16 Top WordPress Plugins For Your New Blog

top wordpress pluginsOkay, everyone knows that a WordPress blog is not complete without its plugins. But when you look at the huge number of plugins that are available in the WordPress plugin directory it really can be a bit difficult to figure out which ones you should install on your blog, especially if you’re just starting out.

That being said I’ve made a list of the top 16 WordPress plugins every blog should have no matter what niche it’s in.

Although there are a lot of cool and useful plugins out there that can definitely make your life easier when managing your blog, having too many will affect the load time of your website.

Okay here we go.

Must Have WordPress Plugins

1. All In One SEO Pack: Very easy to use plugin which provides you with every SEO feature you might need, including the option to add “noindex” and “nofollow” meta tags to the archives pages and tags pages. This plugin helps very much with your on-site search engine optimization by allowing you to edit the title tag, the meta description and the keywords for every page and post on your website.

all in one seo

In the search engine results it will look like this:

residual income

2. SEO Data Transporter: Now this is a very useful plugin, it comes in handy when your switching between seo plugins or switching to a WordPress framework that has in-built SEO. I’ve found this one when I made the switch to the Genesis Framework(affiliate link) and I needed to transfer all my SEO data from All In One SEO to the Genesis in-built SEO.

3. Google XML Sitemap: This plugin creates a sitemap for your WordPress site, which makes it easier for search engines to crawl through your entire website and quickly index your pages and posts. The plugin automatically submits the sitemap it generates to Google and Bing every time you update the content on your website.

4. Pretty Link: Now this is a very cool plugin to have on your website, especially if you use affiliate marketing to monetize it. What this plugin does, is it takes those long and ugly affiliate links and turns them into short links that look more appealing for someone to click on them. In addition to that it tracks all the clicks for each affiliate link you shortened.

affiliate marketing

pretty link plugin

5. W3 Total Cache: This plugin will speed up your website’s load time by caching your pages and posts as static pages which take less time to load when someone is visiting your website. Since Google takes into account your website’s page speed and load time as a factor when positioning it in the search results it’s definitely important that you properly optimize your website for faster load times. Now, the W3 Total Cache is kinda difficult to set up if you are new, because it has a lot of features, but here is a guide that will teach you everything you need to know on how to speed up your website.

6. Yet Another Related Posts Plugin: This plugin will add a related posts section below each post, pointing the person reading your posts to other relevant posts, thus increasing the time spent on your website, and lowering your bounce rate.

The time spend on site and the bounce rate are 2 additional factors that influence search engine rankings, so the more time people spend on your website and the lower your bounce rate is the better for you.

wordpress plugins

7. Akismet: Now this is one plugin that you definitely should use on your blog. It’s job is to block spam comments from landing on your blog. As I was starting out, there were maybe 2 or 3 spam comments a day, I didn’t think much of it, but the more traffic you get the more spam you will get. This plugin comes already installed on WordPress, all you need to do is activate it and it will guide you step by step on how to set it up properly.

8. P3 Plugin Profiler: This plugin is very useful if you’re looking to optimize your website’s page load times. It will do a detailed speed test on your website showing you which plugins take up the most resources and are slower to load.

plugin load time

9. Twitter Facebook Social Share: This plugin will add share buttons to popular social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest and some social bookmarking sites like StumbleUpon, Reddit, etc. It has a lot of customization capabilities. You can place the buttons above or below your post, or as I use it, a floating bar which scrolls up and down on the left side of the page.

wordpress share plugin

10. Better WP Security: Every WordPress site should have this plugin installed. This plugin will allow you to set-up additional security measures for your website. The first thing you must do is to change your default login username from “admin” to a unique username. This plugin will also let you set a limited amount of login attempts before locking out the IP from where the incorrect login attempts were made, protecting you from brute force attacks that can eventually find your password.

11. Broken Link Checker: This plugin will check through your entire website to find links that don’t work anymore because you probably typed the URL wrong or maybe the webpage does that exist anymore. Once it finds a broken link you will see an alert in your WP admin panel and it also gives you the option to correct that link simultaneously for every page or post it shows up.

12. Facebook Open Graph Protocol: This plugin will add the Open Graph Protocol to each of your posts and pages so that when someone shares your content on Facebook or any other social network that uses the Open Graph Protocol, it will pull the correct information, meaning the right title, description and image.

All you have to do is create a Facebook Open Graph application and insert the app id in the plugin settings page, along with a default image in case one of your posts or pages doesn’t have any images, and it will add the code below to every post and page on your blog.

open graph plugin

13. Comment Reply Notification: I really like this plugin. Every time I reply to a comment that was left on my blog this plugin will send a personalized notification to that person’s email telling him his comment has a new reply. What’s cool about it is that you can customize this message in any way you want. You can add a call to action inviting that person to like you on Facebook or follow you on Twitter. You can even add affiliate links, but I think that’s kinda spammy so I would recommend not to do that.

14. Editorial Calendar: I’ve started using this plugin just recently, and has proven itself very useful for me. What it does is it adds a calendar tab inside the Posts tab in your WordPress admin panel. So all you have to do is pick a date and click “add new post”. Once you’ve started writing on a post you can later move it to any date you want just by dragging the post to a different day in the calendar.

editorial calendar plugin

15. Jetpack: This plugin comes already installed with every WordPress site. It’s actually a number of plugins all bundled together. I only use it for the WordPress stats feature, which shows my traffic stats including the search keywords, referral websites and how many views each post got. Also if you create a free account at WordPress.com you can connect that account with your self hosted blog and this makes WordPress.com act like a CDN for your images.

