My Top 5 Most Essential WordPress Plugins

As WordPress users, we all love to know what the best plugins are and what they can do for us. I know you’ve read many articles about Highly Recommended Plugins, Top 10 WordPress Plugins to Use, See Why 6 Awesome Plugins Help Online Blogging for You, and so many others and I still wanted to share my Top 5 Favs with you. Sometimes having a bit of a different perspective can help. Let’s get to it!

MY TOP 5 MOST ESSENTIAL WORDPRESS PLUGINS

My Top 5 Most Essential WordPress Plugins

Under Construction

This is one of my most recent acquisitions. When working on my client’s websites, it’s nice to be able to have a landing page with a pleasant greeting than just a blank maintenance mode. Lisa Sicard recently wrote about the Under Construction plugin on her website and I was intrigued enough that I had to try it out for myself.

The Under Construction page was created by Web Factory Ltd. This is such a great plugin that I now use it for my client’s instead of my previous Coming Soon plugin. I just so happen to want to change my theme on my other blog, so it gave me prime opportunity to test drive this plugin. Let’s take a look at how easy it is to configure. Note: You must first install the plugin. You can obtain it here.

Not bad, right? Let’s take a peek at what my landing page looks like!Under Construction Demo - Pibbles and Me is getting a Makeover

I love it! There are so many templates that you can use. Check out a few of them here. This plugin also comes highly recommended by many respected Entrepreneurs and Influencers, like Erik Emanuelli, in the online community.

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So, if you’re like me and often need to put a website into Maintenance Mode or Coming Soon for a new launch, you must check out this awesome plugin!

WordFence

There are many Security plugins out there in the WordPress world to help protect our sites. But let me tell you this. Not one is like the other. There are about 3 that I would recommend to my clients and use on my own site. However, I find WordFence about the most user-friendly one to configure, as well as, multi-functional with amazing features.

Some free features include:

  • Firewall
  • Scan (Malware)
  • Live Traffic
  • Ip Address Tracking and Blocking
  • Advanced Comment Filter
  • Monitor Disk Space
  • and so many more!

Trust me when I say, WordFence has not only saved my sites from malicious attacks, but my client’s as well! Highly recommend you use WordFence if you aren’t already.

Social Warfare

A WordPress plugin that adds beautiful, lightning-fast social share buttons to your website or blog. But that’s only the beginning….. I’ve written about Social Warfare many times in the past, The Best All-In-One Social Media WordPress Plugin and I still continue to recommend it to my client’s and friends. As a matter of fact, my good friend Lisa of Inspire to Thrive recently bit the bullet and purchased a license. I knew she would love it! She loves it so much that she even wrote about it on her blog!

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Social Warfare is always making improvements to its Premium plugin and adding new features! Most recently, they add more Pinterest features to help us Optimize our traffic!

I know if you take a look at the amazing features, you too, will fall in love and just have to purchase your very own license.

Comment Approved

Here is another great plugin that I started using a while back. I was having issues with spammy comments and was tired of all the work I had to do to weed through them. Not only did I add a different antiSpam plugin (FV Antispam), I also am now moderating first-time commenters.

I’m sure you’ve left comments on blogs where you were told the comments were being moderated but never received a notification if and when you comment was approved! By using Comment Approved, you can notify, via email, the commenter when you approve their comment. This lets them know:

  1. Your comment was approved (and/or valuable enough)
  2. You should be expecting a reply to your comment

There have been many times I leave a comment only to wonder “Was my comment even submitted?” By using Comment Approved, your readers will at least know that their comment was submitted and pending approval. Don’t leave your readers guessing! Start using this today!

Inline Related Posts

Oh yes, we all love to see those Related Posts at the bottom of our content. We like to entice our readers to continue clicking through our websites and read more of our hard work. But sometimes, a reader may not read all the way through to the end. Yes, I said it! It’s True! So, why not dangling a little goodie for them in your actual content?

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Inline Related Posts is a very cool plugin. Check out this video from their site!

I know you’ve seen the pretty little links in my content and possible wondered how they got there.

Inline Related Posts

Now you know! You, too, can use this fabulous plugin and customize it to meet your needs!

So, There You Have It

My Top 5 Most Essential WordPress Plugins that will make your blogging experience easier and more efficient!

Of course, there are many other plugins that I cannot do without but I’m sure you’ve heard of them over and over again. Oh heck, a quick mention won’t hurt, right?

