We all know that Plugins are the real power of WordPress that makes WordPress blogging powerful. But when you are just starting a blog, it becomes quite tough to select the best WordPress plugins for your new WordPress blog. Plugins are essential tools that enhance the functionality of a WordPress blog and when you are looking to make your WordPress blog powerful, you definitely need to choose the right tools to blog properly.
Yes, choosing the right tools is equally important and this is where many bloggers commit mistakes. But how will you come to know which are those right tools that would help you to blog in proper way ? I often get this question from my new blogger friends as they often get confused in choosing the best WordPress plugins for their blog.
So today I’m going to share the list of best WordPress plugins for beginner’s to help you blog powerfully. All of these plugins listed below are free and compatible with your WordPress blog. And I’m sure after installing them, you’ll experience a better and enhanced functionality in your WordPress blog.
However do keep in mind, installing a WordPress plugin is possible in your self-hosted WordPress [WordPress.org] blogs only as the free WordPress.com blogs are hosted by WordPress so there are some limitations with them.
Beginner’s Guide to Best WordPress Plugins to Help You Blog Powerfully
So I must assume that after getting a perfect domain name and best hosting service, you have already installed WordPress on your server. Now you are looking for the list of best WordPress plugin to enhance your blog’s functionality. Therefore, now I’m sharing those essential WordPress plugins with their usage so that you may also know why they are beneficial for your blog.
Akismet is one of the popular WordPress plugin that has got maximum number of downloads in recent past years. It is primarily used for blocking spam comments. You just heard about spam comments. Do you know what are they ? Okay don’t worry if you don’t know. I’m telling you briefly without taking your much time.
When you’ll publish some posts on your blog, you’ll see some comments awaiting to be moderated. Usually spammy comments are like this “Hey I read your post, your writing is excellent. I have subscribed to your blog and do check my blog [xyzfhkllssgdy.com]” or like this “Wow too sexy story, what happened after that ?“. These comments are irrelevant to your blog post’s topic. So I recommend you not to get over excited as people are appreciating your writing style.
Simply, this is due to dirty game of link building operated by bots who drop spammy link(s) to your blog. So never approve them as they might affect your ranking in search engines. However, Akismet helps you in doing so by blocking most of such spammy comments.
2. Contact Form 7
There are some specific pages like About page, Privacy page, Contact page etc. that your blog must have from the first day of blogging. A contact page lets your readers contact you personally from your blog. But creating a contact form to be included in contact page, you need to have some technical skills.
However, there is an easy to configure simple WordPress plugin – Contact Form 7 that helps you to create a contact form so easily. Though there are many other popular WordPress form plugins but you’ll find Contact Form 7 – the easiest to configure. Probably, something that you need in your initial stage of WordPress blogging.
3. Digg Digg
We all know that social media plays a very important role in promotion of your blog as well as content marketing. So it is important to place social sharing buttons like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest etc. to help users share your post socially.
When it comes to social sharing, digg digg is one of the best WordPress plugin which I have been using from the first day of my blogging journey. It places floating sharing bar to on your blog which floats through your posts when users scroll down or up.
4. Google XML Sitemap
If you know the importance of search engine traffic, you must be knowing that Google and other search engines should crawl and index your site so that your site could be ranked depending upon various factors of SEO. In search engine optimization, sitemap submission is a very essential and crucial step.
Google XML Sitemap is one of the best WordPress plugin for creating sitemap easily. Once you install the plugin, you can create WordPress Sitemap easily within 1 minute and submit your blog’s sitemap to popular search engines using webmasters tools. If you are new to sitemap, I would recommend you to read this : What is XML Sitemap and How to Create XML Sitemap for Your Site ?
5. WordPress SEO by Yoast
Search Engine Optimization is very dreadful word for many newbie bloggers but if you truly want to grow your blog within short period of time, you must learn SEO. And WordPress SEO by Yoast is one stop solution for you basic SEO needs.WordPress SEO by Yoast is best WordPress SEO plugin which includes many other important features like sitemap submission, meta robot etc. and more importantly, it is free.
Installing and configuring is simple and it is the best WordPress plugin that might help you to optimize your site for SEO very effectively. However, setting WordPress SEO by Yoast may be tough for beginners, here is a useful guide from WP Beginner which you may consider for reference.
6. WP Touch Plugin
With the ever increasing user base of mobile, tablets and other high end devices it is very important to optimize your site to look best on different sized screens. Also, Google recently introduced mobile friendly test feature in webmasters tool using which you may check whether you site is mobile friendly or not. Though not officially yet but we may surely hope to see mobile-friendliness emerging as a SEO factor for ranking in near future.
So it is recommended to have a responsive web design for your site. Though you may get a responsive WordPress theme, yet if you don’t own a responsive web design, you can make your site responsive by installing WP Touch Plugin. WP Touch is one of the best WordPress plugin that plays a very crucial role in designing a website.
7. WP Smush.it
There are many reasons why you must have images in your blog post but including large sized images can make your site load slower putting extra bandwidth load on your server. But that doesn’t mean I’m recommending you not to include images in your blog post.
You can freely include images and other media files with a smart idea to smush these media files to make them smaller in size. WP Smush.it is one such plugin that lets you do so easily with a single click. It is very effective WordPress plugin that reduces size of your images and make your site load faster.
8. WP Super Cache
WP Super Cache is one of the best WordPress plugin that creates cache of your whole site and improves your site’s performance to load it faster by including many caching features like image compression, media smushing etc. It has got all those features to reduce server’s bandwidth [discussed above] integrated with it that is not only effective in improving your site performance but also in helping your site load faster.
9. W3 Total Cache
A similar WordPress plugin like WP Super Cache which is popularly recommended by many top web host to improve web performance. But the reason why I’m listing here in the list of best WordPress plugin for beginner’s is that it’s caching feature is very powerful. Unlike WP Super Cache which asks for WP Minify along with it to work properly, it itself is very powerful.
But make sure you don’t over cache your site by using both WP Super Cache and W3 Total Cache at once, it may affect your site adversely. So use any of the two but not both at once.
10. WP Database
Previously I have discussed beginner’s guide to create backup of your WordPress blog, and probably you might be knowing why taking WordPress backup is important. If you are not knowing, let me tell you shortly.
WordPress runs on php and mySQL and there may be any day when your site may crash or get hacked due to limited security features offered by WordPress. So you must be always ready to handle such problems. Though taking WordPress database backup manually is quite easy yet it is recommended to use WP Database backup plugin which automatically takes scheduled backup of your WordPress blog’s database and sends it to you.
WP Database backup is yet another very useful and best WorldPress plugin that every WordPress user must have from the first day.
How Many Best WordPress Plugins You Need ?
You might have heard the old saying about WordPress plugins among bloggers,
“There is a plugin for managing every problem in your WordPress blog”.
The basic fact is that there are over 36,000+ plugins in WordPress database [at the time of writing] already, does this mean you should test all of them ? Never… !
Loading your WordPress blog with tons of plugin may be dangerous. So select the best best WordPress plugins wisely. Only install those which are really important and perfectly suit your needs. Minimizing the number of plugins can improve your site’s performance powerfully.
The Pro Review from TechReviewPro
Though yet another very useful best WordPress plugin is Jetpack which includes many all in one features like social sharing, CDN management, akismet, stats, subscription forms, contact form, short code embedding etc features.
But the reason why I haven’t included it in this list of best WordPress plugins is that to activate this you need to create a WordPress.com account and doing various other settings is difficult for beginners.
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Hope this collection of best WordPress plugins will help you to blog powerfully. However do let me know if I missed any.