10 Must Have Functionality Plugins For WordPress

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Let’s face it, almost everyone’s using WordPress nowadays. And despite the hundreds of plug-ins posts with “must have” SEO plug-ins, the most fundamental functionality plug-ins are often left unnoticed, even though site functionality is a critical component to the SEO mix. Let’s explore some of the most important functionality plug-ins for WordPress and how they can benefit your WordPress powered blog or site.

1. Wp Super Cache – Plain and simple, this is the best caching plug-in available. Featuring a “half on” legacy mode as well as a full caching mode, this plug-in gives you flexible options for different server configurations.

2. WP CSS – This nifty plug-in compresses your style sheets with Gzip, making the file smaller and faster loading. The plug-in also allows you to use custom style sheets on a per post basis.

3. Yoast Breadcrumbs – Breadcrumbs are great because they help users and bots easily navigate throughout the site. Since easily navigated websites are highly favored by bots and people, this plug-in is a good one to have.


4. Wp Page Navi – It may seem like a simple change, but the paginated navigation is better for SEO and better for the user. Get rid of that boring “older posts” button and replace it with a sexy paginated navigation.

5. WP-DB-Backup – Create frequent database backups for your blog. Databases contain all of your posts, pages, comments and settings, so if your site ever goes down a single DB backup can be a life saver.

6. Optimize DB – Modifying SQL isn’t for everyone, but now you can optimize your WordPress database with a single click. This plug-in will essentially de-fragment your database, creating a smaller and faster database.

7. WordPress Automatic Upgrade – Especially for the serious blogger, an update is a big deal. There is a lot that can go wrong during an update, so much so a lot of people do not update and leave gaping security holes open. Ditch the built in upgrade tool and switch to WordPress Automatic Upgrade, you won’t lose a beat.

8. Wp Security Scan – Easily identify and fix security holes with WP Security Scan. Your blog will be on lock down from now on with this plug-in.

9. Wp Offload – Save bandwidth and speed up your account with the Steady Offload plugin.

10. Smart Update Pinger – A large drawback to WordPress is that pings are sent when updating posts, which cause duplicate pings and raises spam flags. Fix that problem and ping like a champ with the Smart Update Pinger.
(although development has ceased on this plug-in, it works for now)

Honorable Mention

Akismet – Although everyone has it these days (since it comes with WordPress), it is by far the best way to control spam. As a test, leave Akismet off for a month or two and see how much spam you accumulate.

Want to learn more? Find out more about SEO and WordPress on these great posts.
SEO Friendly URL Structure For WordPress
How to Plug-in SEO to WordPress : 9 Great Plug-ins
SEO For WordPress

William Atkin is an SEO Analyst at Search & Social. Atkin, who describes himself as passionate about organic SEO, has a breadth of knowledge in website conversion, ecommerce, branding and user behavior from his experience as an internet business owner.

Loren Baker
Loren Baker is the Founder of SEJ, an Advisor at Alpha Brand Media and runs Foundation Digital, a digital marketing strategy & development agency.
Loren Baker
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  • Thanks for digging these up and putting them into one simple list. Very useful!

    We have been running our own script to auto-update our WordPress blogs, but this plug-in looks like something I am definitely going to have to check out now as another option.

  • Fantastic list, there were a couple I didn’t have. However I would never recomend the automatic upgrade plugin. Just imagine, if you have made any changes to something like wp-includes your changes will not be replicated after the upgrade, so this is something you need to be aware of.

    • For most users this plug-in will work flawlessly. Advanced users may be editing WordPress core files in wp-includes or wp-admin but usually these files are completely replcable. Also this plugin will create backups for you, so for the rare user that does experience a problem, restoring the blog should be simple.

  • Good shouts. I’m a big fan of related posts as well. Can lowers bounce rates considerably!

  • Great Post! Def a helpful list. Thanks for doing the leg work.

    Combine your list with this list of security plugins and you have a great list of plugins every new WP install should have: http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/18-useful-plugins-and-hacks-to-protect-your-wordpress-blog/

  • Good list, glad to find a new one! will check out Yoast.

    I, too, am bummed Smart Update Pinger is out of development- I still add it to every site…

  • Why would people need a WordPress Automatic Upgrade plugin when its part of WordPress core as of now? There is no need of WordPress Automatic Upgrade Plugin. Please remove it from your list.

    • Navjot, the Automatic Upgrade plug-in is superior to the default WordPress upgrade for several reasons, as mentioned above. The main reason is the ability to create site backups.

  • See also the antivirus plugin http://wpantivirus.com for more blog security.

  • Great post, together with the plugins for SEO post an unmissable plugin collection

  • wUza

    great post very useful for new beginners for wordpress.

  • Wp Super Cache, how did my blog. Please Help.

  • Good set. Thanks. I definitely will use some.

  • Great list – I’m running many of these already, will check out the others. I’m a HUGE fan of the All In One SEO Pack, it worth looking at as well,

  • useful post .. thanX 🙂 ♥

  • jorge

    You should take a look at http://www.wptagads.com if you run a wordpress blog.

  • Good Job! You guys do a great blog, and have some great contests. Keep up the good work. THANK 🙂

  • Very nice thanks number one xD

  • Very nice thanks number one xD