Top 10 Free Plugins that Every Blogger Needs
When I was starting out as a blogger I had no idea what plugins were let along which ones were the best. Now that I have been blogging for several years I have, with trial and error, come up with the 10 plugins that every blogger needs. Keep in mind that all of these plugins are free through WordPress though some of them have premium versions that you can pay for. I generally use the free version and do not advocate upgrading unless it is really something that you need. So what are these must have plugins?
Akismet is an anti-spam plugin that helps to prevent comment and contact form spam. The last thing that any blogger wants is spam in their comments or in their contacts. I get spam all the time which is blocked because of Akismet so my readers do not see it and I don’t have to deal with a lot of bogus contacts or sales plugs in my comments.
2. Google Analytics
This plugin is a definite must have. Google Analytics tracks and reports your website and social media traffic so that you can better serve your readers and build your blog following. This plugin is all about statistics and you can use those statistics to point you in the right direction for getting more viewership, higher sales, and greater page views. Google Analytics can identify poorly performing pages using where visitors came from, how long they stayed on the website and their geographical position. There is a lot more to Google Analytics to help the beginner and most experience bloggers to learn about their blog traffic so this one is a must.
I like Beacon because it allows you to create a downloadable ebook out of your previous posts. The ebook is well organized with an introduction, table of contents and of course content. If you are looking to give away or sell a really simple to create product, this plugin is for you. I created a free downloadable ebook of all my handbag patterns and tutorials suing Beacon. It was a simple process that only took about an hour to complete and voila I had an easy ebook that I could either sell or give to my readers.
Another must have, Jetpack provides traffic and SEO tools, security and backup services, helps with content creation and creates a connection with your readers and keep them coming back to your site with Email subscriptions, Comment login with Facebook, Twitter, and Google, Fully-customizable contact forms and Infinite scroll for your posts. Jetpack also provides great support.
I love this plugin because it automatically posts my website content to all of my social media sites at the time I click publish. I don’t have to do anything. Of course I do create additional Pinterest pins for my content but the rest of my social media posts come from Nextscripts.
6. Yoast SEO
If you want free SEO optimization for your website, Yoast is the place to go. Yoast helps you to get more visitors from Google and Bing, attract more visitors from social media and increase your readers’ engagement. There are both a free and a premium version of this great SEO product. It truly does help with optimizing your SEO and is simple and easy to use.
7. Clear Cache for Me
I don’t really understand the technical aspects of this plugin but what I do know is that it helps my site to run faster and smoother. Clear Cache For Me will purge all your cache each time you do a save without having to press an additional button. I don’t have to worry about it. This plugin does it for me.
8. Simple Social Share
Simple Social Share is a very simple to use social media sharing plugin for your WordPress. It installs the share buttons for all of your social media so that your readers can get the word out about your blog and your content. You can even customize the buttons to meet your needs. If you are serious about growing your blog this is a must have.
Wordfence Security is 100% free and supported open-source security software. Wordfence provides:
- Firewall blocks complex and brute force attacks
- Security Scan alerts you quickly in the event of a security issue
- Threat Defense Feed keeps Wordfence up to date with the latest security data
- Robust login security features
- Configurable security alerts
- Gain insight into traffic and hack attempts
- Security incident recovery tools
If you want to keep your website safe, Wordfence is for you. I find it to be invaluable.
10. XML Sitemap
XML Sitemap greatly improves SEO to create special XML sitemaps which will help search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo and Ask.com to better index your site. With such a sitemap, it’s much easier for the crawlers to see the complete structure of your site and retrieve it more efficiently. The plugin supports all kinds of WordPress generated pages as well as custom URLs. Additionally it notifies all major search engines every time you create a post about the new content.
So, here is my list of the Top 10 Free Plugins that Every Blogger Needs. Use your plugin button on WordPress to select these plugins or just head over to WordPress.org to check them out. They are all free and I do not get any remuneration for promoting them. These are actual plugins that I have installed on my site and you should too.
If you want to learn more about starting your own blog click the link below for my ebook Passion for Blogging 101.