Other Essential Plugins

Forms

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.

Related Content

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: