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So you keep hearing about it. This thing called a plugin. But what is it really? Without getting into all the technical jargon a plugin is a feature on WordPress that allows bloggers to optimize and customize their websites. With everything from detailed site statistics to a customized sidebar, the best plugins can help you design the website you want.
Why is the blog space buzzing about finding the best plugins?
After you choose a WordPress theme for your new website you can tweak it to your personality with one of the several thousands of plugins that WordPress has to offer. You don’t need to hire a designer to customize your new website and you don’t need to learn how to code. If you want to add new features to your website such as photos from Pinterest or your Twitter feed all you have to do is download and install a plugin.
15 Best Plugins for WordPress
These WordPress plugins are easy tools that make your website awesome – and more importantly your own. Oh and did we mention, they’re free?
CommentLuv is a sharing plugin. It allows people who leave comments on your blog to show their most recent posts along with their name and comment. It’s a great way to discover new blogs and encourage sharing. I love leaving comments on blogs with CommentLuv.
Related Posts via Categories
This was one of the first plugins I installed on my blog. It shows several related posts underneath new posts based on the content. It suggests your visitors to keep reading based on their preferences. This keeps your bounce rate down and keeps readers on your blog.
This super simple plugin makes it easy for anyone to find your blog on search engines through keywords. It will rank your blog content and let you know if it is being optimized for search engines. It’s a great way to attract new readers who are searching the web.
This plugin keeps you in the know with what’s happening on your blog. It allows you to reply to comments on your blog through the WordPress dashboard or with the mobile app. When you reply to a comment it sends and email to the original commenter to let them know they have an answer. It keeps the conversation going on your blog – and we all want that.
This is one of the most popular WordPress plugins. If you have ever read a blog post you’ve probably seen this plugin. It allows your content to be shared with just the click of a button. It’s customizable and it gets your content out into the space.
This plugin has made my life a lot easier because it helps plan content publishing topics and dates. I use to write down ideas with a pen and paper, but now I plan. This plugin lets you see any gaps in the content schedule as well as change dates and plan for the future. This plugin is blog organization at it’s best.
WP Touch or WordPress Mobile Pack
These plugins display your blog in a mobile-friendly platform. It makes your blog accessible to everyone, anywhere at any time through their phones and other mobile devices. In 2014 this plugin is a must have.
The What Would Seth Godin Do WordPress plugin displays a message to new visitors to your blog – any message you want. If you want to welcome readers, encourage them to sign up for your mailing list or take any other action this plugin is the perfect pop up.
WordPress Complete Backup Plugin
This plugin protects your blog just in case something goes wrong. If your blog crashes or gets hacked this backup will save your blog life because it restores the blog to its pre-crisis states.
Spammers stay away with this plugin. This plugin catches almost any spam comment made on your blog and filters it out of your comments.
Broken Line 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.
Pretty Link Lite
Many bloggers do some affiliate marketing on their site. Pretty Link Lite tracks the clicks inside my WordPress Dashboard and when I share an affiliate link with someone, it’s short and easy for them to remember. (Make sure that you always disclose; I have clearly disclosed to my readers that I’m using affiliate links.)
I like all of my blog posts to have an image, but I don’t always have the time to take and edit a picture for each post; Photodropper is my hero. This plug-in allows bloggers to search images with the right licenses (be sure to check “show only photos that can be used commercially,”) to use in blog posts. Each image comes with a credit back to the photographer’s Flickr photostream.
Tweet Old Posts
This one deserves balloons. Tweet Old Posts lets you dust off older posts and share them again on Twitter in a non-spammy way. I just re-read that sentence and thought “duhhhh.” Here’s something that isn’t so obvious: with this plug-in, you can select the time period it pulls posts from and you can deselect giveaways or other posts that don’t need a repeat.
Genesis Simple Hooks
If you are running your blog on the Genesis platform then this plugin will change your life! Simple Hooks allows you to insert code into any of the 50 action hooks in the Genesis platform. With this use of this plugin you can skip hours of time spent in your theme file. You might even save some money by not hiring a designer to do the coding needed.
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Wordpress Plugin says
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Amit Kapoor says
awesome plugins. Thanks for sharing all are useful plugins. I have also a WordPress plugin please check it out socialappshq.com/widget/landing or https://wordpress.org/plugins/twitter-widget-with-sentiment-analysis/ and Please Give me feedback on my plugin.
These are such great plugins! Just installed the WordPress via Categories. Thanks for the tips!
Hi there, this is a great article but I was wondering i you had a similar article for blogger plug ins? I am especially interested in the related posts plug in!
Wonderful list! I almost passed by this post thinking…I’ve got to have everything I need by this point. Apparently, not so much… 😉 I’m definitely going to try some of the ones I don’t have but clearly should. Thanks very much!
