BAWP 008: An Outlet for the Best WordPress Plugins

by Michael Szapkiw | Follow Him on Twitter

AlbumArt-BuildingAWebsitePro-1400x1400-full-rezPodcast Episode Overview

In this episode of Building a Website Pro, we get to the core of WordPress plugins. With over 27,000+ plugins in the database alone (and growing), it’s easy to get lost in analysis paralysis in terms of what to actually install in your WordPress website. I cut through the clutter answering (hopefully most) of your burning plugin questions as well as share the essential plugins I recommend (and even a few “non-essential” ones I really appreciate).

More specifically, in this session you’ll learn:

  • What are WordPress plugins? (Aren’t those the air fresheners you put in the wall to make the room smell nice?)
  • Why do I need plugins?
  • How many plugins should I use?… and no, it’s not … every one that looks shiny
  • What Makes a WordPress Plugin Essential?
  • How do I search for plugins and Research plugins before installing them?
  • When I started with WP, I wanted to know which ones I even needed! So…What Essential WordPress Plugins Does Michael Recommend? I will share with you the top 10 plugins I install on nearly every website (And guess what? They’re they’re all free!) Yippee!
  • And much more!

Resources and Links Mentioned in this Session Include:

  • VIDEO VERSIONS of “how tos” in my podcasts will be available soon. Would you like to be one of the few who finds out first? Feel free to join other special people like yourself who have signed up to receive my newsletters. I will only send valuable, actionable information. No Spamming. I don’t like it either.
  • Have you tried WorkFlowy yet? Excellent way to organize your to-dos and other thoughts! Try it free with this link and you get an extra 250 items you can enter per month! Sweet!
  • – Memorable access to the tools of señor Michael Szapkiw of
  • – Get a jump start in building your website.
    Get instant access to my free ebook, “7 Important Things You Need to Consider When Building a Website.”
  • – The Web hosting provider I love and recommend to family and friends (that’s you too).

What Essential WordPress Plugins Do I Recommend?

Top 10 plugins I install on Nearly Every WordPress Website (Hint: They’re all free!)


  1. Akismet – Plugin for spam protection. (You just need a free account to get your free key to use it on your website.)
  2. WordPress SEO – Great solution for optimizing your website for search engines.
  3. Better WP Security – Improve the security of your WordPress website settings.
  4. Google XML Sitemaps – When your blog has a sitemap, search engines can more easily crawl your content.
  5. Use Google Libraries – Use Google’s library for common files to speed up site performance.
  6. WP-DBManager – Create automatic backups of your site content.
  7. Contact Form
    1. Contact Form 7
    2. Contact Form 7 reCaptcha Extension
    3. Better WordPress reCAPTCHA
    4. Gravity Forms (Paid Plugin)
  8. Analytics
    1. Google Analytics for WordPress
    2. Clicky for WordPress (Clicky by Yoast)

LESSER-ESSENTIALS (but still in my top ten… or should I say “teven”)

  1. Pretty Link Lite
    1. Sharebar – Sharebar adds a dynamic and fully customizable vertical box to the left of a blog post that contains links/buttons to popular social networking sites.
    2. Sociable
    3. Facebook Like Box
    4. Follow on Twitter Button
    5. Add Link To Facebook – Automatically add links to published posts or pages to your Facebook wall, pages or groups and more.
  3. BONUS Plugin (number “teven”): Jetpack by – Supercharge your WordPress site with powerful features previously only available to users.

Pro Pointer

The Pro Pointer for this show included a brief discussion on the free Web service called WorkFlowy. It’s so simple but it is truly powerful. This service helps you create bulleted to-do lists, but it does it in such a seamless way that you can practically have your whole life in one sheet… but organized. I now keep it in an open tab in my Web browser now. And it’s great for my podcasting notes to use for recording. Check out WorkFlowy now. If you go through this link, you’ll get an extra 250 items capacity (on top of your free 500 items per month)… and I 250 extra too! Awesome. Did I mention it’s free? You can upgrade, but free is enough for me.

Help Out the Show!

And lastly, if you haven’t done so already I would love if you took a minute to leave a quick rating and review of the podcast on iTunes by clicking on the link below! It would be extremely helpful for the show and I’m aiming for 50, 5-star ratings before the end of the year! I am honored to have you here! Thank you!


Thank you so much for listening! I hope you enjoyed this episode of the podcast! 

Please let me know what you think in the comment section below. And let me know what topics you might like to hear about in future episodes!

Ciao for niao!



{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Clayton Honaker June 18, 2014 at 12:42 am

You’re doing good work, a lot of good info. It’s helped my progression of learning how to navigate the CMS. Thanks Micheal. Looking forward to some more content.


Michael Szapkiw June 18, 2014 at 9:20 pm

You’re very welcome, Clayton! I’m always glad to hear when the content has been beneficial. All the best to you.


Michael Wilkinson February 3, 2015 at 12:42 pm

Hey nice to meet ya I love what u r doing I’ve listened to all ur podcasts back to back. I will quit my 9 to 5 someday and have freedom. I would love to connect with u via social media LinkedIn or twitter or all outlets. I’m gonna build a website to help assist in my certified personal training endevor. Do u listen to nick loper or pat flynn? My question is how do I collect emails?


Michael Szapkiw February 4, 2015 at 3:58 pm

Yes, Pat Flynn is a podcast I enjoy as well. For collecting emails, I really like Aweber, and it’s a great place to start. IF you absolutely cannot afford to pay anything to get started with email collection, then MailChimp would be my second suggestion. But you’ll eventually pay for their services too once you have a certain number of subscribers or if you want some of their additional services. Feel free to follow me on social media using the links at the bottom of the site pages.


Rikke September 21, 2016 at 8:11 am

Hi Michael

I enjoy listening to your podcasts. I am wondering if your recommendations of plugins are still valid as the list is now a few years old?

Hope to hear from you

BR Rikke


Michael Szapkiw October 6, 2016 at 5:40 pm

Thanks, Rikke! Yes, the essential plugins I mentioned are still great today. The only other one on my mind is BackupBuddy from iThemes. It’s really easy to use for backing up site content and can make full backups as opposed to just database backups. I like using that for my main sites. But the other one I mentioned is a great free option if you just want to at least backup your content… especially if you write a lot for your site and have many pages/posts.


Rikke October 7, 2016 at 6:16 am

Thank you so much for your response and extra recommendation. I will defenetly check that one out too.

BR Rikke


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