The WordPress platform uses plug-ins as a means of extending the many functionalities that are already available. WordPress.com, for various security reasons, does not allow uploading and installation of custom plug-ins by users; however this does not mean that there are no plug-ins installed on the WordPress.com platform.
WordPress.org, however allows the uploading of custom plug-ins as these websites are used on self-hosted servers. WordPress.com offers an option for premium upgrades which may enable you to upload custom plug-ins.
Shared hosting, on the other hand, refers to hosting of a number of websites on the same server. This may be done for a number of reasons, the main one being to bring down the cost of hosting. Over time it has been realized that certain WordPress plug-ins do not function as intended on blogs hosted in a shared hosting environment.
According to one view, most of the plug-ins that display these difficulties in shared hosting are usually associated with plug-ins that have a “mail function” present. Thus, this may be one aspect you need to look out for when applying a plug-in on a blog that is hosted in a shared hosting platform. One probable explanation for this is the amount of resources that these plug-ins require.
As WordPress.com websites are, in general, hosted on the same server, it may be safe to assume that the plug-ins used on this platform are safe for blogs hosted in shared hosting situations.
With this in mind we can, therefore, create a list of the best and most popular WordPress plug-ins for blogs hosted in shared hosting environments. These include:
Akismet is a plug-in used to guard against receiving spam on your site by checking comments that are posted against the Akismet Web service.
2) Google XML Sitemaps
This is an important plug-in as it enhances the indexing of your website on search engines. Google XML Sitemaps does this by generating a special XML site map making this possible.
3) Contact Form 7
This plug-in is meant to assist in the management of multiple contact forms. It also offers a flexible means of customizing mail contents as well as the form itself by the use of simple markup.
4) WordPress SEO by Yoast
This plug-in enables full optimization of your WordPress website; thereby improving the SEO content appearing on your site.
5) Jetpack by WordPress.com
Previously only available on WordPress.com, users are now able to supercharge their self-hosted WordPress site by using this plug-in which uses the amazing cloud power of WordPress.com.
6) Fast Secure Contact Form
With this plug-in you are able to automatically block spammers as well as have the ability to customize contact forms. This gives visitors the ability to contact you by sending you an e-mail right from your website. It also removes the necessity for the use of templates.
7) NextGEN Gallery
This powerful plug-in has been downloaded over 6 million times due to its popularity as one of the leading WordPress gallery plug-ins. It facilitates the management and batch uploads of images.
8) WordPress Importer
Using a WordPress export file you can now import custom fields, tags, comments, posts, categories, pages, and many more using this plug-in.
9) Ultimate TinyMCE
Now you are able to add a whole host of advanced options to your visual editor using this plug-in. It includes a simple admin interface and additional formatting options.
10) Social Media Widget
By utilizing a wide variety of icons, Social Media Widget plug-in enables you to add links to all of your sharing site profiles as well as your social media profiles. The icons are available as four different animation styles, three different sizes of icons and four icon styles.
11) Lightbox Plus
By employing the use of an overlay facility, the Lightbox Plus plug-in gives users the ability to view simple slideshows, video, large images, as well as other content. This plug-in implements “ColorBox” as a lightbox image overlay to enable content to be viewed without leaving the current page.
12) W3 Total Cache
This plug-in improves user experience as well as the performance of your website by caching certain elements. Some of these include:
- content delivery network support
It boasts a following that consists of major websites and frequently receives recommendations by these sites as well.
This free Facebook identifier makes your site more social by employing Facebook site functionality such as enabling the automatic sharing of your posts.
14) WP to Twitter
For this plug-in to function you need PHP 5. This is a handy tool which responds to updates on your WordPress blog by automatically posting a Twitter update. It also applies a shortened URL that has been created using a previously selected URL shortening service.
15) TinyMCE Advanced
This refers to the advanced features that are enabled on the TinyMCE visual editor. This adds functionality to the WordPress WYSIWYG editor by providing an additional 16 plug-ins.
