As a blogger with a WordPress site, I know how important it is to have the plugins to ensure my site runs smoothly. But there are so many plugins out there – how do you know which ones to use for your site? Here are the 9 must-have WordPress plugins for bloggers.
Spammers loooove to leave messages on websites. If you don’t have a good filter in place, you could end up with some weird stuff in your comments section. Akismet is awesome because it scans comments, filters the ones it thinks are spam (which they usually are), and quarantines those comments for review. Since Akismet doesn’t automatically delete anything, you’re always in control of what is and is not going up on your site.
My domain provider has an automatically installed security program, but I prefer Wordfence over anything else. I have had my site hacked and lost everything and it sucked. Wordfence is easy to use, offers super strong security, sends daily updates, offers realtime monitoring, and allows you to manually block any IP address that you don’t want accessing your site.
I’ll admit it – SEO is not my forte. No matter how many classes I take or books I read on the topic, my brain just will not retain all the information I need to know. Yoast SEO works perfectly for me, because it analyzes the SEO of each post, helps you pick keywords, tracks the characters in meta descriptions, and more. If you’re not an SEO expert, this plugin is a must-have.
W3 Total Cache
In order for users to have an optimal experience on your website, everything needs to load fast. This is where caching plugins help tremendously. W3 increases loading speed, which makes the user experience much better.
Really Simple SSL
While in the past, having an https protocol was optional, now it’s practically mandatory. But embedding SSL code into a website can be complicated. With Really Simple SSL, the plugin does it for you while optimizing security and performance.
If you monetize your blog or use affiliate links, Pretty Links is a great way to keep track of your links. It also allows you to create short links that use your URL instead of alternate shortened links, so you can maintain brand consistency. There’s a free version or, if you’re more advanced, a Pro option that has more bells and whistles.
While some domain managers come with built-in XML sitemap help, others don’t offer any XML features. For websites to be properly indexed on Google, it’s important to have a proper XML sitemap that Google can read. This plugin maintains your sitemap and updates Google, Yahoo, and Bing when there are changes to your site.
One of the fastest ways to reach readers is through shares on social media. Monarch is one of the must-have WordPress plugins because it allows you to add sharing buttons to your posts. You can choose from up to 20 social media platforms including Pinterest, X, and Instagram, and you can also designate where on the page you’d like the buttons to live.
SiteKit by Google
SiteKit by Google wins the final spot in the list, especially if you’re looking to display Google Ads on your posts. The plugin seamlessly integrates Google services (including Search Console, AdSense, Insights, and Analytics) into your site. SiteKit is easy to install, displays a dashboard with traffic, search queries, and more, and is simple to navigate.
Do you have other must-have WordPress plugins that you swear by? Leave a comment and let me know!