Since there’s no shortage of the ‘best WordPress plugins’ articles online, let me say right off the bat that the one you’ve just stumbled upon, despite its undeniable value, is rather intended for blogging beginners. If you’ve been in the game for some time now, you might have already heard of or even use some of the plugins discussed here. If, on the other hand, you’re just only embarking on your blogging journey and want to start things off on the right foot, you’ve come to the right place. Read on to learn about the best WordPress plugins to help you boost your blog today.
Any aspiring web writer has a lot of blogging platforms to choose from. They all have their merits and shortcomings, however, WordPress seems to be the system that offers the most.
If you still happen to be unsure about whether to use it or not, let me just say that it’s a flexible and easy to set up online publishing platform that powers tens of millions of sites. It gave rise to a robust ecosystem of plugins, providing WordPress users with tools to expand their websites with lots of new features.
As of writing this, there are 46,000+ plugins available. That’s A LOT to choose from, so you can easily get lost, but this shortlist is guaranteed to save the time of anyone who’s looking for the best WordPress plugins.
I mentioned earlier that this post about the best WordPress plugins mainly targets blogging freshmen. No matter how long you’ve been publishing on the web, though, please consider the following questions to determine whether this post is worthy of your time:
- Are you trying to take that next step to elevate your blog and make it more professional?
- Do you want to make your blog stand out and grow?
- Are you open to accepting a little help in navigating the shoreless sea of plugins?
- Are you looking for the best WordPress plugins that solve actual problems?
If you answered ‘yes’ at least one of the questions, I think you should give this post a chance to see what you’ll get out of it.
DISCLAIMER: One last thing before I move on to discussing some of the best WordPress plugins available. When it comes to the WP content management system, you have an option to use the native hosting, or host the site on your own. Please be advised that plugins can only be installed on self-hosted WordPress sites.
Caching plugin – W3 Total Cache
Easy Web Performance Optimization (WPO) using caching: browser, page, object, database, minify and content delivery network support.
4.5 stars / / 1+ million active installs
Keeping your website visitors on-site is crucial in any niche. The most fundamental thing is that you absolutely have to be able to display your pages fast – 2 seconds is the time recommended by Google.
W3 Total Cache is among the best WordPress plugins designed to increase the page load speed and improve the overall user experience. What’s also important is that better site performance leads to better ranking in Google.
SEO plugin – Yoast SEO
Improve your WordPress SEO: Write better content and have a fully optimized WordPress site using Yoast SEO plugin.
4 stars / 1+ million active installs
What we have here is one of those must-have, best WordPress plugins out there. The fact that you must have some sort of SEO support on your blog should go without saying. You’ll find this extension recommended all over the place.
Yoast SEO helps you bring in as much organic traffic as possible. Its developers keep providing support, so you can stay at the forefront of what’s going on in the SEO world with on-page content analysis, XML sitemaps and more.
What this plugin does for you is it improves the readability of your content, provides a lot of keyword-related analysis, including frequency, distribution, as well as their presence in links and images.
It even allows you to set different title, description and image for your Facebook publishing needs.
Social sharing plugin – Jetpack
Increase your traffic, view your stats, speed up your site, and protect yourself from hackers with Jetpack.
4 stars / 1+ million active installs
When was the last time you saw a serious blog without a social sharing feature? Take your time, I’ll wait.
If you’re just starting to blog, having a social sharing plugin is an absolute must to help you promote and spread the content in an organic, natural way. People sharing the word for you is the best type of promo you can get.
This right here is definitely one of the best WordPress plugins in its niche. You can almost say it has too many features, although it doesn’t slow down your site, so I don’t mean this in a wrong way.
Jetpack offers social buttons with share counts, the option to sort posts by the number of shares, clean design, and comes with an extension package including the VaultPress and BruteProtect plugins for backup and protection against bots respectively.
