Posted : Wednesday, December 18, 2013 | Post Author : Paul Crowe |
As we head into 2014 it’s time to look at some of the awesome new WordPress Plugins bloggers will be using throughout the year.The selection of Plugins in the WordPress Directory is staggering with almost 30,000 Plugins available and at last count 566,635,959 downloads !
So it’s hard to rummage through the directory and tell the tops from the flops, that’s were we come in.Below I have researched and listed 35 of the very best Plugins in every imaginable category.From Social plugins to SEO and Design to Security there is bound to be a plugin to suit you and maybe just the one you were looking for.
Among my favorites in the list are the ‘Thank Me Later Plugin‘, ‘Google Fonts Plugin‘ and the ‘Fancier Author Box‘ let us know what your favorites are as well.
35 Best Free WordPress Plugins For 2014
Subscriber is a more in dept option to the regular Subscribe by email of newsletter we have become accustomed to.Subscriber lets users subscribe to the full blog or just specific categories or pages.The plugin is integrated with Aweber and also offers SMS text messaging.
Google Page speed Insights for WordPress
This plugin lets you use Pagespeed Insights to easily optimize your sites performance and search ranking.Pagespeed recommendations let you know any errors on your blog and how to fix them.There are free and premium versions available.
BAN – Blocked Ads Notifier Lite
Ad blockers have become popular with Internet users and while they may think it is justified it has an adverse affect on bloggers.Those using ad blockers like adblock and ghostery may not understand bloggers need ad revenue to keep providing them with the information they crave.The Ban WordPress Plugin allows you to fill the spaces your ads should be displayed with a message to the adblok user so you can persuade them to turn of the adblocker.
Social Count Plus
Social Count Plus is the easy way to display your social popularity on your WordPress Blog.By showing your follower counts you encourage others to join as well.
“The Social Count Plus performs counting Twitter followers, Facebook fans, YouTube subscribers, Google Plus page followers, Instagram followers, Steam Community group members, SoundCloud followers, number of posts and comments.”
Contact Form 7
Contact form 7 is perhaps the most popular contact plugin currently available. As a blogger it’s important you have transparency and credibility, giving readers the option to get in touch helps shows you as a real approachable person.
“Contact Form 7 can manage multiple contact forms, plus you can customize the form and the mail contents flexibly with simple markup. The form supports Ajax-powered submitting, CAPTCHA, Akismet spam filtering and so on.”
Yet Another Related Posts Plugin (YARPP)
Related posts are a great way to decrease your blogs bounce rate, keep those visitors reading through the archived posts.The YARPP Plugin is currently the most popular plugin when it comes to related posts with high ratings and glowing reviews.
“Display a list of related entries on your site and feeds based on a unique algorithm. Now with thumbnail support built-in!”
WP Smush.it is a great plugin to speed up your blog by optimizing the images you use.
“Reduce image file sizes and improve performance using the Smush.it API within WordPress.”
SEO Smart Links
SEO Smart Links is a extremely useful plugin for your on page SEO. By detecting KeyWords in your post Smart Links will automatically turn them into hyperlinks to other pages of your blog.
“SEO Smart Links provides automatic SEO benefits for your site in addition to custom keyword lists, nofollow and much more.”
Let your readers get creative by allowing them to add images to their comments.The Comment Images Plugin connects to your comment form and takes away the text only restriction.
“..Allow your readers easily to attach an image to their comment, Supports PNG, GIF, JPG, and JPEG images…”
All In One Schema.org Rich Snippets
Rich Snippets have become an important part of SEO and are proven to increase CTR.This Rich Snippets Plugin puts you in control of the snippets displayed for your content.
“..Boost CTR. Improve SEO & Rankings. Supports most of the content type. Works perfectly with Google, Bing, Yahoo & Facebook…”
Q2W3 Fixed Widget (Sticky Widget)
You will have noticed many of the big sites using sticky sections in the sidebar.This Fixed Widget Plugin allows you to make selected widgets in your sidebar stick in place as the reader scrolls.A great way to increase subscribers or revenue.
“..Enable “Fixed widget” option in the widget settings (see screenshot) and it will be always in sight when page is scrolled down or up. There is no problem to “Fix” or “Stick” more than one widget even located in different sidebars!..”
The Twine Social plugin lets you create a kind of social homepage on your blog.Display the latest feeds from your social media such as Facbook and Twitter.
“..Display your social media content (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Vine, Pinterest + more) on your WordPress blog in one beautiful interface. .”
Metro Style Social Widget
Having come across The metro Social plugin on a number of WordPress hosted blogs I quickly became a big fan.The metro design is great yet does not take up too much space in your sidebars.Most of the top social networks are catered for and you have the option to display the follower count for each.
The Woo Sidbars Plugin may be just what you were looking for.By using this plugin you can display a different sidebar or simply different sections depending on the post, page or category.For example if your blog had a category on Mobile phones you could display a relevant add on only those pages.
“..WooSidebars adds functionality to display different widgets in a sidebar, according to a context (for example, a specific page or a category)..”
I know many of you will display your archives on your blog in either a drop down or calender format Compact Archives is a new option.Saving space can be key to your design and this plugin does just that by showing your archive in a tidy easy to navigate format.
