The 10 Best WordPress Plugins To Use In 2012

One of the key features that has made me a true believer in the WordPress is the incredible library of plugins available for the platform. Of course with a large selection also comes a great deal of confusion as to which plugins are the best fit for your site.

This was a hard list to come-up with but after using WordPress for five years I’ve done my best to come-up with the top ten WordPress plugins available in 2012. Every year new plugins hit the market but I still find that some of the originals remain as some of the best. Even if you’ve heard of half the plugins on this list or more, it’s that one plugin that can make all the difference so make sure to read through the entire list.

Okay, enough rambling from me, onto the plugins!

The 10 Best WordPress Plugins To Use In 2012

  1. Akismet – I can’t stand spam comments, they can really waste your time and become unmanageable very quickly. Akismet is hands-down the best plugin to eliminate comment spam. I have this in the #1 spot for a very good reason and this really is essential for every WordPress site out there.
  2. All In One SEO – this plugin has become the standard for SEO in WordPress. You can make just about every tweak you’d ever need to make in order to make your on-page optimizations the best that they can be. If you want your site to rank well this plugin should be at the top of your list.
  3. WP Super Cache – as you probably know by now, Google uses page load time as a key metric in their ranking algorithm. This nifty little plugin turns your dynamic pages into static HTML so that your site loads incredibly fast. If you think this plugin doesn’t apply to you, think again, it will dramatically decrease your page load time which means you’re likely to see an increase in ranking before you know it.
  4. Widget Context– you can use this nifty little plugin to pick which widgets will show-up on your sidebar on a per-page basis. This is a great way to make customized sidebars on a per-page basis.
  5. PopUp Domination –  if you are building a newsletter or mailing list this plugin is the best way to grow your subscriber list. While you may find pop-ups annoying there is an overwhelming amount of data showing that these can help you dramatically grow your subscriber list.
  6. VaultPress – this is hands-down the best plugin to keep your WordPress blog backed-up and secure. I’ve been using VaultPress since they first released the plugin and the peace-of-mind it provides is well worth the nominal monthly fee.
  7. Secure WordPress – this plugin does exactly what it says, secures WordPress. By patching some of the basic security holes that WordPress has with a standard install you can instantly increase the security of your site. This really is a must-have plugin so if you don’t have it, go ahead and install it now.
  8. SEO Friendly Images – most people don’t realize the massive amount of traffic that Google Image Search gets. This plugin will add the alt and title tag to your images so you can start getting some image search traffic to your site.
  9. Yet Another Related Post Plugin – keep users engaged by showing them similar posts to the one they just read. This plugin alone can create a very nice increase in the amount of time the average visitor spends on your site.
  10. Jetpack – last, but certainly not least is Jetpack, a whole set of features packed-into one handy and free plugin developed by WordPress themselves. You can do things like track analytics, check grammar, and much more.

Please feel free to share your own favorite WordPress plugins in the comment section below. Comment and let your voice be heard!

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Morgan Linton was born in Berkeley, California but spent nine years traveling the world as an early employee for digital music startup Sonos. In 2007 Morgan founded Linton Investments, a domain name and branding company that has helped some of the most recognized startups in the world acquire their top choice domain name. In 2012 Morgan left his full-time job to co-found Bold Metrics, a startup building technologies that make it easy for online shoppers to buy clothes that fit and arming retailers with more data than ever before.

{ 13 comments… add one }

  • Mr January 24, 2012, 1:24 pm

    Thanks for sharing, Morgan, that’s very helpful!

  • DomainFuze! January 24, 2012, 9:51 pm

    Wellp…this is pretty much awesome.  I’ll probably post again w/comments or questions, but just wanted to say a quick thanks, then get to work installing some plugins.

  • ARIYAS January 25, 2012, 5:05 pm

    thanks for sharing. Installed 3 of those plugins.

  • Chris Thompson January 25, 2012, 11:50 pm

    Cheers, had a few of them but installed a few more. Really like Jetpack!

  • Dave Zan January 26, 2012, 9:25 pm

    I’ve actually stopped using Akismet ever since I changed my comment system to Livefyre, similar to Disqus (the one you’re using). I haven’t had any comment spam for about a month and counting, so perhaps you can stop using Akismet for a while and see if it works for you, too.

    Also, I read (and can personally confirm) that Jetpack tends to use a lot of “cpu resources” of your host and (knock on wood) shut down your blog for that. If you’re especially using shared hosting, best to turn off Jetpack’s other functions that you don’t really need or use.

  • Fernando Cano February 10, 2012, 8:45 pm


    • Morgan Linton February 11, 2012, 11:15 am

      Thank you Fernando – really glad you enjoyed it!

  • Online Chemist UK February 21, 2012, 9:37 pm

    Some of your plugins are new for me. Your list is informative. Thanks for mentioning Jetpack plugin. You have missed an important plugin that is WPtouch. It has become one of the best and popular plugin to generate the mobile traffic.  I have also used Akisme for the spam protection but I think G.A.S.P is way better than Akisme for this purpose. 

  • Justin April 7, 2012, 7:13 pm

    I haven’t experimented with all of these plugins yet. But so far, I only find the “Yet Another Related Posts” plugin useful.  I also don’t like the Widget Context plugin. Well, I can see why people would like it, but I think it needs a lot of improvements. As for Secure Wordpress goes, I’ve decided to keep this plugin and experiment with it more.

  • HostingWeb 24/7 July 2, 2012, 12:22 pm

    I also really like and prefer Wordpress(in the CMS world) because of all the plug-ins that is offering. It makes it easier to do your site faster(give speed) and there are also a lot of plug-ins that can really help you with the SEO( this is really important ,in my opinion, especially if you own a company ).
    There are 2 plug-ins that i think are pretty good : ”W3 Total Cache” y ”WP SEO by Yoast”. What do you think about them? Should I use them or there others that better? Especially ”WP SEO by Yoast” a lot of friends there suggesting it to me because it concludes a lot of features and you can save time insted of using everytime one plug-in for one job. What do you believe?

    Thanks a lot,

  • johnandroid October 31, 2012, 5:05 am

    WP Auto Affiliate Links will automate the adding of links inside your content.

  • Tim November 28, 2012, 1:42 pm

    For those who find it difficult to add content to your site but are very active on social media, you should check out this WP plugin my team and I created. It’s called Tint, and we help aggregate social feeds into your site so you’ll always have a more dynamic and less static site.

    Check it out here:

  • Toqeer February 11, 2013, 7:43 am

    Great List Of Wordpress Plugins To Use.
    I Have A Few Of Them But Now I Am Going To Check Them All.


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