One years ago, we featured the most frequently downloaded WordPress plugins. Some have maintained or even improved their top popularity rankings while many new ones have been launch in the meantime.

Today, we have put together a little bouquet of plugins that includes popular as well as several lesser known ones. What’s certainly clear is that although WordPress 3.6 has eliminated the need for certain plugins (e.g. audio and video players), there are still many very exciting, useful and practical extensions!

AnyFont
Why always used the same standard fonts? AnyFont gives you much greater design freedom. This plugin lets you load any TrueType or OpenType font and use it as an image source, or makes your entire website CSS3-compatible with @font-face support. However, Font Manager, which converts the fonts to a web font format at the click of the mouse, only works if you have an account with FontServ.com.

Toolbox
Every WordPress blog becomes more and more complex over time. New plugins are added, and the functions.php file of the respective theme grows to become an unmanageable monstrosity as new fragments of code are constantly added. Toolbox helps manage this file: code snippets are combined into modules and uploaded to the modules directory in Toolbox, taking over as your controller. The administrator defines where each module is executed, whether on the front end, back end or both simultaneously. Each individual module can also be disabled. As a Toolbox module, the code is easily accessible, making it a snap to edit.

Antispam Bee
Last time, we recommended the Akismet spam filter. Today we would like to present an alternative called Antispam Bee. The “bee” has been trained over the course of many years to detect spam and, if desired, delete it right away. Many users will be interested to know that unlike Akismet, Antispam Bee is fully compliant with European privacy directives. It’s small, fast – and stings spam mercilessly!

Wordfence
Sometimes a small bot will come to visit your website and claim it’s from Google. What is really going on is that a sneaky hacker sent it to do much more than scanning the contents of the site!
Wordfence scans files and checks them for changes. It compares them with documented malware code and checks whether URLs found in comments point to pages containing malware. That is, if the bot even gets that far – normally it will be blocked by the firewall integrated into Wordfence. Available only in English as a free and pay version.

WordPress plugins 2013

BackWPup
What do you do if your entire WordPress site gets sucked into oblivion due to a series of unlucky chance events? This has certainly happened before… Nearly a million WP site operators have downloaded BackWPup just ¡n case – after all, they all know that the most expensive backup is the one that was never made! That’s why you should use this plugin to back up your entire website installation – including WP content. This way, you’re always safe rather than sorry.

Broken Link Checker
It’s annoying when links found on blogs and website lead to nowhere. Broken Link Checker is a handy plugin that has already been downloaded over two million times. The plugin finds missing images, redirects or defunct links. You can then edit them directly from the plugin page.

Google Analytics for WordPress
Who’s really cavorting around on your website or blog? Use this plugin to collect all of the necessary metadata on views per author and category, automatic tracking of outbound clicks and site views. This is one of the most popular plugins out there and we expect you may have downloaded it already. If not, do it today!

TablePress
Nearly everyone who uses this plugin agrees that it deserves five stars. TablePress lets you create and manage tables on your WordPress website – without even the slightest knowledge of HTML. The interface is very user-friendly, and you can create tables including anything you want – even formulas. An additional JavaScript library lets you to add additional features that your website’s visitors can use, such as sorting, pagination, filters and more. One especially practical feature includes the importing of tables from CSV files (e.g. Excel), HTML files and JSON. They can also be exported to these formats.

And what are your favorite plugins? What are your experiences with them? Which ones do you not find useful at all? We look forward to your many comments!

WordPress plugins 2013

Sandro Bertschinger

He didn't find computers very interesting for quite some time. An Amiga 500 as a games machine was the high point at that time. Computers began to move into his focus with the advent of the internet and the possibility of building cool websites. In 2001, he crossed paths with an internet company by coincidence.

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