I recommend plugins on the basis of excellence of design and implementation, and ease of use. I prefer ones that don’t make you write code, CSS, HTML, or shortcodes, but instead use configuration forms and editor buttons.
- AddToAny Share Buttons by AddToAny: let people easily share your content on social media or find your own social media pages. I like it for the floating share buttons function.
- Subscribe / Connect / Follow Widget by Srini G: alternative to AddToAny for “Connect/Follow” function.
- Do not use Shareaholic. They’re very popular, but they will modify parts of your site that have nothing to do with share buttons, insert their own affiliate links wherever you have links, and collect data about your visitors.
Bibliography and Book Pages
- Mooberry Book Manager by Mooberry Dreams: preferred.
- MyBookTable Bookstore by Author Media: alternate.
Word Processing/Page Building
- Classic Editor by WordPress Contributors disables the newer “Gutenberg” page editor in favor of the word-processor-like TinyMCE. At the moment, TinyMCE is the default, but that will change, and meanwhile, this plugin suppresses the banner on your dashboard inviting you to try Gutenberg.
- f(x) Editor by David Chandra Purnama: adds tables, columns, list bullet control, and font size/color. Don’t use tables, though.
- Mango Buttons by Phil Baylog: pretty link buttons.
- TinyMCE Advanced by Andrew Ozz: many additional word processing controls in the content editor.
- Advanced WP Columns plugin by Vladica Savic: if you need more control of columns than f(x) Editor provides.
- Atomic Blocks by atomicblocks: If you use the Gutenberg editor, this is a set of additional “blocks” you can stick into your pages.
- UpdraftPlus WordPress Backup and Restoration by UpdraftPlus.com et al: automatic site backup.
- All-in-One WP Migration by Yani Iliev et al.: to move your entire site from one server to another, with automatic link conversion if the domain name is different.
- IThemes Security by iThemes: keep the hackers out.
- Vulnerability Alerts by Edir Pedro: tells you whether themes and plugins have known security issues.
- Stop User Enumeration by Fullworks: Prevent hackers from finding out your site administrator username. If you chose a good password, the site will still be secure if they do find it out, but why make it easier for them?
- Browser Caching with .htaccess by Tobias Merz: sets things up so that browsers keep copies of images and pages from your site, preventing them from having to load fresh copies for each page they visit.
- WP Smush by WPMU DEV: Compresses images so they take up less space for the same size image — often significantly less.
- Regenerate Thumbnails by Alex Mills (Viper007Bond) after changing default image sizes in the Media settings, to re-create scaled-down images in the new size.
- Use a CDN — WordPress.com has a free one that you can just activate with the Jetpack plugin. There are other plugins to provide this function without needing the whole huge Jetpack plugin also; not sure whether any are free.
- Yoast SEO by Team Yoast: The basic free SEO tool.
- SumoMe by SumoMe: The best free choice for adding fancy marketing features to your website, such as “call to action” popups.
- Thrive Leads by thrivethemes.com: the best not-free choice for adding fancy marketing features to your website.
- Enhanced Media Library by wpUXsolutions: lets you categorize your media uploads, which is very handy once you’ve been blogging for a while and have hundreds of images. Also, lets you define additional media types.
- Fix Image Rotation: You may have images that are on their sides upon upload. This just automatically fixes them. There are no settings to speak of.
- Fullscreen Galleria: Makes a full screen view of a photo carousel.
- Catch Gallery: Makes the mosaic page of a photo gallery (this one only had one review, but it seems to work like a charm). Reportedly doesn’t work well with Jetpack. I’ll give more detail when I know more.
- Remove Footer Credit by Macho Themes: helpful for removing the theme identifier from the footer of your site, or if there’s static text elsewhere on the page that you want to change or eliminate.
- Redirection by John Godley: redirect a URL to a different URL. This lets you fix broken links into your site, or put URLs into your MS for pages that don’t yet exist when the book is published (e.g. the Goodreads page for that book).
- Google Maps WordPress Store Locator by Viadat Creations: creates a distance-searchable map of locations (e.g. of stores that carry your work)
- Categories to Tags Converter by wordpress.org: If you’ve got a lot of categories, you’re using categories wrong. Most of them should probably be tags instead. This makes it easy to switch them over without having to manually edit posts.
- Widget Shortcode by Hassan Derakhshandeh: Insert a widget anywhere, for instance in the content of a page. For this to work, the widget must exist in a widget area. The plugin adds an otherwise unused widget area, which doesn’t display anywhere, so that you have a place to put them.