As I’m sure you know, choosing what WordPress plugins you need is a subjective matter, that is, dependent on what you want to do with your website (or blog, same thing in my books). But I think there’s a few plugins that we’d agree everyone needs. Site security plugins, WordPress SEO, as well as backup plugins, would fall under that label.
The rest of these plugins you can agree to disagree with me about. Or just agree that they are essential to every photographer. And if I have missed any, holler.
The Best WordPress Plugins for Photographers
Here’s the list of plugins I use as a photographer (and links to where you can download them):
- Acunetix WP Security
Security plugin that checks your website for security vulnerabilities and suggests corrective actions.
Excellent spam filter plugin, used by everyone and his brother
- Aweber Web Form Plugin
Great if you plan to use Aweber for emailing your customers! I use it here
- Backup Creator Plugin ($)
Backup plugin makes it simple for you to backup, restore and protect your WordPress blogs/websites
- Floating Social Bar
Wordpress social media plugin that adds a floating share bar to your content and doesn’t slow your site!
- Google Analytics dashboard for WP
Displays Google Analytics data and statistics inside your WordPress blog (May be a better one available?)
- Google XML Sitemaps
Generates a special XML sitemap which helps search engines to better index your blog
- MailPoet Newsletters
Send newsletters, or post notifications from WordPress easily. (Free for up to 2000 subscribers)
- New Google Plus Badge Widget
Lets you easily add the new Google Plus badge widget to your blog (Example below or in my sidebar)
- NextGen Gallery
Super popular WordPress gallery plugin for uploading and managing galleries of images. Batch upload, import meta data, sort images, edit thumbnails, group galleries into albums, etc
- SlideDeck 2
Create responsive content sliders on your WordPress blogging platform
- Simple URLs
URL management system that allows you create, manage and track outbound links from your site
Reduce image file sizes and improve performance using the Smush.it plugin
- Subscribe to Comments Reloaded
Allows visitors to subscribe to e-mail notifications for subsequent comments
- Thank Me Later Plugin
Sends ‘thank you’ emails to your commenters. Great for keeping in touch!
- WordPress SEO
This WordPress SEO plugin helps you write better content and have a fully optimized WordPress site
- WordPress Pro Event Calendar ($)
Responsive calendar plugin that adds a professional and sleek calendar to your posts or pages
- W3 Total Cache
Great plugin that optimizes your website and page speed. Makes your site super fast
- (NEW) Google XML Sitemap for Images
Image sitemap plugin that generates an XML Sitemap for images on your WordPress blog
No need to run ALL (the less plugins you use the better your site’s speed and performance). For example you may not need Thank Me Later or W3 Total Cache. You’ll know which plugin is the best fit for your needs. (UPDATE AUG 2014 – I don’t use W3 Cache anymore – too many conflicting issues with my site).
If you’re not sure, leave a comment below. :o)
See a mind blowing list (29,000+) of all the WordPress plugins out there at the WordPress Plugin Directory.
Why Use WordPress?
WordPress is the most popular blogging system in use on the Web, used on more than 60 million websites.
OK so WordPress is popular, but why use it? The reason I use WordPress is because it is EASY to use, (no code / tech / HTML stuff needed), I can create PAGES or post content simply, make it look great using a paid WordPress theme (even free WordPress themes are good), use it as a product sales page, photo blog, membership site, you name it.
And just in case you’re wondering…
What are WordPress Plugins?
WordPress plugins are pieces of code created with the purpose of expanding the functionalities of a software, in this case of WordPress. The plugins allow users and developers to extend its abilities beyond the core installation.
Each plugin offers custom functions and features enabling users to tailor their sites to their specific needs. Clear as mud?
Basically plugins let you customize and tailor your site to your needs. For example, you can see a Google Plus Badge plugin to your left (and one in my sidebar on the right) where Guy Kawasaki has a ridiculous amount of followers. (His Youtube videos are good, I will admit).
At the top of this post you’ll see little Facebook, Twitter (etc) social media share bar. Please click share so your friends see this post. That’s just 2 plugins I use.
I also use the WordPress SEO plugin to optimize this page for search engines. I’m sure you get the idea.
With 29,000+ plugins available, there’s a LOT of options. Any photographer who is utilizing WordPress (as you should be) has no excuse not to have a great looking website optimized for the search engines, with an outstanding photo gallery, social media, blog, photo products page, subscribers OPT-IN page, and so on.
The great thing is that WordPress is free, and most, if not all of the plugins you need are free too. All you need is a domain name and website hosting which is like $10-$30/month. Read my 10 easy steps to set up a WordPress photo blog post here for more on that.
What about WordPress security?
Although not overly paranoid about the security of my sites (although it’s frustrating as hell when it happens!), I still run the Acunetix WP security plugin for good measure. Hate to think of all this hard work going to waste.
In June 2013, it was found that some of the 50 most downloaded WordPress plugins were vulnerable to common Web attacks such as SQL injection and XSS. A separate inspection of the top-10 e-commerce plugins showed that 7 of them were vulnerable.
So, if you want to protect your site, do this:
- Use security plugins
- Keep all WordPress installation, themes and plugins updated
- Use only trusted themes and plugins
- Rename the default admin account
- Get and use Backup Creator Plugin for $7
So what do you think?
Are these the best WordPress plugins for photographers or am I missing some?
Let me know in the comments below.
The purpose of life is a life of purpose. — Ludwig Wittgenstein
Most Current Thoughts…
Things have changed (as they often do online) – you wise up, and seek out ways to make your website faster. The slower your site, the more people head for the exit. Yes I used to use WooThemes but honestly – my site was always slow to load. (The fact that I had like 20 plugins on it probably didn’t help). Anyway, I moved to Clickbump and now my site has a 94% load speed and I only use 9 plugins. Food for thought right?
Could tune that up but still – doing good for a newbie.