16. I know I’ve said 16 top WordPress plugins, and this is we’re you guys come in. I’m absolutely sure you have one plugin that you’ve installed on your blog and is not mentioned in this post.

So I’m going to leave the last plugin for you to recommend in the comment box below. If someone else already mentioned the plugin you we’re thinking of, its okay to mentioned again, because this probably means its something worth checking out.

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Comments

  1. says

    Hi Philip,
    This is a great really. I have a couple of them already running on my blog. However, I’m going to get one from your list installed right now. It’s the related post plugin.

    Thanks for sharing it on the list

    • says

      Hi Kabenlah,

      Yes, there are definitely way more plugins that are pretty useful for a WordPress blog, and Yoast’s SEO plugin is indeed a great plugin.

      Thanks for your comment, have a great day.

  2. says

    Hi Philip,
    I’m interested to see what other members of the community suggest as far as additional needed WordPress plugins. Thanks so much for sharing this post with the BizSugar community.

  3. says

    I have (and love!) a lot of these plugins. The one that I personally like best is the Editorial Calendar, because I’m interacting with it all the time, but without W3 Total Cache I’m pretty sure my site would be permanently broken. :) And I agree with Kabenlah about the Yoast SEO plugin — really helpful. I know a lot of people prefer the All In One SEO Pack, but I still like Yoast the best.

    • says

      Yeah, Yoast’s SEO plugin is indeed really useful but it can be sort of confusing for someone who is just starting out, while All In One SEO is very easy to use.

  4. says

    Hi Philip,

    Great share of plugin set. I wonder you still suggest All-in-one-SEO. Why won’t we move to WP SEO by yoast or Platinum SEO? I find those plugins much better than good-old AIO?

    • says

      Hi Suresh,

      Well to be honest I’m not using All In One SEO anymore. Since I switched to the Genesis Framewok I rely on the in-built SEO features of the framework.

      But to answer your question, I prefer AIO over Yoast’s plugin simply because it has everything you need. I think Yoast is cluttered with too many features.

      Thanks for your comment Suresh, I appreciate you taking the time to share your opinion.

      Enjoy your week.Cheers.

  5. says

    Hi everyone. I have only basic wordpress skill however there are a couple of plugins I love. Exclude Pages from Navigation, sallow me to make hidden pages. Its simple, and i love it. Why would you need a hidden page? I use it for a papal redirect page, or a page I only want a certain group to see. I love after the deadline that spell checks things (this comes in jetpack now,) Image Widget allows you to easily put images in your widget areas, & RV Embed PDF allowed me to embed a pdf in the body of my page. Thanks

    Lynda

    • says

      Hi Linda,

      I’m actually not familiar with the plugins you’ve mentioned here, but I’m definitely gonna check them out. I’m always looking to try new plugins and see how they work.
      Thanks for your comment, I really appreciate it.
      Have a great week. Cheers.

  6. says

    Great post. Will have to look at the Facebook Open Graph plugin. Been meaning to learn more about the open graph, but reading this post has got me curious how the FB open graph might help us.

    Thanks again!

  7. says

    Great list, Phillip. I have to agree with using Yoast’s SEO plugin, though, rather than All -in-One SEO. All In One can actually cause more harm than good. The code is placed too far down, it can get broken up, it can post duplicate page titles/descriptions, etc.

    Yoast takes a bit of time to learn and set up properly, but my results have proven to be well worth the effort.

  8. says

    Hi Philip,

    That’s a great list of plug-ins you’ve compiled Philip, I currently use most of them and will have a look into the others.
    With the advent of Googles Author Rank another handy plug-in to have is “Authorsure.”
    Authorsure allows you to show your face or logo in the Google search results by setting up links that allow Google to verify your authorship of the articles on your site.

  9. says

    Hey Philip , great list! I’d like to suggest for # 16 our ‘engageya’ related posts plugin
    http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/cross-promotion-content-recommendations/
    Semantically analyzes all your posts to recommend only the most relevant ones. Co-promotes related posts amongst other relevant websites that use the plugin, thus driving additional targeted readers, plus it allows you to have you FB posts to be recommended as further reads across the network as well, driving additional traffic to your fan page. Check it out :-)

  10. says

    Definitely recommendation #9 is a poor choice without a mobile theme in place. You can’t read the content with the floating share box taking up 1/3 of the space

  11. says

    New plugin for WordPress / BuddyPress titled Toolbar Remixed. This easy to use plugin allows users to take control of their WP Toolbar and is one of the most important plugin releases in 2013. You can control the style and layout of the Toolbar right from the Admin section of WordPress.

    Here is a link to the free version on WordPress – http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/toolbar-remixed-free/

    Here is a link to the Pro version –
    http://siteguru.biz/downloads/toolbar-remixed/

  12. Alex says

    hey Phillip, great article! always like hearing the latest and greatest on WordPress plugins.
    Try checking out the Barc commenting plugin – it’s a new way to add real time commenting to any site with useful features like private chat rooms, language translation and embeddable multi-media to name a few.
    Please check it out!
    http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/barc-chat/

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