So, looking for the best plugins to install on your WordPress blog?
But choosing the right plugins that could improve your blog, or that are essential for successful blogging, is always confusing.
Because there’re tens of thousands of free and paid plugins available.
Yeah! You heard it right.
WordPress has over 55,000 different plugins.
This means it offers plugins for almost every function and feature you need on your website to give your blog an extra edge.
And as a beginner, you may find it overwhelming to find the best plugins for your website.
In this post, you’ll find a list of 11 best and essential WordPress plugins that you should install on your website.
These plugins will help you make your site secure, SEO-friendly, and user-friendly and also save you a lot of time and money.
Plugins help you add different new functionalities to your blog.
For instance, the plugin Contact Form 7 helps you add a contact form to your blog.
Or, the plugin Yoast SEO helps you improve the On-Page SEO of your site.
IMPORTANT! Always choose the best plugins and install only those plugins that are essential for your blog. Never go for adding excessive plugins.
Installing poor and non-essential plugins can cause so many problems to your blog. They may slow down your blog, create security threats, or even crash your entire site.
11 Best WordPress Plugins For Blogs:
#1. Yoast SEO
#4. WP Rocket
#5. Contact Form 7
#8. WP Smush
#9. Revive Old Posts
#10. Broken Link Checker
#11. Sassy Social Share
So, without further ado, let’s get started with the list of 11 best plugins to improve your WordPress blog.
#1. Yoast SEO
What is the major source of the traffic to every website?
The answer is Search engines.
The number of users using search engines (like Google, Bing, Yahoo!) is increasing day by day.
If your website ranks higher on search engines, obviously, you’ll get more visitors to your site.
So, the importance of optimizing your website for search engines called Search Engine Optimization (SEO), is more relevant than ever.
And for that, Yoast SEO is the best plugin available.
This is the most popular, user-friendly, and search-engine-friendly plugin.
Yoast offers a lot of great features and provides you with all the solutions you need to improve your on-page SEO.
Simply, it’s a must-have plugin for every WordPress blogger.
- Firstly, you’ve to choose s focus keyword so that you use the keywords appropriately and avoid keyword stuffing in your article.
- It helps you add Title and Meta description.
- State-of-the-art schema implementation.
- Advanced XML Sitemaps.
- Connects your site to Google Search Console.
- You’ve full control over your site’s breadcrumbs.
- Automatically sets canonical URLs. So, no chance of duplicate content.
- Its SEO analysis tool helps you write SEO-friendly content keeping in mind focus keywords.
- The readability analysis tool helps you create easy-to-understand and engaging content for both the users and search engines.
The free version covers almost all the features you need for your on-page SEO.
If yours is a small blog, just get started with its free version.
For additional features and its premium support, you need to upgrade to its Pro version.
Its premium version offers the following additional features:
- It gives you a preview of your content on social platforms like Facebook and Twitter.
- You’ll be able to optimize your article for synonyms and related key phrases.
- You get automatic internal lining suggestions about the posts to link your article to.
- Notifies you about outdated posts.
Pricing: You can get Yoast SEO Premium for $89 for a year for one website.
Another must-have plugin for the WordPress website.
Developed by the team behind WordPress (Automattic), Jetpack is one of the most popular and powerful WordPress plugins.
As the name suggests, it’s power-packed with many awesome features.
- Helps in securing your site against brute force attacks and unauthorized logins.
- Provides spam filtering and backups in real-time. Also, monitors the website every 5 minutes for the downtime and notifies via email when your website is down.
- Faster mobile experience with lazy image loading.
- After installing Jetpack, you can check the site stats and analytics from the Jetpack dashboard itself. You don’t need to log in anywhere else.
- SEO tools for Google, Bing, Twitter, Facebook, and WordPress.com.
- Just by integrating Jetpack with the official WordPress mobile apps, you can manage your website from anywhere.
- Enables you to manage multiple websites from one dashboard.
- It provides social sharing buttons so that your readers can share your posts on various social networks.
- It gives you the option to auto-publicize your blog posts on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Tumblr after hitting the ‘Publish’ button.
- Offers subscription form to give your readers the option to subscribe to the updates about your blog posts.
Its free version covers all the core features such as site stats, a high-speed CDN, related posts, downtime monitoring, protection against brute force attack, auto-publicize to social networks, etc.
But if you want to get some additional features, you need to purchase its paid plan. These include real-time backups, security scanning, premium themes, spam filtering, video hosting, site monetization, SEO tools, search, and more.
Pricing: There’re three categories of its paid plan:
- Personal – $39 yearly
- Premium – $99 yearly
- Professional – $299 yearly
Developed by the people behind WordPress (Matt Mullenweg and his Automattic team), Akismet is an anti-spam plugin.
When you start your WordPress blog, you get a lot of spam comments.
And you’ll agree that spam comments are very irritating.
You need to keep your blog posts free from such annoying comments.
