10 must-have WordPress plugins for bloggers
June 25, 2018
One of the best things about blogging on a platform like WordPress is that you don’t need to know web programming to build an amazing site. Whatever you want to do, someone will have already built a plugin to help add that functionality to your blog – all you need to do is find the right plugin for the job.
There are thousands of plugins available on WordPress and it can be tempting to download as many as possible when you start your blog. Too many plugins can slow down your blog though, and there are probably only a handful that you really need to begin with.
Plugins range from those that make your blog more SEO friendly to plugins that help to encourage social media shares of your posts. There are also plugins to fight spam comments and make your whole blog more secure, and then there are the plugins to improve your website design.
We’ve mentioned some of our favourite plugins in previous posts, so thought we’d put together a list of our 10 must-have WordPress plugins for bloggers…
Jetpack is the first plugin you should install when you set up your blog. The plugin has lots of great features including site stats and analytics, automated social media posting and scheduling, and SEO tools.
The security features include brute force attack protection, spam filtering, and downtime monitoring.
#2 Yoast SEO
Yoast lets you edit your keywords, titles, meta descriptions yourself, highlighting the parts you need to work on. It will show you the sections that need fixing and how to improve them.
Your post is ready to publish when the readability and SEO sections are highlighted green.
#3 Google XML SiteMaps
In order to get traffic to your blog, search engines need to know it exists. Submitting your sitemap allows Google, Yahoo and other search engines to crawl your site and index the content ready for when people start their searches.
Google XML SiteMaps does all of this for you and notifies search engines when you publish new content, massively improving the SEO of your blog.
#4 WP Smush
We all want to improve our site’s SEO and having lots of high-quality imagery helps with this. Unfortunately, it can also slow your whole blog down which is bad for SEO.
WP Smush automatically compresses your images, optimising them for SEO and helping to speed up your site.
#5 W3 Total Cache
WordPress caching is one of the best ways to improve the performance of your blog. Caching is the storing of data temporarily so it loads faster the next time the user opens up the same page.
W3 Total Cache will cache your content for you, reducing page loading time and improving site performance. Pages that load faster perform better in the search engine rankings.
Always, always back-up your blog! If anything happens to your website, possibly an update that goes wrong, or someone hacks into your site, you will want to make sure all of your content and images have been backed-up.
With BackWPup you can set it up to update automatically every week, or do it manually. Back-ups can be saved to the location of your choice, such as Dropbox or FTP.
#7 Insert Headers and Footers
Every now and then you’ll need to add HTML code into your blog’s header or footer sections, e.g. Google Analytics code or custom CSS. If you’re not confident in editing files then the Insert Headers and Footers plugin is definitely worth installing.
Just copy and paste the code into the plugin and the rest is done for you.
#8 Quick Page/Post Redirect
If you’ve made a typo or changed the URL of a post you can end up with 404 errors or broken links. Broken links can affect your search engine rankings and the Quick Page/Post Redirect plugin will help you avoid this by putting redirects in place for you.
#9 Ultimate NoFollow
We mentioned this plugin in our guide to Follow and NoFollow links and it’s definitely a must-have for bloggers who write reviews or sponsored posts.
The Ultimate NoFollow plugin lets you set your links as no follow by simply ticking a box – no need for any HTML code.
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So that’s our list of 10 must-have WordPress plugins for bloggers – how many do you have installed on your blog? Are there any essential blogging plugins that we’ve missed?