And one that not business site should be without BNE Testimonials.

Just One Thing We Must Remember

And I cannot stress this enough:

Do Not Use Outdated Plugins!

Minimize the number of #WordPress Plugins you use! Too many can slow your site!Click To Tweet

If you’re not using it, Remove it!

Now, It’s Your Turn!

Share some of you favorite WordPress Plugins with us and let me know if you’re using any of my recommended plugins! I love learning about new ones, but even better, I love to know if you’re using the same ones as me!

 

25 Comments on My Top 5 Most Essential WordPress Plugins

  1. Cori Ramos
    June 30, 2017 at 12:57 pm (7 months ago)

    Hey Bren!

    Thanks for sharing your favorites with us. I use most of these like Socail Warfare, Wordfence and other thank you mentioned. The one I’d like to try is Inline Related post but I have so many plugins already.

    I have been thinking about removing Comment Luv and sticking to Jetpacks comment system…maybe if I remove CL I activate this one. 🙂

    I love the social warfare plugin because of the other features like tweetables. It’s one less plugin I had to use. 🙂

    Happy Friday B!

    Talk soon gf!

    Cori

    Reply
    • Bren
      July 5, 2017 at 6:43 pm (7 months ago)

      Hey Cori,

      I love Inline Related Posts. It gives a different look plus catches the readers attention BEFORE they get to the bottom. You should give it a shot. It’s not a resource hog at all. Social Warfare is by far my fav in sharing. The Click-to-Tweet options, customization of the share buttons and colors to match our blogs, and the Pinterest features alone make this plugin well worth the annual premium. And like you said, it’s one less plugin. 😉

      I appreciate you stopping by gf! Hope you’re having a great week!

      B

      Reply
  2. Dana
    June 30, 2017 at 2:25 pm (7 months ago)

    Hey Bren,

    Thanks for sharing all of this. I know there are always new plugins that offer a ton of cool benefits and I don;t have time to try to learn them all, so this is helpful.

    I saw Cori’s comment regarding Comment Luv. I removed it myself and replaced it with the Jetpack one because I know CL isn’t being updated any longer, so it made sense. You’re right about not using outdated plugins.

    Passing this along. have a great weekend 🙂

    Reply
    • Bren
      July 5, 2017 at 6:40 pm (7 months ago)

      Hi Dana,

      I’m glad you found it helpful, my friend. You know me, I always have to try out things and share the knowledge. 🙂 Yeah, it is sad about CLuv. I’ll miss it. Maybe someday, somewhere someone will create a new one. Maybe even Andy Bailey will recover enough to update it.

      Thank you for sharing it. I hope you had a great holiday!

      B

      Reply
  3. Rob McDonald
    June 30, 2017 at 9:02 pm (7 months ago)

    Hey Bren,

    I love this topic of plugins. It seems we all have are favorites.

    I agree the under construction plugin is a great plugin to use if you are about to launch a new site. However I don’t recommend it on a live site that is being redesigned. I prefer to work from a local or staging environment and then transfer it to the live site.

    I used to use WordFence on my site until I started hosting my site on WP Engine. Security is something they take of for me so I don’t have to worry about. I still use it on client sites from time to time as it is a really good security plugin.

    Social Warfare, what else can you say about them? A great plugin that I use as well and has definitely helped increase my social shares.

    I use Comment Luv Pro, so I have never needed to use a comment approved plugin on my site. Comment Luv takes care of this for me. Although, I have heard that this plugin is no longer being updated, so may have to find another solution for this.

    For related posts, I use the feature that is built into Jetpack. I was never a huge fan of Jetpack before, but have come to appreciate them more now as they have a lot of great feature that would normally span over multiple plugins all built into one.

    Bren, I also like your list of other plugins you like. I have used most of the plugins in the past and on client sites, especially anti-spam, it works really good to stamp out spam on your site.

    Bren, I will have to disagree with you on the number of plugins slowing your site down. I have 28 on my site, and it still loads in just over a second. I could probably get it down to under a second by eliminating some re-directs on my site, but haven’t done it yet.

    I believe that its not the number of plugins on your site that can slow it down, but the quality of the code in the plugin.s I try, as you mentioned in your article, to use high quality well-supported plugins on my sites so that they will not affect the performance.