This is what Akismet plugin does.
It basically checks your comments and contact form submissions and filters out all the spammy comments. This way it helps you prevent your site from publishing malicious content.
By doing this, it helps you improve the reading experience of your users and your website’s security.
How to activate the Akismet plugin on your WordPress site?
After installing the plugin, click on ‘activate’.
When activated, go to settings → Akismet Anti-spam.
If you already have an API, just enter it under the “Or enter an API Key” section.
Or, you can get your API key by clicking on the “Get your API key” section.
And you’re done.
Both free and paid versions are available.
There’re three plans namely Personal, Plus, and Enterprise.
- Personal – It’s a free plan for personal or non-commercial sites.
- Plus – This is for professional or commercial sites or blogs. You can get it for $5 per month, per site.
- Enterprise – For large networks and multisite installations. This is for $50 per month, unlimited sites.
#4. WP Rocket
A must-have plugin to speed up your website, WP Rocket is the most powerful caching plugin.
Improving the speed and performance of your website is important for your SEO efforts and conversion.
As per the StrangeLoop case study, if there’s a delay of one second in your website loading time, it can lead to a loss of 7% in conversion, 11% fewer page views, and a 16% decrease in customer satisfaction.
The search engines like Google, Bing, etc. penalize the websites that load slowly.
So, you must make sure that your WordPress website loads fast.
And if it doesn’t, you’re going to miss out on so many things.
Your website won’t rank higher in search results which will lower the traffic to your site.
Lower traffic means fewer subscribers and consequently loss in conversions and sales.
- Easy to set up – Very simple and beginner-friendly caching plugin.
- Page caching – Caching is important to make your website load ultra-fast.
- Lazy loading – You can enable lazy loading to improve page-load time. Images will load only when your visitors scroll down the page.
- CDN – You can use most CDN (Content Delivery Network) services to reduce the latency of HTTP requests.
- One website – $49 / yearly
- Three websites – $99 / yearly
- Unlimited websites – $249 / yearly
#5. Contact Form
There’re many contact forms like WP Forms, Ninja Forms, Gravity Forms, etc., but Contact Form 7 is the simplest of all to configure.
This form allows you to customize it according to your needs and create and manage multiple contact forms.
With this form, you can also use reCaptcha verification.
It supports Ajax-powered submitting and filters all the spams with Akismet anti-spam.
With 5+ million active installations, 1195 5-star ratings, and absolutely free plugin, Contact Form 7 is the simple yet powerful contact form.
Protecting your website against hackers, spams, or any type of possible threats is essential for you as well as your users.
As a website owner, you should give security to your website a top priority.
There’re many security plugins in WordPress you can use.
With 99% support ticket satisfaction and 20000+ sites cleaned monthly, Sucuri is one of the best security plugins.
It’s a cloud-based platform for every site that fixes hacks and prevents future attacks.
- Detection – Scans your website for malware, hacks, spams, DDoS scripts, and more.
It also provides DNS monitoring and website uptime monitoring. Then sends alerts when any changes are made to your website’s DNS settings or when your website goes down.
- Protection – Prevents website hacking with its Web Application Firewall (WAF). Protects your site against DDoS attacks, brute force attacks, and password cracking.
- Performance – Helps your website load faster with its caching options and global CDN, and improves your website speed by 70% on average.
- Response – If your website is hacked, Sucuri helps you repair and restore that website before it damages your reputation. Best part? It offers a 30-day money-back guarantee if it fails to do so.
- Basic – $199.99 / year
- Pro – $299.99 / year
- Business – $499.99 / year
Developed and supported by Automattic, used by 5+ million websites, and with 2921 5-star ratings, WooCommerce is the most popular, flexible, and open-source E-commerce platform for WordPress webmasters.
One of the great ways of making money through blogging is opening your own online store.
WooCommerce makes it very easy to set up an online store.
All you need to do is activate the WooCommerce plugin on your site and follow the optional guided tour. That’s it!
And start selling any products you want, physical as well as digital. You can also sell affiliate goods from online marketplaces.
Related: How To Make Money With Your Blog: 11 Top Proven Ways To Make Money Online In 2019
- WooCommerce is fully customizable and extendable. You can choose a design suitable for your brand and industry. Hundreds of free and paid themes are available.
- Shipping options are configurable including flat rates and label printing. You can adjust the settings to offer free shipping or flat rate shipping.
You also have the option to limit your shipments to specific countries or open your store up to the world.
- With its paid extensions, you can use your WooCommerce store to take bookings, offer memberships, set up recurring payments by subscriptions and much more.
- Offers a lot of payment options for your customers. They can make payments using major credit cards, BACS (Bank Transfers), cash on delivery, PayPal, Amazon Pay, Google Pay, Apple Pay, etc.
- You can also download its free mobile app (Android and iOS) if you want to manage your store on the go.
- It gives you the option to integrate your Google Analytics, MailChimp, and Facebook accounts.
