Following are some of the best wordpress plugins (free and premium in no particular order):
Plugins to obtain top Google results
WordPress SEO by Yoast (Free) – The best SEO plugin for WordPress will help you get top Google results by not only improving your website optimization but also helping you to improve your content writing.
Google Analytics for WordPress by Yoast (Free) – Track your WordPress website easily-includes views per author & category, automatic tracking of outbound clicks and pageviews.
Post Teaser – (Free) This is a really nice plugin that will prevent duplicate content issues from posts appearing in different places such as the homepage, categories and archive. Google’s Matt Cutts Said that it is acceptable to have short previews on the home page or category page with the entire article on its own page and the preview will not be considered duplicate content. But this plugin also makes your website or blog easier to read and easier to find other interesting content because it lets the reader see many articles in a short space and instead of having to scroll through long articles.
Changing Permalinks / Permalinks Migration so you can safely change your permalink structure without breaking the old links to your website and preserve your top Google results: Change Permalink Helper | Dean’s Permalinks Migration (some people said this is working) | Manage 301 redirections and keep track of 404 errors with Redirection
AddThis Social Bookmarking Widget (Free) – This is a really great way to get people sharing your website and it gives you great statistics. Or add a floating share bar from Digg Digg or AA’s Digg Digg Alternative which claims to be lighter and faster (I’m using AA’s Digg Digg Alternative here)
Broken Link Checker (Free) – This is the best WordPress plugin to keep your linking updated and save you time. This plugin will check your posts, comments and other content for broken links, missing images, and notify you automatically by e-mail if any are found. Since Google is making a big effort to promote websites with good content, having lots of dead links on your webpages will likely hurt your rankings in the top Google results. This plugin will save a lot of time and help you keep your website in the top Google results.
GD Star Rating (Free) – allows you to set up advanced rating and review system for posts, pages and comments in your blog using single, multi and thumbs ratings. This is a must use a plugin because the stars will appear in your Google results. Please try it out at the bottom of this page.
Please Link 2 Me (Free) – adds a text box containing all the code necessary for visitors to easily create links back to your article from their website. This plugin has a warning on the WordPress site that it hasn’t been updated in over two years but it works for me.
iQ Block Country (Author’s page)(Free) – This has been my best WordPress plugin to stop spam since 99% of spam comes from foreign countries and I have no need for foreign visitors. You can block all foreign visitors or just the really annoying countries. Another script (paid) I found but have not tried it is Power Redirector 2.
Local Search SEO Contact Page – This plugin will take what you input into the settings page and populate the entire contact page or just parts of it. This includes the business name address in hCard/vCard format, phone numbers, hours of operation, payment methods, social media images and links, QR code for directions or custom, Google map, and more. If you ever had your embedded iframe for Google Maps disappear or break, this plugin will solve that by filling in your address and geo location (latitude, longitude) in the settings page and then placing the shortcode in your WordPress site.
More Great Plugins: Also check out some of these free plugins which provide various useful functions and also reduce CPU usage & speed up your website. This is a list of various plugins from commenting to anti-spamming and caching, etc. Since a slow website will annoy website visitors, Google is now looking at your website page load speed. These plugins will help get your website into the top Google results and help keep it there.
Auto-tweet and syndicate your content automatically through one or more twitter accounts.
Pretty Link Pro (Premium-one time payment for purchases at the time of this post includes future updates) – lets you automatically publish your posts to twitter and create your own short links using your domain name instead of the domain name of some short link service. This is a great advantage because you can brand your website and company in your tweets like yourwebsitename.com/keyword instead of something like bit.ly/shortcode. The Pro version is really great because it’s offered with a really inexpensive one time payment which includes all future upgrades (at least for people purchasing at the time of this post). There is even a really inexpensive developer version, also with a one time price. I haven’t found any free plugins that come close to what this offers. They also have a free version but the Pro version offers much more and I always buy the premium version if it’s a one-time price. The only other plugin I found which offers some of the features is WordTwit Pro (by the people who make the WPtouch ProTM plugin below) which has an annual fee. I really like Pretty Link Pro!
Automatically turn your website into a mobile website for iPhone, Android and other mobile users
WPtouch ProTM (Premium-includes updates for one year) – adds powerful, easy-to-use themes for mobile + tablet visitors. It’s also a theming framework, great for creating mobile & tablet themes. It automatically detects mobile devices like iPhones, iPads, Android & and more, serving its optimized themes instead of your regular desktop theme. Visitors can always switch back if they choose. This plugin has an annual fee for updates but has a free version. If you need a WordPress plug-in to convert your site for mobile users, but this is the one I would use. However, I tried the free version on one of my websites and found it turned it into just easy to read text but my site was easy to navigate on a smart phone without the plugin and it looked a lot better.
