Starting a blog on WordPress is easy, but knowing what plugins you need to make your blog a high-powered, user-friendly website isn’t. With the thousands of WordPress plugins available today, you might not be sure which ones you really require or need.
Don’t waste your time trying out each WordPress plugin to find out which one you need. Here are the top 15 Best WordPress Plugins: Essentials for Every Blog. This list includes a few free Plugins, some premium Plugins, and a few others that offer free & paid versions.
There’s a reason people use pop-ups on their site to encourage subscriptions – it’s because they work.
Let’s have a look….
W3 Total Cache
Your site’s speed plays an important role in search engine rankings. W3 Total Cache helps you optimize your WordPress site for speed and performance. It allows you to easily setup page and browser caching, compress pages for quicker downloads, and setup a content delivery network for your static files. See our guide on how to install and setup W3 total Cache for beginners.
Google XML Sitemaps
It’s true that Yoast’s plugin generates a sitemap for you – that thing Google reads to help it index your site better – but Google XML Sitemaps makes it easier. You activate the plugin, go to the settings and grab the URL the plugin uses for your sitemap, and paste it into Google Webmaster Tools. Easy as pie, and I’ve never had it go wrong.
Disqus offers the best add-on tools for site owners to power discussions, increase engagement, and earn revenue.
It is directly integrated with popular services like WordPress, Tumblr, and Squarespace. It’s simple and quick, even for non-techies.
- Looks good
- Works everywhere
- Used across the world
- Moderate your comments easily
- Analytics to understand your audience
- Real-time discussions
- Access on web and mobile
- And much more…
We touched on spam protection briefly in the contact forms section, stating how Visual Form Builder includes a verification field to stop your contact forms being abused by automated spammers.
As anyone with a WordPress blog already up and running should know, almost as soon as your site goes live it will start receiving a steady stream of unwanted spam comments, which only increases over time.
This plugin integrates the free (for personal use) Akismet comment spam prevention service with your WordPress site to direct suspicious looking comments straight into your spam folder. While the Akismet plugin is now pre-installed with WordPress, you still need to sign up for an account and activate the plugin on your site.
I used to recommend BackupBuddy but found it too unpredictable – sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t – and for a non-tech person, it could be difficult to set up and extremely confusing to actually use a backup to restore your site.
For my own site and others I maintain, I now use VaultPress, from the same people who make WordPress itself. For a tiny fee, I get daily off-site backups of my site – and if my site is ever hacked (or if I mess something up!) it’s literally two clicks to restore my entire site to a previous state.
Definitely a great social sharing plugin for your images, Frizzly places a Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter “share” button over your images when a reader hovers, encouraging more social sharing of your content.
- showing share icons when users hover over images
- show share buttons only on images of your choice by using classes or image size constraints
- lightbox to show your images in full size
- And much more…
OptinMonster is a finely-tuned marketing machine that gives you total control over your opt-in process. Instead of flashing a pop-up in front of your reader the moment she gets to your site, OptinMonster lets you delay your pop-up until she’s settled into reading your amazing posts.
- OptinMonster Builder
- Multiple Form Types
- Exit Intent® Technology
- A/B Split Testing
- Page Level Targeting
- Built-in Analytics
GRAVITY FORMS (PREMIUM)
You have lots of options when it comes to forms on your site, but Gravity Forms is by far my favorite. It has a simple drag-and-drop interface to let you build not just a contact form, but surveys, polls, quizzes, order forms so visitors can order products straight from your site…your site users can even submit donations via Paypal! Gravity Forms was the first-ever premium plugin I bought, and I’m still using it regularly five years later.
COMMENT REDIRECT (FREE)
The very first time a new reader comments on your blog, you have a golden opportunity to introduce yourself and welcome them to your community. Comment Redirect lets you do this automatically.
- Minimum comment length
- Email commentors
- Comment redirect
- Comment parent edit
- Clean notification emails
- And much more…
WORDPRESS SEO – “YOAST” (FREE)
WordPress SEO is the industry standard for SEO plugins. You can use the tools in this plugin as you’re creating your posts to guide you to make good wording choices and get the maximum leverage from keywords that will help you get found by Google.
- Easily optimize your WordPress site with one plugin
- Real time content analysis functionality and many more features to streamline your site
- A Premium Yoast SEO plugin for even more features and support
- And much more…
Remaining Plugins will be coming soon…
Did I miss anything?
What do you consider to be the best of the best in WordPress plugins for blog? Got any favorites? Leave me a comment (or question!) below and I may just add it to the post.
And if you’re always on the lookout for the very best WordPress plugins, be sure to pin this post on Pinterest so you can come back and check for my updated recommendations.
Thank you reading this post!! Feel free to suggest your own Plugins for this collection.