Anti spam plugin – Akismet
Akismet checks your comments against the Akismet Web service to see if they look like spam or not.
5 stars / 1+ million active installs
Let’s face it – regardless of whether you’ve just launched your blog, or have been posting for some time, your comments section is going to attract spambots. The issue is a well-known one, so there’s a large selection of spam-fighting plugins, but Akismet stands head and shoulders above the rest.
You may learn along the way that it’s not a perfect protection plugin, since spam evolves too. Spammers adapt to new blocking techniques and find ways around them, but despite temporary shortcomings, Akismet continues to do its job in the long run and has definitely earned its place among the best WordPress plugins.
Image gallery plugin – Foo Gallery
Foo Gallery is the most intuitive and extensible gallery management tool ever created for WordPress.
5 stars / 50,000+ active installs
I’m not saying posting photo galleries will be your focal point, but I can’t IMAGEin (see what I did there?) you doing well without any form of visual content.
Foo Gallery could work especially well on travel and cooking blogs. It uses the native WordPress media uploader and the whole process is very similar to building a native WP gallery. The plugin offers a few extra add-ons as well and makes importing galleries easy.
Podcasting plugin – Seriously Simple Podcasting
Podcasting the way it’s meant to be. No mess, no fuss – just you and your content taking over the world.
5 stars / 10,000 active installs
Are you the type of person that feels like there’s something you need to get of your chest? Maybe you’re just trying to vent? Well, how about you start podcasting, then?
Seriously Simple Podcasting might just be the best WordPress plugin to do that. It offers plenty of features a professional podcaster needs and is easy to customize.
Moreover, it automatically generates iTunes RSS feed, you can insert a podcast player directly into post content, and also, you can host the audio files directly on your website or with a third party like Amazon Web Services.
Database and file backup plugin – WordPressBackUp
Simple automated backups of your WordPress-powered website.
4.5 stars / 200,000 active installs
Considering all the time and effort you put into creating your website, losing it for whatever reason would be devastating. This is why you should take steps to prevent that from happening by using one of the best WordPress plugins for backup.
WordPressBackUp is an extension designed to support and preserve your entire website, including the database and files, on a schedule that suits you. Go ahead and take care of this today!
Membership plugin – Restrict Content
Restrict Content to registered users only. This is a simple plugin that will allow you to easily restrict complete posts / pages to logged in users.
3,5 stars / 10,000 active installs
As you and your website grow, you may start thinking about developing exclusive content, available only to registered users, to encourage more people to sign up with you.
Restrict Content will help you achieve that goal. Its ease of use, great code quality and usability make it one of the best WordPress plugins for blogs with different types of membership. What’s also important, is that the author steadily develops new add-ons.
Live chat plugin – Chatwee
To wrap up the list of best WordPress plugins and stay on the membership/online community tip, let me recommend Chatwee – a super easy to install group chat widget.
Not only does it create a dynamic space on your website, encouraging users to be more engaged and develop an online community, it also makes you stand out among similar websites and can serve as an alternative to the comments section.
It’s employed by a wide range of websites – from gaming clans, to online radios, to live streaming and faith-based organization sites. Wherever there are people centered around a common topic and wanting to interact in real time, group live chat comes in handy.
Final word on the best WordPress plugins
To sum things up, no matter what you do, or what is the subject matter of your blog or website, these are some of the best WordPress plugins out there you can start using today to give your efforts a boost.
Obviously, not every single plugin discussed here will be for everyone, but the core, like the caching, SEO and anti spam ones, surely are a must. You can mix and match them to see which tools or combinations of those bring in the best results for you.
You may have your own plugin preferences when it comes to the best WordPress plugins supporting the website aspects covered in this post, so feel free to let me know what you are using and what other extensions are worth looking into.
Comments are open but protected by Akismet, so don’t bother with spam. Alternatively, you can also tweet your opinions @Chatwee
Also, for more WordPress related tutorials feel free to visit WPGlob.