16) Shareaholic | email, bookmark, share buttons
With this plug-in your webpages, indexes, posts or a combination of these three can now have an appropriate content widget and a social bookmark menu with enhancing greater discovery of your site, thus increasing visitor numbers and their submission of your articles to various bookmarking sites.
17) Google Analytics
18) Advanced Custom Fields
An essential tool for web development, this plug-in comes with a powerful API and an elegant, professional interface. This enables full customization of your WordPress edit screens. On the whole, it provides data flexibility found on other Content Management Systems.
19) WP Super Cache
This plug-in enables very fast caching of WordPress sites and produces static HTML files. It is these smaller HTML files that your Web server will serve instead of the more expensive and bulky WordPress PHP scripts.
20) Google Analytics for WordPress
This plug-in enables greater tracking of WordPress sites by employing a number of metadata, that is, an automated tracking of pageviews and outbound clicks, category and number of views per author. It employs a number of custom variables.
21) Broken Link Checker
This plug-in has been designed to help in the detection of broken links, missing images that may hinder the proper display or performance of your comments, blog posts, and other content.
The WP-PageNavi plug-in requires PHP 5 to work properly and its main function is to add an advanced form of paging navigation interface.
23) Wysija Newsletters
Wysija Newsletters provide a smart and elegant channel of sending out newsletters and post notifications right from within your WordPress site. It also comes with the ability to implement some customization as well as incorporate the use of an autoresponder.
24) Wordfence Security
This plug-in contains real-time traffic with geolocation, a firewall, virus scanning capability, among other features that enable it to act as an enterprise class security plug-in. It is free and also helps you detect crawlers, live traffic, and malicious URLs.
This is a plug-in that enables you to build your own social network. You are provided with the functionality you may require to start your own social networking site that focuses on members of your community, work colleagues, sports team or classmates. BuddyPress is a social networking in a box kind of package that gives users the ability to create their own profiles, make connections, post messages and start interacting as groups after they have signed up or gone through the registration process.
26) WP e-Commerce
When you run a website that conducts e-commerce activity,WP e-Commerce provides your site with a shopping cart plug-in that is necessary for the purchase of merchandise, services or other digital downloads. This plug-in has received over 2 million downloads as it simplifies the process of setting up an e-commerce shopping site.
27) Google Analyticator
28) SI CAPTCHA Anti-Spam
This plug-in is compatible with WP, BuddyPress and WPMU. It provides your site with the antispam CAPTHCA security feature, especially useful where your WordPress requires visitors to login, request lost password, comments and reviews or registration.
This is an especially effective preventative measure against spammers who may use automated bots.
29) Disqus Comment System
Disqus Comment System provides a dedicated tool and service for handling reviews, discussions and comments rather than using the traditional WordPress comment system.It does this by creating a discussion community that is more interactive.
30) Yet Another Related Posts Plug-in
Commonly referred to as YARPP, is a plug-in that enables the display of related entries on yoursite. With recent versions supporting built-in thumbnails, it is able to do this by the application of unique algorithms. This serves as an introduction to related and relevant content meant to assist readers of content on your website.
31) Antispam Bee
A good plug-in for TrackBacks and comments, Antispam Bee conforms to current data protection regulations, is a free tool and is also ad-free. It helps you eliminate spam on your blog. You can train this plug-in on how to recognize spam messages to enable it to track and remove them in the future.
32) All In One Favicon
With the ability to support the three commonly used Favicon types, i.e., png, gif, and ico, All In One Favicon comes with an upload functionality to enable the addition of a Favicon to the WordPress admin pages as well as on your site.
33) NextScripts: Social Networks Auto-Poster
This plug-in enables you to automatically republish your blog posts on your social media profiles. It supports reposting on: Delicious, Plurk, Pinterest, Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Blogger as well as a host of others.
