With over 20,000 publicly available WordPress plugins free for download at WordPress.org, more than a few high-quality ones manage to slip through the cracks unnoticed, never generating widespread adoption from the WordPress community. Granted, many of these plugins are of niche functionality, but with WordPress making up more than 16% of the web, I expected many of their download numbers to be higher.

Broken Link Checker by Janis Elsts

A plugin to check posts, pages, comments and other content for broken links and missing images, it can also be set up  to send email notifications as future broken links are discovered. Download

Faster Image Insert by David Frank

This plugin shifts the built-in Media Manager to a meta box, just to the right of the primary editing panel, providing full control and enhanced functionality, including mass editing (change multiple title and captions in one step) and more. Download

Embed PDF by Pat Hawks

This nifty plugin embeds a PDF document through the utilization of Google Docs Viewer. It’s as simple as inserting the URL of the desired PDF between a shortcode. Download

Embed Code Generator by Search Rank

Increase the chances of visual media being shared by providing readers easy access to its related embed code. Perfect for infographics (data visualization), SlideShare presentations and even videos. Download

CloudSafe365 by CloudSafe365

A simple to use WordPress plugin that backs up your site in real time and defends it from the latest malware, hacking and content theft techniques. Download

WordPress.com Stats Smiley Remover by Christopher Ross

If you enjoy the quick access to site analytics provided by the WordPress.com Stats plugin but despise the annoying smiley face it inserts in the footer of your site (often only seen in Chrome), installing this is the simplest solution. Download

Simple Local Avatars by Jake Goldman

This plugin replaces the default reliance on Gravatar for generating user avatars. A great solution for blogs with frequent guest contributors, the images are stored with your other media in the “uploads” folder and supports Gravatar and default avatars if no local avatar is assigned to the user. Download

Quick Cache by Web Sharks

A lightweight and simple alternative to WP Super Cache and W3 Total Cache. Download

About the Author Advanced by Dan Zaniewski

If you’d prefer having your about the author section in your sidebar, definitely check this plugin out. It’s highly customizable and also includes options for social profiles. Download

404 Redirected by Robert Rolfe

A plugin that automatically creates redirects for 404 traffic, allowing admins the ability to control dead links and redirects from within the admin panel. Some of the features included:

  • Get list of 404 URLs as they happen inside the admin panel
  • Easily redirect 404 URLs to existing pages or choose to ignore the 404 error
  • Provides the ability to automatically create redirects based on the URL the visitor was most likely trying to visit
  • Provide visitors with a list of suggested pages on the 404 page when a automatic redirect can not be made
  • Ability to suggest tag and category pages
  • Ability to create automatic redirect for misspelled tag and category pages
  • Ability to view logs of hits to 404 pages and redirects including referrer data
  • Ability to remove automatically remove redirects when the URL matches a new page or post permalink
  • Ability to automatically remove manual and automatic redirects once they are no longer being used
  • All features work with both pages and posts
  • Create automatic redirects for any URL resolving to a single page or post that isn’t the current permalink
  • Basic stats of plugin usage


Plugins Garbage Collector by Vladimir Garagulya

This plugin scans your WordPress database for files outside of the core WordPress installation that have been leftover from deleted and deactivated plugins. The administrator can then select which of the discovered files they wish to delete. Download

Use Google Libraries by Jason Penney

Allows your website to utilize common javascript libraries from Google’s AJAX Libraries CDN, decreasing server load and speeding up your site. Download

WordPress File Monitor Plus by Scott Cariss

This plugin monitors your WordPress installation for file changes of any kind, providing email alerts as well as dashboard alerts detailing the suspicious activity.

  • Monitors file system for added/deleted/changed files
  • Sends email when a change is detected
  • Administration area alert to notify you of changes in case email is not received
  • Ability to monitor files for changes based on file hash, time stamp and/or file size
  • Ability to exclude files and directories from scan (for instance if you use a caching system that stores its files within the monitored zone)
  • Site URL included in notification email in case plugin is in use on multiple sites
  • Ability to run the file checking via an external cron so not to slow down visits to your website and to give greater flexibility over scheduling
  • Ability to set file extension to be ignored or only scanned.
  • Multisite support.


Video Thumbnails by Sutherland Boswell

With this plugin you won’t have to worry about capturing the perfect screenshot for your video posts’ thumbnails. It supports all of the popular video sites and works smoothly alongside other popular video enhancement WordPress plugins. Additionally, the thumbnails can automatically be saved to your media library and designated as the featured image. Download

Custom Permalinks by Michael Tyson

Though many a user will likely try to abuse this for SEO purposes, this plugin is excellent for simple permalink changes or setting up custom taxonomies. It allows the user to set custom permalinks on a per-post, per-tag or per-category basis and old permalinks automatically forward to their new custom addresses. Download

Are you the author or know about an exceptionally useful WordPress plugin you think deserves broader recognition from the WordPress community? If so, tell us about it in the comments below, and we’ll see about featuring it in a follow-up post.

Written by Nick Cobb