Digital Skills Academy
7 of the Best WordPress Plugins 2016

7 of the Best WordPress Plugins 2016

When choosing the top picks from the world of WordPress Plugins today, we considered certain elements above others. If we side-step price-point and media hype, here are seven of the best WordPress plugins available today, that rate highly in terms of:


1. Yoast SEO (formerly known as WordPress SEO by Yoast)

Yoast SEO consistently performs as the most complete WordPress SEO plugin available. It carries out all the important SEO functions including Page Analysis, Meta and link elements, RSS Optimization, and Breadcrumbs, while the on-page SEO feature alerts you as to how well your content is optimized.

It even auto-magically creates an XML sitemap, which is essential for search engine web crawlers, like Googlebot, to better read and file your site content making it more accessible for online search.

Image Courtesy of

2. WordPress Subscribe Pro

You’ve built your website, paid a designer to make your logo and branding look ‘clean’, ‘sharp’, and ‘modern’, you pay an AdWords guru to send lots of traffic your way, but then your opt-ins are well, a little underwhelming. Fear not!

WordPress Subscribe Pro helps you convert those visitors into subscribers helping you to build your email list, which, as the best marketers will tell you, is an essential part of any marketing strategy.

WordPress Subscribe Pro is an all-in-one plugin which supports MailChimp, AWeber and FeedBurner, it’s fully responsive, and is easily customized using custom CSS.

3. Broken Link Checker

Nothing will have your visitors bouncing off your site quite like a broken link. Google recommends you check your site regularly for broken links, but doing this manually is not the stuff dreams are made of. Installing a quality plugin that automatically checks for you, will stand you in good stead and help keep those search engines on your side!

Broken Link Checker for WordPress plugin will check your posts, comments and other content for broken links and missing images, and notifies you both via email and on the dashboard.


Image Courtesy of

4. WP Smush - Image Optimization

Good quality images on your site help better optimize your posts, improving performance which helps you boost your SEO. However, large heavy images tend to increase load time, which could actually lower search engine ranking. No bueno!

You can resolve this image file-size/ SEO-ranking conundrum by manually processing every image yourself, or by purchasing a bulk image compressor such as JPEG Compressor, or you could use a free image smushing Wordpress plugin.

WP Smush scans all your existing images and new images for size, cuts unnecessary data and compresses image sizes for fast uploading. This makes search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing and others ‘like’ your site more which tends to make them rank it higher.


Image Courtesy of

5. Contact Form 7

Enables you to create complex contact forms with its Form Editor, which you can customize, using CSS. Contact Form 7 Is a free plugin, and its creator, Takayuki Miyoshi, has stated that he will keep it as a free plugin. It is not the easiest plugin for complete beginners, as it requires a little knowledge of HTML.

In many ways, Contact Form 7 is better than its paid-for counterparts. It comes with extensive documentation, with a strong community support, and is a very powerful plugin all round.


Image Courtesy of

6. WP Backup Pro

Carrying out regular WordPress backups is one of the smartest things you can do for your site. For any server update mishaps, data-related mayhem, or just for your peace of mind, you can rest easy knowing your site including plugins, themes and every piece of content is safely backed-up and out of harm’s way.

WP Backup Pro is extremely user-friendly and carries out scheduled backups daily, weekly, and monthly. It enables data to be restored safely to your computer, Dropbox or Amazon S3, and you can be notified of updates by email, HipChat, or Slack. Meanwhile, even if it somehow does all manage to go horribly wrong, the WP Backup Pro support team are available 24-7.


Image Courtesy of Elegant Themes

7. Monarch for Social Sharing

It's essential to make it easy for your vistors to share your site's content across the various social media channels. Monarch from ElegantThemes is one of the best social sharing plugins for WordPress. It allows you to customize the location of your social sharing buttons, either as a pop up, inline, floating sidebar, over media, or as automatic fly-ins. 

Image Courtesy of Elegant Themes

Find out more about our degrees and short courses:

BSc Degree in Digital Technology and Design

BSc (Honours) Degree in Digital Technology, Design and Innovation