Daidri | Thee Getaway Gal says
I always love good tips that help with design and making life a bit easier. There are some here that are new to me and some I’m already using and love. Can’t wait to try a few. Thanks for sharing!
Thank you! I really like this post as I am fairly new and don’t know a lot of the tricks and tips! I will actually be using a few of these and trying them out. I too have seen CommentLuv but didn’t know how to use it. Wonderful post!!
I like it you post
I like it
Great list! Thanks so much. Your list is going to be very helpful to me.
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Tenns @ New Mama Diaries says
Awesome roundup! I’m off to installed the related posts one.
Thanks so much for sharing!
Whitney Fleming says
Thank you thank you thank you! As a big-time newbie, this was a huge help. And the editorial calendar rocked my world.
[email protected] says
Love this list! What would so many of us do without WP and its plugins?
Off to finally install Editorial Calendar and make my life 10,000 times easier! 🙂
Nice plugins. Really beneficial.
Susie B. Homemaker says
I use most of these already but definitely looking into PhotoDropper. Editing photos is my nemesis when it comes to trying to quickly get a post up. lol
I’m looking for a new backup program but the one you recommended is no longer being supported. Any other reccos? tyvm
Thanks for sharing information on the Plugins. I love Tweet Old Post it generates a lot of activity on by site.
Yvonne I. Wilson says
Very helpful list! Thanks for sharing them..worth investing in.
I just moved to WordPress and decided to start Fresh so I’m still working on things but this post came just on time. — Being new to WordPress is like being in a whole new world and I know I can always depend on “The Sits Girls” .. I love this site :).
Do you have any advice for those of us using Blogger? Or would you say “Get off Blogger!” 🙂
Laurali Star says
These are some fab tips! I no longer have WordPress but I remember most of these plugins. My favorite was the Pretty Link Lite. I am now a converted Weebly fan 🙂
Love and Luck,
Courtney @ Eat Pray Run, DC says
Fantastic recommendations. I’ve pinned this post and have already added a couple of the plugins I wasn’t using. WWSGD is awesome!
Laura Jo says
Thanks for this list! I’ve added the ones I was missing and can’t wait to use the Editorial Calendar.
Some of these I already use and the ones I don’t are definitely worth a look. Thank you so much for the suggestions!
This is such a helpful post, thank you so much for sharing xx
I agree with using all of these on WordPress except the pop-up one. I hate pop-ups when I’m just trying to read. Could you be any pushier with asking me to sign up for your newsletter? It guarantees I absolutely won’t, and probably won’t be back.
IMO, it’s the Internet equivalent of shouting “HI THERE! HERE’S A THING I THINK YOU SHOULD DO!” while standing right in front of someone.
This also goes for that “recommended pinner” pop-up I keep seeing now in the bottom corner of blogs. It’s annoying and spammy.
I’m sure lots of people don’t mind pop-ups, but I just wouldn’t ever use one and I am turned off of blogs that use them.
Didn’t know about Broken Line Checker, Thanks for the tips!
Heather Lynn says
This is definitely the best list of “Must have WP plugins” I’ve seen to date! (I’ve been looking through dozens for a few days!). I’m trying to clean my blog up and plug ins are truly a bloggers best friend! Thank you! 🙂
[email protected] says
Thanks for sharing these great plugins!
Debbie Smith says
This is like a Christmas present for a blogger! Thank you for this helpful list. Love you for it.
I am very new to blogging and WordPress, so these tips are a must for me.
I am very new to blogging and WordPress, so these trips are a must for me.
Jennifer Kennedy says
Great post!! I’m definitely going to check out a few you listed here: Genesis Simiple Hooks and Photodropper!! Looks like these will save tons of time.
becky (the cookie rookie) says
THANK YOU!!! I had a couple of these but just added all of the ones i didnt have. i already love them!! Lifesaver 🙂
Katie @ Pick Any Two says
Great post! I might add Jetpack to the list. It is a really powerful but simple plugin that covers a lot of ground.
I have almost all of these, but I don’t really understand Genesis hooks, do I have to know about coding to use this one?
Thank you so much for these insightful tips!! I can’t wait to add “comment luv” to my blog!
This is great! I had no idea word press had a calendar. And that is precisely what I need! Thank you!
[email protected] says
Great list! Thanks so much. Your list is going to be very helpful to me.
Awesome post! I’ve been on a hunt for some nifty plugins! thanks much!
Aruna - Young Yoga Masters says
Thanks for sharing these tools. There are a few I don’t have yet that will help!
Kristi what a great post! I have definitely found a few PlugIns here that I don’t have but was actually looking for. So glad you shared! Thank you…