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40 Must-Have WordPress Plugins For 2014

April 29, 2018

WordPress has completely shifted the dynamics of web publishing what with over sixty (60) million users relying on the platform to power their websites on a daily basis. Oh yeah, WordPress is that popular not to mention very flexible, extendable and relatively easy to customize.

While the WordPress templating (theme) system gives you the ability to customize how your website looks, the plugin system gives you the power to extend WordPress beyond the boundaries of imagination. Plugins come with a lot of functionalities, and with the right ones, you’ll have all the power you need to catapult your WP site to success.

The following is a list of forty (40) free and premium WordPress plugins you will most certainly want to have in 2014.

Disclaimer: WPExplorer is an affiliate for one or more products listed below. If you click a link and complete a purchase we could make a commission.

Top 24 Premium WordPress Plugins for 2014

Let’s kick off this list with twenty premium WordPress plugins.

UBERMENU – WORDPRESS MEGA MENU PLUGIN

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With over 25,000 purchases and a buyer rating of 4.60/5.00, UberMenu is the ultimate menu plugin for WordPress. You have to try it to experience the fluidity of the responsive design. Oh yeah, it’s the most responsive menu plugin I have seen so far. In addition, it works out of the box provided you have the latest version of WordPress.

The elite author behind UberMenu, Sevenspark, did not mince creativity with this one, so you can expect to get mindblown as soon as you hit “Activate”. Sevensparks released the latest update to the plugin on 20th December, 2013 meaning everything is still hot and fresh, so you won’t have to worry about incompatibility issues.

The plugin boasts of some unique features such as:

  • iPhone and iPad compatibility
  • Less cranky Javascript, which means the plugin is lightweight hence faster
  • Fully responsive design
  • Full-width capability
  • Seamless integration with WordPress themes
  • Vertical and horizontal menus
  • Several styles including slide and fade effects
  • No jQuery enhancement required thanks to improved CSS3 design
  • Ability to add images to menu items
  • Ability to add descriptions to menu items
  • Shortcode functionality
  • Create image-only menus
  • Tons of widgets and extensions including icons and skins
  • Et cetera, et cetera

Technically speaking, UberMenu gives you all the features you need to build a super-efficient and fast menu. However, it does not work with IE6 and you can have only one menu per page. The plugin is a featured item on CodeCanyon and sells at $16 bucks only. UberMenu is worth more than that price tag, and you get full support as well.

Get UberMenu – WordPress Mega Menu Plugin

SLIDER REVOLUTION RESPONSIVE WORDPRESS PLUGIN

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When I checked out the demo (I check and test out the plugins I recommend), I was quite impressed with the Slider Revolution plugin. This is what I saw. The plugin is:

  • Clean
  • Responsive
  • Powerful

You need these three aspects in a slider. You need a slider plugin that delivers the message clearly. You need a slider plugin that works on multiple platforms. You need a slider plugin that projects power and confidence even without trying. Slider Revolution for WordPress is that plugin. This plugin is renowned for its attractive features that include:

  • Tons of amazing transition effects
  • Ability to embed videos
  • Autoplay, which pauses on user interaction
  • Easy to set up
  • Image preloader that allows the plugin to load in the background to enhance efficiency
  • WordPress 3.8 compatible
  • jQuery compatible
  • A modern and very convenient admin interface
  • Custom caption animation builder
  • Import/Export functionality
  • SEO-ready
  • Keyboard navigation
  • CSS3 design
  • Fully responsive
  • WYSIWYG editor
  • Flexible dimensions
  • Mobile touch capabilities
  • WordPress Multisite (WPMU) compatibility
  • Multiple language support
  • And so much more

The plugin is the slider solution you have been looking for, and over 17,000 purchases and a buyer rating of 4.72/5.00 is enough proof this plugin works. It will set you back $16 bucks but you won’t be disappointed. You can also choose the extended license that goes for $80.

Get Slider Revolution Responsive WordPress Plugin

VISUAL COMPOSER: PAGE BUILDER FOR WORDPRESS

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Does creating WordPress pages (on your site or for clients) feel like a challenge? Is it a hassle that you would like to avoid in favor of doing something more exciting? You know, like meeting a special friend for coffee or dinner?

If you want to inject ease and fun into building WordPress websites, the Visual Composer Page Builder plugin is exactly what you need. I tried the plugin and I must confess it was a bit complicated at first.  But isn’t everything complicated at first? Then I got the hang of it and everything “just started falling into place”. It’s all drag and drop, which is easy and fun by all measures. And have no fear, we even put together our own WPExplorer quick guide to using the Visual Composer.

You can drag and drop page sections with a visual composer, or order the sections with shortcodes in the classic WYSIWYG editor. It is as easy as ABC. Other features include over forty (40) content elements, unique add-ons, object oriented code, automatic updates, multi-language support, seamless integration to WordPress themes, custom post functionality, easily extendable, WordPress 3.8 and mobile device compatibility and so much more.

The Visual Composer Page Builder plugin powers over 25,000 websites already and has a buyer rating of 4.53/5.00. The regular license goes for $25 and the extended license sells at $125.

