Do you install WordPress plugins with high hopes that it will help you grow your blog then after a few days it you’ll get disappointed as it not only eats up space, takes years to setup or it does a tiny bit then will force you to upgrade?
Do you know that there are about 44,000 WordPress plugins available for download – free and premium? But seriously there are so many of them how would I even know if they are actually worth installing and if they would really help me out?
If this sounds like you – don’t fret. I’m here you rescue your confused mind. Let’s jump right it!
Top 10 (Free) Most Useful WordPress Plugins For Your Blog
WordPress Plugins for Search Engine Optimization
Do you think just starting a blog can get you massive traffic? No. But here’s the thing, when you add a hint of SEO to your blog you might get a pleasant surprise – and it’s not as complicated as you might think.
1. Yoast SEO
With this super plugin, you can now say goodbye to your developer! Goodbye fees! Ha-ha!This plugin hits on almost every crucial on-page aspect that every blog post needs.Yoast shows you exactly how your page will look on search engines. It shows your page title, URL and meta description all true-to-form.It also checks to see if you’re staying focused with your main keyword by checking your heading, title, URL, content and meta description to see if you’re using your keyword.Also, you never have to guess what your title, URL or meta description will look like — you can easily edit those descriptions within the plugin. Just enter your focus keyword and voila! It will do all the SEO stuff for you.
2. Google XML Sitemaps
This plugin will generate a special XML sitemap which will help search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo to better index your blog.
The more your site is indexed, the better your chances are of ranking on the first page of search engines.
Grab the Google XML Sitemaps plugin so you don’t have to spend hours creating your own sitemap.
WordPress Plugins for List Building
It also allows you to create simple and effective pop-ups to display as people browse your website.
Not only can you set your own display rules so your pop-ups appear whenever you want them to, you can also choose Smart Mode and let SumoMe display your pop-up when your visitor goes to leave your website.
If you’re new to blogging – this is the most important thing you should do.
When somebody is navigating your website and ends up hitting a 404 page – meaning that they’ve clicked on a link or navigated to a page that no longer exists they’ll eventually leave and never come back.
That’s why a 404 page is a great place to capture their email address and attention.
If they navigate to a 404 page accidentally, they were already engaging with your website. So why not give them exactly what they want, with a custom 404 page?
WordPress Plugins for Website Protection & Maintenance
Do you know what’s the worst nightmare of every blog or website owner? It’s waking up in the morning only to realize that your website has been compromised, hacked or crashed!
Don’t do that to yourself – please.
Here are some of my personal favorites (and proven to be effective) when it comes to protection!
BackUpWordPress allows you to backup your website automatically on a schedule, so you don’t have to think about it. You can have your backup files emailed to you, or just store them on your server.
And if anything bad happens to your site? You can just restore the backup from the files BackUpWordPress generates for you.
6. Rename WP Login
This is a small plugin but it does help you site to be more secure. It adds a layer of security by changing your login from wp-admin to something a bit more discreet.
Precaution is always better than cure. It will be a lot more difficult to someone to break your site if they don’t know your admin login is – makes sense? Just do it! It’s for your own good.
7. WP Limit Login Attempts
If you’re like me who is always forgetful – then you gotta have this plugin! You may have tried the wrong password a million times which will possibly lock you out – it’s frustrating.
This is a simple plugin that does a fantastic job limiting login attempts.
You have full control over the settings, including how many times one IP address can attempt to login, how long it locks them out for if they surpass that, and comes equipped with Captcha verification.
8. WP Super Cache
With over 4 MILLION downloads and a rating of 4.2 out of 5 stars, WP Super Cache is one of the most popular WordPress Plugins available.
This plugin speeds up your website. When it comes to search engine rankings, your site’s load speed is a major factor.
WordPress Plugins for Stats
9. JetPack by WordPress
If you feel like Google Analytics is confusing and If you want to quickly see your stats without going anywhere. This plugin is for you.
This baby was built by WordPress, so you don’t even have to go anywhere to install it. You don’t even have to go anywhere, you can view your stats right on your WordPress dashboard.
WordPress Plugins for Design and User Experience
10. P3 Plugin Performance Profiler
This amazing plugin will scan your website to show you which plugins are slowing it down.
You’ll then get a fancy report, complete with a graph and a detailed breakdown of the plugins that are making your site lag the most.
We love Bonus!
11. Ultimate Branding
Using plugins can be so much fun especially when you can customize the overall vibe of your dashboard.
This plugin will replace all of the WordPress branding on your dashboard with your own company branding. You can add your logo to your admin bar, replace any word or phrase that WordPress uses, and even change the color scheme on your dashboard. Cool!
For example, you can change your WordPress login like this:
This was so so helpful. Thank you!!
Thanks for sharing.
You can try User Activity Log Pro WordPress plugin to monitor and keep track of all the activities occurs on the admin side.
I still have much to learn about WordPress. But I’m slowly getting there.
I’m surprised that there is a customized 404 page. That is an excellent idea! It turns a problem into an opportunity.
Yoast SEO is the only I have among these. The way I see it, it has been helping a lot to be able to write better and to optimize their blog. That ultimate branding and WP Limit Login sure looks tempting to download because the way you described them really seems to entice me. And really looks legit!
That custom 404 theme made me chuckle, in a good way anyway. I’m used to some people from different regions having problems accessing my blog and getting the usual error number, and that plugin might just ease the situation a bit. As I’ve said from a different blog post, all these tools are what makes WordPress excellent. That Backup WordPress is just something that always captured my interest but never used it.
My favorite has got to be Yoast SEO. I’m not really that good with SEO but Yoast has helped me improve my SEO writing skills. 🙂
I like this list of plugins! I haven’t heard of a few of them. It’s nuts that there’s so many on offer, and some have awesome features like the ones you’ve listed here. A couple of my favorites are Magic Action Box for opt in forms and Upprev which gives you a pop up to visit a previous post once the person has scrolled through a percentage of the page.
Thanks for sharing this Robert!
I will definitely try out yoast. I was planning on working on SEO some extra this week. So I will check this out. Thanks.
You should definitely try that out! Let me know if you need any help on it 🙂
I love using plugins too but most of those that you mentioned here I don’t have. Thanks for the tip because I thnk I can use some of these like the Ultimate Branding. I can’t wait to try it haha… And I think I need wp super cache too.
Yes girl try that you’ll love it!
Thanks for the tips!! I use a minimalist approach when it comes to WP plugins. But I think what I got off your list is List Builder. I’d often think popups are annoying, but who knows, people might actually subscribe to my page more because of it.
Hey Sam, Pop ups are annoying if you don’t give value to your readers. So don’t try collect emails for the sake of collecting – you should have a plan on where to use those emails
The Ultimate Branding plugin is really “wow”! I’m gonna install it right now, thanks for sharing 😉
Hey Plusbizarre! It is so cool isn’t it? So happy you liked it!