15+ Must Have WordPress Blog Plugins for Successful Blogging
When blogs first emerged, they were mostly used as a tool for self-expression. It wasn’t long since their potential was realized in the business world too. Nowadays, they are a must-have for any company striving to establish an online presence. They allow you to communicate with your audience, showcase your products and services, and strengthen your brand image.
Bearing in mind that today a whole industry has been built around search engines, you need a lot more than quality content to make your blog successful. Search engine optimization, promotion, and security measures are some of the essential matters you have to think about when starting a blog.
Luckily, there are plenty of WP plugins that successfully deal with a variety of blogging needs. The right combination of plugins can improve your site’s performance, enhance communication with your visitors, ensure better ranking, and much more. It doesn’t matter if your site is exclusively dedicated to blogging or if it is just a segment of a more complex, corporate site – WordPress has an array of plugins that can help you achieve your goals.
Generally speaking, you are most likely going to need two types of plugins – ones that enhance your site’s performance, security, and searchability and ones that provide you with functions related specifically to blogging.
Before you start exploring all the possibilities that come with some tools, also bear in mind that you should only install the plugins that you really need. Too many of them could negatively affect your site’s speed, and many other risks are included when you go for a poorly designed tool.
To help you avoid these and similar issues, we compiled a list of the best WP plugins that are proven to help you achieve blogging success.
Plugins to enhance communication:
Plugins for promotion:
Plugins to improve your SEO:
Plugins to enhance social sharing:
Plugins for safe and healthy blogs:
Plugins for responsive galleries:
Plugins to Enhance Communication
If you want your site visitors to be able to contact you in the simplest and most practical way, you will hardly find a better solution than the Contact Form 7 plugin. This popular plugin enables you to create a countless number of contact forms. It comes with 16 ready-made fields like CAPTCHA, email address, phone numbers, etc, that significantly speed up the process of generating a contact form. The abundance of features combined with a user-friendly interface has proven to be a win-win combination for more than 5 million users. You can create entirely customized contact forms since the plugin practically allows for limitless variations. Plus, it supports 53 different languages, which is way more than many other similar plugins, and it is totally free.
The comment section can provide you with many valuable insights about your audience. Plus, for Google, comments are a sign of popularity and engagement so, they can have a significant impact on your ranking. Although WordPress does come with a comment area, if you customize and style it with a plugin like wpDiscuz, it will look more appealing, and your audience will feel more welcome to share their opinion. wpDiscuz provides you with a clean and modern design and plenty of customization options. You can set whether login is necessary for leaving a comment, change what fields of information must be provided, set the colors, comment notifications, and a lot more that is simply not possible with the bare WP. If you were looking for ways to increase interactivity, do not miss the chance to make the best out of the comments section. Your visitors may even provide you with ideas for new posts.
If email marketing sounds like too much work for you, we are sure that Mailchimp will prove to you that you can be a great email marketer, even if you don’t have any experience whatsoever. Mailchimp is a highly efficient tool for growing your blog. It will help you send emails to a targeted audience, manage subscribers, and track results. You can be sure it won’t cause any performance issues on your site as it integrates seamlessly with all the popular WP plugins.
A situation where more than one author works on a single post is not rare at all. Managing multiple authors’ names can be tricky unless you have the right plugin. Co-Author Plus is a reliable, WP plugin that will help you present all the authors of the particular post neatly and easily. It allows you to assign multiple bylines to posts, custom post types, and pages. What’s great about this tool is that it also enables the assigned co-authors to edit the posts they are associated with.
Plugins for Promotion
Popups are a powerful means for boosting your conversion rate. Nevertheless, they often feel intrusive and pushy so you really have to make them attractive to avoid this undesired effect, because the fact is they do bring results. The best way to ensure your popups make visitors stay on your website is to use the Popup maker plugin. This 5-star rated popup plugin allows you to add fully responsive popups anywhere on your site and to customize them so that they fit your style. You can easily add email opt-in popups, lead gen popups, eCommerce popups, contact form popups, and also set the frequency at which the visitors will see them.
If you are looking for ways to increase your conversion rate, get more email subscribers or promote selected content, there is one trick that brought excellent results for many. It is called the fixed (sticky) widget. You know those ads that don’t disappear when you scroll down the page but keep showing in the sidebar, making it impossible not to see them? These are the sticky widgets, little miracle workers that can help you get more clicks on your ads, and the Q2W3 plugin will enable you to make them quickly and easily. The Q2W3 Fixed Widget for WordPress is a simple plugin that doesn’t require any configuration. You just install and activate it, and you can make any of your sidebar widgets sticky.