- You control your data forever. It gives you full ownership over everything – from taxes to stock levels to customer accounts.
Almost everything is under your control. For example, adding and removing extensions, changing the store’s design, and switching themes, hosts, or payment service providers.
#8. WP Smush
Images are more helpful in making your site more appealing to your users. They help in putting the message across more effectively that only the texts can’t.
But oversized and un-optimized images can slow down your website.
So, how to optimize images?
You can optimize your images using a 100% free and award-winning WP Smush plugin.
It helps you resize and compress all your website’s images and saves lots of storage space.
And consequently, your site will load faster and rank higher in search results.
- Compresses your images without affecting their qualities and appearances. Its servers just strip the unused and bulky information from your images.
- Not only the media uploads, but this plugin also allows you to compress any image in any directory. It processes all the files such as PNG, JPEG, GIF files. This way you can optimize all the images on your site. And with one click, you can optimize up to 50 images.
- The wrong size image finder quickly locates the images that are slowing down your site. It highlights such images with tips for scaling them.
- WP Smush has built-in lazy load which improves the loading time of your page.
- It offers unlimited and free optimization. You can optimize all of your images up to 5 MB in size forever.
- It allows you to resize your images by setting a maximum width and height.
#9. Revive Old Posts
Trusted by over 40000 WordPress site owners, Revive Old Post is also a must-have Plugin to boost website traffic and grow social media followers.
Social media is a great source of referral traffic.
If you’re not active on social media, you may lose out on a great amount of potential traffic.
For instance, Facebook has 2.45 billion monthly active users as of September 2019 and Twitter has 330 million monthly active users as of 2019 Q1.
Be it a small local shop or a big national/international company, social media is one of the top business marketing strategies.
And that’s where Revive Old Post plugin comes in.
This plugin helps boost your social media traffic and keep your followers engaged.
And it does this by automatically sharing your new and old publications to different social platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Pinterest.
Both free and paid versions are available.
Related: What is Social Media Marketing?
- It allows you to share your content with all the popular social networks like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, and Tumblr.
- You can also share other content types to social media such as pages, media, etc.
- It gives you full control over social shares. You can share just the title of your post, or include a hashtag, or mention just a username.
- Automatically adds optimized hashtags for post shares from tags, categories, or even custom fields.
- This plugin is compatible with URL shorteners and shortens the links of your posts to social media.
- You can exclude categories and specific posts from sharing to social media.
- Integrates with Google Analytics to track the popularity of your posts and monitor the exact traffic your website is getting.
- It allows you to share your posts multiple times.
#10. Broken Link Checker
With more than 700000 installations, Broken Link Checker is a free WordPress plugin that continuously scans every link on your website.
After scanning, it instantly notifies you when it finds a link that has changed, broken, or no longer exists.
It makes suggestions to fix your links.
Why do you need the Broken Link Checker plugin?
A broken link hurts the user experience and your users may find it difficult to stay on your site for longer.
This way you lose some possible customers for your business.
And when your users leave your site faster, the search engines start to take notice. This slows down search bots, which, in turn, hurts the SEO ranking of your website.
- Automatically scans your posts, pages, comments, blogroll, and custom fields.
- It allows you to find the links that no longer work, the images that are missing, and redirects.
- Notifies about the broken links via email or in the built-in WordPress dashboard widget.
- Prevents search engines from following broken links.
- You don’t need to visit each post to edit links. This plugin allows you to do this from the settings page itself which helps you in saving a good amount of time.
#11. Sassy Social Share
As the number of social media users is ever-increasing, social media marketing has become a vital part of a content marketing strategy.
And there’s an easy-to-use and a free plugin like Sassy Social Share that helps you boost your social media marketing.
This plugin enables your users to share your content with their networks on almost all the top social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, WhatsApp, Pinterest, and more. And that’s just with a single click.
Why do you need to share your content over social platforms?
When your users share your content with their networks, more and more people get to see your content which helps boost your website traffic.
Social sharing also helps in getting your website content indexed faster and improves other factors that help in the SEO of your blog.
- Around 100 Social Sharing / Bookmarking services.
- Supports share counts for Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Buffer, Reddit, Pinterest, etc.
- Options to specify shapes, sizes, background-color, and logo color of sharing icons.
- You can give sharing icons either Standard or Floating layout.
- It allows you to enable/disable social sharing on individual pages/posts and total/individual social share counts.
And that’s the list of some of the best WordPress plugins you should install on your blog.
These plugins will definitely make your job a lot easier.
They’ll help you make your content more engaging and user-friendly, provide security to your blog, improve the On-Page SEO and thus attract more readers to your blog.
Pro Tip: Before installing and activating the plugins, think carefully about the goals and needs of your blog. Add only those plugins that are essential to your blog. Adding excessive plugins may slow down your blog.
What’re your favorite WordPress plugins? Would you like to add any other plugins to this list? Do let me know in the comments section.