This list of the best WordPress plugins for blogs is the only plugins you will need when you start blogging.
WordPress plugins are software’s that are used on WordPress to make websites easy to build for non-techy people.
As you gain more knowledge on blogging, that is when you start to add more of the plugins to help you run your blog smoothly.
Just as Android phones have apps, think of the WordPress plugins for blogs as apps that you can install in WordPress to create any type of WordPress site you want.
In this blog post, I will show you the only WordPress plugins you need to have your new site running smoothly.
These plugins are probably the best free WordPress plugins available in the entire WordPress plugins library for beginners.
RELATED: WordPress Dashboard Features
- Are plugins on WordPress free?
- How many plugins are too many?
- Do plugins slow down websites
- HOW TO INSTALL A PLUGIN IN WORDPRESS
- Here is a list of WordPress plugins for Blogs you should install
- Best free WordPress plugin for security
- Best Free WordPress plugin for Backups
- Best Free WordPress Plugins For Image Compression
- Best Free WordPress plugin For SEO
- WordPress Plugin for contact form
- Best WordPress Plugins for social share
- Best Free WordPress plugin for caching
- What is caching
- Other free Plugins you can install
Why do you need a plugin?
You need a plugin because it takes the coding work away when you are setting up a website.
Most successful bloggers you see and probably inspired you to start your own blog have no tech background.
They use plugins to create beautiful websites as well as run their blog.
Are plugins on WordPress free?
Most of the plugins are free others too are paid. The paid WordPress plugins offer more features than their free basic ones.
In fact, most of the free plugins I’m about to show you have their paid versions.
But I have found that the free versions of these plugins always get the job done.
If you want to invest in paid plugins you can go ahead and do it.
Just make sure it is worth what you are paying for.
How many plugins are too many?
The maximum number of plugins to have on your site should be around 10 or 15.
Plugins perform different functions.
When you install a plugin, you are only adding more scripts and codes to your site, which will eventually slow down your site.
Some work can be done without the use of plugins.
But as a beginner, I know you will be terrified of doing something wrong and messing up your site.
When you get comfortable with blogging and troubleshooting errors on your site, you may gain confidence in touching your website code.
For now, relax and run your WordPress site with these free but essential WordPress plugins for blogs.
Do plugins slow down websites
Yes to some extent.
Plugins that are not well coded are the ones that slow down your site.
In my experience, plugins that have more than 2 functions and are badly coded, can crash or slow down your site.
Always check the reviews from other users of the plugin before you install it.
You should, however, note that not all plugins slow down sites.
HOW TO INSTALL A PLUGIN IN WORDPRESS
To install a plugin on wordpress, login to your wordpress dashboard.
From your menu panel click on plugins>>add new.
In the search bar, type in the name of the plugin you want to install.
Click on install, after it gets installed, click on activate to get the plugin working.
Your installed plugins can either be found in the menu panel or in the settings options.
Read on how to install a plugin .
Here is a list of WordPress plugins for Blogs you should install
There are basically 6 different types of wordpress plugins categories you will need to run your WordPress blog. They are listed below
- Image compressions
- Social sharing
These are the essential plugins categories you will need to install to make your WordPress blog easy to customize and work on.
Best free WordPress plugin for security
Security plugins protect your blog from unnecessary forceful entries by hackers.
Again, plugins you use may be compromised which could inject Malware on your blog.
A security plugin like Wordfence modifies plugins and writes firewall codes to protect your blog.
WORDFENCE Security Plugin
If you don’t want low life scum hackers to break and enter your website, then this plugin is a sure-fire way to protect your blog from getting hacked.
Word fence secures your site with fire wall codes which makes it difficult for hackers to hack into your site.
Their firewall codes are not easy to hack and that is why they are number one when it comes to WordPress security plugins.
The paid version is more robust and offers the maximum security protection for your site on all fronts.
Wordfence analyzes all plugins daily, to detect if there is a loophole for hackers to enter.
When it identifies one, it alerts all their users of the potential threat a plugin may pose, they then write a fire wall code to protect users’ websites.
If you are on the paid version, you get to have the fire wall code implemented on your site immediately.
Free users get to have the code much later on their website.
Setup Wordfence with this tutorial
Best Free WordPress plugin for Backups
Backup plugins make it easy for you to have your blog contents saved somewhere.
The best free WordPress plugin for Backups is updraft plus
This free wordpress plugin backs up your website fairly well.
Everything that needs backing up will be backed up for you which includes Your posts, pages, comments etc.
What you have to do is to assign a time you want the plugin to backup your site for you. It could be daily, weekly or monthly. It all depends on how you want it.
Personally, I backup my site weekly since I add content every week. You don’t know when calamity is going to strike for the website you have worked on.
It’s best you have a backup for your site in case you lose your site for unknown reasons.
You can choose to have your backup sent to your Google drive account, Dropbox, Gmail, etc.
Updraft setup tutorial
Best Free WordPress Plugins For Image Compression
Image compression is key to making your wordpress blog site loading faster.
It is quite tempting to have beautiful and high resolution images on your blog but remember your blog visitors need to have all of these high resolution loaded on their device.
Living in a country like where I am from, internet data are so expensive and it’s the rich who can afford WiFi.
Those of us who can’t afford it have to rely on buying data in pieces of Internet bundles daily or weekly.