Plugins to Improve Your SEO
It is not a question of whether you should think about your SEO, but how you’ll do it. You can hardly achieve any significant blogging success without a good SEO strategy. If you are on a budget, the Rank Math plugin is an excellent solution for you. It comes with such a wide array of powerful features that can replace a whole SEO team that it is a wonder it is still free. The list of its advantages is very long, so we’ll name just a few that no other SEO plugin can offer: unlimited keywords optimization, Google search console integration, LSI Keyword integration, 30 detailed SEO tests, and a lot more. It is considered a game-changing SEO plugin that will help you increase your traffic in the easiest possible way thanks to its smart automation features.
You don’t have to be an SEO expert to be able to employ the best SEO practices on your site. Yoast SEO is a beginner-friendly plugin that will help you optimize your pages for important keywords and upgrade your texts without spending hours on it. This plugin will also help you adjust your titles for search engines and get a readability check to see whether you need to input more changes like paragraphs split and similar. Furthermore, Yoast gives you full control over your site breadcrumbs and helps you avoid duplicate content by automatically setting canonical URLs.
Plugins to Enhance Social Sharing
Growing your site audience is a task that requires a multi-targeted approach. The next thing you should think about after establishing a full-fledged online presence on several social media platforms is to enable your readers to share your content on their social media accounts. This can significantly expand your reach. The tool that will immensely help you do this is the Easy Social Sharing Plugin. With it, your content can be shared on up to 18 social media networks. It also enables you to add the sharing button at the top or at the bottom of your posts.
Adding social media icons to your site is as important as having social media profiles. Their main purpose is to help you connect with your audience and achieve a wider reach. The Social Icons Widget plugin enables you to add social media icons to your WP sidebar. What makes the plugin particularly handy is that it allows you to customize the appearance of the SM icons – you can choose between three icon styles and create your own color palette for them.
Plugins to Improve Your SEO
11. Akismet Anti-Spam
Spam can significantly impact your site performance and not in a positive way. Therefore, it is vital to apply some kind of countermeasures against spam to avoid site contamination that usually comes from various contact form submissions and comments. Akismet is one of the best plugins to provide you with an effective way of reducing spam. The plugin will examine all your comments and contact form submissions to check for any type of undesired and possibly harmful content. It conducts an automatic analysis of your site to remove the suspicious content that is most probably spam and features easy backup and restore processes. Plus, you can always see the status history for each comment so that you know where the spam occurred.
If you are worried about hackers’ attacks that always come unexpectedly, it is a good idea to install a backup plugin. Various security plugins and systems help you protect from possible malware, but you need more to keep your content secure. A backup plugin like the Updraft Plus will make you feel safer as it will enable you to save your content intact whatever happens with your website. It allows you to backup your content in the cloud databases like Dropbox, Google Drive, iCloud, etc. You can also set automatic scheduled backups and upload your content to more than one cloud service. What is also great about UpdraftPlus is that you get excellent professional support for any issue that you may run into while using the plugin.
If you’re posting original content on your site or blog, and you want to be sure it is protected from unauthorized use, the powerful WP Content Copy Protection & No Right Click plugin is a perfect choice. Its free version is packed with some premium features like watermarking and aggressive image protection, and it is incredibly easy to install and use. Once you activate it, it will prevent both selecting and copying any kind of content on your site. Plus, your page code will also be well protected as the Inspect command located in the right-click menu will be disabled too, and the same goes for the Ctrl+U command in Chrome.
Plugins for Responsive Galleries
We have already mentioned how important beautiful imagery is for your site, but there’s more to it. Since about half of your visitors will be checking your pages from their mobiles, it is essential for your galleries to be responsive. Having a responsive WP theme is a great start, but isn’t always enough. So, don’t hesitate to install the Photo Gallery by 10Web plugin that will help you create breathtaking albums and galleries with easy navigation. This plugin is bundled with beautiful layout options, album and gallery views, a variety of widgets and extensions that will help you take maximum advantage of its functionalities. It is an excellent choice for photography blogs and sites.
The Envira Photo Gallery is a smart plugin with a drag & drop functionality that is highly optimized for web and server performance. It is very fast and built with a deep understanding of SEO. You can also count on excellent gallery load time. It makes sharing and selling your photos incredibly easy as it features social media integration, image proofing, and WooCommerce store integration. You can also easily customize it with its built-in WP templates or even create your own templates.
Beautiful imagery is an absolute must if you want to have a relevant blog of any kind. But, quality images are often oversized, which means they use too much server space and negatively affect your site speed and SEO. Luckily, there is an easy way to avoid this – just install the Resize Image After Upload plugin, and you will be able to automatically resize images and reduce their size from over 5 MB to 100 – 200 KB without any additional effort from your side. Plus, this popular, easy-to-use plugin can also force re-compression of uploaded JPEG images and convert PNGs with no transparency layers to JPEG even when they have already been resized.
The plugins that you choose should not only be compatible with your version of WordPress, but also with each other. They are not the best solution if what you need is an easy and quick fix. Depending on the specific needs of your site, choose the ones that will enable improvements or major changes that otherwise wouldn’t be possible without the plugin.
We hope this article was helpful. If you liked it, feel free to check out some of these articles as well!