Last Updated on May 13, 2020 by Henry Ibeleme
If you’re new to blogging, you are probably wondering what plugins are and what they do. There are numerous top WordPress plugins out there, in their thousands. But it can be an overwhelming experience when you have thousands of options. If that is your dilemma, then you are not alone. When I started, I struggled when it comes to making a choice based on importance. In this article, I am going to guide you on the must-have Top WordPress Plugins for your blog.
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Every time I set up a blog, one of the first WordPress plugins I always install is Jetpack. It is a multi-purpose plugin that gets a lot of things done. You can monitor your stats, also tweak the performance of your blog through its settings sections. It comes with a “related post” feature, a social sharing button, and much more. WordPress corporation, with millions of other WordPress users, endorses this plugin. No doubt, this plugin deserves the top spot on this list article.
It is free to use, although you can upgrade to get premium features. One fantastic feature with this plugin is its backup feature and brute force attack protection. Furthermore, you can monitor your blog’s downtime and much more. Jetpack is my number one plugin, and the reason is quite evident. If you’re yet to install this plugin, you’re missing a bunch of goodies.
Another top WordPress plugin that you probably shouldn’t joke with is the Yoast SEO Plugin. As a new blogger, you must start optimizing your blogpost right from the beginning. I see newbies make the mistake of neglecting SEO, only to pick up interest when it is almost late. If I’m to leave you with one piece of advice, it is to engage with SEO right from the beginning. Plugins like Yoast SEO plugin will ensure you do your on-page SEO excellently.
This plugin has a paid version, which offers more features and add-ons. But if you don’t have an extra buck to spend, you will be quite satisfied with the free version. With Yoast, you can significantly increase your blog’s traffic. It helps you to add meta tags, create sitemaps, and even link your site to Google Search Console.
Another top WordPress plugin that you must not overlook is the Shared Counts. It tends to help when it comes to social shares and engagement. When someone finishes devouring your fantastic content and wants to share, it shouldn’t be a hard nut to crack. By having this plugin, you end up improving traffic and engagement on your blog.
Aside from that, this plugin also helps to show social proof, which tends to compel new users to join the pack. Although there are numerous social sharing plugins out there, this one beats them in terms of simplicity and performance.
I use SharedCount on almost all my blogs, and the performance is excellent. It is one of the best plugins for far, for both beginners and developers alike.
On 13th January 2018, my blog suffered an attack that led to lots of data lost. Imagine losing years of hard work in a jiffy. Do you know what saved me? UpdraftPlus. I use this plugin to backup my blog once every week. When the attack happened, I was able to restore everything to normal. It backed up my images, posts, plugins, themes, everything!
With this plugin, you don’t need to manually backup. You can schedule your backup daily, weekly, or perhaps monthly. When you select your ideal schedule, the plugin will prompt you to choose a remote location like Dropbox, Google Drive, email, FTP, etc. for storage.
Another plugin you can use instead of this is BackupBuddy and VaultPress. However, I see many newbies neglect them since it isn’t free.
At this age, you don’t need to have a programming background to design a blog or landing page. With plugins like Beaver Builder, you will be able to customize the entire appearance of your blog without typing a single line of code. If you’re a business and you want to create landing pages for your services or products, this plugin would help immensely in that regard.
Another alternate plugin to this is the Divi Page Builder and Elementor. To access more features, you will have to upgrade to the pro version or download extra add-on plugins from the WordPress plugin directory.
When I create a WordPress blog, WordFence is among the first plugins I usually install for security purposes. With the proliferation of cyber-attacks and website hacks in 2018, website security has become an aspect you must not overlook. It offers both a free and paid version. But if you don’t have some bucks to spend, the free version would serve you perfectly without issues. Below are some of the features this plugin offers, which makes it one of the best top security plugins on WordPress:
- WordPress core file integrity verification and repair
- Malware, virus and backdoor scanning
- A firewall that blocks potential hackers backlist IP or blocking, blocking fake Google crawlers, etc.
- Email alerts and warnings about security problems
- Brutal force hacking protection, and much more.
As a blogger, this security plugin is something you shouldn’t joke with, for the sake of your blogging career.
There is nothing visitors hate more than a sluggish blog that takes forever to load. To make your blog fast as lightning, then you need to install this incredible plugin. You can quickly increase your blog’s baseline speed without issues.
How this plugin works is mind-blowing. It merely generates static HTML files from your dynamic WordPress site and serves it to visitors, instead of processing heavy and slow PHP scripts. By doing so, your blog would be able to load fast for smooth user experience.
It is an entirely free plugin that you can use on your blog. Setting up this plugin isn’t technical either, as you just have to tick the recommended features.
8. WP Smush
In your quest to have a fast-lightening WordPress blog, you must not fail to compress and optimize your images. Nothing slows down your blog, more than oversized photos, and trust me; it is often an eyesore. Gladly, you can solve that quickly by installing WP Smush.
Smush is one of the top WordPress plugins that I don’t joke with, judging by how immensely it works to keep my images optimized and resized without losing its quality.
Another good news is, it is entirely free to use. Perhaps all the plugin developers need from you is a 5-star rating.
This plugin deserves to be on the same spot with Jetpack. But well, there is no harm ranking it here as one of my best top WordPress plugins. If you run a blog intending to build a community, then you must take proactive measures against spammers.
Allowing spam in your comment section tends to destroy your blog’s credibility and worth. Instead of staying online all-day filtering comments, this plugin is up to the task. Setting up the Akismet Anti-Spam plugin is very easy. The only thing you need is a WordPress account, and you’re good to go.
With Akismet, you can sleep peacefully at night, knowing there is a guard fighting against spammers. Pretty cool, right?
10. Contact Form 7
It is almost like a habit as I always install this plugin in all my client’s blogs. What I love about this plugin is the ability to set up a contact form on your contact page easily. It is pretty easy to do. With this great plugin, you can seamlessly create and manage multiple contact forms, even use reCaptcha verification for fighting spammers.
Contact Form 7 is one of the top WordPress plugins that I believe you shouldn’t joke with as a serious blogger. It serves as a middleman between you and your blog readers. It makes it easy for your readers to contact you without having to head over to their email provider.
There are thousands of WordPress plugins out there. You simply have to install ones that have the functionalities and features you need. By installing only the ones you need, you will be able to blog seamlessly without issues. What about How To Install A WordPress Plugin? What are your favorite plugins?