You probably already know how great WordPress is for setting up and managing your blog. You have all kinds of capabilities and features, more than any one blogger will ever need. One of the best things about WordPress are the plugins. There are countless plugins that perform almost any task you can think of.
One of the challenges when it comes to plugins is deciding which ones to use. You don’t have time to install and use every one that’s available. In fact, installing too many can start to slow down your blog. That’s why it’s essential to identify the most useful and essential ones.
Below are some of the plugins I recommend if you want your blog to be amazing and easy to manage. These are not mentioned in any particular order of importance, as each performs a different type of function.
A sitemap makes it easy for Google and other search engines to find your blog. It provides them with a map of your website that lists all of your posts and pages.
When you add new content, it will automatically be added to the sitemap. Google XML Sitemaps is a free plugin that I would recommend to every blogger. Who doesn’t want the search engines to find their content more quickly and easily?
This plugin helps prevent spam. If you know anything about WordPress, and the internet in general, you know that all blogs receive spam comments on a regular basis. Akismet will greatly cut down on this, making it a really valuable plugin.
This plugin is one you don’t even have to worry about finding and installing. It’s already there when you install WordPress. The only action you have to take is to insert your API key and activate it. If you don’t have an API key for Akismet, follow the link that’s provided and get it. In the future, you can use the same key for any other blogs you set up. Very convenient indeed.
If you care about search engine optimization, this plugin is for you. In fact, along with Google XML Sitemaps, this is probably the most valuable SEO plugin you can get, especially for beginners and bloggers who aren’t SEO experts.
This plugin does a variety of things, such as automatically optimizing your titles, generates meta-tags and prevents your site from getting duplicate content penalties. It’s compatible with Google Analytics and integrates with e-commerce sites. The basic plugin is free, though there is also a pro version if you want to upgrade to have even more advanced SEO features.
This is a plugin that helps your site run faster. This is extremely important both for visitor satisfaction and SEO purposes. Above I mentioned how having plugins itself can slow down your site. There are also many other features that can cause your site to run slowly – too many images, videos, ads and so forth. Well, this plugin can help prevent such problems.
W3 Total Cache speeds your site up by as much as 50%, which makes a huge difference. It will mean visitors spending more time on your site and checking out more of your pages!
This plugin will immediately optimize your site for mobile users. Considering how many people now access the internet from smart phones, iPads and other mobile devices, this is something well worth considering.
You can set everything up from the admin panel without doing any kind of coding. Visitors will be able to choose between viewing the WP Touch version of your site or the regular one, depending one what kind of device they’re using at the time.
You shouldn’t overlook security when considering which plugins to install. WordPress sites are becoming increasingly popular targets for hackers. This plugin scans your whole site for potential security problems.
With this plugin, you will be alerted to any vulnerable areas on your site. Since this plugin only does a scan, it will be up to you to make the necessary changes.
For more security tips for WordPress, do check out our article – Secure your WordPress website now.
The plugins mentioned here are ones that can help make your blog faster, more secure, SEO friendly and appealing. I tried to focus on plugins that would be beneficial to just about every WordPress site. I am using most of the above plugins on a few of my sites too, so I know for sure that these plugins are the best available!
There are probably others, however, that will be of special interest to you depending on what type of blog you have. There are also more advanced plugins for issues such as security and SEO that are worth looking into in a future post.
WordPress plugins are constantly evolving, with new ones being introduced all the time. It’s a good idea to keep up with new developments in this area. You never know when a fantastic new plugin might be introduced that’s just right for your site.
Oh, also make sure you update the plugins that you have for ease of use and security purposes. Remember that, finding the right plugins can help you get the most out of your WordPress blog!