WordPress has a huge variety of plugins that you can use to help customize your site the way you want to. Tens of thousands of plugins give you the option of control, and you can create your site the way you want to.
That said, only a handful of these plugins are any good. Many are garbage, and will not get the job done. This guide will help separate the wheat from the chaff and give you a list of some WordPress plugins that you can’t live without. Here are the top twelve plugins of 2015. Based not only on popularity, but from their usefulness as well.
WordPress Newsletter Plugin
In the past you would have to pay a third party to let you send out newsletters to your subscribers. But no more. This plugin does it all from your WordPress site, and does it well.
This allows you to fly over the competition by giving you great features. These include stats, social networking, subscriptions, forms, and so much more. With the latest version, you also have support for Multisite. No longer do you have to sort through your connections on an individual basis. You can connect to everything through your super admin account, making it way more convenient.
Google Analytics +
This plugin allows you to track and view Google Analystics statistics. Google Analytics+ works for any installation, single or multisite. All your stats are in front of you, with pretty and easy to read charts and graphs, all in your dashboard.
Formerly known as Better WP Security, this plugin gives you more than thirty ways to protect your site and keep it as secure as possible. A few features include Obscurity, which changes the URLs for your WordPress dashboard areas. This includes login and admin. Also, you can scan your site and figure out where vulnerabilities are. Then you can fix them in seconds. Besides that, you can detect bots and backup your database so that you can easily recover your site in case something was to happen. If you’re looking for an alternative Sucuri Security works as well.
Think Apple’s Time Machine for the WordPress site. If you’re not familiar with that, let us explain. This plugin creates snapshots of anything you need, all from content to files, and gives you the ability to restore your content any time you want. It’s also easy to use and is Multisite compatible. You can also save your snapshots to storage areas such as Dropbox and Amazon S3. If you need an alternative, BackWPup or BackupBuddy do the trick as well.
Ultimate Branding allows you to rebrand your admin area by white labeling it, all from the admin area to the dashboard, and even the login page. You can change your WordPress logo to your own logo, add help content, and change your favicons to your suiting. You can even remove all mentions of WordPress so that your potential clients don’t look down on you.
With Membership, you can create your own membership site, just like The New York Times. Essentially, content is provided to users who pay for it, and the visitors receive limited access. That said, wait for Membership to change its plugin. Some new changes are coming, and they claim that Membership will soon be easy to use.
With Pro Sites, you can create a profitable blog or website, just like WordPress.com. You offer your users the opportunity to upgrade their sites and get new features including more storage and premium themes, all for a small fee. It’s a way to make a buck.
Your photos can reduce your site’s speed if you’re not careful. This is where Smush.it comes in handy. It gets rid of metadata from JPEGs, compresses them to their optimal level, and gets rid of unused colors as well. This means your JPEGs are a lot smaller, and you can allow your site to run faster.
WordPress Beta Tester
If you’re a WordPress developer or user, and you’re serious about it, you need this plugin. It allows you to install to the latest release or the beta versions of new WordPress releases. Since this is a beta tester, you should not use it on live sites.
With Infinite SEO, you can boost your site’s ranking with ease. It gives you easy title and meta data optimization, and plenty of site-wide linking. You also get complete Moz assimilation too.
If you want a way to test all sorts of plugins, themes, and other applications that can get cluttered, WordPress Reset is for you. It resets your database back to default and deletes everything. This way, you won’t have to remove your plugins in a painstaking manner.
These are just a few of the many plugins available, and this is just the surface. Try testing these out, and look for other WordPress plugins to experiment with as well. With WordPress, the choices are limitless. If there is one you really like let us know in the comments.