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Updated by Bob Dunn on Nov 04, 2017
Headline for WordPress Plugins I Have Used on My Blogs
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Bob Dunn Bob Dunn
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WordPress Plugins I Have Used on My Blogs

This is not a must-have plugin list, as I feel there is no such thing. Nor is it a favorite or recommended list, but due to the fact that I have used all of these at one time or another, or am currently using them, well, it kind of crosses the line. But I'm sure that in my 8 years of using WordPress, I don't remember them all. So bear with me as maybe I can say these are plugins I have used in the last 2-3 years. :)

(Note: some of these links are affiliate links.)

Advanced Image Styles

IMAGE STYLE PLUGIN

Adjust an image's margins and border with ease in the Visual editor.

One of the few plugins that I have used for a long time that let's me easily control the border around images. This is particularly helpful for my screenshots in my tutorials and posts.

AffiliateWP - Affiliate Marketing Plugin for WordPress

AFFILIATE PROGRAM PLUGIN

If you sell a service or product and want to run an affiliate campaign, this is possibly one of the easiest ways to do it.

I used this on my past membership sites.

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Akismet

Akismet

ANTI-SPAM PLUGIN

Akismet checks your comments against the Akismet Web service to see if they look like spam or not and lets you review the spam it catches under your blog's "Comments" admin screen.

I believe that for as long as I have been using WordPress, I have activated this plugin. A few times I tried some others but was always disappointed.

BackupBuddy

BACKUP PLUGIN

If you have a self-hosted WordPress site, and your host doesn't allow you to backup manually or easily restore a backup. this is the plugin for you. There are tons of free and premium plugins, but from my experience you cannot go wrong with BackupBuddy.

Before I moved onto managed hosting at WPEngine, I used this plugin religiously, for myself and for just about every client that has this need.

Blubrry PowerPress

PODCASTING PLUGIN

Podcasting plugin for WordPress, with simple & advanced modes, players, subscribe tools, and more! Supports iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher....

For both of my podcasts I have used this plugin only because of its powerful features. I tried a couple of others, but for my needs this one was the best.

Condutor Plugin

LAYOUT PLUGIN

This plugin helps you to create custom layout on pages and posts for just about any theme. Add columns and control the content and the images. You will see the changes being done in real-time.

When I had one of my site on the Baton Pro theme I was using this plugin to customize primarily my homepage. But I also used it on some WooCommerce products pages as well to change-out the default layout.

CoSchedule

SCHEDULING PLUGIN

CoSchedule is the best way to plan your marketing and save a ton of time. Trusted by more than 10,000 bloggers, editors, and social marketers world-wide.

Although this is technically a simple plugin that connects you to their service, it was still worth listing. Once I first started with using this for my social scheduling, I was hooked. Honestly, I don't think I could live without it now.

Easy Digital Downloads

ECOMMERCE PLUGIN

The best eCommerce plugin for downloads on your WordPress site. Incredibly easy to set up and has tons of add-ons that will meet just about any need you have as you build out your store.

When I needed an easy plugin to have people to buy and download our ebooks on a couple of our sites, this was my obvious choice.

Easy Pricing Tables

PRICING TABLE PLUGIN

If you are selling membership levels or products at different levels, you really need a good pricing table as a visual on your site. This plugin has some great options and is mobile-friendly as well.

When we were doing our membership sites, I struggled with a lot of free plugins that just weren't doing what I wanted. I finally shelled out a few bucks and went this route.

FooBox - Responsive and Social WordPress Lightbox for Media

LIGHTBOX PLUGIN

If you use FooGallery, this is a great addition to creating customized lightboxes for image and videos.

I am in the process of going back through a lot of my posts and tutorials and making the screenshots clickable to enlarge in a lightbox. Since I was already using FooGallery, it was a no brainer.

FooGallery

GALLERY PLUGIN

There are a lot of gallery plugins for WordPress. But FooGallery really is one of the top ones in my books. It's easy to use and has some great features for controlling your galleries. And if you go with their pro version, you will have even more at your fingertips.

I needed a basic gallery for some images but wanted something that looked good, was easy to use and also mobile-friendly. FooGallery fit those to a tee. Since then I have use it creatively in different ways to show sponsors links, podcast subscription links and more. The fact that I can drop a shortcode in any widget area does the trick for me.

Genesis Design Palette Pro

GENESIS THEME CUSTOMIZATIONS

If you use a Genesis child theme from StudioPress, you need to check out this plugin. It supports quite a number of them and allows you to easily change fonts, sizes, colors as well as other styles for backgrounds, padding, widgets areas, you name it. It also supports a lot of the unique homepage layouts on Genesis child themes to give you better control over them.

