Let’s talk about WordPress plugins (if you don’t know what they are, don’t worry as I’ll explain it later on).
There are thousands of plugins available for download (56,207 to be exact) so it can be so confusing and overwhelming deciding which ones to download.
Which ones do I really need? Which ones are good? And similar questions might be going around your head.
That’s why I’m here today! To talk about them and tell you which plugins you actually need on your blog (and which ones you should pass on).
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What are WordPress plugins?
First things first, what are actually plugins?
They are pieces of software that contain certain functions you can add on a WordPress website.
They help run your website and make it more user-friendly.
They are also used for adding some special features to your website.
Something you should know, before adding any plugins to your website, is that they slow down your website.
The more plugins you have the slower your website is (especially if they are bad ones).
That’s why you want to, only, install plugins you absolutely need on your website.
Don’t go crazy and install all these unnecessary plugins.
Before you install a plugin ask yourself if you REALLY need it or you just want to for the convenience or aesthetic.
Also, make sure to do some research before installing a plugin to make sure it’s actually good as there are so many available plugins and some of them are just bad.
Anyone can make a plugin and add it to WordPress.
Where are plugins available?
Plugins are available on WordPress.com and WordPress.org websites.
The difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org is that .com is a free blogging platform with very limited options (plugins aren’t a part of the free plan) while .org is an open source software used to create self-hosted websites.
I would recommend starting a self-hosted website from the beginning as it gives you so much more freedom and options.
YOU own your website, nobody else.
Your website is your space on the internet where you can do whatever you want, make it look exactly how you want it to look, install whatever plugin you want and so much more!
You can start your own website for only $3.95 a month by clicking here which is super affordable!
I have a full tutorial on how to start a blog you can check out where I take you through every single step of starting a blog, from choosing a blog name to setting up WordPress.
Everything you need in one place!
How do I install plugins?
Installing a plugin on your website is super simple and it only takes a few seconds.
On your left menu click on plugins > add new > and enter a keyword or a plugin name in the search box.
When you click enter you’ll get a list of lots of different plugins. Just look through the list and pick the one you want to install and click “install now”!
Wait a few seconds for the plugin to get installed, when it’s done the button will turn red and it will say activate.
Just click on that button to activate the plugin.
For some plugins, you’ll be taken to a new page where you have to enter some information and set up your settings.
And for others, you just install them and that’s it.
It all depends on what the plugin is for.
WordPress plugins you need on your blog
Now that you know what plugins are and how to install them, are you read to learn which ones you actually need on your blog’
The first, and one of the most important, plugins you should install is a security plugin.
The one I use and recommend is Wordfence security which is a free security plugin.
Wordfence is a firewall and malware scan plugin which helps protect your website from attacks.
The next plugin I want to talk about is WP Rocket.
WP Rocket is a cashing plugin.
What does caching mean? …you might be thinking.
Essentially, what caching does, it saves a copy of your website so that when someone visits your website that latest saved copy is shown.
What does that mean?
It basically means that your website loads a lot faster. Website speed is incredibly important, both for user experience and SEO.
WP Rocket Features
- page cashing
- cache preloading
- browser cashing
- database optimization
- and much more
>> Click here to get WP Rocket. <<
Now let’s talk about backing up your blog, another incredibly important thing.
The plugin I use (and recommend) for backup is UpdraftPlus
It’s a free plugin that’s super easy to set up.
Once you install the plugin you can choose where to store the backups of your website. You can choose between Dropbox, Google Drive, Amazon s3 and more.
Now, let’s talk about something very annoying. And that’s spam comments.
Spam comments are everywhere, blogs, social media, everywhere and it’s impossible to avoid them.
Luckily, there are plugins that can help you fight those annoying spammers.
The one I use is Antispam Bee and I’d highly recommend it.
It’s free and gets the job done, what more can you ask for?
Let’s talk about Yoast SEO now.
Yoast SEO is, as the title suggests, an SEO plugin that helps you optimize your website for search engines.
- webmaster tools verification for Baidu, Google, Bing and Yandex
- you can edit how your website will look in search results
- you can easily confirm your website with Pinterest through Yoast SEO
- you can optimize every post and page for SEO with the focus keyphrase, edit how it will appear in search results
- SEO analysis for every page and post with suggestions for improvement
Something I need to point out about Yoast SEO (or any other SEO plugin) is that it is just a tool.
Installing the plugin (or having all green lights) doesn’t mean your post will appear on the first page of Google.
>> Click here to get Yoast SEO. <<
The next very helpful and important plugin I want to talk about is ShortPixel
ShortPixel is an image optimization and compression plugin which reduces the size of your images (without ruining the quality) when you upload them to WordPress.
The size of your photos can have a huge impact on your speed, that’s why it’s so important to do as much as you can with your photos.
ShortPixel is a great plugin and it makes a huge difference but it’s also important to optimize your photos BEFORE you upload them to WordPress.
Start by saving your images as JPG not PNG and resizing them to the size you actually need for your blog. If your post area is 1000 px wide, you don’t need a photo that’s 2000 px, do you?!
>> Click here to get ShortPixel. <<
Grow Social Pro
Now let’s talk about social media sharing buttons.
You want to encourage people to share your posts and make it easy for them to do so. That’s why it’s so important to have good sharing buttons.
In my opinion the best sharing plugin is Grow by Mediavine which makes sharing so easy.
There is also a paid version, Grow social pro, which is the one I have and recommend.
With the pro version, you get lots of extra Pinterest features like writing your pin description, choosing a photo that will be pinned when some clicks to share your post on Pinterest, disabling pinning some photos and lots of other things.
Elementor is a page builder you can use to create amazing landing pages, your homepage, resources page and any other page you want to use it for.
It’s so easy and simple to use.
You just go to any post or page you want to edit and click “Edit with Elementor” and it will take you to an Elementor editor (look at the screenshot below to see how the editor looks like).
There you can build your own page.
Just drag and drop any element where you want it to go and customize it how you want with different colours and effects.
If you don’t want to build your own page you can use one of their FREE templates and then just customize it to match your brand.
- drag and drop editor
- OVER 300 templates
- OVER 90 different widgets (from images to buttons to testimonials to progress bars and so much more)
- it’s responsive for all devices (you can check how it will look on all devices while editing)
- lots of shortcuts to make editing faster
- and so much more
You can also subscribe to one of their super affordable plans where you get even more templates and widgets, and lots of extra features.
>> Click here to get Elementor. <<
Having a contact for on your blog is a great way to make it easier for people to get in touch with you.
There are many different form plugins available but the one I recommend is WPForms as it’s free and super easy to use.
To create a form just click on WPForms in your left menu and then click create a new one.
You’ll be taken to a WPForms builder where you can create your form in just a few minutes with their drag and drop elements.
There are free templates you can use or create your own from scratch.
- drag and drop form builder
- free templates
- it’s responsive
WPForms also has paid versions that have lots more features like PayPal, MailChimp, surveys and polls, chat form and so much more!
So if you need something more than just a regular contact for, I’d recommend checking out their paid versions.
>> Click here to get WPForms. <<
And lastly, you need a cookie notice plugin on your website.
>> Click here to get Cookie Notice. <<
Final words on the best WordPress plugins for bloggers
There you have it, ladies and gentlemen!
These are the only WordPress plugins you actually need on your blog.
Everything else isn’t a necessity.