Are you wondering what are some best WordPress plugins to install on your blog? Let’s get right to it!
16 Must-Have WordPress Plugins (Free and Paid)
1. Yoast SEO
As the name resembles, it is an SEO plugin that could help you rank higher on search engines. It covers on-site SEO of your overall blog: that includes for each page and blog post.
The plugin has both free and pro version. I need not to say, pro has more features and benefits than a free one.
Optimizing keywords, phrases, titles and meta description, sitemap generation, breadcrumb management, content insights, etc are some of the key features of the plugin.
You can download the free version here or directly search and install it from your WordPress dashboard’s plugin section.
Watch the below video to learn how to install and setup the Yoast SEO:
Yoast is the most easiest SEO plugin for bloggers to get started. However, as you blog further, you can explore Yoast SEO alternative plugins like All-In-SEO, RankMath, etc.
2. Social Snap
Social engagement is important for a blog as Google consider this metric as one of the major ranking factors.
That means you must enable the option on your blog for readers to share your content on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Mix and so on.
It can easily happen with a plugin like Social Snap.
By far, Social Snap is one of the best social sharing plugins for WordPress bloggers. You can add stunning social share buttons on your blog well-optimized for mobile and desktop users both.
It has both free and pro versions. Check out my complete social snap review to understand the benefits of the pro version.
Online is horrible, sometimes. You can’t sit and keep an eye on your blog’s security 24/7 to lock out the bad guys. In fact, it is impossible.
So WordFence comes into the picture – The plugin that could provide best security, protecting your blog from hackers and malware threats.
I’m sure that even a free version of the WordFence plugin would do a decent job of protecting your blog from brute force attacks. If you can’t afford any risk of getting hacked, I would suggest the premium version that starts from $99/year with 1 license.
4. Monster Insights
Do you not think that measuring your blog performance is important?
You must keep an eye on how many visitors you are getting in a day, no. of page views, source of the user traffic, top performing blog posts and non-performing blog posts, what is your user location, and so on.
You need to setup Google Analytics account for your blog. How do you think you do that?
By installing Monster Insights plugin and connecting it with your Google Analytics account.
Below is the step-by-step video tutorial from WPBeginner:
5. Mailer Lite
It would not be easy to grow your blog without building an email list from the month one.
I get it, you might be thinking email services are costly. Right?
Guess what! MailerLite is one effective and awesome list building plugin that comes at free of cost. In fact, I currently use the free one too!
It has the automation feature that sends an email to your subscriber whenever you publish a new article on your blog. Mobile friendly newsletters, campaigns, rich text editor, photo editing, landing pages, signup forms, exit pop-ups, etc all fall into a free plan.
You can send 12,000 Emails upto 1,000 subscribers per month at free plan. That’s pretty reasonable plan, as a beginner I’m sure that fits great for you.
Once you reach the limit or increase your email subscribers, you can simply upgrade for low-cost plans that start from just $10 a month.
6. Velvet Blue Update URLs
Let’s assume you have changed the URL of your existing blog post. Now the new URL would only work but not the old one. Even the links you have built to it, are gone.
It means that old URLs will not show up and you will lose SEO rankings if you don’t fix 404 errors.
The plugin “Velvet Blue Update URLs” fixes that problem. It updates all URLs on your blog to reflect the new ones automatically. Means, you don’t have to worry about fixing 404 URLs, just install this plugin and let it do the work for you.
7. Easy Table of Contents
Having this plugin on your blog is an easy way to keep your content organized and let readers find it with comfort. It acts as a information directory of your blog post.
Here’s how it looks (as you can see the same at the beginning of this article):
‘Easy Table of Contents’ plugin make it easy for the readers to jump to a particular section that they wish to read. It has features like to set the table position, colors, and what after heading it should appear in your blog post, etc. It also partly help you in the SEO aspect when you done right. For now, just install it and start exploring!
The best part is that it is totally free to use.
According to me, Elementor is the #1. WordPress builder that lets you design great home pages, blog posts and landing pages easily.
Using it’s visual editor, you can drag and drop the features that you want to customize your blog pages beautifully.
