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15 Must-Have Plugins For A New WordPress Blog/ Website

Plugins For A New Wordpress Blog

Wondering what are the best WordPress plugins you should have on your blog/ website?

After you’ve picked a domain name and created a blog, you’ll then need to customize it by installing a plugin.

Plugins, as we all know, extend WordPress’s functionalities and capabilities.

Using the best plugins will help to enhance your blog such as improve SEO and build a bigger following.

With over 54,200 plugins (and counting), choosing the right WordPress plugins can be time-consuming and overwhelming.

Due to that, I thought it would be helpful to share some of the best WordPress plugins for your website.

No matter which blog niche you’re in, these plugins could help you grow your blog more efficiently this year.

All of the 15 WordPress plugins listed below are completely free to use. And some of them offer premium packages for advanced features.

Without further ado, let’s explore the 15 best plugins that every WordPress blog needs.

Yoast SEO

When it comes to on-page search engine optimization, few plugins can shine a candle to the efficacy and functionality of Yoast SEO.

Assuming that you’ve already conducted basic keyword research, the Yoast plugin will hold you by the hand and guide you step by step through the process of optimizing your new content for the search engine gods.

From the density of your target keyword to the optimization of your title and h2 tags, to basic readability and metadata, Yoast SEO makes on-page search engine optimization so easy a caveman could do it (if he knew what SEO is, I suppose).

WP Super Cache

Wouldn’t it be great if your site loads super fast?

WordPress is a memory-hogging CMS. To ensure WordPress doesn’t make your web server crash, use a cache plugin along with powerful servers such as Bluehost, HostGator, SiteGround or Kinsta.

There are many excellent WordPress cache plugins out there, but WP Super Cache tops every one of them for its simplicity and effectiveness.

What more, it works great even on shared hosting!

Whenever a user browses your blog post, WordPress has to fetch that post from the WordPress database.

Now, this process needs far too many PHP calls.

Picture this: One hundred visitors try visiting your blog. In this case, WordPress runs 100x PHP calls to serve these web pages to everyone.

When you use a cache plugin, it creates a static HTML file of the web page & and allows WordPress to serve a page from this cache.

This reduces the server load drastically & allows your pages to be served within a few seconds.

If you are on shared hosting or VPS, you should use a cache plugin.

WPForms

Every website needs a contact form because it makes it easy for your visitors to get in touch with you.

WPForms is the most user-friendly contact form plugin for WordPress.

This drag & drop online form builder allows you to easily create contact forms, email subscription forms, online order forms, payment forms, surveys, polls, and basically all other types of online forms with just a few clicks.

WPForms integrates with all popular marketing and payment platforms, so you can build powerful forms in less than 5 minutes.

It even comes with options to help you create custom WordPress user registration form and login page.

We use WPForms on this website and all of our other websites. But we’re not alone.

Over 2 million websites use WPForms, and they have consistently maintained a 4.9 out of 5-star rating average for over 2 years now.

Jetpack

If you’re not so tech-savvy and are looking for a power-packed solution for your blog, then you’ll love this plugin.

Created by the people behind WordPress software itself, Jetpack is a must-have plugin for every WordPress site from day one.

This plugin takes care of almost all aspects of maintaining a blog. From theme customization, to search engine optimization, security, backups, performance, and social media promotion.

It’ll make your life lots easier. You don’t have to search around and download a heap of other plugins.

Offering more than 30 features, here’s are a few main things you can do with Jetpack plugin that’s worth mentioning:

  • Get access to over 100+ free professional WordPress themes.
  • Auto-publish new blog posts to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google Plus once they’re published on your site.
  • Schedule social media posts in advance.
  • Create social sharing buttons.
  • Include simple Paypal payment buttons to monetize your blog
  • Add a contact form to any page/ post.
  • Show related content that interest your readers to increase your page views and engagement.
  • Provide stats about your visitors and traffic including Google Analytics.
  • Protect your site from hackers with the Brute Force Protection.
  • Monitor downtime and get notified when the site is down and also when its back online.
  • Get a free Content Delivery Network (CDN) to speed up your site with faster images and static files, reduce load times for visitors.
  • And quite a few more.

