Just a short list of my essential WordPress plugins for 2016.
Far Future Expiry Header #speed #caching
WP Super Cache #speed #caching
Cache your site responses to speed up your site. Most WordPress sites should be aggressively caching their responses. This plugin can be a bit more difficult to setup with the large pile of options to configure.
WP-SpamShield Anti-Spam #spam
A free alternative to akismet for fighting the never ending stream of spam. Doesn't use captchas.
Ninja like backups of WordPress to Dropbox and a myriad of other backup locations. Works incredibly smooth with lots of options.
For responsive youtube video embeds. Just drop the video url in the post and the plugin takes care of the rest.
Incredible plugin that helps you cover some of the basics of securing your WordPress installation. It also does a great job of monitoring the site for file changes that can be a good indicator of a site compromise if setup correctly.
Really simple and easy to use shortcodes to give you the added functionality of adding columns where you need them in your posts and pages.
Also, check out last years list of essential WordPress plugins for 2015
Photo by Cristian Labarca CC BY-NC 2.0