Plugins are like smartphone apps. They’re great in the way they add to your website’s functionability.

The major issue with plugins is finding one that gets regularly updated by the developer.

Whilst there are several that you do a similar job, a plugin that isn’t regularly updated will leave your site vulnerable to getting hacked.

Here’s a list of my favourite wordpress plugins:

1. All In One SEO

Alternative: Yoast

Benefit: This plugin helps you configure (setup) your On Page SEO correctly, in particular your title and your meta description, which both show up in the search engine result pages (SERPs).

2. Contact Form 7

Benefit: Adds a customisable contact form onto your website. If you’re old fashioned and like to leave your email address on your website then I highly recommend you leave it as an image (e.g. jpg).

With so many crawlers out there you’ll get hit with spam if you leave your email in text format.

3. Disable Comments

Benefit: Stops those annoying spam messages that get left by marketers who are still using automated software tools to get a backlink from your website *sigh*.

4. Exclude Pages From Navigation

Benefit: stops pages appearing in your navigation tabs. Some wordpress themes automatically add new pages into the top menu navigation bar but you might want to hide a page if it contains sensitive information.

5. Google XML Sitemaps

Benefit: Creates an XML sitemap of all your website’s pages. This helps Google and the other search engines to crawl and index any pages that are hard to find, or that don’t have any inner links pointing to them.

6. Page/Post Specific Social Share Buttons

Benefit: adds social widgets above or below each page/post. Any of the social shares plugins will do the trick, this just happens to be one that I find easy to configure.

7. W3 Total Cache

Benefit: Speeds up your website by enabling browser and database caching.

If you’ve got a slow loading website then you need to urgently fix this because people don’t like to hang around. This plugin helps you boost your site load times.