Get Visual Composer: Page Builder Plugin for WordPress

WORDPRESS LIVE CHAT PLUGIN FOR SALES AND SUPPORT

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Don’t ever leave money on the table again with this chat plugin for WordPress. The WordPress Live Chat plugin allows you to chat with your customers to provide support and close more deals. It is the bridge between you and your web visitors; the connection you need to increase your conversions. It’s beautiful, easy to use and compatible with WordPress 3.8. Other features include:

  • Clean code
  • Fully customizable skins
  • The plugin is open source, meaning you can create your own versions of the plugin
  • Ability to create several operators e.g. Tech support, Sales department etc
  • Customers can leave messages if you’re offline
  • Notifications
  • No additional or hidden costs
  • Compatible with IE8+, Firefox, Chrome and Safari browsers
  • Multi-language support
  • WooCommerce 2.0.x compatible
  • CSS and JavaScript

The plugin has a buyer rating of 4.49/5.00 and is a featured item on CodeCanyon. It goes for $15 bucks, which also gets you 100% GPL license and full support.

Get WordPress Live Chat Plugin for Sales & Support

QUFORM – WORDPRESS FORM BUILDER

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With over 9,000 purchases, an impressive buyer rating of 4.73/5.00 and a horde of customers who sing nothing but praise for this plugin, Quform is without a doubt the form builder of choice for many a WordPress user. The author, ThemeCatcher, says that Quform (formerly known as iPhorm) is “…an amazing WP plugin that lets you build forms in seconds.” Away from the praise, Quform comes with some cool features such as:

  • Drag and drop form builder
  • Fifteen (15) form element types
  • Tons of options
  • Entries in WordPress
  • Easy to configure
  • No knowledge of HTML or PHP required
  • Easy to use
  • Calendar with over sixty (60) languages and 24 themes
  • Live preview
  • Export capability to move your forms
  • WordPress 3.8 compatible
  • 24 hour priority support
  • Etc

The plugin costs $25 bucks only, which is quite a bargain considering all the features you are getting.

Get Quform – WordPress Form Builder

CUSTOM BACKGROUNDS FOR WORDPRESS

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Give your users a unique experience with custom backgrounds on your WordPress website with this plugin. The plugin enables you to use different backgrounds on blog posts, categories, front pages, homepage, and other pages.

Additionally, the plugin presents you with a number of great options including the ability to schedule backgrounds, set background transition timing, background stretching, tons of effects, and clickable backgrounds that are good for advertisements. The plugin is easy to use since all you need to do is point and click to apply your backgrounds.

Other options include:

  • Automatic time zone detection
  • Multi-image backgrounds
  • Automatic updates

The plugin has an average buyer rating of 4.40/5.00 and costs $20.

Get Custom Backgrounds for WordPress

WHITE LABEL BRANDING FOR WORDPRESS

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The White Label Branding plugin for WordPress is what you need if you would like to develop WordPress sites for clients under your brand. This plugin will help you customize the logo and menus in WordPress as well as choose the menus that your users (clients) will have access to. White Label Branding gives you the ability to take full control of branding in wp-admin to set user privileges and access as you wish. The plugin comes with a Role and Capability Manager that enables you to create new roles and capabilities.

You can create “fake” admin accounts to give your clients “administrative” rights, while still limiting their access to various features. And guess what? Your clients will never see the real administrator account (your account) since it’s hidden. They will never know they lack access to some features. And that’s ok 😉 Other than that, the White Label Branding plugin is also known for the following features:

  • A dashboard tool that allows you to create custom dashboard metaboxes
  • Ability to add your own favicons
  • Ability to add your own header logo, footer, name and URLs to get rid of WordPress branding
  • Ability to edit (remove & add) widgets
  • You can customize the login screen easily
  • Ability to enable custom color schemes for wp-admin
  • And so much more – the list is endless

White Label Branding is a great plugin to build a brand around your web development work. The regular license goes for $25 and the extended license goes for $125. The plugin has a buyer rating of 4.65/5.00 based on six hundred (600) ratings. That should tell you something. The plugin works!

Get White Label Branding for WordPress

CSS3 RESPONSIVE WEB PRICING TABLES GRIDS FOR WORDPRESS

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If you offer several packages of the same service/product, this plugin helps you show your customers the available options by comparing the features in each package. The customer can choose whichever works for them, which means higher conversion rates for you! The CSS3 Responsive Web Pricing plugin is exactly what you need to create feature and price comparison grids on your WordPress site. It is a pack of pricing tables with twenty (20) color variations and two table styles, so you have plenty of options.

That’s not all. The plugin comes loaded with tons of exciting features such as an extensive dashboard that supports live configuration, a mode configurator, several table options for whole tables, table cells, columns and rows. Other cool features include sliding columns and expandable rows amongst others. The plugin, which has a buyer rating of 4.52/5.00, has been purchased by more than five thousand people like you. The regular license goes for $15 bucks and the extended license sells at $75.

Get CSS3 Responsive Web Pricing Tables Grids for WordPress

DISPLAY PRODUCT – MULTILAYOUT FOR WOOCOMMERCE

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Do you own an online store that would use better product displays? The way you display your products affects how your customers respond, which can be the difference between the success and failure of your online biz.

