Just updated for 2018!
Upon reviewing our list, we are still BIG fans of all of the below plugins. We did made an update to the Visual Composer review below. In addition, we have added a couple to the bottom of the list.
Seems like everyone and their brother has a favorite list of “Must Have” WordPress plugins. For anyone that builds a lot of websites on the WordPress platform, you find that you use many of the same plugins over and over and over time, cant live without them. We do quite a bit of real estate SEO and website design, so some of these plugins are SEO related.
Check Your Sites SEO
Must Have WordPress Plugins
One Feed Supercharger – One Feed Supercharger is an awesome plugin, built by the SEO gurus over at Network Empire, that maximizes the use of RSS feeds. Anyone with a website wants their site to be found by the major search engines and using RSS feeds can be very valuable. WordPress does automatically create an RSS feed for you, but One Feed provides some super cool features.
- First, you can create an unlimited number of RSS feeds containing a variety of information.
- All of the feeds created in One Feed include all of the photos for each blog
- You can pull other RSS feeds into One Feed and create a master feed
- You can pull random “old” articles or have a “sticky” post included in any feed
I use One Feed Supercharger on every site I manage. Here is a video showing how powerful it is.
Yoast SEO – Yoast SEO is one of the most popular SEO plugins on the market and for good reason. It provides a plethora of SEO tools absolutely free. Not only can you easily adjust your meta title and description, but Yoast SEO provides site analysis, XML sitemap configuration, the ability to edit your robot.txt and .htaccess files all coupled with an easy to use interface. They also provide many paid options for specific purposes.
Formidable Forms – Yep, you guessed it, Formidable Forms is a forms plugin. I used to use Contact Form 7 quite regularly, but after finding Formidable, I haven’t looked back. I have opted for the paid version since I use some of the more advanced features, but the free version is powerful and easy enough for most people.
Visual Composer – Visual Composer is a page builder that lets you build out an entire website without coding. It comes with many visually appealing features that can be easily incorporated into just about any website. It has both a front end and a back end editor which lets you see the final product as you are building it.
They provide a variety of add-ons for Visual Composer, I personally use the “Ultimate Ad-ons for Visual Composer” as it includes many premium elements like Icon, Info Box, Interactive Banner, Flip Box and a lot more. One downfall is that Visual Composer can slow down your website load times if you go crazy with it, so be careful.
UPDATED VC Review for 2018 – although we still really like Visual Composer (Now renamed to WP Bakery) – our testing has found that the site speed gets seriously reduced when using too many modules within WP Bakery. We strongly recommend only activating the modules that you end up using — and deactivating all the others,
Social Media Feather – Social Media Feather easily adds social media share and follow icons to any WordPress website. Although that in itself is not very unique, it does so with a small footprint and doesn’t slow your website down. It has a ton of options such as choosing your sharing prefix and postfix, customize-able icon sizes and placements and interfaces with just about every platform.
Revolution Slider – If you want an endless level of customization for your slider, Revolution Slider is your best bet. There are other solid slider programs out there, but I have found that Revolution Slider simply has all of the options I am looking for. Rumor has it that they had some security issues some time back but that is all resolved now.
AMP & Glue OR Facebook Instant Articles & Google AMP Pages by PageFrog– Im still in the early stages of testing these out — so I thought I would mention them all. With Google having a push for AMP pages (Accelerated Mobile Pages) if you have any interest in ranking your site, you will want to implement AMP pages/posts on your site. One option is to use BOTH AMP and Glue for Yoast SEO. These two plugins work together to create AMP pages for all of your blog posts automatically. Needless to say, you will need to be using Yoast SEO to take this route. One of the downfalls of this combo set is that it only creates AMP pages for your blog posts and not your pages. They say the pages support is in the works. The other option is Facebook Instant Articles & Google AMP Pages by PageFrog – I have found this little gem and seem to like it quite a bit. It gives a preview of the AMP page and even supports Instant Articles for Facebook.
New Additions for 2018!
A plugin that has apparently been around for a while, but we never found — but now cant live without is…
Although this little plugin is not necessarily a Must Have — for what we do over here in building and marketing real estate broker websites, we have found this plugin indispensable. That is the RSS Includes Pages plugin. You can download it FOR FREE — straight from the WP repository. It does exactly what it says it does — it adds ALL of your pages on your WordPress site into the RSS feed (which usually only has posts).