I know a lot of people recommend Contact Form 7 because it’s free, but I’ve always found it a bit annoying to work with. However, you can test drive it to see if you like it since it’s at WordPress.org. I far prefer Gravity Forms and find it well worth the $39 instead. I have a full article on Gravity Forms, and I use it on most sites I create or manage. It’s also handy for eCommerce forms.
Formidable Pro is a solid option as well, and I’d use it instead of Gravity Forms if I need to be able to create custom post types (such as products) via form. I have a comparison of Formidable Pro vs Gravity Forms.
I’ve also heard good things about Ninja Forms, which is free but uses paid add-ons. I haven’t used this myself, but will find an excuse to try it out eventually based on the positive feedback I’ve heard / read about it.
Displaying related content for your blog posts is a handy content marketing strategy, as it helps to keep customers on your site. I used to use a free plugin for this (Zemanta), but I switched to Related Posts for WordPress.
CSS tweaks with Zemanta were irritating at times, as it uses
!important rules too often. Related Posts for WordPress is far easier to use, and I love the features of the premium plugin, such as relating content across post types. The free version is also great.
Best of the Rest
Some other plugins I like:
- Easy Pricing Tables is very handy to create simple pricing tables and is easy to use.
- StagTools is my favorite shortcodes plugin – great for toggles (like this page uses), buttons, columns, and more. Even better if you’re using a Codestag theme.
- The Editorial Calendar Plugin makes scheduling and managing posts far easier. I don’t even look at the posts list anymore.
- I use MailChimp for transactional emails / newsletters, and like the MailChimp for WordPress plugin. We’ve written about email marketing and transactional email services before that discuss MailChimp.
- AffiliateWP is hands-down the easiest plugin to use if you want to start an affiliate program. Setup is simple and it integrates with several eCommerce and membership plugins – see our review.