Useful WordPress plugins

Last updated Mar 20, 2022 | Published on Oct 18, 2014Publishing

Sandalsand is using WordPress as a blogging platform and content management system – and so are 60 million websites across the globe. 

This post was first published on 18. October 2014. There was an update in November 2017 and again in September 2020.

WordPress is a versatile platform capable of handling just about anything you like. This is largely due to its free and open source technical base and not least the variety of themes and plugins available for integration.

Read why and how I moved into using WordPress.

My websites, Sandalsand Global and its Norwegian language sister Sandalsand Norge, both use the Divi theme from Elegant Themes. In addition I have a number of active useful WordPress plugins adding functionality to the websites. 

Over the last years I have tried other plugins as well. Some conflicted with other plugins and had to be deleted. Others did not deliver on their promises. Some plugins were not updated by their makers and produced a future compatibility risk for the websites.

Obviously some useful WordPress plugins come and go, others become so essential to running your website that you will run into serious trouble if you deactivate or delete them.

Here is my present list (2020). 


PluginOfficial plugin descriptionMy description
BloomeMail Opt-In And Lead Generation Plugin For WordPressThis comes with my subscription to the Divi theme. It integrates with services from MailChimp to deliver newsletters to subscribers.
Broken Link CheckerChecks your blog for broken links and missing images and notifies you on the dashboard if any are found.Very handy. Runs in the background and checks all links.
Cookie Notice Cookie Notice allows you to elegantly inform users that your site uses cookies and to comply with the EU cookie law regulations.Pops up once a month to advise readers of my privacy policy. This is good web practice as well as to comply with regulations.
Elegant Themes Updater Enables automatic updates for all Elegant Themes productsAutomates updates to my theme.
Elegant Themes Support Creates a temporary account to use for support queriesThis is only because I use this theme.
GetYourGuide Widget A widget is a banner your readers can click to find and book activities on GetYourGuide. You get commission for every activity your readers experience.Yes, I have an affiliate agreement with GetYourGuide and display this advertisement widget at the bottom of all posts, and inside some posts.
Lazy Load Lazy Load by WP Rocket displays images and/or iframes on a page only when they are visible to the user. This reduces the number of HTTP requests mechanism and improves the loading time.It does help. But this plugin is up for deletion as my theme does more or less the same job, as well as W3.
MonarchSocial Media is the lifeblood that keeps the internet glowing. Social Sharing lets you harness that activity and use it as a positive force for your business. Choose from more than 20 social sharing networks to display on your website to create a custom collection of sharing options for your visitors.This comes with my theme and provides social media sharing icons on the website.
NextGEN GalleryThe most popular WordPress gallery plugin and one of the most popular plugins of all time with over 28 million downloads.One of my most important plugins. Handles all my thousands of pictures. Works generally fine.
NextGEN Gallery Image ChooserComfortable image chooser for the NextGEN Gallery. Supporting plugin making insertion of images into posts much easier.
Regenerate ThumbnailsAllows you to regenerate all thumbnails after changing the thumbnail sizes.Wordpress basic plugin.
Smash Balloon Instagram FeedKeep your website looking fresh with new Instagram contentNice one used to fetch images from Instagram. I use it as a widget in the footer.
TablePressTablePress enables you to create and manage tables in your posts and pages, without having to write HTML code, and it adds valuable functions for your visitors.Works fine if you want a nice table in your post. Like this one!
UpdraftPlus - Backup/RestoreUpdraftPlus simplifies backups and restoration. It is the world’s highest ranking and most popular scheduled backup plugin, with over two million currently-active installs. Backup your files and database backups into the cloud and restore with a single click!Makes a backup to Dropbox and Google Drive.
W3 Total CacheW3 Total Cache (W3TC) improves the SEO and user experience of your site by increasing website performance and reducing load times by leveraging features like content delivery network (CDN) integration and the latest best practices.Optimising database by using caching. The most recommended plugin ever.
Wordfence SecurityWordfence includes an endpoint firewall and malware scanner that were built from the ground up to protect WordPress. Wordfence is the most comprehensive WordPress security solution available.An absolutely essential plugin (or type of plugin) to have on your site. You'll be shocked to see how many hackers it stops every day.
WP-OptimizeWP-Optimize is a revolutionary, all-in-one WordPress performance plugin that cleans your database, compresses your images and caches your site.I use it only to optimise the database by clearing unnecessary memory. Alright plugin.
WP-PageNaviAdds a more advanced paging navigation to your WordPress blogMakes navigation between posts easier.
WPS Hide LoginProtect your website by changing the login URL and preventing access to wp-login.php page and wp-admin directory while not logged-inHackers are a constant frustration. This plugin may help divert their efforts to other sites.
Yoast SEOSince 2008 Yoast SEO has helped millions of websites worldwide to rank higher in search engines. This WordPress SEO plugin helps you with your search engine optimization. Are you not entirely convinced? Yoast SEO is the favorite WordPress SEO plugin of millions of users worldwide!Helpful for search engine optimisation. Offers advice and streamlines my website.



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