This article will introduce you to the top ten “Must Have Plugins For WordPress!” These Plugins are essential for an optimal WordPress Blog and will make life ten times easier than manipulating html code and scripts yourself.
What is a WordPress Plugin?
A WordPress Plugin is a portion of code or “software” that will “plugin” to your WordPress Blog giving you an added feature or benefit to enhance your Blog. Think of it like an app for your phone that can be installed or uninstalled with the click of a button.
Top 10 Must Have Plugins For WordPress
There are thousands of WordPress Plugins. Here is our list of the top ten essential “Must Have Plugins For WordPress!”
1. Akismet Anti-Spam
This is a must have Plugin for WordPress that will keep your blog safe from spam! When someone comments on your blog or submits a query via your contact form, Akismet Anti-Spam will come to the rescue and stop any unwanted spam from penetrating your blog. This will prevent you from publishing any pernicious content that might slide through the cracks. It allows you to quickly review any spam from comments left on your blog. The spam can be viewed via the “Comments” admin screen in the WordPress workspace.
- It automatically scans all of your comments and checks them for unwanted spam.
- A history is kept of every comment so that you can visually see which ones were flagged as spam and which ones were cleared by the Plugin.
- URL’s are visible in the body of a comment to expose any potentially misleading links.
- As a moderator, you have the ability to see which comments were approved by each user.
- A feature that allows you to block to the worst spam which will save you precious disk space while at the same time making your Blog faster!
2. AWeber for WordPress
AWeber is an email newsletter subscription plugin that you will definitely need to start your email list.
Why do I use AWeber out of the hundreds of email newsletter plugins out there?
Because I learn from the best and Darren Rowse from Problogger has been using AWeber since I can remember. If you don’t follow his blog already go follow it now!
This plugin will help you grow your email list quickly and efficiently! I have tried several others and they all had issues. I had no issues with AWeber. Disregard the ratings, they don’t do it justice.
- Easily embed very nice email newsletter sign up forms and landing pages on your WordPress Blog.
- Combine with Elementor to easily integrate sign up forms. I personally use CoBlocks in place of Elementor.
- It automatically adds subscribers from your blog to your personal AWeber account.
- It features the ability to add anyone who comments on your blog to the AWeber Mailing List.
- Track the performance of your email subscription forms so that you can optimize and convert more readers.
Social Media is more important than ever in this day and age for promoting your blog. A good social media plugin will make your life ten times easier. Blog2Social will connect to all of your social media accounts and then post to all of them simultaneously to save you time and stress.
Automatically Post To These Platforms:
- Google My Business
- Automatically post to 15+ social media platforms simultaneously with the click of a button.
- Customize each individual post with unique descriptions, hashtags and even a specific image to cater specifically to each network.
- Hashtags are automatically generated from the tags in your post.
- The paid version schedules and automatically post to all of your social media accounts using a calendar that you set up.
- Re-post your old posts.
Author: Blog2Social, Adenion
4. Jetpack by WordPress.com
Jetpack is one of the most popular and powerful plugins that will supercharge your blog. It is made by the experts at WordPress.com and provides design tools, marketing, performance and security for your site. It boasts a plethora of features and options.
The focus of this plugin is to protect your site from threats 24/7 so that you can focus on writing content for your blog.
- Twenty four hour automatic security to protect your site from malware and spam with free features such as brute force protection and downtime / uptime monitoring.
- Automatically back up your blog in real time with one click restore. It includes unlimited storage for all of your back ups.
- Speeds up your site by using image cdn which serves images and other static files from their servers to enhance your load times.
- Uses lazy load images to make your page load faster by delaying the loading of images until your reader scrolls down.
- Ad free and unlimited high speed video hosting.
- A customizable and powerful search tool for visitors to find exactly what they need.
- My favorite feature: Analytics and statistics to see where your traffic is coming from.
- Automatically post to LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.
- Collect payments or donations from visitors with an easy Paypal and Stripe integration.
- Automatically creates an XML sitemap and helps build your traffic with search engine tools for Bing, Facebook, Google and Twitter.
- Provides a ton of design tools to help you customize your site without any coding.
5. Poll, Survey, Form & Quiz Maker by OpinionStage
Getting your readers involved is an important part of retaining visitors on your WordPress Blog. You want to keep your audience engaged and coming back for more on a regular basis. Polling your audience will give you a good idea of what type of information they are looking for.
OpinionStage is a four in one plugin that allows you to setup Forms, Polls, Surveys and Quizzes. My daughter setup her first Personality Quiz using this plugin on our new dog blog Shepherds’ Bone. You can see it in action here.
- Create polls, surveys and quizzes quick and easily from scratch or using over one hundred free templates.
- Enhance your polls, surveys and quizzes with images and videos.
- Change the overall appearance by picking different color themes, fonts and sizes. Completely match the design of your blog with the CSS override feature.
- Add your blog’s logo to the poll, survey or quiz.
- Display real time results for your readers.
- View detailed analytics for surveys and quizzes with results along with performance tables and graphs.
- Export your data to a csv/xls file.
- Integrate them with your social media accounts.
- Notify your readers via email with survey and quiz submissions.
- Add a call to action at the end of your survey or quiz.
- Create a personality quiz that uses branch logic which allows you to determine the next question based on their answer to the previous question.
- Harmonize with your marketing automation software.
- Embed into a single page or post on your blog or place in a sidebar.
