PluginWe have a pretty short list of favorites that we feel are the best WordPress plugins around.  As a successful web marketing company, we have tested and tried just about everything that is out there and have based our list on items that we feel not only are fantastic plugins – but that offer the most value to our client’s websites.  When we call anything a favorite, it isn’t just because it is cool – it has to offer something really valuable to either make our job easier or make our client’s websites more effective.  With that said – here is our Top 5 List of our choices for Best WordPress Plugins!

  1. NextGEN Gallery:  Everyone needs a photo gallery it seems and we have come to rely on NextGEN Gallery anytime we have to manage photos on a client’s site. It is extremely easy to setup and use, and it provides widgets and shortcodes to easily place a single photo, a slideshow from a particular gallery – or even an album of galleries when necessary.  Using NextGEN Gallery is a no brainer and it tops our list of Best WordPress Plugins.
  2. WordPress SEO by Yoast:  Why do we use WordPress for our client’s websites? We can name several, but a big one is because there is no easier platform with which to deliver a well-rounded SEO strategy.  WordPress SEO by Yoast is our secret weapon to make sure that an entire site is optimized from the home page down to every last tag and category.  The best feature of the Yoast SEO plugin is it’s real-time page analysis.  You can see instant SEO feedback on any page or post, along with suggestions to make the page perform better.
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  3. Bad Behavior: We all hate spam, but many find out the hard way that email spam is just the tip of the iceberg!  Open up a blog and you’ll probably have your first spam comment or pingback within 24 hours.  Akismet is probably the undisputed leader in stopping spam, however, it’s not free.  We have had great success with a plugin called Bad Behavior.  It has all sorts of options for blacklisting and whitelisting certain domains – and it also actively learns which comments to block making it more and more effective, the longer you use it. Definitely earns a solid spot on our Best WordPress Plugins list.
  4. Contact Form 7: Everyone needs a contact form. Contact Form 7 is simply the most flexible contact form plugin out there. We have used it for everything from simple email signup forms to complex data forms with database storage.  Contact Form 7 has a wide array of addon plugins that allow things like storing data to a database, interfacing with third party services (mailchimp, surverymonkey) and more. It’s also easy to customize and style.  You can’t lose with Contact Form 7.
  5. Sharebar:  Last but not least – what good is a blog if no one knows about it? The Sharebar plugin is the most flexible tool we’ve found to quickly add the ability to share, tweet, post, digg, and whatever else you want people to do with your posts.  It’s quick and easy to install and it also gives you post-level control over which social network options are offered.  You might want to offer all the services on one post while hiding all but a few on another. With Sharebar, that’s a piece of cake.

With over 15,000 plugins available, navigating the labyrinth of WordPress plugins can be a daunting task.  We hope this Best WordPress Plugins list kickstarts your site and gets you moving in the right direction!