The Display Product plugin is the tool you need to put your online store in order. With an unlimited choice of colors, more than six display layouts, thirty six (36) different animations, filters, search capabilities, shortcodes and WooCommerce 2.0.x support, this plugin will help you sell more products in no time. Other unique features include:

  • Compatibility with WordPress themes
  • WordPress 3.8 ready
  • Responsive design
  • Compatible with different browsers i.e. Chrome, safari, Firefox, Opera and IE8+

The Display Product plugin has a buyer rating of 4.65/5.00 and the regular license costs $16 only.

Get Display Product Multi-layout for WooCommerce

VERDE – RESPONSIVE WORDPRESS COMING SOON PLUGIN

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If you would like to create interest in your website long before you launch, you need an intriguing coming soon page. Well, you could build a coming soon page from the ground up (and waste time and effort) or you could install Verde in one click and be on your way. The Verde plugin is the ultimate coming soon plugin, and thanks to its unique and ingenious design features, you will have your prospects dancing to your tune in no time. Some of Verde’s unique features are:

  • A great intuitive dashboard
  • Creative pre-made page designs
  • Built with the familiar Bootstrap platform
  • Responsive design meaning your coming soon page will look good on all devices
  • Youtube video support (Are you getting ideas?)
  • Subscription form support for Mailchimp
  • Retina ready
  • HTML5 and CSS3 ready
  • Twitter feed integration
  • More than twenty (20) social sharing icons to help spread the word

Verde is a great plugin to create anticipation and interest in your products, and more so your brand. You can also collect emails for your mailing list before launching. This plugin sets you apart from the competition and will set you back $14 bucks only. With a buyer rating of 4.45/5.00, you won’t regret investing in this bad boy.

Get Verde – Responsive WordPress Coming Soon Plugin

USERPRO – USER PROFILES WITH SOCIAL LOGIN

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Here is a plugin for your WordPress community. The UserPro plugin gives you the power to offer your users a rich user experience with improved profiles, which you can integrate easily and seamlessly using shortcodes and frontend pages. What’s more? You can hide WordPress backend, registration pages from logged in users, and anything else you want with a few clicks. It’s the plugin you need to boost engagement and excitement on your WordPress community.

UserPro’s features include:

  • An exciting drag-and-drop dashboard
  • Fully customizable frontend pages, login and registration
  • Beautiful profiles
  • Facebook signups
  • Verified account feature (similar to Twitter’s)
  • Countless custom fields
  • Unlimited photo uploads
  • Feature-rich (and searchable) member directory
  • SEO-friendly
  • WooCommerce integration, which is great if you decide to sell products to your community
  • Mailchimp integration
  • And so much more

You also have the chance to take the plugin for a test drive before buying. How cool is that? UserPro, which was developed and maintained by DeluxeThemes, has a buyer rating of 4.72/5.00 (what do you expect with test drives and awesome features), and sells like hotcakes at $24 for the regular license and $120 for the extended license.

Get UserPro – User Profiles with Social Login

WOOCOMMERCE PDF INVOICE

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Do you run a WooCommerce store? If so, say goodbye to invoicing problems with the WooCommerce PDF Invoice plugin. This unique plugin does all the heavy lifting for you, so can concentrate on the important aspects of your online business. For starters, the plugin generates PDF invoices automatically for all orders. You can choose to send the invoices to the customers via email or have them download the invoices on your website.

WooCommerce PDF Invoice plugin creates nice looking invoices that will make your business look good (professional). The plugin is extremely flexible, meaning you can easily customize the invoices with your own company details, invoicing numbers, dates and even logos. The plugin further calculates the taxes, sums up the figures and display them on the invoice. Automatically. On top of that, the plugin allows you to include order details, payment instructions and other important bits without breaking a sweat.

Additionally, you can translate the invoices for your customers right from the settings page, which will help you develop personal connections. It’s nice, works as advertised, has a buyer rating of 4.81/5.00 and costs $14 bucks only.

Get WooCommerce PDF Invoice

HTML TO WORDPRESS CONVERTER PLUGIN

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Are you feeling frustrated and stuck because you have a plain HTML theme that won’t work on WordPress? Do not worry anymore, the HTML to WordPress Converter plugin will convert your HTML theme to a WordPress theme in minutes. You don’t even need any knowledge of WordPress themes.

The HTML to WordPress Converter plugin is easy to use. Moreover, it creates functional menus, widgets, post area, footers and headers easily. The plugin also allows you to create different page templates.

HTML to WordPress Converter has a buyer rating of 4.20/5.00 and costs $16 only. What are you waiting for? Get converting!

Get HTML to WordPress Converter Plugin

WORDPRESS BACKUP & CLONE MASTER

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If you’ve been looking for a backup, cloning, migration or restoration solution for your WordPress site(s), look no further. The WordPress Backup & Clone Master plugin will help you backup, clone, migrate or restore your WordPress site in an easy, reliable and secure way. What’s more? You can schedule these processes or run them on demand. Speak of unparalleled flexibility.

This user-friendly plugin allows you to create full WordPress backups, meaning your content, settings, plugins, themes and everything else is backed up to a TAR/ZIP file or to your PC. You can restore your site with a single click or clone it to a different domain with a few clicks. The plugin saves you time, money, effort and gives you peace of mind, which is everything you need to run a fruitful venture. Speaking of saving you money, the plugin costs $18 only, which will fit right in your budget.