- Popup polls, surveys or quizzes on entry or exit.
- Reactive design that will optimize based on device type whether it is desktop, mobile or tablet.
6. Sucuri Security
This is a simple and effective security plugin that made our list of “Must Have Plugins For WordPress.” It adds an additional layer of security to the Jetpack plugin we mentioned earlier in the post. Keeping your site safe and secure should be number one on your priority list.
This plugin makes it quick and easy to lock down your site, keeping it safe from any unwanted attackers. It is completely free for all WordPress users and offers a nice set of features to enhance your site’s security. My favorite part about this plugin is that the dashboard gives you a nice overall view of the current health of your site.
- Audits your security activity.
- Monitors the integrity of your files.
- Remotely scans for malware.
- Monitors for any blacklist.
- Hardens your security effectively.
- Take action with post hack security options.
- Notifies you of a security breach.
- Premium version has a website firewall.
Author: Sucuri Inc.
7. WP Cloudflare Super Page Cache
This is another crucial plugin on my list of “Must Have Plugins For WordPress.” Cloudflare is a content delivery network (CDN) that optimizes the speed, security and performance of your blog. I would highly recommend this plugin to increase the load times of your blog’s pages.
What is a page load time?
A page load time is the length of time it takes your blog’s page to load in someones browser. This is very important in this day and age. People want information fast and you don’t want to turn them off with a slow loading website.
Cloudflare works by caching copies of your blog pages. It will then deliver those pages of your blog to your reader using multiple servers across various locations. This therefore speeds up your site because the content doesn’t have to travel as far.
- Quickly speed up the response time of your blog by joining Cloudflare, connecting your account to WordPress and enabling Super Page Cache.
- View page load times to compare the speed of your site before and after Cloudflare.
- Automatically purge the page cache every time you update your blog.
- Include or exclude dynamic content or pages you want or don’t want cached.
- Enable the preloader and automatically preload pages that you have purged.
- Download logs and import or export config files.
- Easily purge the entire cache with the click of a button at the top of your WordPress workspace.
Author: Salvatore Fresta
8. Yoast SEO
Yoast SEO is the number one SEO plugin for WordPress and has helped millions of sites increase their search engine rankings since 2008. That is why it made our list of “Must Have Plugins For WordPress.” Their mission at “Team Yoast” is to be SEO for Everyone. This plugin is running on wide range of websites including some of the most popular sites in the world.
The free version comes with everything needed to run your blog’s search engine optimization. Upgrade to the paid version if you need more advanced tools and functionality.
Why is this my favorite plugin?
I love this plugin because it tells me exactly what I need to do to every page or post on my blog to optimize it for the search engines. It is very simple to use. Every time you write a new blog page or post, you can scroll down and see a list of items that need to be addressed. It will show you a green dot for items that are SEO ready and a red dot for items that need to be fixed. It does this for readability and SEO. Once you have dealt with all of the issues Yoast SEO will give you a green smiley face letting you know that it is properly optimized and ready for the web.
This plugin will give you an advantage over your competitors allowing you to rank higher.
Free Features Include:
- Automatic technical search engine optimization improvements such as canonical URLs and meta tags.
- Advanced XML sitemaps which provide search engines such as google an easy way to crawl and understand your site structure.
- Templating for your meta and title descriptions for better and consistent branding in the search results.
- The option of changing your Schema.org settings for more rich results in the search engines.
- Control the “breadcrumbs” on your blog so that readers and search engines know where your pages are.
- Innovative data managing giving you a quicker loading website.
- Analyzes SEO using a main focus keyphrase that you assign.
- Analyzes the readability of your page making it easy for visitors to read and understand.
- Supports multiple languages.
- Provides you with a Google preview to see exactly what your result will look like in the search results.
- Show your FAQ and How To content directly in the search results using state of the art Schema blocks.
- Fine tunes the engine of your WordPress blog so that you can focus on the important part of writing good content.
- The ability to label a post “cornerstone” content so the search engines know that it is of more importance.
- Translates your blog’s content into structured data when it can to help the search engines understand your site better.
- Manage your blog’s team by giving different colleagues special access to different sections of the Yoast SEO plugin.
Paid Features Include:
- Enhance the structure of your content with internal linking blocks such as a related links block, table of contents block, siblings block or subpages block.
- Preview the look of your content on social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.
- An insights tool that will keep your writing focused on the keyphrase.
- The ability to optimize your content for related keyphrases and synonyms.
- Keep your content natural by optimizing for different word forms.
- Automatically suggests other blog posts on your site to link to.
- A filter for “orphaned content” to detect post on your blog that don’t have any internal linking.
- Automatically creates redirects for your pages or posts when a URL changes or a page or post is deleted. Provides tools to create and manage your own.
Author: Team Yoast
Thanks for checking out my list of “Must Have Plugins For WordPress!”
WordPress plugins are great for implementing functions and tools that may otherwise require the knowledge of coding. You can add several useful features to your new blog using this list of “Must Have Plugins For WordPress!”
That being said, you don’t want to overload and bog down your blog with too many plugins. Only install and activate what is necessary for the mission of your blog. Be sure to weigh the functionality of the WordPress plugin with your page load times. You want to keep your blog proficient and speedy for your readers.
Please comment below and let us know what you think!
Do you have a cool WordPress plugin that you would like to share? Let us know and maybe we can add it to our next list of “Must Have Plugins For WordPress!”