If you need a feature, or a piece of functionality adding to WordPress, there is a good chance a plugin exits that will do the job for you. That said, with so many you should choose your plugins wisely. Each plugin you add comes with it’s own scripts and CSS that can add weight and download to your pages. Always consider whether you really need each plugin you install. These are the plugins that I use and install on almost all of my websites.
For me it has to be Yoast SEO. Easy to use and also offers social media interrogation as well as search engine optimization features.
WordPress Plugin directory: https://en-gb.wordpress.org/plugins/wordpress-seo/
Developers website: https://yoast.com/wordpress/plugins/seo/
Love them or loath them sliders seem here to stay. My current favorite is Meta Slider. This slider is on the lighter side, is responsive and easy to use. I invested in the Pro version, so that I can add layers for extra animation features. If you want to try it out there is also a free lite version .
WordPress Plugin directory: http://wordpress.org/plugins/ml-slider/
Developer website: https://www.metaslider.com/
Gravity Forms and Ninja Forms
Gravity forms is still my favorite plugin for forms if I need a premium plugin with extra functionality. However, Ninja Form is a close second and the free version is often good enough for most peoples needs.
Gravity Forms: http://www.gravityforms.com/
Ninja Forms: https://en-gb.wordpress.org/plugins/ninja-forms/
Mega menu allows me to create sophisticated and user friendly responsive menus. Easy to configure and with lots of options.
WordPress Plugin Directory: https://en-gb.wordpress.org/plugins/megamenu/
Developer website: https://www.megamenu.com/
While I have daily backups configured on my hosting, I still like the flexibility of easily being able to do my own. Backup-Buddy is my favorite. Easy to use and one of the few with an install script, that allows you to easily migrate, or do a clean reinstall. It is a premium plugin, but the piece of mind it gives you is well worth it.
Developer website: https://ithemes.com/purchase/backupbuddy/
ACF Advanced Custom Fields
This is my secret weapon, when creating complicated layouts and adding extra options to posts and pages within WordPress. One for the slightly more techie among you, but essential if you need to add extra editable areas to your layouts, or add fields to your custom Field types.
Developer website: https://www.advancedcustomfields.com/
So what are your favorite plugins. Have I missed any?