Get WordPress Backup & Clone Master

WORDPRESS REQUEST AND FEEDBACK PLUGIN

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To be successful in any business, you need to know what your customers think of your goods and services. It’s the kind of knowledge you need to have at all times because it gives you the power to enhance your offerings to satisfy current customers and attract new ones.

“Knowledge is power.” – old maxim

The WordPress Request & Feedback plugin allows you to gather opinion and feedback from your customers in a non-intrusive way that will leave them feeling special. The plugin boasts of some exciting features such as:

  • It’s fully open source
  • It’s fully customizable
  • It’s easy to configure and use
  • You can choose where you wish to display the plugin
  • Cool animation and colors
  • Comments ON and Like/Unlike button

The plugin has a buyer rating of 5.00/5.00 (the best there is) even with its few limitations. For instance, the plugin is only compatible with WordPress. It does not support WordPress Multisite and requires jQuery 1.7 and above to run. If you have the latest version of WordPress and a modern theme, you are covered, but if you’re still running an old theme (or one that does not support jQuery 1.7+) you are still in trouble. The plugin goes for $14 bucks at CodeCanyon.

Get WordPress Request & Feedback Plugin

RESPONSIVE PINTEREST GRID GALLERY WORDPRESS PLUGIN

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Add some Pinterest flavor to your WordPress posts and pages using shortcodes in no time with this Pinterest Grid Gallery plugin. Apart from adding Pinterest-style galleries to your WordPress site, this plugin has other great features such as:

  • Batch upload capabilities
  • Automatically generated thumbnails, which makes your work way easier
  • Multiple category support
  • Shortcode feature
  • Easy to install and use
  • WordPress 3.8 compatible
  • Drag and drop capability
  • Color Picker to customize font colors and item backgrounds
  • Slideshow
  • Responsive design

It’s a great plugin to display your images and cost $13 bucks only.

Get Responsive Pinterest Grid Gallery WordPress Plugin

KNOWLEDGE BASE/WIKI WORDPRESS PLUGIN

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This plugin will help you create a knowledge base in a few minutes. It’s so much fun too because it’s built with responsive design techniques. It is easy to use and all you have to do (after installing and activating it of course) is “…drag and drop knowledge base posts and categories.”

It has a color picker to modify colors, Search and Latest Posts widgets, voting and “…if you need help we got you covered…within 24 hours…” kind of support.

The plugin is developed by PressApps and has a buyer rating of 4.09/5.00. Set up a knowledge base in minutes with this plugin for a one-time price of $18 bucks.

Get Knowledge Base/Wiki WordPress Plugin

MYMAIL – EMAIL NEWSLETTER PLUGIN FOR WORDPRESS

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Are you looking for a professional email newsletter plugin for WordPress? MyMail is a better alternative to WYSIJA and probably the best WordPress newsletter plugin in the market. The plugin has a really nice user interface, which makes it easy to run. It works out of the box, and you can make your own adjustments easily. MyMail does not bog your serve because its core features run on MyMail’s servers. You haven’t heard the end of it. You can track all activity (who opens, who clicks links, who unsubscribes) right from your dashboard.

MyMail comes with autoresponders, HTML emails, social media sharing options, widgets, WYSIWYG editor, Gmail support, SMTP support and what I would call “unlimited email marketing resources”. It is that feature-rich 😉 This plugin is exactly what you need to start a successful email marketing campaign. 4,000 happy users cannot be wrong and with a buyer rating of 4.55/5.00, MyMail should be an essential plugin in your WordPress email marketing arsenal.

You get all this action for a small price of $35 bucks.

Get MyMail – Email Newsletter Plugin for WordPress

WORDPRESS SOCIAL STREAM

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The social media scene is expanding everyday and with this expansion comes more social activity, which means juicier traffic from social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+. The WordPress Social Stream plugin gives you the ability to combine “…social network interactions into…” a single feed or network steam. You can display all social media activity on your site using a revolving feed list or a social network wall that runs on jQuery. Boost social activity and increase traffic from social networking sites with the WordPress Social Stream plugin for $14 only.

Get WordPress Social Stream

SECURITY NINJA

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WordPress security is an important topic in the WordPress community. You have to take the security of your WordPress platform seriously because – hackers. You don’t want to lose your investment, now do you? Security Ninja is, according to WebFactory, the “…#1 tip selling security plugin on CodeCanyon.”

Well, with over 2,000 purchases and a buyer rating of 4.50/5.00, it’s easy to see why its the #1. That aside, Security Ninja is unique for the following reasons (features):

  • You can check your WordPress site for security holes and vulnerabilities
  • You can perform over thirty (30) tests including brute-force tests
  • Preventative measures ready
  • The plugin comes with code snippets to fix bugs quickly
  • Stop 0-day exploit hacks
  • Extensive support

Stop hackers dead in their tracks using Security Ninja. Invest in this plugin for $10 only.

Get Security Ninja

AMAZON ESTORE AFFILIATES PLUGIN

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I know, I know… this is number 21 for the premium plugin, but I saw this one last minute and realized we haven’t covered a premium plugin for affiliate marketers who love WordPress. So, here we go. FREE! Happy new year to you too.

