If you really want to make a good WordPress blog then you should know that you will eventually need to look for great tools to present your quality content to the readers. These tools are called plugins and every WP based site needs certain ones for their own needs. However, there are many general plugins that will improve any WordPress blog and today we would like to present you with a list of the top 10 plugins every WordPress blog should have! Are you ready?
Speed is important! The W3 Total Cache Plugin!
W3 Total Cache is a continuation on our previous tutorial on easy ways to optimize your WordPress blog and is certainly a plugin your blog needs! There are similar alternatives with their own pros and cons, but the W3TC is one of the first and one of the best you will find. It will cache dynamic PHP files and save them in HTML format, allowing users to download them easier and faster. The Settings screen will also give you a lot of control over all elements and will certainly help you optimize your sites speed with just a few clicks!
WordPress SEO by Yoast
If you follow our regular SEO tutorials and are looking to boost your site’s rankings, then this awesome plugin called SEO by Yoast will help you climb at the top of the competition. It gives you a one-click access to information such as:
- Keyword analysis
- Page Analysis
- Keyword density checker
- Control over meta elements and tags
If you are serious about optimizing your content for particular keywords then this plugin will certainly help you do the job right!
Do You Have a Backup Buddy?
If you are looking for a 1-click solution to backing-up your data or migrating servers with a push of a button, then the premium BackupBuddy plugin will get the job done for you in an instant. With this plugin you can backup your whole installation and keep it away from harm in a very simple and easy way.
Show Your Popular Content
Dealing with bounce rate can be frustrating. One of the best ways to get visitors to stay longer on your site is to present them with more content from your blog. One of the best practices to do this is to have a widget in the sidebar that shows off some of your popular posts. A great plugin for this is WordPress Popular Posts!
Contextual Related Posts
This is yet another effective method for keeping visitors on your site a longer period of time. Once they get to the end of the article it would be a good idea to have related posts at the bottom suggested. Contextual Related Posts for WordPress is a plugin that does this best.
Gravity Forms for WordPress
You can tell your visitors to send you an email at firstname.lastname@example.org for questions, orders and other details. However, you will agree this isn’t the most professional way to communicate with readers and potential clients. Thus using professional forms is the right way to go. Gravity Forms are one of the best plugins of such purpose. They come with a lot of features and can do quite a lot of math and calculation if you want to have an eCommerce website.
Social Impact on WordPress Blogs
You want people to have an easy time sharing your articles right? There are a lot of plugins that do this, but AddThis is one of those that really gets the job done well. It has quite a few features and is very adaptive. A lot of webmasters go for this option as the buttons are quite large and can attract attention
Google XML Sitemap
Making a Google Webmasters account and adding your site is one of the must do things on your checklist. Once there, you may submit a sitemap to Google which will help your pages get indexed a lot faster. Since WP blogs have a lot of content generated regularly, building a map by hand would require a lot of work and updating. A simple plugin called Google XML Sitemap allows you to generate a sitemap easily and quickly and gives your a lot of other bonus features.
A lot of sites lack a functional 404 not found page redirection. This simple plugin called Redirection gives you a lot of customizable features and options related to all sorts of redirecting. If you are migrating servers then you should get this installed ASAP.
Disqus Comment System
At the moment this is one of most popular commenting systems used by WordPress blogs. Disqus allows your visitors o leave a comment by logging in through their existing accounts on other social networks, their own Disqus account or as guest. You can choose to have these comments moderated or automatic. The comments are threaded, very stylish and SEO friendly.
One thought on “10 Plugins Every WordPress Blog Should Have”
Hi Kevin Stacey here..
I want to first give credit where credit is due and compliment you on how detailed and structured your post is. Most webmasters dont ever mention Buddypress or Gravity Forms. I don’t see too many bloggers going into detail like you have…that’s the mark of a blogger who knows their WordPress plugins.
For optimization, free plugins like WordPress SEO by Yoast, XML Sitemaps and even All in One SEO are really great as they lay down the basic SEO foundation for a WordPress site, but every blog is different and nothing works best for everyone.
I always suggest looking at a side-by-side comparison of the best seo plugins for WordPress in order to make an informed decision of what the best plugin is for that blogger and their website’s specific needs.
Here’s my most recent write-up on the subject:
WordPress SEO by Yoast vs All in One SEO vs SEO Ultimate
Check it out and let me know what you think.
Great article btw…I’ll be referencing this post on my main blog.