This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure for more information.
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 of these must-have WordPress 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?
WordPress plugins are additional tools that work with the WordPress platform 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.
Now onto the best WordPress plugins every blog should have.
Here Are Best WordPress Plugins For Blogs Regardless Of Niche
The Divi Builder is a visual drag & drop page builder for WordPress that works with any theme. It’s created by the awesome team over at Elegant Themes. This WordPress plugin is the one responsible for allowing me to create the website you see today. For almost any way you wish to customize your site, the neat plugin is your go-to tool.
Note: This WordPress plugin is only available with an elegant themes subscription. Don’t worry it’s well worth the money.
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.
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.
Elegant Themes does it again. Bloom is one of the best email opt-in plugins I’ve ever used. You can use it to create unique forms to get more email subscribers and we all know how important that is. Place pop-ups almost anywhere on your blog and integrate it with your favorite email marketing service. I use MailerLite because it’s free up to 1000 subscribers and after it’s still cheaper than most services like ConvertKit.
If you want to learn more about MailerLite and building an email list read this post – Explode Your List! The Key Steps To Growing An Email List As A New Blogger
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!
Another cool Elegant Themes WordPress plugin. It’s one of my favorite social plugins that allows readers to share my blog posts on popular social media platforms. You can change the settings to customize how the share icons look and function. In fact, take a look at Monarch in action right here in this post.
Lazy Load for Videos
Another WordPress plugin that speeds up your website. Lazy Load creates a thumbnail of embedded Youtube and Vimeo videos on your posts. The plugin causes the video to load only when the image is clicked. This prevents the video from loading when the page is trying to load helping to improve website performance.
Pretty Link Lite is a nifty WordPress plugin tool that I use to cloak my affiliate links. Some affiliate links can look like https://shareasale.com/r.cfm?b=461300&u=1548244. To some people that looks like spam. Instead with Pretty Link Lite, you can change those ugly affiliate links to something like http://www.growingdollarsfromcents.com/siteground.
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.
This is a nice WordPress plugin that adds images of 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 Related Posts plugin in action here at the bottom of this post.
Don’t Miss This Post: How To Make Money With A Blog For Beginners: Actionable Steps You Must See
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.
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!
Time to talk more about WordPress Plugins in the comments below.
Some questions for you:
Which WordPress plugins do you use?
What do you like about your favorite plugin?