34) WooCommerce – excelling eCommerce
WooCommerce – excelling eCommerce is a plug-in that provides you with a smart and professional means of doing business online. It is a powerful and extendable e-commerce plug-in. It delivers enterprise level online business capabilities.
Whenever new posts are published on your blog, Subscribe2 will automatically send e-mail notifications to all subscribers. This is made possible by its comprehensive e-mail notification and subscription management capabilities. These notifications can be sent periodically or for every new post.
36) WordPress Related Posts
With this plug-in you can engage your readers more intensely by providing them with extra material that is related to your blog posts. These are provided in the form of a list that is displayed with thumbnails and the relevant click-through statistics. It also supports customization.
37) WP SlimStat
This is a WordPress plug-in that gives you web analytics in real-time. In addition, it is customizable and easy to use.
This plug-in enables you to make money by managing the ads on your website. This is made possible by the ability to manage ads from the dashboard and enabling banners to be displayed at random. It can handle an unlimited number of banners as well as displaying them at different positions on your site.
39) Ultimate Coming Soon Page
This is a simple way of managing your website while it is under construction or maintenance as it takes care of collection of e-mails from visitors and informs them by way of a launch page or a Coming Soon Page. It works with all WordPress themes.
40) MapPress Easy Google Maps
With this plug-in you have a simple and easy way of creating driving directions and Google Maps on your blog. This has been enabled by the addition of an interactive map on the WordPress edit screen. All you need to do is add an address to your post or blog that needs to be mapped. Then the plug-in automatically creates the map. Further customization is possible by way of custom HTML where you need to include links or pictures.
41) Regenerate Thumbnails
After you have changed any thumbnail size this plug-in will facilitate the regeneration of the thumbnails. This is important for image attachments when the thumbnail dimensions have been changed.
42) Viper’s Video Quicktags
If you require using video obtained from different websites on your site, such as from YouTube, Vimeo, DailyMotion, and many others, this plug-in offers easy and valid XHTML posting of the videos. It also simplifies the process by eliminating the need to copy and paste the embedded HTML from such websites.
43) Contact Form
This is a simple and easy way of adding a comments or feedback form to a WordPress blog or webpage.
44) WP Photo Album Plus
When you require a system for the management of your photos and albums as well as slideshows that you are using on a single or networked WordPress sites, WP Photo Album Plus will help you do this as well as enable you to display them on your site.
45) Widget Logic
Other than adding a ‘widget_content’ filter, Widget Logic uses WP conditional tags to give you the power to control the pages on which widgets appear. This ‘Widget Logic’ is actually an additional control field which enables the desired control of widgets on webpages. Other than the use of the Conditional Tags, the plug-in can also utilize the general PHP code.
46) SEO Smart Links
With this plug-in, your website benefits from SEO features such as custom keyword lists, SEO Smart Links, no-follow functionality as well as other featured automatic SEO benefits. A premium version is also available that offers additional features and improved performance.
47) WP Multibyte Patch
This is basically a Japanese WordPress package functionality enhancement plug-in.
48) Events Manager
This is meant for those engaged in handling or organizing events or where you require an organized way of keeping track of a number of events. It employs calendars, handles recurring events, manages different locations and also integrates Google Map and manages bookings. It is a powerful plug-in hat aims to provide a flexible approach to booking and managing events on your WordPress site.
49) Print Friendly and PDF Button
This is a fast, professional and simple addition to your WordPress site that displays a PDF and Print button and is intended for Printer Friendly pages that do not use print.css, coding or css. It actually enables economizing on printer ink and paper as well as enabling the creation of PDFs. It is also intended for producing good looking, quality printed material.
50) Really Simple CAPTCHA
This plug-in had originally been intended for use on the Contact Form 7 plug-in but now provides a CAPTCHA module that is compatible with and therefore can be called from other plug-ins. It therefore works in collaboration with other plug-ins of your choice. It is meant to provide a very simple solution and therefore it does not provide a full-proof security measure for your site. Where this is required, you are better off using other solutions.