The best part is you can use the Jetpack WordPress for 100% free!

If you’re looking for more features and functionalities (eg. daily automated backup, support etc), you’ll want to upgrade to their paid options that start as low as $3.50 per month.

Akismet

Akismet is yet another plugin developed by the people behind WordPress (Matt and his team at Automattic).

It is one of the default plugins of WordPress that comes with every new WordPress core installation.

It is basically an anti-spam plugin which checks all comments and filters out the spammy comments.

The plugin provides a status history for each comment so that you can learn which comments were found spammy by Akismet or the moderator.

Moderators also can view the number of approved comments for each user, see the URLs in the comment body and remove the suspicious links.

The plugin is free for the personal site and blogs while you have to subscribe to its monthly plans for commercial sites.

The premium plans provide advanced security solution besides spam protection.

It is a useful plugin to protect your WP security.

MonsterInsights

MonsterInsights is the best Google Analytics plugin for WordPress.

It allows you to “properly” connect your website with Google Analytics, so you can see exactly how people find and use your website.

The best part is that it shows you all the important stats that matter right inside your WordPress dashboard.

You can then optimize your website accordingly to increase your traffic, subscribers, and revenue.

MonsterInsights has a free version, but the true power of it only unlocks when you upgrade to the Pro version.

You can use our MonsterInsights coupon to get 50% off your purchase.

MonsterInsights is used by over 2 million websites.

OptinMonster

OptinMonster is a popular plugin that can help you to grow your email list by converting visitors into subscribers, effortlessly.

No matter what niche or industry are you in, to achieve long-term success in your business online, you need to start focusing on building your list from Day 1.

Whether you’re running an eCommerce store, a personal blog or business website, you can use OptinMonster to help to convert your website traffics into leads.

More targeted leads > more customers > more sales.

With the drag and drop builder, this feature-rich plugin is pretty easy to use.

Use it to create high-converting opt-in forms, pop-ups, sidebar forms, floating headers, welcome gates and more.

Not only that, all the forms are responsive and mobile-friendly, creating a great user experience and increasing conversions for smartphone and tablet users.

You should definitely include OptinMonster in your email marketing arsenal.

WP Smush

Images are the great assets for your post/ page which easily grab the users’ attention.

Uploading images helps you deliver the message many times better that simply the texts can.

They make your page look attractive, catchy and engaging.

While being so helpful to make your site more appealing to users, images also take up a lot of storage space and slow down your website.

You can’t simply afford to ignore the slow site speed and look for the disaster to happen.

Wait a while, here’s good news – you can compress images!

Yes, you can compress and optimize the images without reducing the quality of the images using WP Smush plugin.

It optimizes all of your image files in JPEG, GIF and PNG formats using advanced compression techniques and saves lots of storage space.

It auto-smushes all your attachments on upload while you can also smush your attachments manually in the media library.

In addition, the plugin lets you smush bulk data (up to 50 attachments) at a time.

The plugin is very useful as it helps your post/page look attractive while being fast.

PushEngage

PushEngage is a unique plugin for driving more traffic to your blog. It adds a new way for your readers to subscribe to your blog.

It adds web push technology, and readers using Chrome, Safari, or Firefox browsers will get a notification to subscribe to your blog updates.

After that, whenever you publish a new blog post, your subscribers will get push notifications alerting them of a new post.

You can also send manual push notifications to drive traffic to any specific blog post, landing pages or even an advertisers site.

Sucuri

Keeping your WordPress website secure is incredibly important because there are people that will try to break in. And bots, too.

But, with Sucuri’s Website Security Platform, you get a bunch of features to help you out.

These include:

  • The cloud-based web-application firewall that filters traffic
  • Virtual patching against security vulnerabilities
  • Malware scanning and removal
  • Blacklist monitoring
  • Mitigation against DDoS attacks
  • Content delivery network to reduce server load and improve page load times

An added bonus of this platform is that you’ll get a CDN. Couple that with a decent caching plugin, and you’ll improve page load times dramatically.

But, above all else, the feature that attracted me to this platform is the ability to stop anyone from logging into my site unless I whitelist the IP address first. This stops a lot of issues.

