Insite Design Lab


10 Best WordPress Plugins

Is This Post Meant For You?

This post is meant for you if:

  1. You want to find some great WordPress Plugins
  2. You like reading subjective lists that are stated as facts
  3. You're just plain bored

This post is not meant for you if:

  1. You actually want to know what the most popular WordPress plugins are
  2. You want a post with pictures (sadly, this post has none)
  3. You don't actually have time to read a blog right now

Alright, Now For The Best WordPress Plugins

In No Apparent Order

1. Akismet

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Purpose - Automatically reviews every comment left on your blog and deletes spam for you

Cost - It can be free for personal blogs, but this plugin is seriously amazing and you should spend what you can on it!

Notes - Akismet comes pre-installed with every WordPress installation. However It Is Not Active By Default. In order to activate Akismet, you need to go to their website and get an Akismet API Key.

2. Contact Form 7

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Purpose - Allows you to easily create and implement complex forms anywhere on your website.

Cost - Totally free, but if you have the cash, you should send them a donation!

Notes - Contact Form 7 is set up to only allow shortcode insertion, meaning that it can only go in posts and pages, not directly into your theme. However, if you want to insert it right into the code, you can always use the WordPress 'Do Shortcode' Function.

3. Google XML Sitemaps

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Purpose - A set it and forget it plugin that dynamically generates and updates your WordPress website's sitemap. This alerts search engines like Google when you add or edit a post or page and will help improve your search rankings.

Cost - No cost, no work. Just set it up and rest easy.

Notes - Make sure you look through the settings page just once when you activate the plugin. There is a lot you can customize and every option is explained well.

4. FD FeedBurner Plugin

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Purpose - Wordpress by default comes with its own feed. It can be found at Feedburner is a great replacement service for the default feed. It is currently owned by Google and can be found at After you set up a feedburner feed, this plugin will help by redirecting your default feed to the new feedburner one.

Cost - None!

Notes - Before this plugin will work, you have to go to and create a feed. It's easy to do but you need your Feedburner account name before this plugin can function.

5. WordPress SEO

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Purpose - This is the ultimate, greatest, most amazing, all included (too far?) SEO Plugin on the market. It's written by Joost De Valk and is seriously awesome. It gives you full control of your meta titles, meta descriptions, keywords density, etc etc. If you want your website to do better in the search engines, there are only two things you need to do. First, you need to go start reading about what SEO is and how to optimize your website. Then you need to download this plugin and realize how incredibly easy all of that difficult sounding SEO work has become.

Cost - Free, I don't even know how this plugin stays free but it does. When your website becomes an amazing success and your filthy rich, remember Joost De Valk and his amazing plugin that got you there.

Notes - Why are you still reading this? Go grab the plugin already!

6. WP

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Purpose - Many people aren't aware of how large, bulky images can negatively affect your web site. saves you time and energy by automatically shrinking (or smushing) every image you upload via your WordPress Dashboard. It doesn't ruin image quality, or change the size. It just makes them more efficient for posting on the web. This will increase your page loading times and ultimately lead to better rankings in the search engines.

Cost - Free again, seeing a pattern?

Notes - Nothing to it, just install >> activate and never worry about it again.

7. WP Touch

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Purpose - This simple to use plugin automatically creates a smartphone ready version of your WordPress website. A recent statistic from HubSpot states that 35% of American Adults Own Smartphones. It is important both for usability and your Search Engine results that you have a website which caters to people using smartphones. This plugin does it all for you.

Cost - They do have a free version, but for the professional version it is $39 - $199 depending on how many web sites you want to use it on.

Notes - Make sure you check out the settings page after activating the plugin, there are some really handy utilities for customizing the appearance of your site on cell phones.

8. SyntaxHighlighter

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Purpose - This plugin allows you to easily embed source code into your WordPress posts and pages. This is otherwise very difficult to do, but it's all made easy with Syntax Highlighter.

Cost - Totally and 100% free

Notes - Again, take some time going over the settings for the plugin. You get to pick the color scheme, line numbers, etc.

9. WP-DB-Backup - WordPress Database Backup

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Purpose - This plugin allows you to have your entire WordPress website automatically backed up as frequently as you'd like. It can either be saved to your server or emailed to you. Don't risk not having a backup of your web site. WordPress web sites get hacked every day, make sure you're prepared with this nifty plugin.

Cost - Free, and easy to use. Trust me on this one and go grab it.

Notes - Personally, I think you should always set this plugin up to email you the database as opposed to saving it on your server. In the event that your site does become compromised, why risk having you only backup on the server that someone has already broken into.

10. Sharebar

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Purpose - This plugin gives you a Mashable esque social networking bar on the side of every post. It is easy to set up and follows the reader down the page. We all know that Content Is King but if you already have good content, make sure you give your readers an easy way to share it with their friends.

Cost - Absolutely Free.

Notes - The settings on this plugin take a minute to get used to, make sure you spend a few minutes back there getting the hang of it.

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