The 4 Best WordPress Plugins for Your Blog
If you’ve recently started blogging, you’re probably wondering how to choose the best WordPress plugins for your blog.
Plugins can take your blog from basic to seriously impressive in a matter of clicks. They can help you do everything from customize your blog’s appearance and start an email list to filter out spam comments and protect your blog.
Even better, they give you the ability to carry out all of these customizations without requiring you to write a single line of code!
The best WordPress plugins for your blog can make it safer, easier to run, and even help you get more traffic.
The key word here is “best” though. There are tons of WordPress plugins available, offering a vast array of cool features, and it can be tempting to try out as many as you can.
But installing untested, unsafe, or incompatible plugins can slow down, harm, or even break your WordPress site altogether.
Keep in mind that every additional WordPress plugin installed can introduce a higher level of risk and bloated plugins slow your site’s speed considerably.
One of the most common rookie mistakes is loading your blog with every plugin that catches your eye.
This often leads to a super-slow, malfunctioning blog.
That definitely doesn’t mean that you should completely forgo installing plugins though.
Which WordPress Plugins Are Best for Your Blog?
While WordPress is a fantastic blogging solution on its own, one of its major benefits is that it allows you to achieve practically any effect you want by simply installing a WordPress plugin.
But it’s critical to thoroughly vet any plugin for number of active installs, solid ratings, minimal effect on your blog’s speed, and a well-known developer before installation.
As you develop your blog further, you’ll likely find you need different functions and features that can only be achieved by installing more
But if you’re just starting out, it’s a smart idea to only install the essential plugins your blog needs.
If you’re looking for the very best WordPress plugins for your blog, you can’t go wrong with these 4 tried and tested choices.
Each of these options were created by well-known developers and have thousands or even millions of active installs.
They’re also consistently ranked by seasoned blogging pros as the best WordPress plugins for your blog.
As an added bonus, every single option on this list provides multiple benefits and is absolutely free to install!
The Best WordPress Plugins for Your Blog to Install Today:
1. The Sucuri Plugin or The WordFence Plugin:
When it comes to running a successful blog, nothing is more important than protecting your site’s integrity. That’s why the number one best WordPress plugin for your blog is a reliable security plugin to monitor and shield your site in real time.
In fact, I’d go as far as to say that if you only install one plugin, it should be either the Wordfence or Sucuri plugin.
Both the Wordfence plugin and the Sucuri plugin offer powerful protective features for your WordPress blog.
These plugins provide real-time scans, website firewalls, and brute force and DDOS protection.
Both also offer paid and free packages. The paid versions provide even higher levels of protection for your blog but either of the free plugins are also excellent choices.
2. The UpdraftPlus WordPress Backup Plugin:
If you don’t make regular backups of your site yet, PLEASE start now.
Seriously, this one of the most essential steps on your blogging to-do list.
Backups are the best way to ensure that all of the hard work you’ve poured into perfecting your blog won’t just up and disappear at the first glitch.
Even if your hosting company provides backups of your blog for you, these backups usually don’t come with guarantees.
Often, you won’t even be informed if a backup fails.
That means one small mistake, and everything you’ve worked on could vanish.
Still, manually creating regular backups of your blog can seem like a daunting task when you have little to no tech experience.
That’s where the free UpdraftPlus plugin comes in. UpdraftPlus is hands down my favorite tool for making backups of WordPress blogs.
It’s easy to install and use and makes automatic backups of your blog for you based on your preferred schedule.
It also stores your blog backups in a secure off-site location of your choosing.
In addition to automatic scheduled backups, it allows you to easily make manual backups anytime you want.
Plus, if you ever find yourself needing to restore your blog from a backup, no need to worry.
The UpdraftPlus plugin makes this process as painless as possible.
With over a million active installs and tons of 5 star reviews, this plugin may be one of the best things you can do to protect your blog’s future.
Ready to install the free UpdraftPlus plugin and start making backups of your blog? Check out this easy step-by-step UpdraftPlus installation and use tutorial to get started!
3. The Yoast SEO Plugin:
Ah, SEO…it’s one of those topics that tends to confuse new and experienced bloggers alike.
But its importance can’t be overstated.
Properly optimizing your site for search engines can mean the difference between a thriving blog and one that sort of peters out.
So how awesome would it be to have a nifty little WordPress plugin to help you nail SEO?
Good news — Yoast SEO is exactly that plugin.
After security and backup plugins, this free SEO plugin is the number one must-have for a successful new blog.
Because it makes optimizing your blog for search engines (and getting more organic traffic as a result) as easy as pie.
From letting you know how “readable” your content is, to reminding you to add optimized sub-headings to every post — Yoast SEO does it all.
With regular use, you’ll find yourself becoming an optimizing pro and easily churning out higher ranking content without breaking a sweat.
What’s not to love?
Beyond SEO, the Yoast SEO plugin makes enabling open graph a cinch and produces an XML sitemap to help search engines crawl your blog.
4. The W3 Total Cache Plugin:
Want a faster loading blog?
Then the W3 Total Cache Plugin is definitely for you.
It’s extremely important for your blog to utilize a good caching tool to achieve faster page speeds.
Caching is a process of storing data from past requests and using this stored data for future requests. The W3 Total Cache plugin generates static files for your blog and serves these in response to requests.
This process allows your site to load faster than a blog that doesn’t use caching.
The extra speed you gain from caching also helps your blog rank higher, as Google takes page speed into consideration when ranking sites.
Beyond that, a faster blog will also impress your readers and keep them on your site longer.
And the longer visitors stay on your site, the better your chance of converting them into regular readers and even paying customers.
So if you haven’t started using a caching tool to speed up your site yet, make sure you install the free version of the W3 Total Cache plugin today.
WordPress plugins can add unlimited functionality and features to your blog.
But that doesn’t mean you need to (or even should) install a bunch of them to get impressive results.
Conducting research to ensure you only install the very best WordPress plugins for your blog is a great way to protect your site and increase its speed and efficiency.
Hopefully, this short list of awesome free WordPress plugins has helped you figure out which plugins your new blog needs.
And while the free plugins on this list may not be the only tools you’ll ever require, they are a great starting point to help you enhance your new blog.
Have any questions about selecting the best WordPress plugins for your blog?
What are some of your top picks for the most essential plugins?
Share with us in the comments below!