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8 WordPress Plugins Your Blog Can’t Live Without

By Jul 25, 2013July 9th, 201454 Comments

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Looking for a one-stop-resource on WordPress plugins? When it comes to finding the best WordPress plugins available for your blog, it can be tough to know where to start and what to use.

That’s why we’re giving you our 8 top WordPress plugins your blog can’t live without. Read on to get the tips you are looking for!

And if interested in heading over to the top WordPress plugins we’re recommending, be sure to click the title of each plugin we’re recommending. Everything is hyper-linked!

wordpress plugins

With all the time you spend creating content for your blog, it’s easy to ignore plenty of small details. However, overlooking some details can actually reduce your audience. Keeping your blog fresh, running smoothly, and easily accessible is essential in helping to grow your blog.

8 Best WordPress Plugins

User Experience
Your blog is only as good as how a reader experiences it. These plugins will ensure a great visit to your blog- and encourage more return visits back!

ReplyMe

Have you ever left a comment on a blog, then promptly forgot about the conversation? (Um yeah. Me either..). Well, this plugin allows you to reply to comments on your blog, whether through the dashboard, the blog itself, or the mobile app. When you reply to a comment (or anyone else replies to a comment), the initial person who replies receives an email letting them now they have an answer.

When it comes to creating engagement on your blog, this WordPress plugin is a must!

Shareaholic

One of the most popular sharing WordPress plugins, Shareaholic, also presents the least amount of conflict with themes and other plugins- plus, AND it won’t slow down your blog. Easily customizable, you can select from over 50 platforms to make your information shareable from, as well as including a Tweet, Facebook Like, and Google+. As a bonus, you can even access analytics: exactly what bloggers want to see!

WP Touch or WordPress Mobile Pack

Personal favorites of mine as an iPhone/smart phone lover, these WordPress plugins present your blog in a mobile-friendly platform, making it easy for readers to read and comment from their phone. Accessibility is always important and the world is becoming more and more mobile- especially the blog world. If you want your content read easily, make sure it’s mobile-friendly. WPTouch does this simply, while WordPress Mobile Pack offers more room for customization. Whichever you choose, install it now!

WWSGD

Are you encouraging a call to action immediately when people visit your blog? You should be! The What Would Seth Godin Do WordPress plugin displays a message to new visitors to your blog (such as Welcome! Don’t miss another post- subscribe to my blog!). Taken a step further the plugin also allows you to configure a different message for returning visitors. It’s a great, personalized way to greet your readers and to remind them to subscribe and connect with you!

Back-End Necessities
There are lots of fun bells and whistles to add to your blog. But, it’s also important to ensure your blog is secure and operating smoothly behind the scenes. These top WordPress plugins will help you keep your blog running at an optimal level.

Akismet

Do you get an insane amount of spam on your blog- typically in other languages or broken English? I’m betting that you don’t have Akismet installed. Go install it. Immediately. While you will have the ability to read through the spam comments if you so desire (and to make sure any link-happy commenters don’t get lost in there), Akismet will catch almost any spam comment made on your blog.

Broken Link Checker

Building up organic links to your blog is a key component of successful search engine optimization. However, if your links are broken they do not provide any use, for you or those you are linking to in a post or page. An essential tool for bloggers, this plugin monitors your blog to find broken links. If it finds broken links, it lets you know so that you can go in and fix them! Genius, right? It looks through all the aspects of your blog and you have the option on whether or not to be notified via the dashboard or via email if any broken links are found. It will even allow you to prevent search engines from following your broken links.

Editorial Calendar Plugin

This plugin will change your life. Okay, maybe not, but it will make your blogging life more organized. The drag-and-drop interface allows you to move posts around, set them as drafts or published and schedule your upcoming brilliance all right within WordPress. This is a must-have for everyone, but a can’t-live-without for blogs with multiple authors.

WP Complete Backup or Updraft Plus

While not necessarily a fun plugin- no one wants to get hacked!- the WordPress Complete Backup Plugin is an essential to your blog in case something goes wrong, such as a server hack or some type of blog crash or fail. It is much easier to restore your broken blog if you have the contents easily accessible and this plugin will help minimize downtime in case a problem should arise. If you’re looking for cloud-based backups, then check out Updraft Plus. (Note- Updraft plus has both free and premium options).

