When you start your WordPress blog, it is easy to follow step-by-step WordPress installation and choose the blog theme that you like. When it comes to installing essential WordPress plugins, it is a more difficult decision. WordPress Plugins are essential to add new functionality to your blog that enhances readers’ experience. However, excessive plugins might slow down your website and affect SEO ranking of your site. We do our research to save tons of your time and recommend 8 best and essential WordPress plugins for you.
Before choosing the right WordPress plugins for your blog, you need to understand what kind of blogs you are making, how are you going to expand the reach of your blogs to more people and what functions are necessary for your blogs. In general, there are 8 best and essential WordPress plugins that are suitable for most of the websites.
- Yoast SEO – Google Search Engine Optimization
- Jetpack – Website Security, Performance and Site Management
- EWWW Image Optimizer – Image Optimizer
- WP Super Cache – Caching to Lower Load Time
- Akismet – Anti-Spam
- UpdraftPlus – WordPress Backup
- YARPP – Related Posts List
- AddToAny Share Buttons – Sharing Contents to Social Media Networks
1. Yoast SEO
Once you start blogging, you want your blogs to reach as many readers as possible, then you need a good search engine optimization. Yoast SEO helps millions of websites worldwide to rank higher in search engines, they have more than 5 millions active installations and is regarded as the #1 SEO WordPress plugin.
Yoast SEO is famous for its readability analysis and its SEO analysis. The readability analysis makes sure that you are writing easy-to-digest, engaging content for both visitors and search engines. SEO analysis optimize your keywords and related keyphrase. Yoast SEO offers snippet preview that shows how your post or page will look like in the search results, both on desktop and mobile.
- Title and meta description for better snippets in the search results.
- Keyword optimization for synonyms and related keywords.
- XML Sitemaps functionality at the push of a button.
- Full control over your site’s breadcrumbs.
- Avoid duplicate content by automatically setting canonical URLs.
Jetpack provides security, performance, and site management to your site and is one of the most popular WordPress plugins with over 3 million active installations. If you want all the most important features in a single plugin, like website stats, security, marketing, site performance and so on, then Jetpack is the right choice for you.
Jetpack’s security features include brute-force attack protection, malware scanning, unauthorized logins blocking and spam filtering. It also provides site accelerator tools to optimize your images and static files like CSS and JavasScript and lazy load images for a faster mobile experience. Jetpack allows you to manage your site effortlessly with advanced site stats and analytics to understand your visitors and offer you an advertising program that includes the best of AdSense, Facebook Ads, AOL, Amazon, Google AdX, and Yahoo.
- Security features like spam filtering, malware scanning, and brute force attack protection.
- Backup your site and email notification of website downtime.
- Optimize your images and static files.
- Lazy load your images for faster mobile experience.
- Advanced site stats and analytics to understand your visitors.
- SEO tools for Google, Bing, Twitter, Facebook, and WordPress.com to maximize your reach.
3. EWWW Image Optimizer
EWWW Image Optimizer will increase your page speed by way of image optimization. It is a popular image optimizing tool with over 800,000 active installations. EWWW offers JPG, PNG, GIF and PDF optimization. They offer the options for both lossy and lossless compression. Increased page speed can result in better search engine rankings. The main advantage of EWWW is that it has no limit on file sizes and number of images uploaded.
EWWW optimizes all your images using the Bulk Scanner. This includes the Media Library, your theme, and a few pre-configured folders. All optimized images will not be re-optimized unless they are modified. On the Bulk Optimize page you can view a list of already optimized images.
- No speed limits and unlimited file size.
- Best compression/quality ratio with lossy options for JPG, PNG, and PDF files.
- Optimize all images on your site, not just Media Library.
- Free image backups store your original images for 30 days.
4. WP Super Cache
WP Super Cache helps with the load time of your WordPress blog and delivers contents to your readers faster. This WordPress plugin generates static html files from your dynamic WordPress blog which servers 99% of your visitors. One cached file can be served thousands of times.
