If you may not know already there are plugins available for WordPress websites and blogs that help you to optimize your site and ultimately make it easier to manage. On my blog, I use several plugins to help me create the site you see today.
I don’t even know where to start if there were no plugins to use at all. I would probably have to hire a computer tech to handle any changes to my website and to write code. Glad I dodged that bullet…whew!
As a start-up website, most people won’t have the money to outsource tasks like that. We aim to create a fully functioning website only spending money on the most critical items in order to get it up and running.
First, let’s talk about what a plugin actually is.
What is a WordPress plugin?
Plugins are additional tools that work with WordPress to build on the platform’s functionality that already exists. These plugins then offer custom functions and features so that anyone who owns a WordPress website could tailor the site to their specific needs.
For example, I wanted to improve the security of my blog. To do this I installed the Wordfence plugin and just like that my blog is better able to prevent hackers from accessing it.
There’s almost a plugin for any additional functionality you need on your blog.
What if I don’t use any plugins at all?
All websites and blogs need some form of plugins in order to be customizable. If you don’t use any plugins at all you will be making it more difficult to edit certain parts of your website and also miss out on additional features that will make your website function better overall.
If it wasn’t for the Akismet plugin I wouldn’t know how to prevent spam from entering my blog through the comments section. I may have to learn how to code to do this instead which is very technical and not understood by the average person. Nobody ain’t got time for that….haha!
Where to find new WordPress plugins
You can download new plugins straight from your WordPress menu on the left. Go to “Plugins” then click “Add New”.
From this page, you can use the search bar to look for the WordPress plugins you need to spruce up your website and make it easier to customize. If you’re not sure which plugins to download continue reading!
Should I get as many plugins as I can?
NOOOOOO! Plugins are great but using too many could slow down your website’s performance. This is because each of those plugins is running in the background of your website doing what it is supposed to do…well I certainly hope so.
People these days generally hate waiting for a web page to load since they are accustomed to everything moving quickly. So when your website loads at snail pace your traffic growth will take a hit too. Ultimately this means less money for you which defeats the purpose of having a money making blog.
For more blog tips and tricks check out these related posts:
- Must Use Steps To Make Thousands Of Dollars Using Affiliate Marketing On A Blog
- The Key Steps To Growing An Email List As A New Blogger
- The Best WordPress Themes To Customize A Blog So It Stands Out
If you want to create a blog that could eventually turn into a money-making online business you can read this post. You’ll learn how to start a WordPress blog on Siteground in a few easy steps. I use Siteground to host my blog and they’re simply one of the best! You can save 60% by signing up using this link for only $3.95/month with their start-up plan! Don’t miss this deal since the regular price is $9.95/month.
Now onto the best WordPress plugins every website should have.
The Best WordPress Plugins You Need On Your Website
What can I say about this WordPress plugin but download it now! It keeps your website protected from hackers, viruses, and malware which could definitely do some damage to all of your hard work. Wordfence Security can scan your website for any threats daily and notify you by email if there are any attacks. It also has an Anti-virus, Firewall, and Malware Scan among some of its features.
Contact Form 7
Contact Form 7 places simple contact forms onto your website so that visitors can easily contact you. Plus you can customize the forms and the mail contents easily with a little code. The form supports Ajax-powered submitting, CAPTCHA, Akismet spam filtering and so on. Here’s how mine looks on my blog:
W3 Total Cache
W3 Total Cache is an awesome WordPress plugin. It improves the SEO and user experience of your site by increasing website performance and reducing download times. This is done by caching data onto servers so that when visitors return to your website it loads faster than the first time.
Sumo has a whole set of tools to grow an audience using your blog. They are most known for their lead-in web forms to build an email list. You can see it in action at the top of this post where I use a smart bar to direct readers to a specific landing page I made with an email marketing service called MailerLite. There is a free and premium version but you’ll most likely only need the free one.
If you want to learn more about MailerLite and building an email list read this post.