Now you’re all set with the best WordPress plugins to keep your blog running smoothly and user-friendly. Time to work on those fabulous posts!

Want more WordPress Advice?

When it comes to the best blog tips and social media advice, we’ve got plenty to share! Click the below articles for more tips.

About Ashley Abele

Ashley is a mom of 3 young children, social media consultant and blogger. She focuses on strategizing for bloggers and small businesses to help them reach their online potential and subsequent sales potential as cofounder of Other Half Media. When she’s not busy creating blogger outreach programs, email or social media campaigns, she blogs her life, parenting, and frequent moves at My Front Porch Swing. Connect on @AshleyNAbele on Twitter and on Facebook.

54 Comments

  • This is awesome! I just switched over to WordPress self-hosted and these is so useful! Thanks for sharing!

  • This post is…..AWESOME!! I just started my blog…as in this past week haha! I started on blogger because I really didn’t know what I was actually getting myself into when I started! After doing tons of research and reading reviews, I’ve decided I definitely want to make the switch to wordpress, and I definitely want to do it soon while my blog is still really new! So I’m looking for suggestions and plugins so that I have them when I make the switch, and this is great! I’m pinning it so I’ll definitely be able to come back and use it!

    Thanks so much!!
    –Michelle @The MaMade Diaries

  • I’m just in the process of moving from Blogspot to WordPress and setting up extra WordPress sites too. It’s all so new to me that this post has become super helpful. I never would have guessed twenty years ago that I could be a lover of things techie!

  • Lara says:

    Great tips! As a first time blogger this was super helpful. The Calendar plug in is a life saver. Thank you.

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  • Bryan says:

    Nice list Ashley. As an alternative to Akismet, I’d suggest Growmap Anti Spambot Plugin. It’s made by the same guy who makes CommentLuv and it’s free. I’ve been using it for five months and my comment spam went from about 250 a day to zero. I like it better than Akismet because it doesn’t let spammers submit comments in the first place. So I don’t have to search my spam bin for the occasional link-happy commenter, and it’s less load on my server. I just posted a review of the plug on my blog which is linked below.

  • Kristi West says:

    I have many of these. One that I can’t do without is Quick Cache. It helps you blog to load faster. Give it a try if your blog takes a while to load.

  • Gracielle says:

    Great list! I definitely need an editorial calendar so thanks for the recco!

  • Melissa says:

    This is a great list! I love most of these but aren’t familiar with the WWSGD. I can’t wait to check it out. 🙂

  • vinma says:

    I really need to add the mobile friendly plugin. Thank you for the reminder 🙂

  • Wow! So helpful, as always. I only have Akismet out of these (and I wonder how all bloggers don’t have a spam block?!), and am looking into the others ASAP. Thanks!

  • Thank you Thank you Thank You!
    Love this list of plugins – I have akismet and its awesome – but I did’nt have much info on the others!
    I gotta look into these now!

  • I have just moved my blog from WordPress hosting to self hosting {still using WordPress} so these are really great! Thanks for taking the time to share them. I am headed to make sure and use them all!
    Hugs,
    Sandra
    The Adored Home

  • I use a lot of these, but haven’t tried the Editorial Calendar. I just installed it; can’t wait to give it a try!

  • Zahid Habib says:

    I use WordPress Mobile Pack regularly. I love it

  • Jenny says:

    Yea I pretty much use all of those. Except some of them are tied into ONE plugin… JETPACK~ It’s pretty nifty. if you don’t have it yet, check it out!

  • Brand new SITS girl here! 🙂 I am so happy to have learned about your awesome community and can’t wait to become apart! I have shared love on FB, twitter & G+ and hope to continue to spread the comment love! Thanks for sharing these awesome plugins. I am always looking for essential plugins because I get swamped by all of them!

  • This is great information, and I wish I had read this blog earlier this afternoon. I was looking for half of these things by doing the Google. Could have saved myself a TON of time. Oh well, at least i have them now.

    Thanks so much!

  • I swear by Askiment. It keeps my spam down to almost nothing.

  • Petra says:

    Thanks for this list! Ive heard of or use most of them but not found WP Touch 😀 Thanks for sharing!!