Now, let me be clear – I’m not a security expert but Sucuri has got me out of a few scrapes over the years. And helped me avoid a lot of hack attempts.

Use this plugin to Secure your WordPress website and speed up your website.

The basic plan is $199.99/year but it doesn’t support SSL, so really the $299.99/yr plan would be needed.

Bandwidth is unlimited and means you would never need to purchase a third-party CDN service.

UpdraftPlus

Don’t be the person that spends a year publishing content on their blog, only to lose it all because they don’t have a backup!

With UpdraftPlus, you can get your entire site backed up and sent to the cloud for safekeeping.

A few core features include:

  • Backup your database and files with ease
  • Restore your website with the click of a button
  • Send your backups to cloud platforms like Dropbox, Google Drive, Rackspace Cloud, etc.
  • Send your backups via email, or FTP

It’s true that a lot of web hosts offer backup services, but you should never rely on them, 100%.

Use them, sure. But always keep backups your control.

Here’s why – A few years ago, a popular UK web host deleted my SEO clients entire blog by accident.

The host referred my client to their terms of service to relinquish themselves of any responsibility, and their editor spent the next month sifting through emails of half-written articles so he could rebuild the blog.

Use this plugin to Backup your entire blog and send it to to the cloud via Dropbox, or Google Drive, etc.

It’s Free – it’s all you need! BackupBuddy and VaultPress (Jetpack Backups) are also excellent solutions, but they are paid only.

Broken Link Checker

As its name suggests, Broken Link Check is a free WordPress plugin that automatically scans and monitors your blog for broken links.

It checks all your posts, pages, comments and other content for broken links and immediately sends you a notification (via email or WP dashboard) if any are found.

This plugin also reports on missing images and links that no longer work on particular images so you can fix them quickly.

Beaver Builder

Beaver Builder is the best WordPress page builder plugin for creating beautiful landing pages.

With this plugin, you can build high converting landing pages in a matter of minutes simply by dragging and dropping.

To help you quick-start creating a landing page, it offers dozens of beautiful page templates.

You can pick one of them, customize it with your content, and publish it.

You can edit your page entirely from the front end with its visual drag and drop interface.

This plugin is helpful if you have multiple products on your site and want to showcase them beautifully.

The plugin is a free premium plugin so you can use its free version before making a purchase decision.

It starts from $99 / year. Get started with Beaver Builder today!

CSS Hero

Your website’s design is one of the important things you need to put into consideration when you build an online presence for your business.

If you’re not an expert designer, then customizing your WordPress theme on your own will be next to impossible.

That’s where CSS Hero comes in.

CSS Hero is a premium WordPress plugin that enables you to tweak the CSS of any WordPress theme, directly from the frontend, using a live preview.

It allows you to easily go back to any changes you made and undo them.

You can also browse different states to see which one you like better and then activate it.

It provides full control over website typography, color management, and more.

ThirstyAffiliates

Affiliate marketing is one of the best ways to make money online.

With affiliate marketing, you choose products you like, promote them online, and earn commissions when someone purchases the products through your referral links.

ThirstyAffiliates is a must-have WordPress plugin if you’re promoting affiliate products on your site.

ThirstyAffiliates provides a simple and beginner-friendly interface to add affiliate links on your WordPress dashboard.

The plugin allows you to cloak the long and complex looking affiliate links into short, pretty URLs.

Conclusion

There you have it! Based on my personal experience, as well as the many reviewers at WordPress, these 15 plugins are some of the most helpful and the top choices for any kind of WordPress site.

Arming yourself with these handy plugins will reduce lots of work on your part in no time.

What plugins do you find the most useful?

Do you have any favorite free WordPress plugins that I didn’t mention in this post?

Do share with us in the comment below.

Last but not least, if this post was of any help to you, please share it on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.

A quick share from you would seriously help the growth of this blog. Thank you so much!

Written by Vishal Rana

Founder and Editor-in-Chief of 'PresentBlogging'. Grey Hat Hacker, Cyber Security Consultant, Information Security Researcher, Programmer, Developer, Social Engineer, Penetration Tester, Professional Blogger and SEO expert.

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