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19 Essential WordPress Plugins for Your Blog

This guest post is by Eric Siu of Evergreen Search.

WordPressers are always looking for helpful plugins for their blogs, and if you’ve been following today’s posts on ProBlogger, especially Install Your First WordPress Plugin, you’re probably in the same boat.

So I thought I’d compile a list of the most popular to get you started. To make things simple, the plugins in this post have been broken into different categories.

SEO plugins

  • WordPress SEO: If there’s one plugin from this list that you should get, this is the one. It sets up title tags, breadcrumbs, meta robots control, XML sitemaps, Google Analytics, Google Webmaster Tools, and much more.Wordpress SEO
  • Broken Link Checker: This handy plugin will tell you which links on your site are broken – an automated problem spotter.
  • WPTouch: Easily create a mobile version of your site.
  • nRelate Related Content: Make it easy for people and search engines to find related content around your site.
  • WP Editorial Calendar: Make blogging more manageable by setting up a blogging calendar with this plugin. Very simple drag-and-drop editing on a calendar.
  • SEO Auto Links & Related Posts: Autolink words to URLs of your choice—great for internal linking.
  • WP Super Cache: This plugin will speed up your blog—and site speed is an SEO factor. While not necessary for smaller blogs, bigger blogs will definitely want this plugin.
  • Blogging Checklist: Sometimes you might forget to include some important steps while blogging. Blogging Checklist allows you to add a list of helpful reminders before you place a blog post. Forget no more!
    Blogging Checklist

Social plugins

  • Social Analytics: Want to see which users are logged in via Google, Google+, Facebook, or Twitter? You can do it with this plugin.
  • Social Sharing Toolkit: This flexible plugin allows you to add “social bling” to your posts or pages. You can add buttons from various social networks in a clean and minimalistic manner. Here’s how it looks:
    social sharing tool kit
  • Tweet Old Post: If you have content that you’d like to resurface to your audience every now and then, Tweet Old Post lets you do it.

Analytics plugins

General plugins

  • Subscribe to Comments: Gives your audience the option to subscribe to comments so they will be alerted when people are posting new comments.
  • Outbound Links: Automatically makes all outbound links open in new windows. Helpful in the sense that you don’t lose your audience completely. These clicks can be tracked in Google Analytics.
  • Post Ender: Add a message at the end of each post—think email subscription and RSS subscription opt-ins, like this:

    Post Ender

    Image via ConversionXL

  • Akismet: Eliminate comment spam. This plugin is already installed—all you need to do is enable it and get an API key.
  • Widget Context: A custom sidebar widget. Sometimes you might need to rotate in different ads or use different widgets for various pages or posts. This plugin helps you accomplish that.

Maintenance plugins

  • WP Database Backup: Backing up your blog is extremely important—you don’t want a freak accident to destroy all your work. This plugin allows you to schedule backups. I personally send them to different gmail accounts for each blog.
  • WordPress Backup to Dropbox: Back up your WordPress files to your Dropbox account.

Conclusion

There are a ton of great WordPress plugins out there—this list is intended just to help you get a head start. You’re sure to find some incredible plugins that suit your needs down the line. What are some other essential WordPress plugins that you use?

Eric Siu is the Vice President of SEO at Evergreen Search, a digital marketing agency in los angeles. He’s also written about Minimum Viable SEO: 8 Ways To Get Startup SEO Right and 10 Immutable Laws of SEO. In his free time, he likes watching football, playing poker, hiking, reading, or eating ice cream. Feel free to follow him on Twitter: @ericosiu :)

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Comments

  1. Great list of awesome plugins,some of them are new to me.Installing Post Ender just know.

  2. syed says:

    Good plugins list.But you missed out great plugin SEO Slugs,which is very useful for High competition keywords results

  3. Good stuff man, it’s all about using the right plugins!

  4. Hadie Danker says:

    Good plugin list. but I think Auto SEO Links & Related Posts that you mean are http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/seo-alrp/

  5. Daniel says:

    A nice list of very useful plugins, Eric.

    I would also throw in the Permalink Finder Plugin, and also Anti Spam Bee..

    I have just made the migration over from Blogger, which did not go as well as planned.

    So, apart from Intense debate holding my comments(100′s) hostage, I am slowly getting back on track.

    Some of the plugins have been really helpful, and I wonder how I would have coped without them.

    The only downside of WordPress is it can take much longer to do some things, that can be done instantly in Google Blogger.

