These are my favorite plugins for 2018 because they solved problems for me or my clients, they are reliable, and they are easy to install and use.
A bit about how I research plugins – I search from my WordPress dashboard and look for plug-ins with at least 4 or 5 stars, and many thousands of installations. I also make sure it is compatible with my version of WordPress. I click on “more details” to look at FAQ, screenshots, etc. You can also read blog posts by others, but be sure its someone you trust. Here are a couple of blogs I follow.
All in One SEO
I love this because its a simple plugin…not too many options, but gets the job done! Lots of features with the Free version.
First created in 2007, see why AIOSEO is one of the all time most downloaded plugins for WordPress.
- XML Sitemap support – submit your sitemap to Google and Bing and improve your SEO
- Image XML Sitemap submitted to Google and Bing to improve your Image SEO
- Google AMP support (Accelerated Mobile Pages)
- Google Analytics support
- Support for SEO on Custom Post Types
- Advanced Canonical URLs
- Redirect attachment pages to parent post
- Automatically notifies search engines like Google and Bing about changes to your site
- Built-in API so other plugins/themes can access and extend functionality
- ONLY free plugin to provide SEO Integration for e-Commerce sites, including WooCommerce
- Nonce Security built into All in One SEO Pack
- Automatically optimizes your titles for Google and other search engines
- Generates META tags automatically
- Avoids the typical duplicate content found on WordPress blogs
- For beginners, you don’t even have to look at the options, it works out-of-the-box. Just install.
I love this plugin because its easy to set up and use. My non-tech clients are able to add and manage their own events. I have the free version, but the premium version has some additional features like ticket sales.
- Easy event registration (single day with start/end times)
- Recurring and long (multi-day) event registration
- Bookings Management (including approval/rejections, export CVS, and more!)
- Multiple Tickets
- MultiSite Support
- BuddyPress Support
- Guest/Member Event submissions
- Assign event locations and view events by location
- Event categories
- Easily create custom event attributes (e.g. dress code)
- Google Maps
- Advanced permissions – restrict user management of events and locations.
- Widgets for Events, Locations and Calendars
Custom Facebook Feed
I love this plugin because some of my clients are very active on Facebook, and they love that their Facebook posts/events automatically shows in their sidebar. Easy for me to set up, and customize able. I use the Free version (I rarely pay for plugins).
- Completely Customizable – By default the Facebook feed will adopt the style of your website, but can be completely customized to look however you like – with tons of styling and customization options!
- Facebook feed content is crawlable by search engines adding SEO value to your site – other Facebook plugins embed the feed using iframes which are not crawlable
- Completely responsive and mobile optimized – layout looks great on any screen size and in any container width
- Display feeds from multiple different Facebook pages/groups and use the shortcode to embed them into a page, post or widget anywhere on your site
- Show events from your Facebook feed with name, date/time, location and description
- Add your own custom CSS
- Caching means that your Facebook posts load lightning fast. Set your own caching time – check for new posts on Facebook every few seconds, minutes, hours or days. You decide.
- Super simple to set up. Just enter your Facebook page ID and you’re done.
- Display Facebook posts by just the page owner, everyone who posts on your Facebook page, or only other people
- Control the width, height, padding and background color of your Facebook feed
- Customize the size, weight and color of text
- Choose to set a background color and rounded corners on your Facebook posts
- Select the number of Facebook posts to display
I like this plugin because its a simple way to add a photo slider to a theme doesn’t include a slider. And did I mention its free?
With Meta Slider, you can create your own unique, SEO-optimized slideshow in a matter of seconds! With WordPress’ most popular slider plugin, enhancing your blog or website couldn’t be easier: simply select images from your WordPress Media Library, drag and drop them into place, and then set the slide captions, links and SEO fields all from one page.
Choose one of 4 different slideshow types, and use our provided short-code or template to embed the slideshows.
Food and Drink Menu
I love this plugin for my restaurant and cafe clients. It saves me lots of time because they change their menus often and this makes it so easy – and they have some great style choices. Again, I was able to do what I needed with the free version.
Create a restaurant menu for cafes, bars and eateries, and display it in templates, posts, pages and widgets.
This plugin creates two new post types, Menu Items and Menus, which can be used to easily construct a menu. Create items on your menu, group them into sections and then build menus out of them.
- Unlimited menus and menu items
- Add a photo and one or many prices for each menu item
- Menu sections can include guidance, such as “All entrees come with a side salad or fries”
- Add a footer to each menu for legal disclaimers or other notes
- Display your menu or menu item in pages, posts and navigation menus or use the custom post type format
- Use the widget to display your menu in a sidebar
- Responsive menu layout to improve mobile viewing
- Templates to easily customize the output of menus and menu items
- Compatible with WPML for multi-language sites
I super love this plugin because it really impresses my clients when I tell them that their site can be multi-lingual. It was so simple to install and set up. Thank you Google, for making this plugin free!
GTranslate plugin uses Google Translate automatic translation service to translate wordpress site with Google power and make it multilingual. With 103 available languages your site will be available to more than 99% of internet users. Our paid versions are fully SEO compatible which will increase your international traffic and sales. This translate plugin is a budget multilingual WordPress solution which combines automatic and human translations to save money and is easy to implement.
GTranslate is a leading website translation services provider since 2008 and powers more than 500.000 multilingual websites worldwide.
Good luck, and remember, there’s always “A Plugin for That”! And, furthermore, there’s usually “A Free Plugin for That”!
*All descriptions and features come from WordPress.org.