    Bren, thanks for sharing this article with us, as I mentioned I love to see what everyones favorite plugins are. And its nice to see if we are using some of the same one.s.

    I hope you have a great holiday weekend!

    –Rob

    Reply
  4. Harleena Singh
    July 1, 2017 at 2:13 am (7 months ago)

    Hi Bren,

    Great list indeed!

    I must check out the under construction one – seems like a good one, unless my better half already knows of it! Yes, we do use Word Fence too and a few others, though keep trying and testing to tweak the ones that suit us best is the key. Not to forget to remove the ones we don’t use also, isn’t it?

    Thanks for sharing. Enjoy your weekend 🙂

    Reply
    • Bren
      July 5, 2017 at 6:32 pm (7 months ago)

      Hi Harleena,

      Oh yes, Under Construction is a good one. I was using one by SeedPro but once I tried this one, I had to have it. 🙂 I’m glad to see we use similar plugins. Great minds, right? And oh yes, always remove the ones we aren’t using.

      Great to see you here! HAve a fab week!

      B

      Reply
  5. Janice Wald
    July 1, 2017 at 12:07 pm (7 months ago)

    Hi Brenda,
    I know you and Lisa rave about Social Warfare, so I became interested. I just wanted to confirm, it’s not free, right?
    Janice

    Reply
    • Bren
      July 1, 2017 at 3:08 pm (7 months ago)

      Hey Janice,

      I believe there is a free version but it is very limited on what you receive. I know for a fact, you won’t have the Pinterest goodies on the free version. If you do opt to get the premium, I am an affiliate {wink} {wink}. 🙂

      Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment! Happy Holiday weekend!

      B

      Reply
  6. Lisa P. Sicard
    July 1, 2017 at 3:15 pm (7 months ago)

    Ii Brenda,
    Thank you for the mentions here. I just love all these plugins. I have started a page under construction for my new eBook coming soon! I can’t wait. Anyways I am thinking of going with the paid verison of WordFence. It’s on my bucket list.
    You are right about the old plugins as I have found with CommentLuv but for most of my commentors if the link doesn’t show if you click on their name or image it will take you to their last blog post. I hope there comes another one like it someday.
    Have a great weekend Brenda!

    Reply
    • Bren
      July 5, 2017 at 6:27 pm (7 months ago)

      Hey Lisa,

      You got it, girly! I’m really impressed by the Under Construction plugin. I am now using it on my client’s websites. Really like it! If I may ask, why would you go premium with Wordfence? Country blocking?

      It really is sad about CommentLuv. I did like the plugin, however, also found that some would comment just to leave a link. I’d rather have no comments than link droppers. However, it was a great way to return the blogging love, right?

      I hope you’re having a great week! We’re half way there! Chat soon!

      B

      Reply
  7. Andrew M. Warner
    July 3, 2017 at 10:41 am (7 months ago)

    Bren,

    Wordfence is gold to me. Love that plugin. Don’t know how I’d maintain without it. I tried other security plugins before and they just weren’t working. I like WPSmushit as well like you mentioned.

    – Andrew

    Reply
    • Bren
      July 5, 2017 at 6:16 pm (7 months ago)

      Hi Andrew,

      I’m glad to hear you say that about Wordfence. I know there are many out there, and I’ve tried several, but I continue to come back to Wordfence and recommend to everyone. It’s great to see you here, my friend! Hope you’re having a great week!

      B

      Reply
  8. Susan Velez
    July 5, 2017 at 9:56 am (7 months ago)

    Hi Bren,

    I too am a fan of the Social Warfare plugin and have been using it for several months. I just realized that we use a lot of the same plugins.

    I have to admit, I am not using the WordFence plugin. I know that I should, but for some reason, I never got around to getting it installed. Do you really feel like it improves the security of your blog?

    I went through and added some security code to my .htaccess file. I guess that’s why I never added the plugin. I feel pretty confident with the steps that I took to secure my .htaccess file.

    Oh, and I love the Revive Old Posts plugin. I couldn’t imagine having it on my blog.

    Thanks for sharing your favorite plugins with us, have a great day 🙂

    Susan

    Reply
    • Bren
      July 5, 2017 at 6:14 pm (7 months ago)

      Hi Susan,

      If we’re both using them, that means something, right? Maybe we just have good taste or like having the best, most efficient tools for our sites. 🙂

      I wouldn’t have a site without Security. If you have coded it into your .htaccess file, which I know many do, you should be fine. I do, however, use Wordfence on all my client’s sites and recommend it, obviously, to all bloggers.