  6. Ye Tun Win says:

    That’s a great list. Thank you!
    I thought you should also add W3 Total Cache and WP super cache.
    Most WordPress blog owners use shared hosting, and these plugins are really helpful to speed up the blog.

    Regards,
    Ye

  7. Was looking for a good mobile plugin. Shall try WpTouch! Let’s see if this sucker works…

  8. Jonathan says:

    Great suggestions. One to add would be all in one SEO. Been using it for years on a couple of my blogs. Definitely recommend it to anyone – does exactly what it says on the tin.

  9. Gerard Reich says:

    Thanks for the list of suggested plugins. There’s a bonus also with the readers input. Going to save the link right away. Thanks

  10. Mita says:

    This is the article I needed and very inspiring. I will try to apply when creating a blog with wordpress. Thank’s.

  11. Jodi Chapman says:

    Thank you for a great list! I’m definitely going to install the backup plugin right away. And am interested to check out the editorial calendar. Thanks!

  12. Dani Fuller says:

    I really enjoyed…I am testing several of these. Saturday I migrated to wordpress =)

  13. Hi Eric..

    thanks for the fantastic compilation..really helpful for users who are starting out…I downloaded almost all plug ins recommended by you!

    Abhinav

  14. Ravi Kumar says:

    Great Information…..

  15. I found Google Analytics and WordPress the most powerful and essential plugins…

  16. Martin says:

    I use tools like Colibri Tool. It track my sites position on every Google, suggest my competition and monitors it 24h per day, also shows Facebook and Twitter mentions, backlinks and Page Rank-most useful also for blogers.

  17. Thanks for this list. I currently use WP Touch, Super Cache, and Subscribe to Comments. I think I would greatly benefit from the post ender.and blogging checklist!! That blogging checklist is just ingenious.

  18. Great list of awesome plugins,some of them are new to me.Installing Post Ender just know.

  19. Hi, I installed all the plugins you recommended. I liked them all, except “SEO Auto Links & Related Posts” it was clunky and ugly. I will try out Hadie Danker’s suggestion from above.

    ZOPIM is also worth looking at – if you click on my website you see it in the bottom right corner – it is an IM chatting tool – a little bit useful a little bit distracting,

  20. My bad…I did not have “SEO Auto Links & Related Posts” set up properly – I changed the Number of related posts: to 1 (from 5) and it looked a lot better.

  21. Christopher Prins says:

    Good round up mate. Going to give these WordPress plugins a crack on my newest blog. Will keep you posted, over on G+
    Chris.

  22. Thanks for this post, there are some great plugins here for helping out productivity – I especially like WP Touch as it removes a lot of the complexity from making a mobile version:)

  23. Yury says:

    plugin Tweet Old Post is realy useful

  24. I also like Smush it. It takes your images and compresses them so your site can load faster!

  25. Gemma W. says:

    It’s a decent list but why isn’t LiveFyre, yolink, WooDojo, Jetpack and AntiLeech included?

    Also I’d have included the VaultPress backup and security service too.

  26. Eric,
    Great list… but what should be the limit on how many plugins to really plop down into one’s installation? I presume there’s a fine balance somewhere, between room to grow and overhead being over-stuffed with widgety goodness!
    Bruce

    • Alex says:

      There isn’t a defined number or average amount of plugins a site can have. You usually establish that yourself depending on your blog. If you find yourself over your head in plugins then you might want to cut down a bit.

      Its best to start with the essentials and then add plugins that you you deem absolutely necessary for your site. After that you can mess around with smaller plugins and see how they run. If they don’t work or you don’t see much difference then delete them. That way you’ll keep yourself organized and your site clean.

  27. The world of WordPress plug-ins continues to be an ever-evolving one and so I am always checking out the latest essential plugins. Thanks for this post as there were a few plugins like the “broken link checker” that I have not implemented. Cheers, Richard

  28. Ammy says:

    Everything makes sense except Google Analytics Dashboard which duplicates the GA data

  29. Chris Lappin says:

    Nice and simple explanation of useful plug-ins. Thanks for this, just what I needed.

  30. Pat says:

    Great hints! I would also add DB Cache Reloaded Fix, Hyper Cache and Wp Minify for smaller websites, work like a charm for me!

  31. Ocha says:

    I took your advise and installed the first one, WordPress SEO and the SEO Auto Linker. Love ‘em both. They are both working great on my site and I’m beginning to see some improvements as a result. Thanks.

  32. Mukul says:

    Can you name plugins that are required to categorize my blog content and each category has seperate page with all posts under that category. Also can create a menu for those categories.
    Something similar to Panel or Views in Drupal?

    Thanks in Advance