I won’t talk about the Amazon theme you get, but here are some the features that make this plugin a force to reckon with:

  • Fully compatible with other WordPress themes
  • Multiple Amazon locations
  • 90-day cookies feature that will let you collect commissions up to 90 days
  • On-site cart to get you up and going
  • Price setup feature
  • Ability to choose product variations
  • Affiliate ID, Amazon Access Key and Secret Access Key set up
  • Quick and accurate imports
  • Set up Facebook shop easily and quickly
  • And many other features

The plugin goes for $31 bucks only, which is a small price to pay for a plugin that will transform your website to a 24/7 cash cow.

Get Amazon eStore Affiliates Plugin

LIGHTBOX EVOLUTION

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If you would like to display a wide variety of media on your posts/page without taking users away from the linking post/page, Lightbox Evolution should be your plugin of choice.

The plugin showcases images, videos, maps and HTML content in a lightbox that appears overtop of pages. It’s effective for creating captivating galleries as well as generating interest and engagement.

The Lightbox Evolution plugin for WordPress goes for $18 bucks at CodeCanyon.

Get Lightbox Evolution

INTERACTIVE WORLD MAPS

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With this plugin, you can create as many maps as you want. What’s more? You can make the maps interactive by using colored markers to contrast different geographical locations. The plugin is fully customizable, compatible with WordPress 3.8 and utilizes responsive design techniques, which means your maps will be accessible on multiple platforms. It is the perfect plugin for travel and traveler sites, multinationals, SMEs and NGOs. You can also use the plugin to create dynamic infographics. The plugin costs $18 bucks, has a buyer rating of 4.54/5.00, and with over 2,700 purchases, we can say the plugin is doing really good.

Get Interactive World Maps WordPress plugin

FULLWIDTH AUDIO PLAYER WORDPRESS PLUGIN

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Give your visitors a refreshing music experience (and a reason to stick around for longer) with this audio player plugin. The Fullwidth Audio Player plugin creates an audio player at the top (or bottom) of your website. You can add your own tracks and playlists to the audio player or post them to posts/pages to give your users the chance to choose tracks on their own.

The plugin runs on HTML5 but will use Flash if the former is unsupported by the user’s browser. The plugin is compatible with major browsers and mobile devices such as Android, iPad and iPhone. I tried it, it worked and now I love it. It boasts of a killer interface and some unique features including an intuitive MP3/SoundCloud player, keyboard navigation, multiple color variations, minimize/maximize button, social sharing etc. It’s a great plugin to keep visitors on your site for longer. It sells at $16 bucks only.

Get Fullwidth Audio Player WordPress Plugin

That was fast, twenty four plugins down but we are not yet done. Take a breather, grab a coffee and come with me to the other side second part of 40 Must-Have WordPress Plugins.

Top 16 Free WordPress Plugins For 2014

In this section, we will cover a mix of free and premium plugins because predictability is for suckers (and because it’s 2014 and it doesn’t hurt to do something different once in a while). Twenty WP plugins in total, free and premium, but still essential. Enjoy!

ALL IN ONE SEO PACK

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We’ve mentioned this plugin in the past but it deserves a spot on this list. That’s because its one of the best SEO plugins out there. Once you install and activate it, the plugin will automatically optimize your WordPress website for Google and other search engines. It comes with a unique set of features such as:

  • Sitemap support
  • Canonical URLs
  • Google Analytics support
  • Supports WordPress, BuddyPress and bbPress
  • Meta tag generation
  • Easy configuration (it works out of the box)
  • Fine tune your site’s SEO easily

This is a free plugin, but you can also upgrade to the PRO version that comes with additional features and support.

Download All in One SEO Pack

WORDPRESS SEO BY YOAST

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This is yet another WordPress SEO plugin that has carved a name for itself in the SEO plugin niche. With over seven (7) million downloads and a rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars, it’s quite some SEO plugin. Joost de Valk says this SEO plugin will “…help you write better content…” by forcing you “…to choose a focus keyword when you’re writing your articles, and then makes sure you use that focus keyword everywhere.”

WordPress SEO by Yoast is well known for its creative features such as page analysis, meta and Link elements, XML sitemaps, breadcrumbs, RSS optimization, ability to edit robots.txt and .htaccess files, multisite compatibility, multi-language support, News SEO and social integration amongst others. This plugin will help you improve WordPress SEO with a few clicks.

Download WordPress SEO by Yoast

W3 TOTAL CACHE

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The W3 Total Cache plugin was designed to reduce server load and improve page speed for better user experience. The plugin relies on CDN (content delivery network) support, super-caching and minifying techniques, which decrease download times and increase server performance. According to the author at WordPress.org, W3 Total Cache improves website performance ten times (10X). the plugin will also save 80% of your bandwidth thanks to file compression.

W3 Total Cache is compatible with all types of hosting i.e. shared, VPS and dedicated server hosting, and accelerates data transfer using the aforementioned CDNs. The plugin supports mobile devices too, and it will enhance your site’s user experience immediately without having to change settings or uninstalling plugins.

Download W3 Total Cache

WORDPRESS POPUP

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Are you looking to catch your customers attention easily? Do you have a mailing list that you would like to advertise effectively? Maybe you have a special offer or a typical ad that you would like to drive traffic to?

