I know that there are many posts like this on the internet, and you might be thinking why should you read this particular one, right?

Well, I won’t make this list obvious, so no Akismet, no Contact Form 7, no All In One SEO Pack. This is a real-life list of 10 essential plugins for every WordPress site.
(Of course, if you’re using some interesting alternatives then feel free to let me know in the comments.)

10 Must Have Plugins for WordPress Sites

After The Deadline

10 Essential Plugins for WordPress Your Site Needs

This is THE spellchecker for WordPress. Actually, it’s a lot more that that. After The Deadline uses an advanced algorithmic approach at analyzing your grammar, style, and flow of your sentences. It’s not just a simple “typo searcher,” so to speak. Make sure to check it out.


This plugin follows a really nice idea. It rewards everyone who comments on your blog, by automatically including a link to their last blog post. It fetches the blog post from the blog URL they’ve input in one of the comment fields. You can set this link to be nofollow or standard.

Digg Digg

This plugin isn’t about Digg (the social news platform), like the name suggests. It allows you to add a nice floating social sharing bar next to your blog post containing various social media buttons. This approach is very effective as the readers have the possibility to share your articles at any moment.

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Growmap Anti Spambot Plugin

10 Essential Plugins for WordPress

Guess what? You don’t need Akismet to protect your site against comment spam. In most scenarios, this plugin is a lot more effective. It adds a client-side generated checkbox to the comment form. The visitor has to check this box before submitting a comment. The best thing about it is that bots don’t see the checkbox.

Online Backup for WordPress

Backups are really REALLY essential for every WordPress site’s existence. You can’t really run a successful site without taking care of regular backups. This plugin helps you with that by performing a full backup of your whole site (database and file structure) with just one click.


Let’s face it, the search feature in WordPress is not any good. It matches the latest posts as the most relevant. Relevanssi provides a more Google-like experience. It displays the most relevant results first by using its own custom algorithm.

SEO Smart Links

This plugin has a lot of features, but it’s main purpose is to interlink your blog posts automatically. This means that the plugin searches your content for keywords and then links these keywords to other content on your site. Such a thing is great for SEO.

W3 Total Cache

Site speed is now an important ranking factor in Google. Also, people like to visit sites that respond quickly. Caching is actually the cheapest way of speeding up your site. The idea is that instead of your WordPress scripts running each time a new visitor comes, the final state of your site can be stored in a cache and then delivered to the visitor faster.

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WordPress SEO

This is an SEO plugin that’s better than All In One SEO Pack. This plugin really has it all. ‘Nuff said!

WP Smush.it

This is yet another plugin for improving your site speed. This plugin uses the Smush.it mechanism to reduce image file sizes (it converts each of the images you use in your content to a smaller size). As a result, your site consumes less disk space, so it can load faster.

This sums up my list of 10 essential plugins for WordPress. Like I said in the beginning, feel free to list any alternatives you know of.