More and more people each year are starting to create blogs online, and still to this day WordPress is considered the most popular platform for helping people do just this.
In a post I wrote earlier about WordPress, I mentioned one of the main reasons people like using it so much is the fact it comes with thousands of plugins to help you make and shape your blog however you like.
The problem though is with literally thousands of plugins to choose from, many people find it hard to know which ones are worth using and which ones aren’t.
Therefore within this post I want show you 8 of the top WordPress plugins for your blog that I believe you should be using from the very get go.
Before I do though, I want to mention that these aren’t the ONLY ones you have to use (as I’m sure you’ll find a few plugins that you’ll want to try out further down the road) — but I do believe these 8 plugins will help you build a solid foundation for your blog when your just starting out.
So with that said, let’s get to the fun part and see what these 8 plugins are.
1. Akismet (Anti-Spam)
This is a simple plugin that checks all the comments coming into your site, then removes any certain ones they consider would be spam.
This will help save you a ton of time, plus a headache from having to filter through what could be hundreds of potentially fake comments. So now every time you log in, you’ll have nothing but “real” people’s comments to answer too.
2. Fancier Author Box
This is a great plugin, where you the author can write a short description about yourself. This specific plugin lets you customize it in a lot of certain ways like changing the color, adding social buttons, and where you want your box to display.
This is a great way for people to get to know you better, and if you have multiple people writing content on your blog, this can come in quite handy so each one can say a little bit about themselves.
Also it just looks a lot better than some of the other boring author boxes.
3. All In One SEO Pack
If you don’t plan on optimizing your blog for organic traffic, then you’re missing out big time! It has been calculated that over 50% of ALL traffic online comes from organic searches.
So having a plugin made for SEO is VERY important — and the All In One SEO Pack plugin does an excellent job at this.
It supports features like XML sitemaps, Google Anaylytics, Google Amp, and automatically notifies the search engines when there are changes made to your site.
And if you’re’re a complete beginner, you can install it and be ready to go without the need of instructions — or if you’re an advanced user you can adjust the settings on everything to how you see fit.
4. Social Media Share Buttons & Social Sharing Icons
This free plugin will let you add share icons onto your blog like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and YouTube.
It will let you pick from 16 different designs, have the option to make them stick or float, adds counts to your buttons, and is GDPR Compliant.
By using this plugin, you can easily increase your blogs reach on all the major social networks online — thus potentially giving you thousands of more visitors a month (especially if one of your post goes viral).
5.WP GDPR Compliance
This is a pretty new addition to my list, because as of May 24, 2018, the EU created a law for their people that will help protect their data and privacy called the General Data Protection Regulation or (GDPR).
So even if you’re not living in the EU, if you create a blog you are essentially going to get traffic from all around the world (including EU). Therefore you’ll want to make sure your blog complies with the GDPR rules and regulations.
This simple plugin will help assist your website to make sure it’s GDPR approved.
6. Pretty Links
If you’ve ever created an affiliate link before, then you know how long and confusing they are right?
Well with pretty links you can shorten your link to make it clean and simple without the use of an online shortening service like bit.ly. This comes in handy since social media sites and search engines don’t like you using just plain affiliate links either.
Another main advantage of pretty links is you never have to change where your link is going — but simply change the url within it’s dashboard. And with all your links right there together, this makes it very easy and useful to manage all your affiliate links in one spot.
While there’s also a pro version you can buy, I personally see no reason to use it as the free version works just fine.
7. Contact Form 7
This is a simple and effective plugin that lets you create a wide variety of different contact forms on your site.
The biggest advantage to this plugin is that you won’t have to make your email public, which could possibly lead to you getting thousands of spammy emails.
To use Contact Form 7, all you have to do is simply activate it, fill in your basic info, then copy the code onto your site. There’s no reason to have to use complicated CSS or HTML code what so ever.
8. EWWW Image Optimizer
This plugin will optimize all your images, allowing your overall website to speed up. This is especially important as search engines like Google and Yahoo like sites that are able to load fast.
Also this will give your users an overall better experience by not having to wait around for your images to load — which will result in your conversions going up as well.
And As One Final Tip, Only Download Plugins You Absolutely Need
As I said earlier, while these 8 plugins I just shared with you will help get your blog going in the right direction — I’m sure there will be other plugins you will want to experiment and try out along the way.
And that’s totally fine….
However what you don’t want to get into the habit of downloading plugins just because you think they are cool, or will help make your website look better.
Because at the end of the day, people are coming to your site for help, and they will be getting that through your content. So any plugin that makes you reader distracted (say for example a slider bar) — can possibly make them lose focus and leave your site.
On top of that, by having too many plugins you can actually slow down your websites speed, which in return could hurt your SEO rankings and overall website performance in general.
So again, keep things simple, install plugins you only need, and you’ll be just fine. 🙂
WordPress plugins are simply one of the easiest and fastest ways to shape your website to do all sorts of cool things without the need of some advance coding. Plugins can help you do things like…
- Back up your website
- optimize your website for the search engines
- compress your images so they don’t take up as much space
- And easily share your content on social networks
But with all these cool features you can do, just remember that less is always better — and that your website should focus on content above everything else.
And thanks to this program here, it taught me this valuable lesson early on (which is content is what matters the most) — and as a result I’ve learned how to legitimately make money online without the need of a lot of fancy plugins.
So after reading this article, do you think you’ll be adding any of these plugins into your blog — or are you currently already using all 8 of them?
Let me know in the comments below, and if you have any more questions or suggestions about a certain type of plugin I’ll be glad to help you out. 🙂