Genesis Simple Hooks
Genesis Simple Hooks is a convenient WordPress plugin that I use to put HTML code into different parts of my website without having to go into the settings. I used this plugin to enter the Google Analytics code into the wp header of my site so that I can see site stats for all of my web pages.
UpdraftPlus – Backup/Restore
UpdraftPlus simplifies backups (and restoration) of your website. It can backup your website’s data into the cloud (Amazon S3 (or compatible), Dropbox, Google Drive, and much more. UpdraftPlus will also restore your website with a single click if you lost any data. You can schedule when you want to backup your files too. The paid version also backs up to Microsoft OneDrive, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Storage, and more!
My favorite social plugin that allows my readers to share blog posts to the most popular social media platforms. Change the settings to customize how the share icons look and function. You can see Social Warfare in action right now on this post at the bottom of the web page.
Another WordPress plugin that speeds up your website. WP Smush reduces image file sizes by compressing, resizing and optimizing all of the images on your website. This helps to improve website performance and boost your SEO.
The Best WordPress Plugins For Blogs
A great comment system with custom comment forms and fields. It’s designed to be more effective than WordPress native comments. There are other comment systems such as Disqus, Livefyre, Jetpack and Facebook comments but I find wpDiscuz to be the best alternative. It integrates with Akismet too to filter spam comments.
Pretty Link Lite is a nifty WordPress plugin tool that I use to cloak my affiliate links. Some affiliate links can look like www.growingdollarsfromcents.com/jdmaoa240a. To some people that looks like spam. Instead with pretty link lite, you can change those ugly affiliate links to something like https://www.growingdollarsfromcents.com/siteground.
If you want to learn more about making money with affiliate marketing check out Michelle’s course. She makes over $50,000 a month using affiliate marketing and teaches you exactly how she did it. I’m currently using her course and my affiliate income is increasing each month! You can also read this post to learn more about affiliate marketing.
Simple Social Icons
Simple Social Icons is an easy to use, customizable way to display icons that link visitors to your various social profiles. With it, you can easily choose which profiles to link to, customize the color and size of your icons, as well as align them to the left, center, or right, all from the Appearance ->Widgets section.
Genesis Simple Edits
The Genesis Simple Edits plugin creates a new Genesis settings page that allows you to modify the post-info (byline), post-meta, and footer area on any Genesis theme. You can use text, shortcodes, and HTML in the text boxes provided in the admin screen, to make simple changes to your website.
Akismet checks your comments and contact form submissions against their global database of spam. Keep your blog free of unwanted spam that can be harmful to your website.
Genesis eNews Extended
This WordPress plugin adds a widget to your blog in the form of a sign-up box. Use Genesis eNews Extended to collect email addresses when looking to send out your newsletters to your readers.
WordPress Social Login
WordPress Social Login allows your website visitors to comment by logging in with social networks such as Twitter, Facebook, Google, Yahoo and more. It integrates with wpDiscuz as well.
WordPress Related Posts
This is a nice WordPress plugin that adds related posts to the bottom of your blog posts. This helps to keep readers on your website longer since they keep finding more and more posts that interest them. You can see the WordPress Related Posts plugin in action here at the bottom of this post.
The ultimate WordPress plugin and definitely a must have on your blog. Yoast analyzes your pages and posts to determine its readability and SEO capability. It helps me to write better content. Simply look for the green light next to your content and you’ll know you have optimized it to an acceptable level. The plugin also has much more other features like XML Sitemaps which help your website to be seen in search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo more easily.
The Best WordPress Plugin For Selling Items Online
WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin that enables you to sell both physical and digital goods, offers different forms of shipping, and has more than 140 region-specific payment gateways which integrate with the plugin like major credit cards, Stripe, PayPal, etc. This plugin gives you the ability to create the ultimate store.
You’ve just seen the best WordPress plugins for websites and blogs. Most of these plugins I use on my blog and you should use them too. There may be some that you don’t need and others that you do. Just don’t go overboard and download every single one you think you need. This does more harm than good.
Thanks for reading!
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