Essential WordPress Plugins

With a growing list of over 20,000 plugins, it is sometimes a bit tricky to figure out which plugins to use. This is a quick overview of the 12 essential WordPress plugins that every WordPress blog should have. The good news is that (at the time of writing) they are all completely free. The following essential WordPress plugins relate to improving WordPress functionality, security, SEO, and social marketing.

# 1 – Secure-WP

Security should always be your first concern when something is publicly accessible on the Internet; This is why I rank Secure-WP as one of the most essential WordPress plugins out there. Don’t get me wrong: WordPress does a great job natively protecting your Blog, as long as you keep the version up to date.

However, Secure-WP further strengthens that security by removing stacks of information that hackers could use and removing some of the sensitive material from user accounts, while keeping this information in the administrator account. Good material!

# 2 – spam free WordPress

Spam is a BIG problem with WordPress blogging, making an anti-spam plugin one of the most essential WordPress plugins. I use Spam Free WordPress, which seems to be working quite well. Over the course of a 6-month period, it has blocked more than 8,000 spam comments, a number that seems to be growing exponentially. Now imagine having to check 40-50 spam comments per day! One of the key reasons we use plugins is to save time, and Spam Free WordPress certainly does it!

Essential WordPress Plugins n. 3 – W3 Total Cache

Once the security and spam are fixed, site speed is the next thing that comes to mind. No one is going to wait 30 seconds for their web page to load, so site speed is critical. Now I will mention a couple of essential WordPress plugins that will help boost your website.

The first is W3 Total Cache. This plugin is hugely popular, downloaded almost 1.2 million times! It helps speed up your site by improving server performance, caching all aspects of your website, reducing download times, and providing seamless content delivery network (CDN) integration. In short, it makes your WordPress blog faster!

# 4 – WP optimization

WordPress is based on a database. The more efficient the database, the faster the pages can be accessed from the database, the faster your site will load to your visitors. However, over time, a WordPress database can become contaminated with unnecessary information (such as deleted content, spam comments, old page reviews, etc.). This increases the overall size of the database and increases the access times to that database. The bottom line: your pages take longer to open.

WP Optimize cleans your database automatically and keeps it optimized by continuously removing unnecessary information.

# 5 – WP Database Backup

In terms of essential WordPress plugins, backing up your data falls short. It’s something we all put off until it’s too late and then we wish we hadn’t. WP database backup simplifies kernel backup. The key here is that you can easily backup your site with WP DB and if needed you can hire a freelancer to restore your sites, I would imagine they would charge in the region of $ 25-50, much less de A headache to rebuild your site from scratch! WordPress tables.

The only downside to this plugin is that it is a bit tricky to restore it if something happens to your site. There are alternative plugins that are much easier to use, like Backup Buddy, but unfortunately this is not a free plugin, priced at $ 75 for 2 WordPress sites.

# 6 – Broken Link Checker

There is nothing more frustrating than clicking on a link and getting a “page not found” error. While this is frustrating for the visitor, it generally also has the effect of driving the visitor (and potential customer) away from your website. Broken Link Checker can monitor links in your posts, pages, comments, blogroll, and custom fields and report broken links through your WordPress dashboard or via email.

Essential WordPress Plugins n. # 7: Google XML Sitemaps

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of SEO-related plugins. Only a handful of these would be considered essential WordPress plugins. The first is Google’s XML Sitemaps. A sitemap is basically a roadmap of your website, describing all the individual pages and how they link to each other – their structure. These sitemaps are used by Google and the other major search engines to crawl and index your site more efficiently.

Google XML Sitemaps automatically creates such a sitemap and keeps it updated as you add new content. In addition, it also notifies the major search engines every time you create and publish new content.

# 8 – All-in-one SEO package

All in One SEO is the most popular SEO plugin for WordPress blogs. It helps you optimize pages and posts by automatically generating meta tags and helps you optimize web page titles. The best thing about the All in One SEO Pack is that it is fully functional and requires very limited setup, making it ideal for those who are new to WordPress and SEO.

# 9 – Ultimate Follow Me

Perhaps my “favorite” of the essential WordPress plugins listed here. Ultimate Follow Me is actually a WordPress sidebar widget that links to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social media platforms. It now also includes Google +1, which is generally considered a very prominent way to increase your search engine rankings.

I have demoed some of these social marketing plugins. While they all do pretty much the same thing, Ultimate Follow Me generally features social media icons a little “prettier.” There are several sizes to choose from and it looks great on the sidebar – your visitors are sure not to miss them!

# 10 – Shareaholic

Another essential WordPress plugin that I can’t do without! The plugin automatically creates a beautiful little social marketing bar at the bottom of your posts, where people can like your post on Facebook, send it to their Twitter account, or share it on many, many social bookmarking websites. .

At the time of writing, Shareaholic supports 85 sites! It also comes in 3 flavors, classic markers, sexy markers, and sassy markers. Once you’ve decided which social sites to use, Shareaholic automatically posts the links at the bottom of each page or post, although you have the option to override the per-page plugin so it doesn’t show.

# 11 – Google Analytics dashboard

The Google Analytics dashboard tracks visitors to each of your pages from your WordPress dashboard, so there is no need to log into your Google Analytics account. You can also embed parts of your analytics directly into posts or as part of your topic. One caveat of this plugin is that it does not display the complete information that you will get from your Google Analytics account. It gives you the basic information you need to see who visits what, which is mostly what I’m looking for in my Analytics account anyway.

# 12 – Links to the page

For me personally, this is one of the most essential WordPress plugins that I use. I use it mainly in connection with the content I use on the main page. Blog home page descriptions generally take the first 200 or so characters of the actual article page and display them as advertising words.

The problem is that sometimes I don’t want to use the first 200 characters of my articles as words that are displayed on my main page, in relation to that article, so what do I do? I create an additional page, with the words I want to use, and use the Page Links To plugin to redirect that page to the actual post.

Overview of essential WordPress plugins

The general idea of ​​plugins is to make your job easier when running a WordPress blog, but from personal experience, finding a plugin that does what you want it to do can often be a frustrating task in and of itself.

I can’t even imagine how many plugins I’ve tried over the years. The 12 free and essential WordPress plugins above have managed to prove themselves time and time again.