14. Subscribe to Comments: An unique way to inform commenters about the subsequent comments on the post.
Bringing commenters back to your blog will increase engagement, loyalty and page views.
A must have WordPress Plugin for every blogger in 2013. It’s one of my favorite, and am using it on my blog.
15. WordPress Related Posts: By displaying related posts below your blog post, you can engage your readers for more time, thereby increasing the page-views.
This Plugin generates a list of related posts with thumbnails in the footer of your content. It’s also mobile-ready.
It show the statistics about Page Views and CTR (click through rate) of related articles on your WordPress dashboard. It includes both desktop and mobile devices.
16. WPtouch: Make your WordPress blog mobile-ready.
This easy to use Plugin transforms your WordPress blog theme in to a beautiful mobile theme. It gives a smooth browsing experience on mobile devices like iPhone, iPod touch, Android mobile phones, BlackBerry etc.
With exponential increase of mobile web-readers, expected to surpass the desktop counterpart in 2nd half of 2014, WPtouch is the most popular plugin among WordPress bloggers.
17. WP-PageNavi: Unfortunately, most of the WordPress themes don’t come with numeric page navigation. Instead, they show the Previous and Next Post links.
From better user experience, reader engagement and SEO point of view – Numeric Page Navigation is must.
This highly customizable Plugin is essential for every WordPress blog in 2013.
18. Transposh WordPress Translation: Make your blog available to the whole world by providing a means of translation to almost 66 languages.
Transposh makes the translation work easy for your blog readers.
Compatible with the latest version of WordPress and with a great support, this is one of the Top WordPress Plugin for bloggers in 2013.
19. WP e-Commerce: A top e-Commerce Plugin to sell products, services and digital downloads to your customers.
Main features of this plugin are – Highly customizable, plenty of integrated payment gateways, option to add discounts and coupons, search engine friendly, and with a great support.
20. Smart YouTube Pro: If you are planning Video Blogging, then this WordPress Plugin is for you.
A Professional Video Plugin, which allows you to easily insert videos in to your post, comments and RSS feed.
It also supports Vimeo, Metacafe, Facebook high quality videos, and works great on iPhone and iPad.
With video thumbnails support, numerous customization options and compatibility with HD Video Protocols – This is one of the Top Video WordPress Plugin in its category.
Hey just wait – In case you are planning to migrate your old WordPress blog to a new address (Domain) or, simply want to transfer few blog posts to your new blog, then WordPress Importer is the right plugin for you.
It imports Posts, Pages, Comments, Categories, Tags and Custom Fields from your old blog to new one, via an Export File.
When I tried this plugin for an hands-on experience, the migration of post with comments was extremely smooth. A cool Plugin for sure.
I’m pretty sure – The above list of Top WordPress Plugins for 2013 will make your blog and blogging career Secure, Well-backed-up and Successful.