I was using Genesis child themes when this plugin was first released, and have been using it since for my own sites whenever I have a supported theme on my site. Currently, three of the four Genesis child themes I have on my sites are supported, so yes, I am using it now.

Give - A Free WordPress Donation Plugin that Works Beautifully

DONATION PLUGIN

Do you take donations? If so, this is one of the most complete and easy-to-use WordPress plugins out there. Get rid of those ugly PayPal donate buttons and give you donation page some style.

No, I don't take donations, although I do use this on a page where people can thank me for a post that might have helped them. But I have used it as a crowdsourcing tool for a few campaigns I had run and really love the ability to incorporate it right into my site.

Gravity Forms

FORMS PLUGIN

If you are looking for a dynamic form plugin for your site, I must admit that you don't need to look any further than Gravity Forms. Their drag and drop form builder is very intuitive and the features and options will satisfy any power-user or developer.

I have been using Gravity Forms for over 5 years. I could tell you everything I love about them, but instead would suggest you check out this post on my blog.

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Jetpack

Jetpack

UTILITY PLUGIN

Jetpack simplifies managing WordPress sites by giving you visitor stats, security services, speeding up images, and helping you get more traffic.

I know over the years many have said that Jetpack is a bloated plugin. Well, that's not true. You only use what you need to use. And I have used this plugin off and on for years on several of our sites.

Mashshare

SOCIAL MEDIA SHARE PLUGIN

Looking for some social share buttons that really stand out? Then check out Mashshare.

This was the exact reason I chose them. They are big. And can't be missed. Been using them for a few years on BobWP and don't have any plans on changing that soon.

OptinMonster

LIST BUILDING PLUGIN

If you are looking at a way to grow your subscribers, OptinMonster has all the tools you need. From simple sign up forms, to popups, slides in and a whole lot more, with its sophistication, you have so many options on where and when your visitors are asked to subscribe.

When it first came out, although I have never been a fan of popups, I snagged a copy and used it for quite sometime. As things progressed I moved in some other directions for optin plugins, but just recently have made the return back to OptinMonster because I know how powerful and effective it is.

Product Add-Ons Extension - WooCommerce

WOOCOMMERCE EXTENSION

Allow your customers to customize products by adding input boxes, dropdowns, file uploads or checkboxes.

This is one extension I have used with WooCommerce for a long time to add features and options to my services I've sold via WooCommerce. It's extremely flexible and a must-having if you are using WooCommerce.

Regenerate Thumbnails

MEDIA PLUGIN

Regenerate Thumbnails allows you to regenerate the thumbnails for your image attachments. This is very handy if you've changed any of your thumbnail dimensions (via Settings -> Media) after previously uploading images or have changed to a theme with different featured post image dimensions.

Every time I change a theme, I run this plugin. There really is no more that I need to say.

SearchWP

SEARCH PLUGIN

Give your WordPress site a powerful internal search without having to depend upon the default search.

As our blog grew, the importance of good search mechanism was apparent. The default search for WordPress pretty much sucked. I needed visitors to get better results. This also meant filtering out categories and other taxonomies I just didn't want to be included. There were a few free plugins, but not good enough. SearchWP is the best.

ThirstyAffiliates

AFFILIATE PLUGIN

Cloak affiliate links and get organized with your affiliate marketing. Download the best free affiliate marketing management plugin for WordPress.

I am into affiliate marketing and have been for sometime. The features this plugin offers will save you. All it takes is one time when an affiliate link changes code and you have it scattered in numerous posts. With this plugin, one edit and you are good to go.

WooCommerce Bookings

WOOCOMMERCE EXTENSION

This powerful extension allows you to sell your time or date based bookings. Perfect for those wanting to offer appointments, services or rentals.

When I needed a tool on my site to let people easily booking training and coaching sessions with me, since I was already using WooCommerce this was a no-brainer.

WooCommerce - eCommerce for WordPress

ECOMMERCE PLUGIN

The most customizable eCommerce platform for building your online business. No matter what you are selling, WooCommerce can take care of it for you. With it's hundreds of extensions, it will fit any need you have.

I have been using it since it was released in late 2011. And have never looked back. I have sold products, downloads, booking times, workshop fees, retainers, website and coaching packages, and probably even more I can't think of right now.

WooCommerce Memberships

WOOCOMMERCE EXTENSION - MEMBERSHIP

Sell memberships via your WooCommerce store. The unique feature of this extension is that you can offer your members special deals and discounts on your WooCommerce products while enticing visitors to become members.

When I started my second membership site, using this extension and the Subscription extension made the most sense as I was already using WooCommerce and the integration was seamless.

WooCommerce Subscriptions - WooCommerce

WOOCOMMERCE EXTENSION

WC Subscriptions makes it easy to create and manage products with recurring payments.

When I was doing memberships, this one was a must-have.