This post on must have WordPress plugins you should have if you are serious about your blog is the second part of my blogger to WordPress series. Read: how to move from blogger to WordPress by yourself without losing anything first of all for these must have WordPress plugins to make sense to you.
Remember you disabled all the plugins while making the move. Now it’s time to start installing and activating plugins. It’s best to use only plugins you actually need not any plugin with a great description. Activating so many plugins on your website might slow down your site, so you should always try to keep your number of plugins as minimal as possible.
I currently have 34 active plugins including those for woocommerce for my online shop and i think that’s a lot, lol. They are all plugins i need anyways but you might need less if you’re very good with codes. If you must depend on plugins for everything on #wordpress , start with these must have plugins. Click To Tweet
Must Have WordPress Plugins You should Have If You Are Serious About Your Blog
- Yoast SEO: This is probably my favorite plugin. It has been described as the first true all-in-one SEO solution for WordPress. Some of its features include on-page content analysis and XML sitemaps. I agree with that description as it lets you optimise your blog posts, change the title and description you want shared on social media including specific titles, description and image you want shared on facebook and twitter.
You can generate a sitemap to submit to Google via Search Console, set up your social profile with all your social media accounts linked to let search engines know which social profiles are associated with your website. Set up your twitter cards, etc. Trust me, this plugin saves you a great deal of time, the perfect shortcut to so many things if set up correctly.
- AddToAny Share Buttons: There are a lot of share buttons out there but I’ve found the addtoany ones most useful and compatible with my blog. Share button plugins should be at the top of your list of must have wordpress plugins as they give visitors an option to share your posts on their social media. What’s the point of creating great content if nobody is going to read it? *Update: I switched to Accesspress social share because I like the look of the counters and it functions just like addtoany.
- W3 Total Cache: This wordpress caching plugin will improve the user experience of your site by increasing website performance. Pages start rendering quicker which reduces website load time and increases visitor time on site. Some visitors tend to view more pages when a site loads fast and this is good for your bounce rate. The settings might confuse you a bit initially but with a lot of tutorials out there on the right settings, you will get it eventually. This plugin can also cause some compatibility issues on your website, try to set it up correctly. I must have tried changing settings several times, i still do.
- All In One WP Security: Moving to wordpress or any other self-hosted blogging platform comes with it’s own security challenges as ‘Self’ means you are responsible for everything on your website including security to some extent. This security plugin is one of the must have wordpress plugins not only for protecting your files but also because it uses an unprecedented security points grading system to measure how well you are protecting your site based on the security features you activated. You are able to disable the ability to select and copy text from your blog, rename your login page url from the default url, etc.
- FV Antispam: I use this anti spam plugin with Akismet. It puts all spambot comments directly into trash and let’s Akismet deal with the human spam comments. Some good comments get affected sometimes for different reasons (multiple spam comments from same ip range, multiple links in comments, etc). So, i still check all comments before emptying the trash as comments viewed as spam are thrown right into trash.
- Akismet: This is another wordpress security plugin used to protect your blog from spam comments and messages via contact form. It might not protect 100% but it sure protects more than 90%. There’s nothing more annoying in comments than long spam comments, that’s why i still moderate my comments. In the past 1 year, this plugin has protected me from over 550 spam comments alone (you can actually see the number on your dashboard even if you weren’t calculating!).
- Edit Author Slug: By default, WordPress author structure is http://example.com/author/username/ which everyone knows including hackers. This plugin allows you (admin) to edit your author slug or any author’s slug on your site to anything you like, for eg, http://example.com/ninja/master-ninja/ which keeps your wordpress admin page safe from hackers.
- OTF Regenerate Thumbnails: There are different plugins for regenerating thumbnails, I’ve tried 2 (including ‘Regenerate Thumbnails’) but i stuck with this as it was recommended by my theme developer. Your thumbnails will resize on the fly (OTF) when you change image sizes in settings>>media or when you switch themes & plugins with different thumbnail/featured image sizes. You might be wondering why you need to regenerate images, when you change settings of your images, wordpress doesn’t automatically update to the new sizes.
- Simple Author Box: This is a fully customizable author plugin to match your theme design (style, color, size and text options). It shows author gravatar, name, website, description(bio) and social icons. You can see how i customized mine for my guest Saturday bloggers. I don’t use author box for myself, i don’t like the look of author box in every of my post since i’m the owner of the blog. I removed mine by setting it not to display if description is empty. It also adds over 30 social profile fields on WordPress user profile screen.
- Revision Control: This plugin is essential for people who are constantly creating and updating their content. WordPress stores your post revisions but this plugin allows better control over the revisions. The user is able to set a site-global setting (settings >>revisions) for pages and posts. You can enable, disable or limit the number of revisions which are saved for pages and posts. You can change this setting on a per-page or post basis from the revisions meta box. It also allows the deletion of specific revisions via the Revisions post metabox.
