Useful WordPress Plugins

August 12th, 2015 2 minute read

This list is kept short and only updated based on plugins actively used on live sites or thoroughly tested locally.

For Development Use


Developer, a plugin to help WordPress developers work in a local environment. It has various complementary tool for debugging, translation, right to left reading, accessibility testing etc.

Query Monitor

Query Monitor by John Blackbourn is an excellent complement to developer tools. It filters database queries and provides with an extensive report, sorted by query type, function etc. For example, it can help you finding slow queries or conflicting plugins.


Theme Check scans a theme and runs test based on Theme Review Team. It gives you hints about what is required to comply to standards.

(WordPress Beta Tester) by Peter Westwood Once enabled this plugin switches your site onto the latest WordPress development version.

WordPress lets you update to the latest nightly build automatically, so you can test the latest version in development without this plugin.

For live sites use

Simple Cache

Simple Cache by Taylor Lovett as its name implies is a response to the lack of a simple cache plugin.


RoyalSlider - Touch Content Slider for WordPress by Dmitry Semenov Likely one the most robust slider plugin available in active development. Support is great too:

Portfolio Slideshow

Portfolio Slideshow by George Gecewicz and Raygun is another image slider plugin that works well.

RICG Responsive Images

RICG Responsive Images, automatic default responsive images by The RICG — Since version 4.4 this plugin is integrated within WordPress Core, but

You can still use the plugin for advanced image compression support or as a simple way to include the picturefill script. The plugin will fall back to WordPress default functions if responsive image support is detected in your installation.

Force Regenerate Thumbnails

Force Regenerate Thumbnails, by Pedro Elsner regenerates the thumbnails for all your image attachments. Note that it will also delete all old images sizes, so make sure that’s what you want. This is useful for instance when you change the thumbnails sizes in your templates, i.e. if you use a custom function like get_first_image.

WordFence Security

WordFence Security is a 100% free and open-source security software supported by a large team dedicated exclusively to WordPress security.

MailChimp integration

MailChimp for WordPress Lite by Danny van Kooten works flawlessly.


WooCommerce is a popular plugin for small sites and indie developers. It is now part of Automattic after its 2015 acquisition. The basic plugin is free, with more options available as paid features. Theme integration is not that complicated but time consuming. Granted, e-commerce on a small self hosted WordPress site can be a bit of a headache.


I only use it for one of its multiple features but it deserves a mention for posting in Markdown alone. Jetpack by

Discontinued plugins

Sometimes, good things come to a stop. Here are some plugins that were promising but are no longer supported or were abandoned by their authors.


BruteProtect — once a must-use plugin, is now part of Jetpack.

Scroll Kit This plugin enabled designing posts or pages from the Scroll Kit interface 1.

  1. Sadly, Scroll Kit development was discontinued after its acquisition by Automattic in April 2014. 

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