There are thousands of Wordpress plugins out there, unfortunately not many of them are very useful. It's hard finding ones which can actually be beneficial to a Wordpress site. I've been using Wordpress for over a year now and throughout that time I've been searching for Wordpress plugins all the time, ones which may be able to help this site.
Here are 5 essential plugins which I now install on all Wordpress websites I make:
Wordpress already has great SEO functionality which will be enough for most sites. However if you want to take your SEO efforts to the next level, Yoast is a must have. It's used by some of the biggest sites out there and it does really work. I've been using it for around 10 or 11 months and my site has just shot up in Google for specific phrases and words. I'm even able to get traffic from generic terms like "art" which undoubtedly gets searched millions of times a day.
Caching plugins are essential if you want your website to load quicker and if you have a lot of traffic. WP Super Cache has been my favourite so far, however there are many others out there. It's easy to setup and can be done in a few minutes.
Overtime you will inevitably have some 404 errors or need to redirect a page or link to another place. This plugin is absolutely perfect for those. It will let you track any 404's and fix them, you can choose where each like would like to redirect to. It will also let you redirect any other link in your Wordpress site to another place completely which is very useful if you've moved content to another part of the site.
Jetpack is a plugin by the people who built Wordpress. It's a plugin which essentially has a number of other plugins inside it. It has things like contact forms, social sharing options and stats for your Wordpress site. It's very useful and I use it for an array of things for UltraLinx.
If you're going to be carrying out some maintenance work on your Wordpress site it is very useful to redirect visitors to a splash page where it'll tell them what's going on and when to come back. It looks a lot more professional than visitors having to see your website being half-finished.
Are there any other Wordpress plugins you would recommend?