Must Have WordPress Plugins for 2011

I build a lot of WordPress sites and these are, in my opinion, the must-have WordPress plugins for 2011.  I start almost every new WordPress install with these plugins, even if I don’t have a specific intention for them all at the time of development.  If for no other reason, these WordPress plugins will make your websites function at a top-notch level in 2011.

Jetpack WordPress plugin for 2011

Jetpack is a compilation of handy features for any WordPress installation.  It includes Gravatar Hovercards, WordPress stats (available as a standalone plugin), Twitter Widget, shortlinks, Sharedaddy social sharing plugin, and Shortcode Embeds.

jetpack wordpress plugin for 2011

Usernoise Contact Form WordPress plugin for 2011

Usernoise is an absolute must.  It is the easiest, smallest and best-looking contact form plugin available for WordPress.  It is super-simple to setup, but that means there’s not a lot of customization options.  Usernoise Plugin ads a floating “feedback” image on the side of your site, that when clicked, created a slick AJAX powered overlay contact form.

usernoise wordpress plugin for 2011

Donation Can WordPress plugin for 2011

Donation Can creates a widget that accepts both set and custom donations via Paypal.  It works magically, letting you choose fundraising goals like “Pay for our server costs” or whatever you’d like.  Set weekly, monthly goals, anything really.  Perfect for kickstarting your WordPress website development.

donation can wordpress plugin for 2011

Password Protect WordPress Plugin for 2011

Password Protect plugin is essential for development, especially if you’ve got a great idea that you don’t want stolen.  Make sure your WordPress install is not indexable by search engines, then install this plugin.  It will only show the front end to logged in users, ie: you.  You can even set a custom message to users who try and view your site.

password protect wordpress plugin

Facebook Traffic Pop WordPress Plugin

This plugin creates a floating Facebook like box that utilizes jQuery overlay to catch visitors for a set period of time.  They can either “like” you or wait for it to fade away.  This is a great, albeit pushy technique to increase your social networking presence.

facebook traffic pop plugin

Foobar Announcement Bar WordPress Plugin for 2011

This plugin expertly mimics the HelloBar which is a free but branded dropdown bar at the top of your page.  HelloBar limits what you can place in their bar, and asks for $25/monthly to unlock the best features.  That’s pretty steep, especially when this plugin only costs $9 once at CodeCanyon.

foobar wordpress plugin 2011

Google +1 WordPress Plugin for 2011

Despite how you feel about Google’s foray into social networking, savvy webmasters will need to adopt Google +1 as the next wave of content sharing.  This plugin is free, in the WordPress plugin directory and gives you tons of flexibility to choose how the button is displayed next to your content.

google plus 1 wordpress plugin

27 thoughts on “Must Have WordPress Plugins for 2011”

  1. Hey, does the Donation Can actually work? I’ve seen few blogs asking for donations, i figure it’s because nobody donates to them. The thing is, you can find web hosting for $1 a month, asking for donations from people is kind of overdoing it.

  2. Martin, you’re right there is a lot of really cheap hosting out there. But if your site has a lot of traffic (like Pingable 🙂 you have to pay for a better service than the $1 bargain bin hosting plans.

    But the donation can can be used for anything. Raising money for a charity, helping develop new open source software, anything. Thanks for the comment!

    Anny, I am waiting to see how Google’s Panda update and Google+ changes the SEO landscape. I also haven’t found a NEW SEO plugin worth mentioning yet.

  3. Helo, you have compiled some great plugins in this post.
    From your lis, i personally use Jetpack, Password Protect and Usernoise Contact Form in most of my blogs.

    There are others that i really love and use them in all my blogs like yoast wpseo, sh autolink, ping optimizer and some more…


  4. Great list, Cyrus. I am going to checkout the User Voice Contact Form widget now.

    Yoast’s WordPress SEO plug in is impressive. It allows a preview of the organic search result and integrates with the Linkdex SEO Suite. Once this comes out from beta I am going to use this on a larger client site and may post the results.

    I’m also getting ready to install Allow REL= and HTML in Author Bios by John Pozadzides.

    1. Thanks for the comment Don! I just started experimenting with Yoast’s SEO plugin myself on a green news blog of mine and I’m finding it very helpful. In fact, my recent posts are starting to rank higher than older posts because I have SEO’d it. I would also recommend Traffic Travis‘ free software to analyze keywords.

  5. Last time i upgraded my WordPress blogs, i noticed that it comes with Jetpack already installed and waiting for you to activate it. I didn’t actually because i didn’t have time to check what it offers (now i do). And by the way, Google + is a must

  6. Well I found that google +1 is becoming very popular as google algorithm checks the site visibility thru it and the importance of the website is determined by the users who hit google +1 so we all better start publishing +1 on our sites, as google is becoming more and more popular each day so we better hurry up.

  7. i have already been using JetPack and found it pretty useful. Among others, I would like to try Usernoise and Facebook Pop. They seem promising.

    WordPress SEO is without any doubt a very good SEO plugin. I have started to use it on all my blogs instead of AIO SEO. It is doing the work of multiple plugins like XML sitemaps, ClickBump SEO with indexation settings. I am just loving it.

  8. This is a good list of WordPress plugins. But you have missed out a most important one. The plugin namely ‘Maxblogpress ping optimizer’. This is a very important plugin for all WordPress sites because it prevents the sites from being banned due to unwanted pinging. As i am a SEO guy, i am happy to share this information with you guys.

  9. thanks a lot for sharing this nice list. I think no one gets around the google+1 😀 But i wonder if the donation box really works. I saw it in a few blogs but i wonder if anybody will use it to donate for them. I think as long as no one doesn´t have to pay for online content no one will donate to the bloggers. Maybe i´m wrong but in my opinion the box is dispensable.

  10. I am a tech savvy person and new things like these make my day! I would begin using them and improve my speed in their use and learn new things.

  11. Google +1 is an amazing plug-in. Also all of the above mentioned plug-in are important. I was working on word press till now but now there are a lot of options available out here. Moreover face book POP is new to me. I think even Jetpack for that matter would be great to use as it has all the features of word press and many other plug-in.

  12. The donation can plugin is perhaps the best. It would remind me of doing something for the cause of charity and share my income with the under-privileged.

  13. Google+ is a very nice plugin for easy integration of Google+ trend with our WP blog, but I’m much more excited with the usernoise contact form, not just because it was made with ajax because of its unique appearance over the most common type of contact form.

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