If you are new to WordPress or a long time user, you have undoubtedly discovered WordPress Plugins! There are so many choices (thousands in fact) so you may feel overwhelmed on which ones to choose and install. While this does contain affiliate links, I was a user of these plugins long before I became an affiliate and am recommending them due to the fact I love them!
Before I get to my recommended list of plugins, always keep in mind when browsing the plugin directory (and before you hit install) the following:
- Do you really need it? Remember the more plugins you install, the more WordPress and your site can become bogged down.
- When was the last time it was updated? This is a biggie! Don’t install old, out of date plugins. You are just asking for trouble with spam and hackers most of the time.
- Is it compatible with your version of WordPress? Sometimes this is really important and other times it is not. Some plugins will work with any version and since WordPress is now in the habit of continually updating their software, the plugin author may not have had the chance to update their plugin with the correct compatible version number, or the plugin (if it is really old) may not work with your version of WordPress at all.
So without further ado here is my top 10 list of WordPress plugins that I think every blogger needs:
Yoast SEO – This is a must have for all blogs. If you want to get ranked in search engines and allow others to find you, you must have good SEO practices and this simple plugin allows you to do just that. There is a free version (in the plugins directory) and they also offer a “premium” version as well.
Genesis Framework – Highly recommended. The Genesis Framework allows you to quickly and easily build a web site through your WordPress. It comes out of the box as SEO friendly and it adheres to WordPress security practices which helps keep your site secure. Another thing I love, is that it updates automatically which means you don’t have to worry about checking each day to see if there is a new update to be installed. Another great feature is that you can “mix and match” your layout. This means you can choose, via a radio button, any of the 6 layouts for each one of your individual pages or posts. The Genesis Framework comes with a free default theme, but I highly recommend purchasing one of the many themes that they offer in order to personalize it more to your liking and “brand”. I could go on and on about the features, but it’s best if you check it out yourself. This is not free, however, well worth the small amount of money it costs!
Jetpack – Jetpack has so many useful plugins (over 2 dozen) all rolled into one plugin which makes this plugin probably one of the most used and installed by WordPress users. It eliminates the need for several separate plugins (which is great when it comes to managing a WordPress site). Some of the plugins include site statistics, contact form, custom css, extra sidebar widgets, custom content types, publicize, sharing, spelling & grammar check, site monitor, and so much more. You can find this in the plugins directory. It is free, however does have extras (none that I use) that you can upgrade to get. Honestly, the free version works perfectly for just about everyone.
iThemes Security – This is a huge one! It is absolutely important to protect your WordPress site from hackers and malware and iThemes Security does an amazing job of it. In addition to this plugin it’s also important to secure your WordPress as well if you haven’t already.
Revive Old Post – This is great if you have been blogging for a while. It will automatically share your old posts (you specify the frequency) to your social networking sites in order to “revive” them. Free and can be found in the plugins directory.
Broken Link Checker – This is a great tool to have as it will scan all of your posts/pages and will notify you if it finds a broken link. You can then go to the dashboard and update the link without having to go to the post itself. This is also free and can be found in the plugins directory.
Advanced Ads – Useful if you plan on selling advertising space on your website. You can set it to show on only desktop sites, mobile sites, or all. It also allows you to choose where the ad will be placed, such as before content, after content, or in the content after so many paragraphs (you choose how many). Free and can be found in the plugins directory.
Askimet – One of the best plugins to protect your site from comment spam! Free and can be found in the plugin directory.
StarBox – This is a cool little plugin that will allow your author profile to be displayed at the end of each post. You can see it in action at the bottom of this post! Free and available in the plugins directory.
WP Edit – This plugin gives you more editing options when you compose or edit a post/page such as formatting text, creating tables, and so much more! Free and available in the plugins directory.
Bonus! Content Views Pro – So I found the awesome little plugin when I wanted to make my category archive pages look prettier. You can choose several different layouts (even make it look like Pinterest). I also love the fact that you can add a banner ad into it as well that will seamlessly match your layout. If you are not sure what I mean about archive pages, click on self-help/health in the navigation menu. But, it doesn’t stop at category archive pages; you can also replace tag and blog archive pages as well! Check out Content Views Pro here.
I could go on and on with plugins, but these are my top 10 must haves! Do you have any suggestions for other plugins? Comment below and share your recommendations!