      The Revive Old Post has been a super saver for me. I’m still too cheap to opt for the premium version, but the freebie does wonders.

      I appreciate you coming by and sharing with us! Have a great week ahead!

      B

      Reply
  9. Shantanu Sinha
    July 6, 2017 at 1:03 am (7 months ago)

    Hello Bren,

    WOW! Those are some quite attractive plug-ins over here 🙂

    There are many plug ins which offer very interesting amount of features along with them.
    No, doubt under construction theme is a fully packed theme which can be very helpful, vut also I am looking forward
    to try the social warfare too. Actually I was in the need of the plug-in which can allow me to take control
    over my social management.

    Thanks for the lovely share.

    Shantanu.

    Reply
    • Bren
      July 27, 2017 at 6:02 pm (6 months ago)

      Hi Shantanu!

      I’m glad you liked them and hope that you gave them a try! What type of plugin are you looking for to help with social management? Is Social Warfare something that can help you? If not, let me know what you’re seeking and I’ll see if I can give you a few suggestions.

      Have a great week ahead!

      B

      Reply
  10. Manish Kumar
    July 7, 2017 at 1:50 am (7 months ago)

    Hi Bren,

    Nice Plugins!

    Yes, the number of plugins should be minimum so it’s better to include essentials one. Wordfence is a security plugin for WordPress, which offers a huge suite of security tools and it is the most downloaded security
    plugin for WordPress websites.

    Social warfare is a plugin that can help you win in the battle of social media. It goes far beyond any other plugin I’ve seen geared towards social sharing. Social Warfare helps you get your content shared the way you want it to be shared.

    I will share your post on twitter.

    Thanks a lot for sharing.

    Reply
    • Bren
      July 27, 2017 at 6:04 pm (6 months ago)

      Hi Manish,

      I’m glad that you found my article informative and could add to the conversation. I love it when my readers can elaborate further on what I’m speaking about.

      I really appreciate your comment and the share! Have a great day!

      B

      Reply
  11. Gaurav Kumar
    July 22, 2017 at 2:39 pm (6 months ago)

    Hi,

    There is no doubt that plugins help to improve blogging in a great way. For me socialwarfare is the most used WordPress plugin.

    I also like WP-super cache and Yoast plugin.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
    • Bren
      July 27, 2017 at 6:05 pm (6 months ago)

      Hi Gaurav,

      I know many that you Yoast and WP-Super Cache. I hear they are fabulous. I’ve tried both before but and found them to be suitable.

      I appreciate you sharing with us and adding to the discussion. Enjoy your week!

      B

      Reply
  12. Adeel Sami
    August 28, 2017 at 1:23 am (5 months ago)

    Hello, Bren!

    I am using just the bunch of the plugins out of the listed ones but know all of ’em. 🙂

    And I am gonna use a few from your list to see what they offer to me.

    BTW, Broken Link Checker is the love, isn’t it? 🙂

    So, thank you! 🙂

    ~ Adeel

    Reply
    • Bren
      September 14, 2017 at 12:28 pm (4 months ago)

      Hi Adeel!

      So, which plugins did you try and are you still using them? Oh indeed, Broken Link Checker is a must have! As a matter of fact, I love it when another blogger contacts me and says “What’s up with your site? I have a bunch of broken links!” LOL Whoopsy!

      Have a great day, Adeel. My apologies for the delay in responding.

      B

      Reply
  13. Benjamin Ehinger
    September 10, 2017 at 11:54 pm (4 months ago)

    Bren,

    I probably use 4 or 5 of those you’ve listed above (including the final list at the end of the post). I try hard to only use the most essential plugins for my site instead of everything recommended by someone.

    Social is very important, obviously, but I think many W3 Total Cache for better speed. So important to set the foundation properly before building the house (blog).

    Reply
    • Bren
      September 14, 2017 at 12:26 pm (4 months ago)

      Hey Benjamin!

      I’m glad you like my plugins! As bloggers, freelancers, and entrepreneurs, we all have our own little favorites, right? I haven’t used W3 Total Cache but I do many who do use it and love it!

      Thanks for adding to my list of plugins! We just can’t have enough of them, can we? 🙂

      Bren

      Reply

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