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Essential WordPress Plugins for Bloggers (Plus What Makes Them Must-Haves)

Plugins allow you to add pretty much any type of functionality to your new blog. And, down the line, you’ll probably end up installing quite a few to get specific functionality that you want.

But while there are lots of interesting niche plugins, there are also some essential WordPress plugins that every blogger needs. We’re talking about things so important that no matter what you’re blogging about, these should make your must-have list:

🧙 Beginner’s note: What plugins are and how to install them

A plugin is a third-party extension that adds additional functionality to your WordPress site. This functionality can be something small, like a contact form, or something big, like turning your WordPress site into an ecommerce store.

To use a plugin, you’ll need to install it on your WordPress site. Read this post for more on how to install WordPress plugins.


Essential plugins for a blogger

In alphabetical order:

Admin and Site Enhancements (ASE)

ASE

What it does:

Admin and Site Enhancements (ASE) offers over 60 modules to improve your WordPress admin experience. It enhances content management, customizes the admin interface, boosts security, and optimizes site performance.

Why you’d need it:

ASE simplifies your WordPress management by reducing the need for multiple plugins. It streamlines tasks, making your workflow more efficient, and allows you to focus more on creating content and engaging with your audience.

Akismet

Akismet

What it does:

Akismet automatically checks comments and contact form submissions for spam. It filters out suspicious content, keeping your site clean from malicious or unwanted messages.

Why you’d need it:

Akismet helps maintain the integrity of your blog by preventing spam comments from cluttering your pages. This saves you time on manual moderation and ensures your readers see only genuine interactions.

Cookie Notice & Compliance for GDPR / CCPA

Cookie Notice & Compliance for GDPR / CCPA

What it does:

This plugin provides a customizable cookie consent banner for your blog. It helps you comply with GDPR, CCPA, and other privacy laws by managing cookie consent and providing compliance features like automatic script blocking and consent record storage.

Why you’d need it:

As a blogger, this plugin ensures your site meets legal requirements for cookie consent, protecting you from potential fines. It enhances user trust by giving visitors control over their data privacy, aligning with global data protection standards.

Contact Form 7

Contact Form 7

What it does:

Contact Form 7 is the most popular plugin for creating and managing contact forms. You can customize the forms and the mail content flexibly with simple markup. It supports features like Ajax-powered submissions, CAPTCHA, and Akismet spam filtering.

Why you’d need it:

Contact Form 7 makes it easy for visitors to reach out to you. It’s versatile and user-friendly, ensuring you can handle inquiries professionally while preventing spam and improving user interaction on your site.

Caching plugin – LiteSpeed Cache or WP Fastest Cache

 LiteSpeed Cache

What it does:

Caching plugins generate static HTML files from your dynamic WordPress site, reducing server load and improving page load times. They include features like minification of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, Gzip compression, browser caching, and integration with CDN and Cloudflare.

Why you’d need it:

A good caching plugin significantly boosts your site’s speed, enhancing user experience and improving SEO rankings. Faster load times keep visitors engaged and reduce bounce rates, making your site more effective and professional.

Note: if you’re hosting your blog on a LiteSpeed server, use the LiteSpeed Cache plugin. If not or you’re not sure, use WP Fastest Cache.

Instant Images

Instant Images

What it does:

Instant Images allows you to fetch high-quality, free photos from Unsplash, Openverse, Pixabay, and Pexels directly to your WordPress media library. It integrates with WordPress’ media library, Gutenberg editor, and popular page builders.

Why you’d need it:

Instant Images saves you time by allowing you to find and fetch stock photos without leaving your WordPress dashboard. This streamlines the process of adding visual content to your posts, making your workflow more efficient.

Optimole

Optimole

What it does:

Optimole optimizes your images in real-time using a cloud-based system. It provides features like lazy loading, automatic format conversion (WebP & AVIF), CDN delivery, and image resizing for different devices.

Why you’d need it:

Optimole speeds up your site by optimizing images, improving load times and SEO. It ensures your images look great on any device while reducing bandwidth and storage usage, enhancing user experience and engagement.

Otter Blocks

Otter Blocks

What it does:

Otter Blocks enhances the WordPress block editor with over 20 customizable blocks and features. It includes advanced options for animations, custom CSS, responsive settings, visibility conditions, and more, providing extensive design flexibility and functionality.

Why you’d need it:

Otter Blocks simplifies creating visually appealing and interactive content without needing additional page builders. It offers a wide range of tools to customize your site, making your posts and pages more engaging and professional.

Really Simple SSL

Really Simple SSL

What it does:

Really Simple SSL automatically configures your website to use SSL, enhancing security by converting HTTP URLs to HTTPS. It includes features like SSL certificate detection, mixed content fixer, and security headers.

Why you’d need it:

Using Really Simple SSL ensures your blog is secure and trusted by visitors. It simplifies the process of setting up SSL, protects data, and improves SEO rankings by meeting modern security standards.

SEOPress

SEOPress

What it does:

SEOPress is a comprehensive SEO tool for WordPress. It helps optimize your blog’s SEO with features like custom HTML and XML sitemaps, metadata management, content analysis, social media integration, and more. It also includes advanced functionalities such as schema markup, redirections, and support for Google Analytics – this means that you don’t need a separate plugin to hook your site up to Google Analytics.

Why you’d need it:

SEOPress enhances your site’s visibility on search engines, improves your SEO strategy, and boosts organic traffic. It’s user-friendly and integrates well with popular page builders, making it easier to manage SEO without needing technical expertise.

UpdraftPlus

UpdraftPlus

What it does:

UpdraftPlus allows you to backup, restore, and migrate your WordPress website. It supports scheduled backups, cloud storage integration (like Dropbox, Google Drive, Amazon S3), and easy restoration in case of issues.

Why you’d need it:

As a blogger, UpdraftPlus protects your site from data loss, server crashes, and hacks. It ensures you can quickly recover your content and settings, giving you peace of mind and saving you from potential disruptions.

So there you have it! More than 10 great plugins that all blogs can benefit from. Each of them handles a different task and makes your blog more optimized, protected and more feature rich.

With these plugins installed and out of the way, it’s now time to take care of your blog’s basic settings.

Karol K

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