There are a lot of free WordPress plugins available that you can add to your website. There are so many that it’s difficult to choose which one to install and not all of them are continually updated or can cause problems for your blog.
In this post, I will show you which ones you need to install and why they are valuable to have on your website.
You will need tools to improve your website’s security, speed, policies, and accessibility. With plugins, you don’t have to do any coding on your website (unless you want to) and they’re easy to install.
Also, when looking for a plugin you want to use, check the date of when it was last updated. If it was last updated about a year and a half or two years ago, it’s more likely that that plugin has been abandoned.
You want to have up to date plugins to help avoid potential hacking or viruses to your website. The same can be said when you are choosing a theme, keep your theme updated.
Here is the list of plugins that every blogger needs for their website.
UpdraftPlus WordPress Backup Plugin – One of the most important things you will be doing for your website is creating backups of it so you don’t lose all your data. UpdraftPlus is a popular backup plugin you can use and it’s free.
It’s also useful to have a backup in case another plugin messes with the website layout because not all plugins will work with every theme on WordPress.
For example, you install a plugin and that plugin causes the entire screen to be completely blank or some other problem. You can either use your website’s host to restore to a recent backup or manually uninstall the plugin you just used that caused the problem.
Email Address Encoder – helps protect email addresses from email-harvesting robots that collect emails to spam.
GDPR – lets your audience know that your website is GDPR compliant.
Login LockDown – monitors failed login attempts and disables the login function after a certain number of times.
This can help your website security by helping prevent others who do not have an account at your website from hacking into an account.
Redirection – helps create redirection links and keep track of 404 errors.
Sucuri Security – Auditing, Malware Scanner and Security Hardening – is a great security plugin that has a lot of security features to help protect your website.
Yoast SEO – a plugin that improves SEO (Search Engine Optimization) by analyzing your content and gives you tips on how to make your content more SEO friendly.
Although it’s a great tool to improve your website’s SEO, you do not have to follow all of it’s suggestions.
And if you want to learn more about SEO for websites, I suggest checking out The Content Factory and Search Engine Journal.
Broken Link Checker – Scans your website for broken links, broken links can lower your SEO and traffic to your website.
I read that this plugin can slow down your server if left on at all times so it would be best to deactivate it after you’re done checking for broken links. You can reactivate it when your updating your content to help you find broken links again.
Easy Google Fonts – Want to use Google Fonts on your website? Use this plugin to easily choose a Google Font that you like for your content.
WP-Sweep – Deletes duplicate data, unapproved comments, and revisions.
If you have a lot of content and data it would be better to use Sweep manually in case you delete comments that are not spam and having something that’s still in draft mode.
Title and Nofollow for Links – When you add affiliate links or referral links you need to make them nofollow links. This plugin makes it easier to turn your link into a nofollow link instead of doing that manually with coding.
Smush Image Compression and Optimization – Images have large files and can slow down the page load time on your website. With Smush you can compress, resize, and optimize your images to help with the page load time speed.
Increasing the loading speed of your website is important, when it comes to the internet people have less patience waiting for a website to browse if they have to wait for images to load and will end up leaving.
W3 Total Cache – Is another plugin that can help improve your website’s speed.
WPtouch – A lot of people use mobile devices to access the internet, you can make your website more mobile friendly with WPtouch.
Google Analytics for WordPress by MonsterInsights – Makes it easier to install Google Analytics to help you see stats of your website traffic.
You can see where your visitors are coming from, how long they browse your website and other website stats so you know where you can make adjustments and improvements to make your website a better experience.
Contact Form by WPForms – Drag & Drop Form Builder for WordPress – A plugin that is easy to use to create simple forms like a contact form, giving your audience another option to contact you.
WP Content Copy Protection & No Right Click – Unfortunately, there are people out there that steal other people’s content and claim it as there own. This plugin can help protect your content by making it difficult for others to copy it and using it as their own.
As your website grows, there will be other plugins you may want to use, like scheduling a consultation or show testimonials. I will add more to this list in the near future.
Premium WordPress Plugins
There are also premium plugins available to use but they are not free and come with a monthly subscription and are available on different websites.
I left those out because I’m still experimenting with them myself and will create a post about it in the near future.
What WordPress plugins do you use or recommend? And why?