Best FREE WordPress Plugins – Spring 2012 Edition

I know it’s been awhile since I’ve posted. Again, life has been crazy, but that’s really no excuse. Anyways…

Awhile back, I made a post about my favorite WordPress plugins. Since then, I’ve dropped a few of those and added some more. Here is my list of current must-haves for every new site I do:

  • Akismet – This comes standard, but it does a great job of eliminating spam comments.
  • All in One SEO Pack – Still my favorite SEO plugin if the theme I use doesn’t have some type of SEO built-in. But even then, I still use this one. Trust me, SEO is important!
  • Broken Link Checker – This one doesn’t end up on all of my sites, but the ones that have a lot of content definitely get it. It sends me an email everytime a broken link is detected. Pretty straightforward.
  • Contact Form 7 – Still one of the best form plugins. And it’s free!
  • Facebook Like Box – If one of my clients has a Facebook page, I typically add this one to their sidebar or footer. Once people come to your site and see a bunch of people connecting with you on Facebook, they will want too as well.
  • Google Analyticator – I’ve tried a couple other analytics plugins but I keep coming back to this one. It gives me all the info I need.
  • Google XML Sitemaps – Google loves to see a sitemap on your site. I always install this one and add a sitemap link in the copyright area at the bottom of all sites.
  • Jetpack by – This is a newer one that a friend said I should be using. I love it! Especially the built-in sharing tools!
  • Search Meter – This one is great to see what visitors are searching for on your site. Once you know what people are looking for, you know what content you need to add.
  • SEO Smart Links – Do you always use the same link for certain words and phrases? Use this plugin to automatically add specified links to those terms. Saves a lot of work!
  • WordPress Database Backup – I’ve already lost some of my work a couple times. I’m done with that. Now all of my sites are backed up daily and sent to one of my email accounts. Peace of mind!

There you have it, my top 11 plugins (funny, I just noticed my last plugin post was also a top 11) that I use a lot. Are these new to you? Do you hate these? Do you have any better ones that I should be using? Please post your feedback in the comments below. Thanks!

Photo by Nikolay Bachiyski