10 Popular WordPress Plugins - dummies

By Lisa Sabin-Wilson

Here are ten of the most popular plugins available for your WordPress blog. And if these ten plugins aren’t enough for you, you can find many more at the official WordPress Plugin Directory.

AppPresser — Mobile App Framework

Developer: AppPresser

AppPresser allows you to use a WordPress site as an app, including access to device features such as the camera, contacts, and more. You can create your app completely in WordPress, using themes, plugins, and all the stuff you already know.

The AppPresser core plugin is free to download from the WordPress Plugin Directory.

What the AppPresser plugin does:

  • Integrates Phonegap with WordPress, which exposes the Phonegap API.

  • Allows you to use JavaScript to use native device features.

  • Allows you to use other AppPresser plugins and themes to create an app.

  • Adds a settings page with an app-only home page, menus, and theme settings.


Developer: Automattic

Jetpack is not just one simple plugin; it’s a suite of plugins. Jetpack bundles great features such as:

  • WordPress.com Stats

  • Publicize

  • Notifications

  • Jetpack Comments

  • Subscriptions

  • Post by Email

  • Carousel

  • Likes

  • Sharing

  • Spelling and Grammar

  • VaultPress

  • Omnisearch

  • Gravatar Hovercards

  • Contact Form

  • WP.me Shortlinks

  • Google+ Profile

  • Tiled Galleries

  • Widget Visibility

  • Mobile Theme

  • Custom CSS

  • Shortcode Embeds

  • Beautiful Math

  • Extra Sidebar Widgets

  • Infinite Scroll

  • Photon

  • Jetpack Single Sign On

  • Monitor

  • Mobile Push Notifications

  • Enhanced Distribution


  • VideoPress

Because Jetpack runs and is hosted on the WordPress.com cloud server, updates to this suite of plugins happen automatically.

Subscribe to Comments

Developer: Mark Jaquith

The Subscribe to Comments plugin adds a very nice feature to your blog by letting your visitors subscribe to individual posts you’ve made to your blog. When your readers subscribe to individual posts on your blog, they receive notification via e-mail whenever someone leaves a new comment on the post. This feature goes a long way toward keeping your readers informed and making the discussions lively and active!

The plugin includes a full-featured subscription manager that your commenters can use to unsubscribe to certain posts, block all notifications, or even change their notification e-mail addresses.


Developers: Facebook and Automattic

This plugin was developed by Facebook for WordPress with a little help from the developers at Automattic. The goal of the Facebook plugin is to save you time by easily sharing your new content with your Facebook page and allowing your Facebook friends to discover that content and interact with your website seamlessly.

All in One SEO Pack

Developer: Michael Torbert

Good SEO practices help the major search engines easily find and cache your blog content in their search databases so that when people search for keywords, they can find your blog in the search results. All in One SEO Pack helps you fine-tune your blog to make that happen. It automatically creates optimized titles and generates HTML keywords for your individual posts.


Developer: iThemes Media

Starting at $75 for the personal user and $197 for its entire development suite of plugins BackupBuddy lets you back up your entire WordPress website in minutes. With this plugin, you can also determine a schedule of automated backups of your site on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.

BackupBuddy not only backs up your WordPress data, but it also backs up any theme and customized plugins you’ve installed and saves and backs up all WordPress settings and any widgets that you’re currently using.

BackupBuddy also includes an import and migration script (importbuddy.php) that allows you to easily transfer an existing site to a new domain, or new host, within minutes.

This plugin is invaluable for designers and developers who work with clients to design websites with WordPress. Using BackupBuddy, you can download a backup of the site and then use the import/migration script to transfer the completed site to your client’s site within minutes.

WP Super Cache

Developer: Donncha O’Caoimh

WP Super Cache creates static HTML files from your dynamic WordPress content. Why is this useful? On a high-traffic site, having cached versions of your posts and pages can speed up the load time of your website considerably. This process eases the efforts the web server must take to display the content in your visitors’ browsers.

Twitter Tools

Developer: Alex King

One of the nicer things that came about shortly after Twitter hit the scene was Alex King’s plugin for WordPress called Twitter Tools. This plugin lets you tweet an announcement every time you publish a new post on your blog. The announcement appears on your Twitter stream and is read by all of your Twitter followers. People can then click the link and read your article.

It also has some pretty nifty tools that enable you to

  • Publish a post on your blog with your Twitter updates from the day.

  • Publish a tweet directly from your blog, so you don’t have to use another browser window or application.

  • Tag your blog posts with Twitter hash tags.

Google XML Sitemaps

Developer: Arne Brachhold

Google XML Sitemaps lets you create a Google-compliant site map of your entire blog. Every time you create a new post or page, the site map is updated and submitted to several major search engines, including Google, Yahoo!, and Bing. This plugin helps the search engines find and catalog your site’s new content, so your new content appears in the search engines faster than it would without a site map.

Sucuri Sitecheck Malware Scanner

Developer: Daniel Cid and Dre Armeda

Protect your website by using the Sucuri Sitecheck Malware Scanner — an easy-to-install-and-use plugin that enables full scan capabilities — for both malware and blacklisting — from Sucuri, right on your WordPress Dashboard. The plugin checks for malware, spam, blacklisting, and other security issues hidden inside code files. It’s the best defense you have against malicious hackers and very easy to implement.