WP Super Cache is a popular free caching plugin for WordPress users with more than 2 million active installations. WP Super Cache provides 3 ways of caching – Expert, Simple and WP-Cache. If you are not a technical expert in PHP files, then use simple mode. It’s easy to set up and very fast.
- Easy to use for non-technical users.
- Work nicely with CDN and easy to set up.
- Compress pages that meet requirement of Google Page Speed tool.
- Cache rebuild to serve a supercache file to anonymous users.
Your blog website might receive spam to your comments and contact form. Comments and contact form allows you to engage with visitors, build a community and promote brands, so they are valuable marketing tools to your blog. However, it is very troublesome to examine all your comments and contact submission manually on a daily basis.
Akismet automates the anti-spam process and check against global database of spam to prevent your site from publishing malicious content. It is designed to stop spam from clogging up the comment function on your site. When the spam is identified, they are stored in the status history so that you can view the spammed or unspammed comments.
- Checks all comments automatically to filter out the spam.
- Status history to show spammed or unspammed comments easily.
- URLs are shown in the comment body to reveal hidden or misleading links.
- Moderators can view the number of approved comments for each user.
UpdraftPlus is the most popular scheduled backup WordPress plugin with over 3 million active installations. It simplifies backups and restoration of your site content with a single click. Your website may be hacked or invaded by malware, sometimes you may have problems with the updates, backing up your site is essential.
With the popularity of cloud services, UpdraftPlus enables you to back up your content to multiple cloud providers including Dropbox, Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, Amazon S3 (or compatible), UpdraftVault, and Rackspace Cloud. It also allows automatic scheduled backup for your content to multiple remote destinations.
- Backups and restores with a single click.
- Allow setting up automatic backup schedules.
- Enables backup to multiple cloud providers.
- Faster processing as using up fewer server resources.
- Easily duplicate or migrate websites.
Yet Another Related Post Plugin (YARPP) is a WordPress plugin that creates a related posts list at the end of each of your posts automatically to encourage visitors to continue browsing your site. It displays pages, posts, and custom post types related to the current entry. When visitors read more relevant content on your site, it helps Google to rank your site.
YARPP is the most popular and widely used Related Posts WordPress plugin with more than 100,000 active installations. It has many customization options to display your posts. It also provides the option to show the articles at the bottom of the page or in the sidebar.
- Related posts, pages, and custom post types.
- Display related posts in RSS feeds.
- Thumbnail or list view.
- Templates to give you advanced control on how your results are displayed.
- An advanced and versatile algorithm: Using a customizable algorithm considering post titles, content, tags, categories, and custom taxonomies, YARPP finds related content from across your site.
8. AddToAny Shared Buttons
AddToAny Share Buttons is a social media WordPress plugin that increases traffic & engagement by helping people share your posts and pages to social media networks include Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, WhatsApp, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Reddit, WeChat, and over 100 more sharing and social media sites & apps. It is the most popular social media sharing plugin with over 500,000 active installations.
AddToAny offers many social media platforms, floating and standard social sharing bars, and a universal sharing menu. It also has a responsive design that is compatible with devices of any sizes. It can show social share count without creating an account and offers Google Analytics integration.
- Standard share button or customizable, vertical & horizontal floating share buttons
- Google Analytics integration for sharing analytics
- WordPress optimized
- Mobile optimized and Retina ready
WordPress supports thousands of plugins to add new functionality to your site. This is the reason why WordPress is so popular for bloggers, small businesses and even large corporations. We have recommended 8 best and essential WordPress plugins for your blogs, but there a lot more plugins that can fit your blog requirements.
Before choosing and installing the plugins, make sure you have already selected the right web hosting provider, installed WordPress on your site, and selected a SEO optimized WordPress theme. Here are some related articles that give you advice to make your journey as a blogger easy and enjoyable.
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