  • Beth says:

    Thanks for sharing! I actually have a question for anyone who has experience with it…how do you feel about Jetpack? I’ve read a lot of mixed reviews, but there a lot of people who don’t seem to like it. It seems to come pretty much standard and I’m such a newbie, I’m afraid to delete it. I can’t tell that it’s hurting anything, but I’m not sure exactly what it’s supposed to do either! Also, can anyone recommend a good subscription plugin? I don’t like the one with Jetpack, but I don’t know what to replace it with. Thanks so much!!

  • What an awesome list, thank you so much! There are a couple that I needed but didn’t know what to look under 🙂

  • I’m already using most of these, but I’m loving the new ones too! I can’t wait to try the calendar plugin!! Thanks for a great post!

  • Stephanie R says:

    Thank you SO much!! I have been looking for a plug in that would help with my replies!!

  • Baby Teesms says:

    Great post. There are a couple I need to look into. Thanks!

  • Lauren says:

    Interesting article, I followed the advice and installed the plugins I was missing and agree they are very helpful! (ReplyMe, WWSGD, Shareaholic, Broken Link Checker) I didn’t install the WP Mobile Plugin because I have a theme that will resize decently and I really want to keep my theme style across all mediums. A similar plugin I had installed in the past over-wrote those.

  • Great information! Akismet is definitely a headache saver!

  • Amber says:

    fairly newer to wordpress but have a social media queen as my fairy godmother (eh, KD- are you there…) anyways, great list now I need to see what I do and don’t have, thanks for the checklist. 🙂 Happy little Friday!

  • Wow! Thanks for the list, there are a few that I have never heard of before. Now I will be sure to check them out. Thanks again 🙂

  • Tracie says:

    I only have ONE of these! #FAIL! I am going to definitely do some installing tonight! Thanks!

  • Great post… headed over to get the WP Complete Backup Plugin now. Thanks girls!

  • Kim says:

    I have a few of them right now. Probably won’t add others since I’m a bit bogged down in plug-ins (I need to work on that) at the moment. Oops.

    Nevertheless, a great list! I’ll have to check out the ones I don’t have and see if they’ll work for my blog.

  • I think my favorite post yet! I didn’t have ANY of these plugins and went and immediately installed every single one. Thank you so much! This post was very helpful!

  • Candi says:

    I have many of these but still probably need more info on some to update. I am not sure of all the bells and whistles of mobile and settings. Also Seth Godin, I have had that set up but I guess you can do even more with it. I also don’t know what to do the check my broken links. I will need to study that one too.

  • This is a great list. I have many of these but have been looking for a back-up plugin so thank you for the recommendation!

  • Sonia says:

    Good list for anyone new starting out. The problem is having too many plugins. I the ones listed are a great essential set of plugins, but when bloggers have too many is where they can run into problems. My favorite plugin is Comments not replied to and Photodropper.

  • Thanks for that great list. I love the concept of WWSGD!

  • Tiffany says:

    An awesome list of PlugIns…I have was just looking for something to help me with spam as well as broken links….Thanks so much Ashley!

  • Candace says:

    I’ve only used Akismet. I will give the others a try.

  • Maisha says:

    This post was very helpful and I plan on looking into some of these as soon as I get home. Thanks Ashley!!!

  • I downloaded Related Posts via Categories this morning after reading your other posts on 10 more plugins. All my related posts show the same title as the post being read. Any ideas how to change it?

  • Brittany says:

    Ooooh! Great list there’s a few I don’t use, so I’m checking them out now! Thanks!!

  • Tonya says:

    Thank you. That updraft looks awesome. I just added it. I have not loved my other backup options, but this looks like one that I will love.

  • Emelie says:

    I needed this today!!! Thank you!

  • Karen says:

    This is fantastic thank you for sharing. i have new blog and don’t know any bloggers, these online communities are like having a cuppa with some friends and passing around favourite and proven recipes.

  • Shana Norris says:

    I love the name of the What Would Seth Godin Do? plug-in. So cool.

    I have a question about the broken link checker which is really more of a WordPress question, I suppose. If you go back and fix a link, then save or update that post, does it put it through feed readers of people who are subscribed to your blog as a “new post?”

  • Felicia says:

    This is a really great list of plugins. I actually have most of them, but there are a few that I don’t or haven’t heard of. I’m going to have to check them out now and see what fits best with my blog. Thank you for the suggestions!!