So imagine having struggled to buy an internet bundle just to have it all go away in one poof because of a high resolution image that loaded while visiting a blog. Sad right?
That is why you need to compress your images, that way not much of your blog visitor who has little internet resources will be depleted.
Again it makes your images load faster.
The best image compression plugin is Short Pixel.
Short pixel is an image compressor that compresses your images to a smaller size with minimal loss of image quality.
You will need an image compressor because having images which are heavy and with high resolutions is likely to slow down your site.
Short Pixel image compression plugin has a free version and a paid version
With the free version of Short Pixel, you get to have free 100 image compressions a month.
Whereas with the paid version, you buy credits points which you can use to compress an unlimited number of images provided it doesn’t deplete all your credits.
Best Free WordPress plugin For SEO
SEO plugins are essential to help you optimize your blog to appear on a search engine results page.
However you should note that having an SEO plugin in place and having green lights is not enough.
SEO plugins help you to make keyword tags and meta tags which will make it easier for crawlers to understand what your website and blog posts are about.
The best free SEO plugin for WordPress is Rankmath
Rankmath is an SEO plugin similar to Yoast.
The catch here with this plugin is, It has all the functionalities that Yoast provides in their premium version for free.
This plugin lets you add more than one keyword which you are optimising your posts for.
It also suggests keywords you can target in relation to your main keyword.
Rankmath has an inbuilt redirection code that lets you redirect your posts easily without needing to install another plugin for redirecting your posts.
The plugin has a deep content analysis setup that analyses your content all for free.
It also has the schema, popularly known as rich snippet integrated.
You can import your settings from other seo plugins with their one click import option should you decide to change SEO Settings.
Here is how to setup Rankmath properly
WordPress Plugin for contact form
Contact forms are important to have on your site. It makes it easier for your blog visitors to contact you.
A contact form is not an ordinary page you can setup. As a newbie blogger, you will need a contact form plugin to build your contact page.
The best and easiest free contact form builder plugin is the WP Forms Lite.
This is a drag and drop forms builder that makes it easy to add contact forms to your website.
You can build beautiful contact forms, feedback forms and subscription forms all in this one powerful and easy drag and drop forms builder.
As with most wordpress plugins, the WP form builder has a paid and non paid version.
The paid version gives you access to all the types of forms to build for your website with full customization options whilst the free version, which is the lite, gives you access to create different contact forms with limited customizations.
I have created a contact form and a suggestions form( which by the way I would love to hear your suggestions) from the free version and I still have the options to create more.
Follow this tutorial to build your own contact form
Best WordPress Plugins for social share
Social share plugins allows your visitors to share your content easily. Having social sharing icons clearly seen and accessible on your site can increase your blog traffic.
Because people will be sharing to their social media accounts where they have friends and followers who will also want to read what has been shared by their friends.
The most essential social sharing icons you need to display are Facebook and Pinterest and luckily enough these two are provided for free on social sharing plugins.
Below is the social sharing plugin I use and absolutely adore.
This plugin is so far the best social media share plugin I have ever used.
Its so simple to use and easy to customise.
The free version has the important social media platforms like facebook, pinterest, twitter, etc. buttons to display on your blog.
The social share buttons works on all devices plus; you get to see your share counts.
Best Free WordPress plugin for caching
Caching plugins helps speed up your site by serving the lighter HTML version of your site.
What is caching
Caching is the storing of copies of files of websites content somewhere on the internet so that it can accessed quickly by website visitors.
Whenever a user visits your site, caching plugins serve them with the light weight version of your site.
It is important that you install a caching plugin to speed up your site load time for your blog visitors
WP Optimize is a free caching plugin that can help you speed up your blog.
It allows you to clean your database and gives you the option to compress your images.
You can cache your pages to make them load faster for your blog visitors using this plugin.
It also has extensive optimization features which you can use to improve your site speed impressively.
Here is a full tutorial to help you setup this plugin.
Other free Plugins you can install
Insert headers and footers are a life-saving plugin for bloggers who are tech handicapped.
This plugin is used for adding codes to the head and body sections of a website.
The head and body sections of your blog are normally located in your theme editor.
Most bloggers don’t want to touch their theme codes as theme updates could wipe away the codes, added manually to the theme.
In this case, the insert headers and footers keep all your codes in one place.
Read tutorial for how to use it here
This plugin is from the creators of the popular WordPress theme, Astra. Nope, this plugin is not for only Astra users. It works with all themes.
The Gutenberg WordPress editor has various functions for creating beautiful pages and building websites.
Ultimate Addons for Gutenberg adds more advanced functionalities to the already robust Gutenberg editor.
You can add a block for post carousel, table of contents, call to action buttons, social shares, sections, and a host of other blocks that makes it easy to customize your posts and pages.
I love Elementor. It’s the best page builder hands down. You can use is free page builder plugin to create beautiful landing pages for your home page.
There are are several videos on YouTube you can follow to create a landing page for your site.
There is also a pro version that is mind blowing and has lots of wonderful customisation features for your pages.
Follow this video tutorial to create a beautiful page with Elementor
These are the most essential wordpress plugins for blogs I believe you should have and use on your new site.
Installing them will help you massively in building your site.
I hope this post has been helpful for you.
Remember: Rome was not built in a day. Take it one day at a time with wordpress and you will definitely come to love it.
Let me know what you think in the comments section.
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