Have you jumped into WordPress yet? Are you just starting a new blog? With so many plugins to choose from how can a newbie figure out what basic plug-ins a blog needs. This is my list of top 7 plugins every blog should have regardless of niche and blogging level. You need to start here.
Want to be found by your readers? Well, you are going to want to make sure Google can find you. Use this plugin to fill in all of your site’s SEO content and you can also check how your page or blog post measures up SEO-wise. This plug-in allows you to enter meta data and keywords for each page and/or posts as your overall site. It then checks that your post title and url and optimize as well. A wonderful feature is if you need to noindex and post for a giveaway or freebie you don’t want found, all you have to do is hit advanced and click on noindex, easy peasy.
Get alerted when someone is trying to access your blog, you can use the free version of Wordfence to block ip addresses. This is your first step in setting up security on your site. No one wants to pay hundreds of dollars to have a professional move malware from your site, think ahead and prevent attacks on your site, this is your business, no messing around.
Let’s face it you don’t want to give those hackers a chance to guess your password so limiting your login attempts prevent others from hacking your site.
4. Akismet for Spam
The free version of this plug in works very well, to set it up you will need to create an API key and input it into the settings page and then voila, watch as it combats those spam comments.
5. W3 Total Cache or WP Super Cache
A caching plugin stores you content so that is is readily available to the reader so that is doesn’t need to be pulled from your server every time so that your site runs more quickly. This speeds up your site making readers and Google happy. If you make any changes to your site, it may not be visible right away so I like to turn it off while I’m editing my template.
How are you tracking your blog stats? Google analytics is the best way to monitor your blog traffic. You get in depth knowledge about the demographics of your readers and also important information about how those readers are getting to your site. This plug in makes it easy to get your site verified with Google Analytics. I also get to see a snapshot of my stats right in my dashboard.
7. A Sharing toolbar
If you will be writing content that you would like shared, you need to make this easy for your readers to do so. If I can’t find a sharing button, I’m really unlikely that I’ll go open up Facebook or Twitter and copy and paste your URL into their site. Don’t make sharing your content a hassle, get a plug-in to do the work for you so it’s not a pain for your readers. For my sites I like the Hupso, there’s also simple social adder and Sumome. The reader clicks on it once and Bingo, your content is out there.
All of these plugins can be found by searching through the plugin directory, once it is activated, you can head to settings and make any changes or you may see it in your sidebar in your dashboard (ex. Yoast SEO plugin).
These are the bare minimum in terms of plugins that should be on every blog. You’ve just started a blog so you want to make sure that your blog is going to be found by google as you continue to add new content, you want to make sure that there are no errors that may penalize your site, and you want to be able to combat hackers and spam.
Also check to see what my top 10 favorite plugins are to make you a better blogger.
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