The WordPress PopUp plugin will help you grab your customers’ attention as soon as they get to your website. The plugin is best known for:

  • Its hassle-free interface that makes it easy to configure and use
  • It is easy to customize
  • You can display fancy pop ups depending on your needs
  • Compatibility with WordPress themes
  • Compatibility with WordPress, BuddyPress and WPMU

Fire up your promotional campaigns with the WP PopUp plugin by WPMUDEV.

Download WordPress PopUp

ANTISPAM BEE

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Stop comment and trackback spam with the Antispam Bee plugin by Sergej Muller, a German plugin author. The plugin has been in development since 2009, and it has been “trained” to combat all manner of comment spam.

The plugin has about twenty (20) useful functions, requires no registration to set up, does not store personal data and is compatible with WordPress themes. The plugin comes with a modern dashboard complete with a spam counter and notifications. You can choose your language and choose whether spam comments will be marked for review or deleted immediately. Antispam Bee is the plugin you need to fight trackback and comment spam.

Download Antispam Bee

WORDPRESS GOOGLE FONTS

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The font you use on your website can mean all the difference between a performing and a failing site. One font can increase user engagement and another can send your users away. The WordPress Google Fonts plugin gives you the ability to tap into Google Fonts directory, which is a collection of over six hundred (600) beautiful web fonts.

The fonts are all free and you can use them on your website without editing a single line in your stylesheet. You don’t need HTML or PHP knowledge either. Just install the Google Fonts plugin, activate it, pick your fonts, specify a few variables and your work is done. Word of caution: You will be addicted to the fonts in no time 😉

Download WordPress Google Fonts

HELLO BAR

Hellobar-wordpress-plugin-wpexplorer

This is the plugin you want if you seek to call attention to important info. The Hello Bar plugin places a bar at the top of your website. You can use this bar to display important links or a subscription form. The plugin is easy to configure and customize. Additionally, you can integrate it with RSS, Twitter and track click-throughs as well as subscriptions with the dashboard at hellobar.com.

The installation process is simple. You need to create an account with hellobar.com, which is a straightforward process. They will give you a pre-configured Hello Bar plugin that you need to install on your WordPress site. The process is simple as it sounds and takes less than 3 minutes. At the end of it, you should be able to see, “Your Hello Bar is live on your site!” notification.

Visit Hello Bar

SYNTAXHIGHLIGHTER EVOLVED

syntaxhighlighter-evolved-wordpress-plugin-wpexplorer

This plugin enables you to post syntax-highlighted code to your posts easily. The plugin highlights different elements in the code to create appealing code blocks. Syntaxhighlighter Evolved does a pretty good job because even WordPress.com uses it. Once you install and activate it, you can use shortcode to highlight code like this:

syntaxhighlighterexample-wpexplorer

Download Syntazhighlighter Evolved

WPTOUCH3

wptouch3-wordpress-plugin-wpexplorer

Mobile is a big part of future SEO. In fact, your website will be deranked in the near future if it’s not optimized for mobile devices. What is a developer to do?

The WPtouch plugin helps you to create an elegant and simple mobile version of your WordPress site. The plugin is compatible with various mobile platforms including Android and iOS. Additionally, it will not require you to write a single line of code. Just download, install and activate it then choose the default homepage (the page you want to appear first when someone visits your site on a mobile device) and your work is done. You can customize the plugin or buy the PRO version and your visitors have all the freedom to view the full site if they so wish.

Download WPtouch3 WordPress Plugin

THANK ME LATER

thank-me-later-wordpress-plugin-wpexplorer

Increase interaction, improve user engagement and increase traffic to your site with the Thank Me Later plugin that “…sends ‘thank you’ mails to your commentators.” All you need to do is craft a catchy email and the plugin will send it to every commenter after a predetermined period – 10 minutes, a day, a week, a fortnight, a month etc.

The plugin attracts readers back to your blog like magic and they (readers) can unsubscribe from your emails at will, so no one complains. You can also use the plugin to:

  • Offer discounts
  • Link to RSS feeds to attract more visitors
  • Link to Facebook and Twitter for more traffic

The plugin comes with HTML emails, targeting and shortcode feature.

Download Thank Me Later

SOCIABLE

sociable-social-sharing-plugin-for-wordpress-wpexplorer

With over two (2) million downloads and a user rating of 4.1/5.0, this free social sharing plugin is a very popular plugin of its kind. The plugin is super-charged by a Sociable Skyscraper rating system that makes social sharing even more fun. You can view visitor count and ratings for posts and pages. You have several social networking sites at your disposal including Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn. The plugin is full of features, easy to configure as well as use, and gives you full control over social sharing on your WordPress site.

Download Sociable

WP-POLLS

wp-polls-plugin-wpexplorer

Polls give you the chance to collect customer opinion, interact with your customers and increase user engagement on your site. If you seek to create exciting polls for your WP site, WP-Polls is the plugin you want. WP-Polls makes adding polls easy. The settings are simple and, in a matter of minutes, you can have users polling away. Additionally, the plugin is fully customizable, and you won’t even need to edit CSS. With over 1.3 million downloads, the plugin is really popular.

