Once you set up and start a blog, it’s time to start installing the plugins that help you run your blog smoothly.
Plugins that you decide to install and run on your WordPress blog should be able to enhance your blog’s performance, make it run smoothly, easy to install and should not affect the blog’s speed. They should also be compatible with one another.
Keeping all these points in mind, let’s find out which ones are the Must Have Best WordPress Plugins for Your Blog.
Anti Spam Plugins
- Akismet Plugin (Free): Perfect for guarding your blog against comment spam and trackback spam.
- Anti Spam (Free): Blocks spam comments automatically without captcha, asking annoying questions or any moderation queues.
- Google Captcha (reCAPTCHA) (Free). This plugin allows you to implement a super security Captcha into your web forms. This one is a free service that can be used for login, registration, password recovery, comments forms.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) related Plugins
- Yoast SEO PLugin (Free & Paid Options). Easily optimize your blog post content, image, titles, meta descriptions and more. Included XML sitemaps and other optimization options in between helps your blog rank better in search engine rankings. There are free and paid options. This plugin is easy to install and optimize.
- Google XML Sitemaps Plugin (Free). Google XML sitemaps plugin automatically generates XML sitemaps for your blog, making it easy for search engines to find and index it faster. XML sitemap can be submitted to Google Webmaster Tools to track your blog’s performance. Track any broken URLs, outgoing and incoming links and so much more.
- WP Optimize (Free). This simple yet effective WordPress plugin cleans up your database extensively and optimizes it without doing manual queries.
- Yet Another Related Posts Plugin (Free). This plugin uses an algorithm to determine which posts and pages are the most relevant to the current post. By using this plugin, you are giving your visitors an opportunity to easily read related content on your website. Keeping them engaged in the content helps in decreasing the bounce rates on your website.
- Google Analytics Dashboard (Free). Instead of logging into your Google Analytics account, you can easily access your stats right from your blog dashboard. You can also view basic info like pageviews and most popular landing pages using this plugin.
Back up Plugins
- Vaultpress (Paid). Keeping the back up of your blog, files and database is extremely important. Vaultpress is a subscription based service that lets you backup and synchronize every post, comment, revision and dashboard settings on their servers.
- Back up WordPress Plugin (Free). This plugin will help you back up your entire site including the database and all your files based on the schedule that you set up.
Email Subscription Plugins
- OptinMonster (Paid). Turn your readers and visitors into subscribers and build your list with this plugin. A pop window appears as soon as your reader is about to exit, asking them to sign up for your newsletter. This plugin easily integrates with any of your email marketing providers.
- SumoMe Listbuilder (Free). Convert your first time visitors into repeat visitors with this free list builder. You have the option to display the pop up manually or system can automatically select the best time to show the pop up.
- Icegram Popup Plugin (Free). Increase engagement, decrease bounce rate and make your first time visitors into repeat visitors with this light weight free pop up email subscription plugin.
- Subscribe to Comments Reloaded (Free). This plugin allows your blog readers to subscribe to incoming comments on blog posts of their interest, and also change their notification email address. Your blog readers are also able to manage their comment subscription on your blog easily.
Social Sharing Plugins
- SumoMe (Free). This versatile plugin is great for building your email list, but also provides sharing tools to multiply your traffic from social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
- Shareaholic (Free). Engage and grow your traffic with this social sharing plugin. Provided tools let the readers share your content on social media, display provided content and gain insights for free.
- Frizzly (Free). Add social share buttons wherever you like. Over your blog images, in your post content or in any of the widget areas. Easily share your posts on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
Image Optimizing Plugins
- WP Smush (Free). Does your takes forever to load? Sometimes large size images may make the browser to load slow. Reduce image file sizes, improve performance and boost your SEO using the free WPMU DEV WordPress Smush API. Once installed and activated, it simply runs in the background.
- CW Image Optimizer (Free). This plugin automatically and effortlessly optimizes your images as you upload them to your blog. It can also optimize the images that you have already uploaded in the past.
- Contact Form 7 Plugin (Free). Add a contact form on your blog posts and pages. Easily modify the number and type of fields you want to show on your contact forms. You can set up the captcha through this plugin to block the spammers. When you get a notification of new comment via this contact form, you are also notified about the IP address this note came from.
- Gravity Forms (Paid). One of the most popular premium plugin, it lets you create simple contact forms, surveys and polling. You can even set forms to accept guest posts and other user submitted content. Easily collect payments and register new users.
- Fast Secure Contact Form (Free). This plugin is a powerful form builder that lets your visitors send you email. You can easily add, remove or reorder the fields. It also blocks all automated spammers.
- W3 Total Cache Plugin (Free). Improve user experience and page speed with W3 Total Cache Plugin. This plugin helps by increasing server performance, reducing the download times and providing transparent content delivery network (CDN) integration.
- WP Super Cache (Free). This plugin generates static html files from your dynamic WordPress blog to make it load faster. After a html file is generated, your webserver will serve that file instead of processing the comparatively heavier and more expensive WordPress PHP scripts.
- Comment Luv Plugin (Free). Increase the engagement of your blog readers with CommentLuv plugin. Commenting on related sites is used as a way to make backlinks. Commentluv allows them get direct link back to their blog, link to their Twitter feed and link to their latest article on a contextually relevant page.
- Disqus Comment System (Free). Disqus makes commenting easier and more interactive. It is a great tool for web comments and community discussions.
E-Commerce and Payment Collection
- WP eCommerce (Free). Sell anything online with this free and powerful plugin. Digital download, inventory, subscriptions and memberships can easily be set up using this plugin.
- Simple Paypal Shopping Cart (Free). This plugin makes adding an ‘Add to Cart’ button for your product on any posts or pages a breeze. It lets you sell products and services directly from your own WordPress site and turn your WP blog into an ecommerce site.
Other Must Have Plugins
- Broken Link Checker Plugin (Free). This plugin can find all the broken links in a blog and helps in fixing them. It helps you get rid of broken links on your website easily and fast. Imagine the annoyance of your readers when they find the links that are not working on your blog. Broken links may sometimes negatively affect your search engine rankings.
- WP-PageNavi (Free). Replace oldest posts | newest posts with pagers. WP Page Navi plugin adds a more advanced and sophisticated paging navigation on your wordpress site.
What are some of your favorite plugins that you absolutely have to use on your blog and cannot consider setting up a blog without them? Please do share in the comment box below!
If you want to start a blog yourself, make sure to read through my step by step tutorial on how to start a blog where I walk you through the whole process of money making blog. If you sign up using my link, you will be able to get hosting at discount rate through Bluehost for only $3.95 per month. You will also be able to get a FREE Domain.