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  1. Akismet
    Comes as standard with all WordPress platform downloads, and checks reader comments against the Akismet web service to see if they look like spam. Those comments that do are automatically filtered into a "spam" folder.
  2. Child Theme Configurator
    I used this to help create a child theme so I could make design and layout tweaks without losing them the next time the theme author made an update. The plugin can, and should, be deactivated as soon as the child theme’s made.
  3. Jetpack
    Mostly for quick stats, and for giving commentators the option of subscribing to the comment thread.
  4. MailChimp for WordPress
    Makes it easy to insert a subscription form on any page of your site.
  5. WP Super Cache
    Stores a static version of every page for a set time, meaning less strain on your web hosting resources, helping to prevent your site from going down after a sudden flood of visitors. I've tried quite a few others cache plugins. This one seems like the strongest.
  6. Yoast SEO
    A great help for tweaking page titles and meta descriptions. Also sorts the sitemap and lets you block certain tags or category pages from appearing in search results. Much better than the competing All in One SEO plugin that I used for quite a few years.

Last updated in November 2017.

Remember, every plugin you actiavte will add to your site’s load time.