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5 WordPress Plugins Everyone Should be Using

WordPress is the most widely used content management system there is, and for good reason: It’s intuitive and has massive potential when it comes to additional functionality. There are thousands of plugins available for WordPress, adding any type of functionality you can imagine, from security to social network integration to e-commerce and beyond. What plugins should everyone be using though? Let’s break it down.


iThemes Security

https://wordpress.org/plugins/better-wp-security/

One of your first concerns with WordPress should be its open source nature. Hackers are highly aware of WordPress and how to exploit it. Not all plugins are created equal. There are always security holes. Hackers are looking for the low hanging fruit. Which WordPress site owners haven’t done their due diligence to plug the most basic security holes? Don’t know how to lock down you site? Let this plugin do it for you.


Gravity Forms

http://www.gravityforms.com/

Man, this plugin is a gem! With Gravity Forms you can roll out any combination of standard or custom form elements in pre-styled form all to your specifications. It has Paypal, Stripe, Authorize.net, Campaign Monitor, MailChimp, ReCaptcha, and tons more add-ons available as well to make the forms on your site perfect for pretty much whatever you’re trying to accomplish.


Automatic YouTube Video Posts Plugin

http://www.ternstyle.us/automatic-video-posts-plugin-for-wordpress/

For all you YouTubers, your YouTube content doesn’t need to stay on YouTube. Whether you create content on YouTube or not, you can pull any channel, playlist, or search term’s worth of YouTube videos (every single one of them!) into your WordPress site and turn your vlog into a money-maker. Just set up your channels and let the plugin import your videos automatically. No more copying and pasting <iframe> tags into each post you create manually! We had to sneak one of our own plugins in here. You know how it is.


WP Offload S3 Lite

https://wordpress.org/plugins/amazon-s3-and-cloudfront/

Are you using a CDN to deliver your WordPress media files? You should be. The speed of your site is crazy important. Not all of us want to spend our time optimizing every file, assessing scripts and code, or looking for efficiencies. One simple thing you can do for yourself is to offload the download time to a service that specialized in low cost delivery of media. Amazon’s S3 service is perfect for this and the WP Offload S3 Lite is a very easy plugin to use for this. It integrates seamlessly with your S3 account and uploads any newly uploaded media files to an S3 bucket of your choice.


Google XML Sitemaps

https://wordpress.org/plugins/google-sitemap-generator/

This is a standard, an oldie, and a goodie. You already have this installed, right? This tool is perfect for use with Google’s Webmaster tools. With minimal configuration this plugin sets up an XML sitemap for Google (and other search engines; are there still other search engines?) to know exactly what content should be indexed on your site. Log into webmaster tools, add the sitemap, and you’re done!



5 WordPress Plugins Everyone Should be Using

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