Update: This post was edited on 5th November 2015, and 6 plugins were added to the list.
Starting a WordPress blog is quite simple, all you need to do is sign up and fill in some important details. However, to create a blog that runs smoothly, you will need to add plug-in’s and make customization’s that suit you.
The truth is, when I started my blog I had no idea about plug-in’s. I’m no computer expert! However, with a little help I found the right plug-in’s to add to my site, so that it can become more streamlined and efficient.
If you are just starting out with your blog then you will definitely be confronted with limitless WordPress plug-in options, for Social Media, Performance, SEO, Analytic’s, Security and much more.
That is where I come in; offering you a streamlined plug-in process that will make your life much easier.
Below I will give you a list of the 22 plug-in’s I am currently using, as well as a short description of what they do. So if you need some help deciding which plug-in to install and activate on your blog, read on for some short and sweet information.
When it comes to blogging there are a myriad of plug-in’s available to WordPress bloggers, and below we will look at my top 22 picks.
1. Akismet: If you are sick of spam filling up your comment section, then Akismet is definitely the way to go. In the last 2 week it has filtered over 600 spam comments from my blog, which I would have otherwise had to deal with manually.
2. AWeber Web Forms: AWeber adds the subscription form that can be found on the sidebar of my blog, and it makes it simple to manage my mailing list.
3. Breadcrumb NavXT: Breadcrumbs track visitor’s actions on your site to make it simple for them to navigate through posts, pages, and categories, which leads to a more user-friendly experience.
4. Contact Form 7: A simple and flexible contact form.
5. Digg Digg: This plug-in adds customizable share buttons to your blog from the most popular social sharing platforms. (I have now deactivated Digg in favor of AddtoAny)
6. Google Analytics: If you would like to extensively track your visitor’s movements on your page, then this analytics plug-in is a must.
7. Hello Dolly: Louis Armstrong sung the words Holly Dolly, and today this plug-in seeks to brighten up your day by posting a random lyric on the top of your admin screen. This was mine today “It’s so nice to have you back where you belong.”
8. iThemes Security: Hackers beware! iThemes Security protects your WP site by preventing access to vital areas and important files. It also averts brute-force login attempts and other attacks on your site.
9. Jetpack by WordPress.com: A WP creation that connects your blog to your WordPress.com account, for streamlined use. Also provides you with customization, traffic, mobile, content, and performance tools.
10. Leverage Browser Caching Ninja: If you are not compliant with Google’s PageSpeed Insight rules, then this caching ninja will work to decrease the loading time of your page’s for super fast performance.
11. MOJO Marketplace: A marketplace for the themes, templates, widgets, and shortcodes you need for your WP site.
12. Pretty Link Lite: If you want to customize, track, and manage the links that you put on your blog, then Pretty Link Lite is the plug-in for you.
13. Share Buttons by AddToAny: For customized share buttons, check out the AddToAny plug-in. I use this in conjunction with Digg Digg, and the share buttons at the bottom of my post are courtesy of AddToAny.
14. The Events Calendar: If you have events that you want to share with your audience, this plug-in will help you create and manage them.
15. UpdraftPlus – Backup/Restore: There is no blogging fear as potent as losing your site. However, UpdraftPlus allows you to backup your site locally, or to secondary platforms such as email and cloud services. This highly customizable plug-in also makes it exceptionally simple to restore your site in case it gets deleted or hacked.
This is a MUST HAVE!!
16. WordPress SEO: This all-round SEO plug-in from Yoast handles the technical optimization needed for great content and a great site. This SEO solution is vital for high search engine rankings, and increased click through rates (CTRs) from organic search. This plug-in also has highly advanced XML Sitemap functionality, thereby eliminating the need for a separate plug-in.
17. WordPress Shortcodes: A free set of excellent elements for your blog, such as sections, sexy buttons, SEO-ready tabs, author cards, spoiler warnings, column layouts, lists, and links to any content.
18. WP Review: If you want to create review/ranking scores for your content, products, services, tools, or recipes, then this versatile plug-in is the way to go.
19. WP Shortcode by MyThemeShop: Provides an array of shortcodes that you can use when building content for your blog posts and pages. I use this to complement the WordPress Shortcodes plug-in.
20. WP Subscribe: A simple and effective subscription plugin that supports Aweber, MailChimp, and Feedburner.
21. WP Super Cache: A fast caching plugin for WP, which was recommended to me by JustHost. It immediately increased the site speed for all my pages, on mobile and PC.
22. WP Tab Widget: A premium and lightweight plug-in that aims to give you the perfect tabs for your blog. Your visitors can now find the content they are looking for quickly and easily, and this keeps them on your blog for longer.
And if you like my theme, I use the Sydney theme which I found through the MOJO Marketplace.
Update: Here are the 6 extra plug-in’s I’ve added since the original post
Fancier Author Box: This highly customizable plugin provides a summary of the post author, and it’s the perfect way to put a face to your writing.
Page Builder by SiteOrigin: This responsive plugin helps with page creation, and it plays a big part in making your site intuitive and fast.
Remove query strings from static resources: I run a speed test a few weeks ago, and I found that static resources (CSS and JL files) were slowing down my site. This plugin helped resolve this issue.
Social Media Widget: If you want people to follow you on social media, then this plugin provides ‘follow me’ buttons to numerous social media sites. My follow me buttons are located on my sidebar in case you want to follow me 🙂
Types: It’s tough to explain this plugin, but its basic function is to make your life as a WP admin much easier. With this plugin you can manage your WP with ease, and you can tailor WP to your own preferences e.g. custom fields and access control
WP User Avatar: If you want some funky avatars for your commenters, then this plugin is a must have. No more blank photos when people comment on your site; this plugin provides custom options for you.
As you can see, there are plenty of plug-in’s that you need for your site, each offering a different set of features that are vital for top performance. These plug-in’s that I listed above are ones that I use on a daily basis, and trust me when I say that they do not bog down my site.
You can now use this list of plug-in’s to start optimizing your site. Once you download them using the link provided, installing and activating them is straightforward and simple. They do most of the work for you.
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I hope you have a great day, and I’ll see you very soon.