I’ve spent hours searching for, testing with demo and real sites, the plugin’s, theme’s and services listed here. Call me a geek but in fact, I really enjoy testing and tinkering with WordPress, the many themes and plugins. I’m fascinated by the power, flexibility and creativeness of WordPress websites. So building this page showing the themes, plugins and services I recommend to clients and students is easy. Most WordPress websites need what I call “core plugins” that do the “basics” required. The list of “WordPress Recommended Themes, Pluginss And Services- My WordPress Cheatsheet” is that. Some would say, why put all of this on one page? It’s a lot, but I’ve done it simply because this is a starting point I give my students so they know what I would recommend and use. Think of it like a cheatsheet list to building your blog. I like what I recommend here or it wouldn’t be on this page. That’s because I think these are the easiest, most flexible and have the best support. I’ve grouped them in by function and in no particular order.
Many of these listings are popular with blogs and websites both large and small. Some are unique plugins that do something I’ve needed and couldn’t find elsewhere. In some cases I just found it to be the most useful and efficient plugin, theme or service to use for the task at hand. I’ve also listed services I like that have fantastic support because it can be a huge disappointment to get locked into a monthly subscription service only to find out that either the service or the support doesn’t live up to expectations.
Now, there’s a lot out there to consider. Many other amazing plugins, themes and services available not listed here. With some 29,000 plugins, hundreds of themes and services, it can seem a bit daunting to search for what you want but consider these a starting point. Obviously, each blog or website is unique and has unique requirements. If you find something better you like, great. However, these might just be perfect for your needs. If you have a favorite that’s not listed here, drop me a line using my Contact page and tell me about it.
Easy To Use, Easy To Understand WordPress Themes (My Personal Favorites)
I’ve written a couple of articles emphasizing the importance of starting with a good theme. It’s the basis of you site, the foundation upon which you build. While there a merits to a free theme and nothing is wrong with using one; there are real perks associated with some of the best paid themes out there. I’ve tested quite a few themes. Some I used and then switched to these I recommend here because the themes I’ve listed are a) easy to use and understand, b) lightweight and flexible, and c) have amazing and responsive support!
Here’s a few I’ve used and believe are tried and true. But if you don’t believe me, go to their site and check it out for yourself.
Flexible Image Gallery and Post Plugins That WORK!
There’s a ton of gallery and content plugins, but not all are as useful as these. In fact, I struggled a bit when I first looked for good gallery plugins because I had specific features I wanted. What I discovered was surprising; some of the gallery plugins weren’t optimized. That means they don’t play nice with standard optimization techniques like caching and minification. If you don’t know those terms just understand in a broad sense what that means is that there is a potential for the plugin to slow a site down. The other big item I came to realize is not all have easy to understand and easy to use features. Plus if it’s a gallery of images, the point is to make it look fantastic. I recommend these because they can create incredible looking galleries without bloat and these are the easy to learn without a lot of sweat. Plus, they are feature-rich, and have good support.
Caching Plugins To Speed Up Your Site
I’m no expert like the developers of this caching plugin. They have alot more in-depth knowledge to be able to create a caching plugin that will literally rocket your site performance. It’s you don’t already know about caching but need to speed up your blog, then go no further. Hundreds of thousands of sites use caching for improved performance. Who waits for a page to load? Without caching, your site will crawl, especially in a shared hosting environment. Setting up caching is critical and once configured is beneficial.
Social Media Plugins Help Promote Your Content
Social media provides some of the best opportunities to engage with your site visitors and generate traffic. Using a social media plugin to allow your site visitors to share your content with their friends is just good business and provides free traffic generation. While there are many plugins for Social media sharing, this is one of the easiest to set up and use. Plus it adds the ability on a page and post level to create perfectly sized images for sharing on Facebook and Pinterest. Additional Metadata, descriptions and Tweets give you a head start on managing what exactly gets shared. Just icing on the cake so to speak.
Affiliate Marking Plugins That Monetize
If you are looking to monetize your site then you’ll need plugins that provide you the opportunity to do so. These are two of my favorites. Both have worked exceedingly well and the support is unbeatable.
They are easy to use. With Advanced Ads, you’ll quickly be able to advertize with ease using any affiliate program you’ve decided to promote. Want to use Amazon’s affiliate program then look closely at AAWP’s customizable links; it is really amazing what you can do with this robust plugin.
WordPress Security Plugins To Protect
Hacker’s will never stop trying and you should never assume your hosting provider has you covered. They might but you should still plan on your own security for your site. With these, you’ll not be the low hanging fruit on the tree.
WordPress Backups, Restores and Migrations – The Best of the Best
While this isn’t a perfect list these are a handful of plugins I’ve used and would recommend if I was building a site for someone.
Others were interested in:
If you loved this post consider sharing it. Thanks!