If you’ve recently started a WordPress blog, you might be wondering what some good plugins are and what you should be installing as soon as you get started. Here are 5 must-have WordPress plugins for bloggers that I install on all my sites because they’re just THAT good. These are also all free for the basic versions.
5 Must-Have WordPress Plugins for Bloggers
Plugins are just extra tools you can install on WordPress to add more functionality to your site.
To get to your WordPress plugins, go to Plugins in the sidebar of WordPress. Some of the settings for your plugins will be on the settings page, and some will be linked to directly in the sidebar.
To install a plugin, click on Add New and then either search for the name of a plugin or upload one that you’ve downloaded. After installing, you need to click to activate it. You can also view further information about a plugin you’ve searched for by clicking on Details.
Here are some of the basic plugins you’ll want to get started with!
One plugin I’d recommend getting up sooner rather than later is called Akismet, and it comes automatically installed on WordPress but you still have to go through the free activation process to get an API key to use.
Akismet protects your site from spam and works very well, and it’s definitely one that I couldn’t work without (according to my dashboard, Akismet has protected my site from over 41,000 spam comments. Wow!)
2. iThemes Security or Wordfence
These two are security plugins that will help protect your WordPress site from hackers. Right now, I lean more toward using iThemes Security because in the past I had a high CPU usage problem and iThemes is pretty light. Wordfence is actually very resource-intensive, so keep that in mind if you’re on a host that limits your usage. I’m currently on Bluehost’s cloud hosting plan and it’s great and doesn’t limit me. 🙂
3. Social Pug / Grow by Mediavine
Social Pug is a great social media sharing plugin that will make it easier for people (and you!) to share your posts on social media. I would recommend showing the buttons for mainly Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter depending on your niche.
I recommend UpdraftPlus as a free automatic backup creator. You can set up a schedule and connect it to Dropbox or email so every day or week or whatever frequency you set, UpdraftPlus creates an automatic backup of your WordPress site and database. Very useful!
Finally, I would recommend Yoast as the best free SEO plugin.
This plugin will show up at the bottom middle of each page to edit your blog posts. It will also show indicators of your SEO (search engine optimization, or how well your content ranks in search engines) “grade” with a green, yellow, or red icon.
Just choose one main keyword (which you’ll research ahead of time using a tool like Uber Suggest or Keywords Everywhere), or specific topic (such as “best premium WordPress themes”), for each page and include that in your post, title, URL, and write a description based around that keyword. Then you’ll be able to rank for that search term, or keyword, in search engines. If you want to see what people are searching for, use Google’s free keyword planner tool on Adwords. That’s the gist of SEO. 😉
They recently made some updates that make it super easy to optimize each of your blog posts’ SEO by guiding you through exactly what forms you need to fill out (a keyword, description, etc), and then they grade your post and give you suggestions on how to improve your SEO. Good stuff!
Well, those are my must-have WordPress plugins for bloggers.
If you’d like to start your own blog, check out our free guide on how to start a blog below:
What are your own must-have WordPress plugins?