The above must have wordpress plugins are very useful for every blogger using WordPress but there are additional plugins that are particularly useful to fashion, beauty, lifestyle bloggers and any blogger that creates a lot of content with images.
Must Have WordPress Plugins For Fashion, Lifestyle And Beauty Bloggers
- RewardStyle Widget: If you were monetizing your blog using rewardstyle affiliate program on blogger, you would have to contact your account manager to send you the link to download the rewardstyle widget plugin for wordpress. With the plugin activated, rewardstyle would be able display your rewardstyle widgets and track sales made through your links properly.
- WP Retina 2x: Ever visited a blog and noticed how crisp everything looked? then probably assumed it was the theme used or the blogger’s photography editing skills? Well, that might be true but this plugin would help your photos look better on every device. It creates the image files required by high-dpi devices and displays them to your visitors accordingly. Though the retina images will be generated for you automatically, you can also do it manually.
- MailChimp: This email marketing platform is very popular among bloggers especially because of it’s ease of use, integration options and affordability (ability to send 12,000 total emails per month and have up to 2,000 total subscribers across all lists in the account free and paid options if you need more). You can easily import your subscribers into it from a different email marketing platform. This plugin allows you to easily add a signup form/widget for your MailChimp list. Feel free to signup for my email post updates to see how mailchimp emails look like. *Update: I switched to Mailerlite, here’s why I moved from mailchimp to mailerlite.
- Contact Form 7: There are a lot of contact form options out there but as i’m listing ones i’m currently using which are necessary, i have to pick this. A contact form is absolutely necessary for a serious blogger. It’s very annoying to search an entire website just to find contact details of a blogger. With this plugin, you can add a simple and flexible contact form to your site if you don’t wish to display your email.
- PopupAlly: I like this plugin a lot first of all because it’s a great way to get those easy runners to pause and actually think about why they’re leaving your site so soon after they just visited. This can be configured via the Exit-intent popups settings. Secondly, It pops up via the popup option to remind your reader that they could sign up via email so as not to miss your future posts. I set mine to pop up only if a reader has spent a certain amount of time on my blog so as not to be intrusive. *Update: my new email marketing service has this pop up option so I stopped using it.
- Advanced Ads: If you are monetizing your blog using banner ads or adsense, this is one of the must have wordpress plugins for better ads management. This light weight simple ad manager lets you display advertising in post content, sidebar and other custom locations you might want on your site. It also lets you show ads based on conditions like author, pages and other post types, posts by category or tags, etc.
- Subscribe to Comments Reloaded: This is one of the must have WordPress plugins for fashion, beauty, lifestyle bloggers and any blogger who gets lots of questions via the comment section. It’s very annoying to keep going back to all the blogs you left comments on just to check for the bloggers’ reply. Make it easy for your own reader by giving them the option to subscribe to get notifications on subsequent comments or only replies to their own comment. Drop a comment on this post and subscribe to replies to see the plugin in action. The plugin includes a full-featured subscription manager that your commenters can use to unsubscribe to certain posts or suspend all notifications.
- Social Counter: I currently use AccessPress Social Counter on my sidebar but i initially started with Social Count Plus which came with my first premium theme. I changed when some accounts stopped updating and after i started using my current theme. These plugins display the total number of your social media followers per account you chose to display. This is useful so that brands can see your total following across different platforms and decide if you are a great fit or not before contacting you. This saves everyone time trust me.
- Better Click To Tweet: If you are on twitter frequently and click blog post links via twitter updates on your timeline because of their click-bait titles, this is a plugin you’ll like. This plugin allows you to easily create tweetable content within your post for your readers to share on their twitter accounts.This gives you the opportunity to get creative with your tweetable content to attract more click-throughs when they’re shared on twitter. See it in action below, use it and share this free useful post to your twitter followers. These must have #wordpress plugins will make your blogging life easy! Thank me later. #bloggers Click To Tweet
- EWWW Image Optimizer: A lot of bloggers still don’t resize their blog images before uploading. The size of images can either help your site load faster or slower. I always resize my images before uploading, keeping all images lower than 1mb with average size at about 300-500kb.You should use lossless compression or utilize pro software and applications like photoshop for that. However it might still be necessary to use an image optimizer plugin to further optimize your images for web.
These are my must have wordpress plugins. If you are already using WordPress and some must have WordPress plugins are missing in this list, do share with us!
*Read Next: the final part of the series – how to clean up your new WordPress blog and get it ready for new posts.
Have a great day and don’t forget to check out my shop.
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