If you are currently trying to start a blog, I would recommend you first start with my previous post:
I go over the key steps you need to follow to start a blog, even if you have no idea how.
You’ve established your WordPress blog, and your now looking into plugins. Well your in the right place. As you can start to notice, setting up a blog is more than just writing posts.
...What are plugins & Why are they important?
Plugins are additional applications for your WordPress website that allow for extended features and functions. They are extremely important in the construction of your website.
Think of this as a way to cheat functions on your site without having to know anything about coding.
Some things you need to remember when it comes to plugins.
When it comes to the blogging world, we can’t build a house without materials or a car without parts, right? Same when creating a blog. We need to set up our blog correctly.
You want to select the right plugins for your WordPress site, if not you may run the risk of having problems with your site. Problems that cause site loading issues, crash notices, and others. Also, having too many plugins can cause conflict with other plugins.
This is why I put together a list of tried and true plugins that I have used over the years on my own site.
Each plug-in offers both free options that are amazing for blogging beginners and paid options for those of you that are more established and looking to expand your site’s capabilities. Overall, each plugin offers a specific service to your site that is important for the foundation of your blog.
Table of Contents
How to Install & Activate
To your WordPress Menu and Click Plugins > Add New
Once you’ve located your desired plugin,
Lastly, Activate your plugin. This will insure your plugin is active and ready to go.
When a plugin is full activated, you will see the box to the bottom right will be grey and it will display Active.
1. Monster Insights
Connecting Google Analytics
Starting off the list is the MonsterInsights plugin.
It’s important to always be on top of your blog stats and traffic reports. This is how you will find out what posts and areas of your content and site are bringing in viewers. MonsterInsights easily integrates your google analytics on your WordPress dashboard. This way you will be able to see your blog stats all in one area.
MonsterInsights eliminates the need to go to a separate webpage to log into your Google account every time you want to see how your blog is performing. You can easily see your site’s stats directly on the WordPress dashboard.
2. Yoast SEO
Search Engine Optimization
Next Plug-in on our list is Yoast SEO.
This bad-boy helps with optimizing your website SEO descriptions to help you rank higher on search engines.
Yoast SEO helps you set up your keywords to filter and direct traffic to your site. There is a paid version of the plugin. But for beginners, the free version is still amazing.
With Yoast SEO, customizing your site’s search results is key to ranking high on search engines, like Google. This plugin allows you to edit and synchronize your blog posts search description with valuable keywords relating to your blog.
Best part, Yoast SEO makes it for you to see how your description looks but illuminating key parts with a smiley face icon. This icon will turn green (your description is good), yellow (your description is of but needs some work) and red (your description needs to be update).
3. Elementor Website Builder
Website Design Builder
On to my FAVORITE plugin, Elementor! Designed and created by illustrator and owner of ,Mindcube, Mordi Levi.
I personally, I like to have control of my site’s design. Only thing is, I don’t know how to code.
Elementor makes this easy by taking care of the coding. Instead of long mixed text, they provide you with a user-friendly platform to design a website with drag and drop features. Together with Canva, I was able to design my site to my liking.
Elementor’s free version is amazing! I went a couple of years with Elementor on the free version before I switched over to the paid option. The free options is a good start for rookies and as your site grows, the paid option later will open up additional features to enhance the user experience of your site.
4. Pretty Links
Pretty Links is an amazing plugin to not only hide your affiliate links. But this plugin also allows you to easily update your affiliate links all at once without having to go into each individual post. Instead of your affiliate links looking long and spammy, Pretty Links just makes them look …prettier.
5. Updraft Plus
WordPress Backup Plugin
Backing up your site to a secure location is a must. Updraft Plus is the plugin just for this. Updraft Plus will make a copy of your site that will allow you to upload to an outside storage space. If anything happens to go wrong with your site, you have a copy of it whenever you have to restore it.
WordPress Website Security
Keeping your site safe is extremely important.
Wordfence is on the job. Wordfence helps keep your Website safe with an easy-to-use platform. Wordfence help guard your site against digital attacks on your site. Wordfence stops attackers by blocking certain IPs that try to get into your site. You get email notifications in case there was an attempt. The free plan for this plug-in has a ton of features for the growth, performance, and security of your site. Of course the paid version allows access to additional features. In my opinion, the best security plugin I used.
7. Grow by Mediavine
All-In-One Social Sharing
You gain readers by making it easy for them to share. This is where Grow by Medvine comes in. This plugin allows you to create social icons on your site for your readers to use. Remember, in my previous post, How to Create a Blog, focused traffic is our main goal. When you allow a reader, that already found your site helpful, they may want to show someone they know about the information found in your blog post. Sharing is caring, right?
Email Opt-in Forms & Subscriber organization
Think about building your email list. Which is very importantThis is how you will be able to build your email list.
Mailerlite allows you to add a sign-up form for your readers when they want to subscribe to your content. This is crucial because when readers are willing to provide you their email, they want more content. Readers want you to email them when another post is published or when you release additional information.
Also your email list is also your targeted traffic. These are readers already interested and are familiar with what you have to offer. They enjoyed reading your blog, they want more. These readers have already started to trust you, and are more likely to support what you have to offer.
9. CookieYes Cookies Disclosure
GDPR Cookie Consent & Compliance Notice
By law, you have to let your users know about their cookie use.
That is where CookieYes comes in. They automatically (with your customizable settings) place the cookie banner across your page. Since cookies collect personal data (and they are protected by data privacy laws), you have to obtain the user’s consent.
CookieYes provides both CCPA GDPR consent. This way you will be able to comply with European Union and California.
10. Under Construction
Last, but not least, I recommend installing Under Construction in the beginning stages of your blog. This will create a cloak over your site allowing you to freely make changes to your site. This plugin comes in handy during those times you may want to update your branding or site layout.
This concludes our list of top 10 Plugins every blogger should have behind the scenes. As mentioned, you can’t have a house without a foundation…at least one, you hope, will last through the next hurricane. Same with your blog, plugins are the foundation that keeps your blog running smoothly. Each plugin you select needs to be a specific role that allows each plugin to do its job without clashing with one another. This way you will have a solid blog that is built to last for the long run.
Thank you for taking the time to read! I hope you found this post helpful in narrowing down the plugins you may need and/or this post offered more insight on the foundation of your blog.
If you did, please share with any fellow bloggers that may benefit from this list!
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