Download WP-Polls

WORDPRESS BACKUP TO DROPBOX

wordpress-backup-to-dropbox-plugin-wpexplorer

The WordPress Backup to Dropbox plugin allows you to backup your site to your Dropbox account in a matter of minutes. You can schedule the backups and choose the files you want to backup with a few clicks. The plugin is easy to set up. You just need to authorize the plugin with your Dropbox account. WordPress Backup to Dropbox uses oAuth authentication to ensure the security and integrity of your Dropbox account. The plugin supports multiple languages. If you need more features, you can purchase premium extensions at great prices.

Download WordPress Backup to Dropbox

BETTER WP SECURITY

better-wp-security-plugin-for-wordpress

Take the security of your WordPress site to the next level in seconds with the Better WP Security plugin. Developed and maintained by Chris Weigman for iThemes, the Better WP Security plugin is “…the easiest, most effective way to secure WordPress.”

The plugin comes with some cool capabilities. For instance, you can remove the ‘generator’ meta tag, change your URLs, turn off login completely, prevent unauthorized users from updating the core, rename “admin” account, change user IDs, and remove login error logs amongst others. Better WP Security plugin is the solution you need to obscure, protect, detect and recover your site should the worst happen. Furthermore, its compatible with WordPress, WPMU and supports multiple languages.

Download Better WP Security

GOOGLE ANALYTICS FOR WORDPRESS

google-analytics-wordpress-plugin-wpexplorer

How could I forget analytics? Tracking traffic is a big part of being an online entrepreneur and if you are not doing it, you’ve already hired help or you just don’t love your business that much. Google Analytics for WordPress by Yoast helps you integrate Google Analytics to your WordPress site easily.

You get nearly every Analytics feature including the new asynchronous tracking and custom variables. This means you can track views per category, traffic to old posts, post types, traffic demographics, page views per author etc. The plugin is fully compatible with WordPress, WP eCommerce and Shopp.

Download Google Analytics for WordPress

NRELATE RELATED CONTENT (Discontinued)

nrelate-related-content-plugin-for-wordpress-wpexplorer

If you are looking to encourage discovery on your blog and draw readers to more of your awesome content, nrelate Related Content plugin is your best bet. The plugin gives you the power to display related content from your WP website and blogroll. It’s a great plugin to increase pageviews on your site and provide a richer user experience to your visitors.

How does it work? It scans your content (in the background) on a regular basis, and then displays related posts (either as thumbnails or links) below every post. You can also earn revenue with the plugin by displaying ads in the Related Post section. It is easy to install, customize, use and does not cause server load.

Wrap Up

And here we are! This is the end of our (very long) must-have WordPress plugins list. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this post half as much as I did when preparing it. If you had fun, please share your thoughts with the rest of us in the comment section below!

40-must-have-wordpress-plugins
Article by Freddy WPExplorer Author
Published on: March 7, 2014
Last updated on: April 29, 2018
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62 Comments

  1. Remco Stoffer says:

    Wow …. What a list! Ofcourse I am missing somr plugins but the collectionis great. Muchof them I use for my projects myself. Great job!

  2. Fauzul says:

    I am very much agreeable with this list. A lot of great plugins and some I am currently using already.

  3. Thando Mantsha says:

    Should All in One SEO and WordPress SEO by Yoast be in the same list. It may be confusing to beginners. It would be better to recommend one over the other.

    • AJ Clarke says:

      I personally use Yoast SEO. I see what you mean about it maybe being confusing, but at the same time it’s best to provide people with all the best options so they can test for themselves 😉

    • Freddy says:

      Both plugins are great as far as SEO goes. I would like to give our users the opportunity to choose one that meets their needs fully. Thanks for reading and sharing your input 🙂

  4. Kevin says:

    Treating f’ing list. Bookmarked this page…I know I’ll be coming back to gear up my wp sites

    • Freddy says:

      Great move Kevin. As you gear up your WordPress sites, don’t forget to share this page with a few friends 🙂 Thanks for your time!

  5. minda says:

    Compliment, the plugins are a must have for a professional site!

  6. Danny says:

    Awesome article! Any plugins/tips on how to add a global menu for WordPress multisite? Looking at using that function for a project I have coming up for a friend.

    • AJ Clarke says:

      Hey Danny I did a quick Google search for “WordPress multisite global menu” and I see quite a lot of possibly solutions. I personally have never needed this function so I’m not sure how to do it right off the top of my head.

      • Danny says:

        AJ, I actually found a way to do it right after I posted here (sifted through a couple google pages). I trust your sites opinion so that’s why I posted here :). I tested it using the total theme, on my localhost, since we haven’t picked a theme yet, and it works like a charm. I will also most likely use the white label branding for multisite to limit what each department has access to in their panel.

  7. Asif Aziz says:

    I would also include Easy Testimonials plugin to this list. I have a business blog where i may have various pages or posts that provide product reviews & Easy Testimonials makes it quick & easy to for me to add product testimonials to my page. Looks darn neat & presentable as well!

    Az

  8. Kris says:

    Thanks a lot, great list Freddy

  9. guegreen says:

    bought Verde Coming Soon plug-in. Failed to even install. Hope this article is not just farming affiliate dollars for broken/useless products.

    • AJ Clarke says:

      Are you sure you installed it correctly? Your zip file includes docs and the plugin, so you need to extract it first to upload only the plugin files. If you still can’t figure it out please contact the CreaboxThemes, they should be able to help you out.

  10. dileshkhadake says:

    Hey its really impressive, its really useful. Thanks for sharing.

