14 Essential Plugins For Your WordPress Blog

Essential WordPress PluginsMost bloggers and online entrepreneurs who use WordPress buy a premium theme. High-quality paid themes add a professional and polished look to your blog. This serves to improve credibility and allows you to brand yourself as an expert. For example, Entrepreneurship Life uses the Thesis Theme. And I like to use Canvas from WooThemes.

But a premium theme still needs to be enhanced with plugins. Add these software components to your WordPress blog to enhance functionality. Many plugins are free, some premium plugins can cost you money.

Adding plugins is simple. Log in to your blog and pull up the back end via the Dashboard. You should see a heading for Plugins. Click Add New. From there you can easily search for and install the plugins you need. Of course, everyone has their own preferences. Many of these plugins have alternatives…but these are the ones that I’ve recently found helpful.

WordPress Plugin List

  1. Better WP Security. This plugin is good for securing your blog against hackers. It’s an all-in-one plugin that covers multiple security issues known to plague WordPress. I wrote about how to backup your WordPress blog using Better WP Security in an earlier post.
  2. All In One SEO Pack. Simplify search engine optimization. Use this convenient plugin to optimize your pages and posts for search engines. It allows you to modify your post title, add keywords, and create a 160-character description that shows up in search results. It even has  a preview snippet so you can see how the post or page will look in the search engines results.
  3. AA’s Digg Digg Alternative. I tried using Digg Digg at first, but it didn’t work right on my blog. So, I tried out AA’s Digg Digg Alternative instead. It works well. This social media plugin lets your readers easily share your posts or pages using common social media platforms like Twitter or LinkedIn.
  4. AuthorSure. If you have a Google+ personal profile then this plugin may help with SEO. AuthorSure can help drive your content to the top of search results. Google links each of your posts to your Google+ profile, which can cut down on others plagiarizing your content. And using AuthorSure means your photo appears in the search results, potentially improving traffic to your site.
  5. Google XML Sitemaps. This plugin helps search engines “crawl” and index your site more efficiently. That also helps with SEO. The plugin also notifies the search engines of new blog posts.
  6. Jetpack by WordPress.com. Jetpack is a mega-plugin with many features. Once installed, you can pick and choose which options to download and install. I like the “Maintenance” option and the site stats. It also includes an adjustable grammar checker.
  7. WP Google Fonts. This plugin isn’t essential. But it offers a nice variety of fonts. A great way to customize the look of your blog. I’ve found that using two fonts together is a good combo. I Googled “WP Google Fonts combinations” to figure out a good title and body text combination.
  8. Google Analyticator. This is a commonly recommended plugin. Install it immediately when your blog goes live. That way you’ll have an accurate picture of how much traffic your site gets from the beginning.
  9. WordPress Editorial Calendar. This helpful plugin allows you to schedule your posts days or weeks ahead of time. This is a great way to organize your blog and set it up to automatically publish for you if you are away.
  10. WP Insert. This is one of my favorite ad plugins. It’s any easy way to customize how your Media.net or Google Adwords ads display on your blog. You can set it so ads show up on just one post or page, or in the sidebars on certain posts only.
  11. Disqus Comment System. Disqus is getting popular, today you will see many blogs and news sites with Disqus installed. I’ve had a decent experience using it. It takes a day or two to move your old comments over to Disqus, if you are moving an existing blog. Also, it is a bit difficult to adjust moderator settings. But overall it’s pretty decent.
  12. Smush.It.  This plugin “smushes” pictures that you upload to your blog. The process is automatic once the plugin is installed. Reducing picture size helps optimize your blog for speed with faster picture loading time. The only downside to this plugin…it slows down the time it takes to upload pictures. Usually around 20-30 seconds before the picture has been uploaded and “smushed.”
  13. W3 Total Cache. Use this cache plugin to improve site speed and enhance reader experience online.
  14. Askimet. Askimet is a widely used comment spam filter. It saves you from wasting time deleting comment spam.

All of these plugins are free. Install them as needed. They will enhance the functionality of your blog and improve your reader’s experience.

About Mohit Tater

Mohit is the co-founder and editor of Entrepreneurship Life, a place where entrepreneurs, start-ups, and business owners can find wide ranging information, advice, resources, and tools for starting, running, and growing their businesses.

Comments

  1. Great suggestions Mario! I’m going to check out the calendar, ad insert, and XML sitemaps now!

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