5 WordPress Plugins I Can’t Live Without (2011 edition)

WordPress LogoTimes change and so does the value of WordPress plugins. A couple of years ago I wrote The 5 Most Important WordPress Plugins of 2009. Since then things have changed. In fact, out of the 5 listed then the only one I still use is Akismet. So which plugins are the must-haves of today?

  1. Better WP Security
    While this might be seen as a shameless plug for a plugin I’ve written I will not launch a WordPress site without this installed. From hiding the existence of WordPress to enforcing strong passwords and detecting intrusion attempts this plugin really does it all.
  2. Contact Form 7
    This is another plugin I won’t launch a site without. It simply works better than the competition and really does an excellent job at integrating other plugins such as Solvemedia and others. Not all sites need the same contact form and this plugin goes the extra mile to make sure each site’s contact form is best for the needs of that site.
  3. WordPress SEO
    I’m a new convert to this system from All-in-one SEO pack. Not only does it do everything All-in-one does, but it also provides an xml sitemap thereby eliminating the need for a 2nd plugin. No serious site should go without an SEO plugin and this one does it all.
  4. W3 Total Cache
    I’ve wavered on this in the past and I will say that it isn’t the best solution for every site. However, in my case it has taken the place of 3 plugins (DB Cache Reloaded, WP-Minify, and WP Super Cache) and it seems to do an excellent job of making sure my site is delivered quickly and efficiently.
  5. WordPress Portfolio Plugin
    While not everyone has a website portfolio, for those who do this plugin can’t be beat. It can categorize and order sites, take automatic screen shots, and work¬†seamlessly¬†into any theme.
Update 8/1/11: I’ve removed the link to my 2009 post. When I started Bit51.com in August 2011 I took only the best and most relevant posts from my old site. Given this was a review post from a few years back I just didn’t feel that it made the cut.
About Chris Wiegman

Chris is a developer for iThemes where he works on WordPress plugins such as Better WP Security. In past roles he has served as a teacher, blogger, manager and even an airline captain. He resides in Austin, TX with his wife Joy and their four-legged children.

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