Whilst researching for a Workshop I took with Renée from Zestee yesterday, I decided to put a list together of some of the most popular plugins out there.

This list is more to show what kind of features plugins can add to your site to give it greater functionality and to add social media to your WordPress site. I have researched all of the plugins, but not tested them all. As with any new plugin. Install it, activate it, and if something breaks and  is conflicting with another plugin or your theme, its not a good plugin for your setup. Most have FAQ information and instructions on installation to make life easier too.

1. Paginate

Want to add pagination to your blog pages? This simple plugin does the job. Pagination is also good for SEO!

2. Broken Link Checker

This plugin does what is says, it checks your links around your website and lets you know if they are broken. Useful if you are externally linking to sites that have moved or deleted content. It also checks for missing images.

3. MailPoet newsletters (formerly Wysija)

This is a great newsletter plugin that allows you to manage your newsletters, subscribers and content within your WordPress site. Not only it is easy to use, their website has great tutorials so you can’t go wrong!

4. Simple Paypal shopping cart

WordPress Simple Paypal Shopping Cart allows you to add an ‘Add to Cart’ button for your product on any posts or pages. This simple shopping cart plugin lets you sell products and services directly from your own wordpress site and turns it into an ecommerce site. There are other full e-commerce solutions out there, but this is a good start.

5. WordPress SEO by Yoast

This is one of the best SEO plugins out there. Not only is it easy to use and puts in place all the steps that you need to get your site looking spot on (from the code side!), it also helps you write better content. WordPress SEO forces you to choose a focus keyword when you’re writing your articles, and then makes sure you use that focus keyword everywhere.

6. Contact Form 7

Looking to add a custom form to your site? This is a great choice. One other plugin to increase its functionality is Really Simple Captcha which adds a captcha to the form.

7. TinyMCE

This plugin simply adds extra buttons that are shown in your WYSIWYG (Visual) editor. Handy!

8. Backup to Dropbox

This plugin simply backs up your website to your dropbox. You can schedule backups regularly and know that if anything should happen, there is a good backup available off site.

9. Antispam Bee

I’ve tested this on many sites, and it is very effective. It recognises spam, puts them straight into your spam comments folder, and doesn’t often have false positives. Keep an eye on the spam folder in the early days to make sure it isn’t being over zealous and it will learn.

10. Sharexy, Digg Digg and Socialize

These 3 social media plugins allow your visitors to share your content easily. All 3 look great!

11. Juiz Tweet widget and Kebo Twitter Feed

Both plugins allow you to add your twitter feed to your widget area (eg. sidebar).

12. Facebook plugin

This isn’t a WordPress plugin, but facebook themselves offer the code to add a like button, follow, or feed widget to your site. Copy the <IFRAME> code generated and paste it into a text widget and Voila!