On the question-answer site Quora someone asked “What WordPress plugins do you start every new WordPress site with?”
Great question, don’t you think? As of now 80 people have answered the question so we compiled the answers to get a crowdsourced look at which plugins wordpress developers are using.
There seemed to be a general consensus on two disclaimers 1. The fewer plugins the better 2. It depends on the type of site. While there are some standard plugins that are truly necessary for every site like security and caching, the answer differs if the site is media, e-commerce, focused on mobile, its size, its audience etc.
Top 10 plugins by number
These 10 were listed in more answers than any of the others. This does not account for the amount of votes an answer received.
- WordPress SEO by Yoast 31
- Akismet 28
- Google XML Sitemaps 15
- Gravity Forms 15
- W3 Total Cache 14
- All in One SEO Pack 12
- Google Analytics for WordPress 12
- Jetpack 12
- Contact Form 7 10
- WP Super Cache 10
Within the top ten there are only five or six functions with two or more plugins on the list serving the same purpose.
The two top SEO plugins combined received 43 votes, 31 for WordPress SEO by Yoast and 12 for All in One SEO Pack. In addition, Wordpress SEO by Yoast includes the function of the third most popular plugin on this list, Google XML sitemaps, bringing the tally up to 56 votes for SEO related plugins.
Both SEO plugins are full of features, everything from setting up your robots.txt file, assigning keywords to pages, and setting up rules for URL structure, meta tags, and much more.
Aksimet is the clear winner in this category. There are other anti-spam plugins, especially in regard to comments, as well as some other security related plugins on the list.
The implication is that the WordPress platform is pretty secure itself, and that’s actually one of its advantages for developers and users. You can get going without much knowledge about internet security.
Next on the list is forms, especially contact forms. One of the staples of every website is a contact form and as of now WordPress doesn’t have its own form feature. So it’s between Gravity Forms and Contact Form 7, with Gravity Forms winning 3-2 . We’ve used both here and each has some advantages over the other.
Very similar deal to forms. Seems most wordpress developers are in agreement that you need to cache your site and they’re divided between W3 Super Cache and WP Total Cache. If those two sound similar that’s because they are! Pick one and go with it.
If you’re new to WP or developing or caching you may want to take a look here for a brief explanation on the importance of caching your site. For now, suffice it to say that in order for everything to run smoothly, you don’t want your site to be repeating the same commands unnecessarily if you can store the responses instead.
The next two most popular functions are analytics and backup. More on that in round two!