Here comes the great part – It is free to get started.
PRO Tip: Once you installed the above Elementor plugin, you can install Elementor add on’s to enhance the functionality and visuals of your pages or posts. Search “Elementor” in your plugins section and see dozens of addons to give a try!
The top undeniable fact in the blogosphere is, none of the bloggers would risk their blog by not having the regular backups of their blogs. Anything could go wrong about your blog: New update, server crash, plugins issue, etc.
UpdraftPlus simply take the backup of your blog to the cloud and restore whenever you want to.
Even with the free version, you can take the frequent backups of all your blog’s plugins, files and databases.
Note: If your hosting provider offer free backup option, you don’t have to install this plugin.
Jetpack is popular multi-featured plugin that was created by WordPress.com and works simply on WordPress.org blogs too.
Here is what you will be able to do with Jetpack plugin:
- Contact form and email subscription form
- Automatic monitoring your blog for any downtime
- Display ‘Related posts’ at the end of the post
- Sitemap creation (However you can use this option from Yoast to avoid confusion)
- Auto publish you new blog posts to your social media accounts (Facebook & Twitter)
- Lazy loading images (to optimize page speed)
- Infinite scroll
- Mobile optimized theme and so much more…
Most of all the above, it protects your blog from online vulnerabilities.
11. Really Simple SSL
Really Simple SSL is a plugin for WordPress Sites developed by Really Simple Plugins. When you install Really Simple SSL, it will automatically the settings of your website and configures to run over https. When you get an SSL certificate, you can install this plugin to enable the SSL certificate with just one click. All the incoming requests will be redirected to https. Your site URL and home URL will be changed to https.
Do you want to monetize your WordPress site with affiliate marketing? Then ThirstyAffiliate is the plugin for you. You can simply install this plugin and add the Affiliates to the Affiliate Links. The long link of the affiliate website will be instantly converted to a short link which will direct the viewer to the affiliate website.
For example, My original affiliate link for the Astra theme is “wpastra.com/?bsf=2072” which is ugly and fishy in the appearance.
But I made the above link look like “bloggingexplained.com/recommends/Astra” with the thirsty affiliate plugin, which is professional.
You can also create groups of affiliate links in different categories. If you want to change the link after a time, you just have to change the URL in the plugin. This will lead to a simultaneous change in all the blogs and content you have added this link to.
When the website is loaded with images it becomes heavier and takes time to load. Even if you have a fast host and a fast website, images will put a brake on them. In order to overcome this obstacle without having to compromise on the quality of the images, Imagify can be used.
Imagify allows you to compress all the images on your website with just one click. It also allows you to restore the images to their earlier version if you want to. It will automatically optimize your images according to the compression level selected by you. This will ultimately lead to a decrease in the load time of your website and hence better conversion rates.
This plugin ensures that all the spam comments are filtered out from your website every day. Akismet has been dealing with spam since 2005 hence it has strong connections with WordPress plugins like Jetpack and Contact Form 7. On average it fights 7.5 million spam pieces every hour. At a very affordable rate, Akismet helps you to protect your website from spam comments. They also give you the option to select a plan in accordance with the size of your business and the number of your websites.
WooCommerce is one of the most vital of all the WordPress plugins. The main idea behind most of the blogs and websites is to monetize them for maximum benefit.
WooCommerce is a plugin that helps you to set up an eCommerce store on your WordPress site. Apart from setting up the store, it also helps you to transact securely on your store, configure shipping options, and many more eCommerce features. It is a fully customizable plugin. You can create a store that is a representation of your product or service even if you are totally unaware of coding.
In case you are tech-savvy or are a developer, WooCommerce allows you scalability and integration with almost any service. You can also learn from an online community of WooCommerce users and a team of Happiness Engineers employed especially to assist you.
Check out best deals and discounts on Woocommerce plugins from here.
And they were not only the best and essential WordPress plugins for new blogs but are also the top recommendations from pro bloggers. Each plugin has its specialty which add extra functionality to your new WordPress blog.
As you keep the blogging pace, more great plugins that come your way to add extra value to your blog.
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