WPMU – Premium & free plugins
WangGuard (currently free) – fully compatible with Standard WordPress (non-multisite), WordPress MU, WordPress Multisite, BuddyPress (multisite and non-multisite) and bbPress. Provides active protection from Sploggers, spam users, unwanted users and Black Hat SEO.
Sticky Note Plugin (Free) – Write your own notes on the Admin-dashboard to help yourself remember anything.
Create forms the Easy way with Formidable Pro – the best form plugin for the money with a free version or a low One-Time Fee of only $47 or $117 for an Unlimited Developer License! Formidable Pro is not only a Gravity Forms alternative but has been reported as better than Gravity Forms. Certainly it’s a lot less expensive than Gravity Forms which is $199 every year for a developer license.
FD Footnotes (Free) – This plugin helps create better content by providing an extremely easy way to add elegant looking footnotes to your posts.
Press Release / Press Room Plugins
Instant Press Room (Paid) More info
Genesis Press Post Type plugin provides a custom post type called Press that is designed to allow an individual or company to create bookmarks of press coverage for their company, brands, or executives. The plugin also provides a widget called Genesis Featured Press that allows you to drop this content on any widget area in your Genesis child theme.
Press Page – uses a custom post type to display press features in a horizontal sliding scroll.
Press, News, Events – creates custom post types for Press Releases, Events and New Stories, three things a standard PR site needs.
List of plugins at HotScripts
Backup – probably the most important WordPress plugin you can ever get.
BackupBuddy – WP backup, restore, migration plugin – (Premium-low annual payment) This is the one I use. It’s inexpensive and they have a developer license for unlimited number of sites, which is the license I have. I used to use a free plugin which backs up the WordPress database but that’s all it did. I now use BackupBuddy and have successfully restored several sites. Backup is accomplished either manually with one click or automatically. Backups can be downloaded, e-mailed or sent to various storage facilities. Restoration is also simple, just upload two files. Also backs up MultiSite and can import sites into MultiSite.
Snapshot (Requires membership which gives access to many plugins & themes for WordPress & Multisite) – Snapshot works with Multisite and may work with Multi-db (see this thread I started). Make a quick and easy backup of all of your content. Allows you to not just backup all your regular WordPress stuff (posts, pages, comments, taxonomies etc.) but also every table of your database, for every plugin and theme. You can restore with one easy click.
CodeGuard – A single website is $5/month. 25 websites is $79/month.
Automatic WordPress Backup (Free) Captures your ENTIRE site (WordPress database, themes, plugins, uploaded files and settings files); automated backup; uses Amazon S3.
VaultPress (Premium-monthly payment) – By Automattic, the WordPress people, claims to be the world’s best WordPress security, backup, and support. Also backs up MultiSite.
BlogVault (Premium-monthly payment) – Automatically backs up and stores multiple copies so you can restore any copy over the last 30 days. Also backs up MultiSite.
CloudSafe365 has a free and paid version – Automated backup built on the Amazon Web Services platform, also provides security protection
myEASYbackup (Free for one website) When performing a backup, myEASYbackup creates a single file that includes your complete WordPress installation data – including the uploaded media, theme, settings, pages, posts, comments… everything!
Wordfence – After getting locked out of the admin dashboard by my hosting company because of brut force attacks, I researched which security plugin to use and installed Wordfence on this site and others. I paid for the premium license on my Multisite installation because they allow only one license for all of the sites on Multisite. On my other sites, I’m using the free version for now. A nice feature to keep your top SEO results is that Wordfence says they “maintain a real-time copy of the Google Safe Browsing list (the GSB) and use it to scan all your files, posts, pages and comments for dangerous URL’s. If you accidentally link to a URL on the GSB, your site is often black-listed by Google and removed from search results. The GSB is constantly changing, so constant scanning of all your content is needed to keep you safe and off Google’s SEO black-list.” This is available with the free license. Note: iQ Block Country (mentioned above) is not compatible with Wordfence. The Wordfence premium license allows you to easily block countries.
This really good article was written because of the attack against WordPress sites and tells you how to prevent a successful attack and attempted attacks which use up server resources.
Incapsula – has been reviewed as much better for security and stopping bots than Cloudflare.
A list of 10 plugins to help keep WordPress sites secure and descriptions of the plugins.