OK this is a very useful plugin.The Post Expirator Plugin allows you to set an expiration date on certain posts on your blog.This can be great for giveaways etc..
Limit Login Attempts
Going by the reviews for the Limit Login Plugin many think this should be built into the WordPress interface. You can control how many attempts can be taken to login to your blog giving some added security.
There are so many plugins out there that allow you to sell from your blog but the Woo Commerce Plugin is my favorite.Not only is the functionality fantastic it looks great too.
“..WooCommerce is a powerful, extendable eCommerce plugin that helps you sell anything. Beautifully..”
Easy Digital Downloads
Another great eCommerce plugin Easy Digital Downloads lets you easily sell any downloads from your site.With PayPal Integration you can sell your stuff and there are also options to offer promo codes and bundle downloads.
This plugin can also be used with Crowdsfunding which just happens to be the next Plugin in our list.
Crowdfunding by Astoundify
Crowdfunding for those who have not encountered it is a unique way for developers or indeed anyone to raise funds for a certain project.An example would be a developer looking to create a new app but needs $500 funding.With the crowdfunding plugin they can let those interested donate funds and display the totals like one may see used by Charity’s.
“..An extension that seamlessly integrates with Easy Digital Downloads, the Crowdfunding plugin lets you crowd fund everything from films, games, music to art, design and technology or anything you can think of..”
This is a simple plugin to add Ratings to your blog posts.The WP-PostRatings plugin is probably the most popular ratings plugin in it’s category offering an easy yet in-dept interface.
“..Adds an AJAX rating system for your WordPress blog’s post/page…”
WordPress Notification Bar
Notification bars have become ever more popular so we must include on in our list.This Notification Bar Plugin is free and easy to use so it gets the vote. With this you can add your custom message or call to action, set up the colors to match your blog and make it sticky to stay visible as the reader scrolls.
OK so Yoast has been around for some time but for me it’s the best free WordPress SEO Plugin.The Yoast Plugin offers so many options to optimize every part of your blog for search.
Responsive WordPress Slider – Soliloquy Lite
Once again there are a lot of plugins to choose from when it comes to Sliders but I have chosen the Soliloquy Lite Plugin for this list.As a free Plugin it offers so many display options yet is easy to use and update with your latest images.
A very simple plugin Back Up WordPress does exactly what it says and automatically backs up your WordPress blog so if the worst happens your covered.
WP Google Fonts
Google Fonts have made using web fonts assessable to all and the WP Google Fonts Plugin make it even easier for WordPress users.With this plugin you can choose from the thousands of Google Fonts and use them anywhere on your blog.
Fancier Author Box by ThematoSoup
I use an author box here on Spice Up Your Blog but nothing like this.In my opinion the Fancier Author Box is the best plugin in it’s category.
Lightbox is a popular a popular way to view images.Allowing your images to be clicked and viewed in full size with the background blanked out but the visitor does not leave the page.The Lightbox Gallery Plugin enables Lightbox with an added Gallery view.
OK so you want to make some of your content premium, only available to members or paid users.No Problem; the Restricted Content Plugin does just this.The Features include Unlimited subscription levels, Complete member management, Discount codes, Payment tracking, PayPal integration and Top notch tech support.
The Cleansave Plugin lets visitors to your blog save your content to Kindle, Box, Google Drive, Dropbox, Google Cloud Print, print, PDF, text and email with the click of a button.
“..Join top sites like NBC News, CNN, Disney and Fox Sports and offer your users a simple saving experience that keeps them coming back to your site…”
Casengo Live Chat
I’m not sure the average blogger needs to provide Live Chat to visitors usually a contact form will do the trick.However if you want to offer live chat the Casengo Live Chat Plugin is what your looking for.
“..Casengo is Customer Support Software (Live Chat, Email, Social Media) from the Cloud, First User is Always Free!..”
Optin Revolution: WordPress Popup
I’m not a fan of subscriptions pop ups indeed I don’t think many people are but the fact remains they increase subscribers big time.This Pop Up Plugin Can connect with your newsletter providers such as Mail Chimp and and Aweber with a number of templates to suit your site design.
“..Supercharged WordPress Popup Plugin. Best way in the world for you to create unique unblockable WordPress popups to grow your list of subscribers!..”
We had the Soliloquy slider earlier in this list but at the last minute I decided to include the Meta slider plugin.The reason this made the cut is it’s basically four sliders in one giving you great options.Once installed on your blog you can choose to have your slides displayed using from Nivo Slider, Flex Slider, Coin Slider or Responsive Slides.
Thank Me Later
I love this plugin as it’s a clever way to get visitors back to your blog.The Thank me Later plugin sends an email to people that comment, on it’s own that nothing special but you can choose to delay the email for a set amount of time.So someone drops a comment on your blog and goes about their business, a few days later they get an email thanking them for the comment so they head back for another look.
OK finally number 35 is An in-dept search engine that can help users find the content thy are looking for and help you optimize your posts.The Swiftype Search Plugin replaces the basic WordPress search engine with a stylish alternative offering a number of designs and in-dept analytics.
That’s our lot, it took a few weeks to research and list so if you would take the time to share the post we would be grateful.And as always if you have any comments or questions they are welcome below.