    • Freddy says:

      Glad you liked the post Dilesh 😉 Thank you for taking your time to read and comment. Always appreciated!

  11. John Daggett says:

    Great list of plugins, it will be useful for many bloggers this year.

  12. Mehreen Ali Syed says:

    im using Yoast SEO Plugin on my site dailynewscompany.com but someone said that install Easy WP SEO Plugin for better results on same site, now my question is that can i use both on my site ?

    • AJ Clarke says:

      You should never run 2 SEO plugins on your site because they will conflict and make things worse. I swear by WordPress SEO by Yoast I think its the best out there and I have really impressive rankings on this site on Google 😉

      Don’t focus too much on which plugin you use for SEO, focus on posting quality content and also marketing and traffic will come! Here are some good tips also for Ranking Higher in Search Engines.

  13. Gaurav Chauhan says:

    Thanks. I am confused between yoast and all in one SEO.. Which is best? I search, some are saying Yoast is best and other area with all in one.. Please tell which one is best?

    • AJ Clarke says:

      I prefer WordPress SEO by Yoast and have good results with it. Actually we will be releasing a post soon that will be comparing the two 😉

  14. Faizan Asad says:

    Wow Great collection!!!!! All these are used by pro users …….
    Yes i also use seo by yoast it is the best seo plugin for wordpress

  15. @iamtomnardone says:

    Nice Brother

  16. datblondje says:

    Awesome tips! Thank you

  17. Rakesh says:

    I am going to use WordPress PopUp and Antispam Bee on my blog. thank you for listing out this huge list. i will bookmark this page for future use and i will try some more from your list like wordpress security plugin

    • Freddy says:

      Hi Rakesh,

      I am glad you found this resource useful. Yes, please bookmark this page 🙂

      Thank you for passing by and sharing with us!

  18. Rehman Ali says:

    Really such a nice collection plugins.Great thanks for sharing 🙂

  19. webchampbristol says:

    Hi Freddy. Thanks for sharing this list of plugins. Very helpful!!

  20. Ashish Ajani says:

    You are a lifesaver, Freddy! I’ve been looking for a plugin like WP-POLLS for an upcoming wordpress website for one of my client. Not just the one plugin I found here but this looks like the list will work perfectly to find basic plugins. Bookmarked.

  21. Ovais Mirza says:

    I really love wordpress blogging as it has a solution for all kinds of problems and for we really can do every possible thing with the various wordpress plugins available. Thanks for the post.

  22. Dasari says:

    Freddy,

    Sick of using akismet on wordpress its catching legitimate comments. Will try Antispam Bee

    • Freddy says:

      That’s right Dasari, Akismet catches legitimate comments at times, but it shouldn’t be a problem since it’s not prevalent 🙂 Thank you for sharing!

  23. Deirdre J. says:

    Absolutely EXCELLENT list! I came here looking for the Amazon plugin, but found many more useful plugins as well. Thanks!

  24. Whmpress says:

    Awesome list of plugins! I will definitely need to update my plugin list after this… Thanks for writing this!

  25. Ayesha says:

    Wow! Great roundup. I had no idea there were so many great Linkedin tools available. I especially like the ability to embed your entire profile on your website. Do you know of any tools that can publish to or integrate the Pulse publishing platform into your WP blog?
    Thanks!

  26. Sania says:

    Codebase HTML5 Music Player is best for audio files

  27. Smart Fortwo Accessories says:

    Thanks for this great list of plugins for WordPress!

  28. Bareera Ahmed says:

    Hi, Did you figure out the auto play? I’m hoping that the auto play would cause the plugin to find the next MP3 on the page and start playing that one?

  29. JPMarichal says:

    Please, note that nRelate is dead now 🙁 I’m using Contextly as a replace in my site.

  30. Bright Verge says:

    Awesome list! Is there no audio player plugin with download, small like compact wp, responsive with php option (not only shortcode) that can be place in a single post page?

  31. Davis Brown says:

    Awesome list. I use quite a few of these already such as AntiSpam Bee. I will definitely look at adding some more on my WP blog 🙂

  32. raaz says:

    I was looking for something like this. Thanks for sharing such a nice article. Now I will applies your ideas on my website.

  33. marianignev says:

    Nice post and also nice collection of WordPress plugins. Here i would like to suggest some plugins as per my view Avartan Slider & Blog Designer WordPress Plugins should be added because this are the two plugins have many unique features that we can’t find in other plugins.

  34. John Crooks says:

    Thank you for the list. I’ve since checked into Wordfence and I love that it has its own caching program. I’ve been using WP-Super Cache but have had trouble with it conflicting with other plugins. After installing it, I checked my site speed over at pingdom and found it to be back below two seconds. Thank you.

  35. arifbca09 says:

    I wasn’t sure about JetPack comments since I’ve had some problems–mostly with emptying jetpack feedbacks–I literally got hit with 20000 feedbacks spams in one day. To clear them, you have to send to trash, then delete. Moving anymore than 50 at a time would crash my site.

    Regards
    techlazy.net

  36. Greg Dean says:

    Great stuff sir!

  37. Samuel says:

    I know 2 great free plugins which are not on your list:
    duplicator clone
    backup & restore
    I have been using these two plugins for a while now and they both work well.

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