Essential Plugins for WordPress Blog
It is without a doubt that WordPress is the majority of the world’s preferred content management system. One good thing about WordPress is the fact that a lot of features come free, just I stated in my previous post. One of these free features is plugins. The customization you can achieve with plugins is endless. Hence the need to know the essential plugins for WordPress blog. But before I delve into that, what is a plugin?.
A plugin is basically a component that adds a specific feature or customization to an already existing software. Hence you can use a plugin to either add or correct a function on your WordPress blog. There are several essential plugins for WordPress Blog.
The WordPress plugin directory boasts of over 53,000 essential plugins for your WordPress blog. In this post, just like the title denotes, I will be sharing the most essential plugins for WordPress blog and I will be stating reasons why you need them for the efficient running of your blog. The best part, all the plugins I am going to share in this post are free but highly functional. So without further Ado, let’s get down to it.
Top Free Essential plugins for WordPress Blog
WordPress does not provide security for self-hosted sites and so it’s paramount that you set up your site’s security immediately to prevent bots and hackers from tampering with your site. Security plugins include Anti-spam, Anti-hack, etc. The following plugins are highly recommended WordPress security plugins
WORD FENCE: This is one of the most popular security plugins and it comes with several great features just like pro plugins.
- Two-factor authentication
- blocks malware
- hides IP address
- blocks malicious login attempts
- prevent attackers in real time
AKISMET ANTI-SPAM: This plugin does a wonderful job of keeping spammers at bay. It determines which links in comments are spam links and which ones are not. Akismet goes ahead to prevent these spam comments from being published. However, It is advice-able to go through the comments marked as spam comments once in a while because I noticed some genuine comments were marked off as spam comments as well. Millions of WordPress users use Akismet and it has several great reviews.
SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION PLUGINS
These plugins help to enhance your search engine optimization by providing guidelines that help to improve your SEO.
WORDPRESS SEO BY YOAST: This plugin is one of the best SEO plugins. It clinched this title effortlessly with its great features.
- provide site XML maps
- easy search engine submission
- reviews post readability
- guides author on SEO while writing
- helps determine the strength of your post SEO
It goes on and on. Yoast on a scale of 1-10 is 9. It is free and available for upgrades to Premium service.
ALL IN ONE SEO PACK: This plugin has been there for ages and has tons of reviews on the WordPress plugin directory. Developed by Micheal Tobert and it has over 3 million active installations. All in one SEO pack comes with ad-dons that help to enable the best Seo optimization for your blog. It is without a doubt one of the most essential plugins for word press blog.
SITE BACKUP AND OPTIMIZATION PLUGINS
Every blogger’s constant prayer is to never wake up to find out his/her blog has been hacked or files have been lost. The essence of a backup is to ensure all your months or years of hard work stays safe. Optimization plugins, on the other hand, serve to ensure that your site is free from thrash and hence fast. So if your site is slow, one of the factors might be it has not been optimized.
UPDRAFT PLUS BACKUP: I am personally in love with this plugin. At 6 pm every-day, it sends a backup notification to my mail. It is one of the many thrills that make me feel like a “professional blogger”. Updraft is very efficient at storing your sites data. It backs up your post, comments and all data on your web while you sit back and sip a cold glass of wine.
WP OPTIMIZE: This plugin does a great job at optimizing your site for proper functionality. With just one click, it clears all unnecessary data and leaves your blog feeling fresh and faster.
W3 TOTAL CACHE: This plugin just as the name implies, clears all cache on your site. However it’s features go way beyond just caching. This plugin helps to increase page load time as it clears database, browser, object cache, etc.
CONTACT FORM AND MAIL LIST BUILDING PLUGINS
A contact form is an easier and faster way to be contacted on your blog. A contact form is usually very handy in your contact me or about me page. A mail list builder is a plugin that helps to collect emails and build your subscriber list. This method is way better than the follow me on WordPress option because with a mail list builder you alone wield the power over your subscribers.
CONTACT FORM 7: This plugin is a lightweight contact form plugin with thousand of active installations. I use this and strongly recommend it.
SUMO ME: Rated as one of the best free mail list building plugins, Sumo Me is nothing short of awesome.
- Easy to design/ Allow colour customization
- integrates with most email providers
- several appearance options e.g popover, sidebar etc.
- integrates with various email marketing softwares
MAIL CHIMP: This is another amazing email list builder. I highly recommend Mail chimp. It’s integration is top notch and it allows more customization and behavior settings. You can build a highly convertible list with mail chimp and i love that it allows in-post form settings.
both sumo me and mail chimp are great for list building, please tell us which you prefer and why so in the comment section.
SOCIAL SHARING/BUTTON ADDER PLUGINS
There are several social sharing plugins in the WordPress directory and most of them are premium plugins. However the sharing option in jet pack works just fine. Also, the simple share button adder plugin is great as well.
other essential plugins for WordPress blogs includes Inline related posts plugin, google analytics for WordPress and so many more.
N.B Too many plugins can slow down your site, so ensure you only leave relevant plugins. Always update your plugins to get the best out of them and also see new features or fixes.
Did i miss out on some of your favourites? then share with us in the comment section.
until next week, blog on. GIFT COLLINS