Wondering what must-have free plugins to use for every new WordPress blog?
WordPress plugins offer different functionality and customization for every site owners. However, with more than 49,000+ plugins to choose from the WordPress Plugins Directory alone, it can be very difficult finding the best and essential to your blog.
In this article, we’ll share with you essential WordPress plugins that will help your blog perform at its best.
The 9 Essential WordPress Plugins For Your New Blog
No matter what type of website you are working on, these plugins are essential in different aspects:
- Security & Maintenance
- SEO Optimization
- WordPress Backups
- Web Performance Optimization
- Building Subscriber List
- Anti-Spam Protection
- Image Optimization
- WordPress Database Optimization
- Social Media Sharing
1. WordPress Security — Wordfence
WordPress is undeniably a secure website platform, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. By installing WordPress security plugin like Wordfence, you can make sure your site is far from getting hacked.
Wordfence is a free security plugin which you can use to protect your website from hacks and malware.
- WordPress Firewall
- WordPress Login Security
- Security Scanning
- Blocking Features
- Monitoring Features
- IPv6 Compatible
2. Search Engine Optimization — Yoast SEO
SEO is very important for every site owners. It can help you get a lot of traffic and improve your search engine rankings.
Google and other Search Engines use algorithms to rank your web page accordingly in Search Engines Result Page(SERP). However, these algorithms are not that perfect. They still need your assistance in order to understand the content that you have written. That’s where search engine optimization takes place.
Though, as we all know, Google and other leading search engines are emphasizing more on great content and user experience, on-site SEO still plays an important role.
Most importantly, as emphasized by Neil Patel, the use of H1 tag in this article.
- Focus Keyword and Content Analysis
- Post Titles and Meta Descriptions
- Robots Meta Configuration
- Readability Check
- Canonical Link
- Primary Category
- Permalink Cleanup
- XML Sitemaps
- RSS Enhancements
- Edit robots.txt and .htaccess
3. WordPress Back Up — UpdraftPlus
As a website owner, you should back up your website regularly (and when necessary). This will surely save you countless hours if something bad happens to your site. Making a complete backup in WordPress will not take more than 40 minutes.
UpdraftPlus is one of the best, highest-ranking free backup plugins which we highly recommend.
It is fully functional for backing up and restoring your website or blog. However, if you need more features, than what the free version has to offer you can switch to premium here.
- UpdraftVault Storage
- Remote Storage Option
- Security Feature
- Report, Monitor and Schedule
- Restore, Recover and Migrate
- WordPress Network and Multisite
4. Web Performance Optimization — W3 Total Cache
Let’s face it, nobody likes to wait. Same rules apply to your website. Nobody cares how good your site may be. If your website takes too long to load, then, surely that visitor will leave in an instant. And you don’t want that to happen, don’t you?
In fact, statistics show that 40% of people will abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load. Here’s how KissMetrics explains that:
With the use of caching plugin like W3 Total Cache, it will help improve your website’s speed. It’s because it saves the static content of your site to the users’ computer.
- Caching (page, database, object, browser, fragment)
- Minification (HTML, CSS, JS)
- Database Minification
- CDN support
- Settings import/export
5. Build Your Email List Subscriber — MailChimp for WordPress
Building your email list is important. It can help you increase repeat visitors. It can also help to promote products, send offers, made a follow-up, send updates and more.
MailChimp for WordPress is a free plugin that you can use. All you need to do is install the plugin and connect with a MailChimp API Key.
- Sign-Up Forms
- Sign-Up Integrations
- E-Commerce Integration
- Form Styling
- Reports & Logging
6. Comment Spam Protection — Akismet
We hate SPAM! But chances are, your WordPress website could be prone to comment spam. This is normal, especially nowadays. As a website owner, you could do a lot of ways to stop this.
Say goodbye to comment spam and hello to Akismet anti-spam plugin.
Akismet is absolutely FREE of charge for personal websites and blogs of up to 50, 000 comments per month.
- Automatic Comments Filter
- Comment History Status
- Display URL in Comment
- Moderators Can See Approved Comments
- Discard Feature
7. Image Optimization — WP Smush
Image optimization is as important as performance optimization, it can help speed up your WordPress site or blog.
In addition, a fast website can also boost your SEO.
WP Smush plugin can be the perfect option. It’s easy, fast, user-friendly and best-performing image compression plugin ever for WordPress.
The plugin allows you to compress JPEG, GIF and PNG images up to 32MB individually or in bulk using a dedicated server.
- Use Advanced Techniques To Optimize Image
- Sets Maximum Width and Height
- Scale Large Image Authomatically
- Process JPEG, GIF and PNG Image Files
- Asynchronously Auto-Smush Feature
- Smush Standard Web-sized Images 1MB or Smaller
- Global and Individual Settings for Multisite
- Use Smush API to Smush Images
8. WordPress Database Optimization — Optimize Database after Deleting Revisions
Your posts, pages, comments, theme settings, plugin settings, etc are stored in a WordPress Database. By the time you update your website, your database will get larger which could cause bad performance of your site.
By removing unnecessary data, you can improve the efficiency of your WordPress database and make your site load a bit quicker.
Optimize Database after Deleting Revisions is exactly what this plugin does.
- Deletes Posts and Pages Revisions
- Deletes Trashed Posts, Pages and Comments
- Deletes Spammed Comments
- Deletes Unused Tags
- Deletes ‘Expired Transients’
- Deletes ‘Pingbacks’ and ‘Tackbacks’
- Deletes ‘Orphan Postmeta Items’
- Optimizes Database Tables
- Schedule Optimization Feature
- Multisite compatible
9. Social Media Sharing — Social Warfare
How social sharing affects search rankings? Here’s how Orbit Media explains that:
Social Sharing shows your popularity, authority, and reliability of your content.
Social Warfare plugin can help your content be shared the way you want it. Get more shares and drive more traffic back to your website with this free plugin.
- Free Social Sharing Options
- Social Proof
- Popular Posts Widget based on Social Share Counts
- Click to Tweet Quotes
- Support Shortcodes to Manually Place Share Buttons
- Content Protection
- Pin All the Images Feature
- Powerful Share Customization
- Social Warfare Sharing Options, Custom Design and Placements
- Social Authorship, Twitter Cards, Rich Pins and More
- Link Shortening, Analytics Campaign and Button-click Tracking
More Helpful Resources
- 37 Essential WordPress Plugins You Should Know (and Install If You Haven’t Already) by WPMUDev
- 24 Must Have WordPress Plugins for Business Websites in 2017 by WPBeginner
- 10 Surprisingly Useful WordPress Plugins Every Blog Should Use in 2017 by ShoutMeLoud
- Blog Plugins: Top 10 Must Have WordPress Plugins (2017) by Start Blogging Online
- List of the Best and Must Use WordPress Plugins by TipsandTricks-HQ
With these free WordPress plugins installed on your blog, you will be free to focus on something more important.
Worry no more keeping your site secure, getting rid of spam comments, content sharing, keeping in touch with your readers, backing up your website etc.
Did we miss any plugin that you think is essential too? Let us know in the comment section below.
- SEO Best Practices: On-Page SEO Checklist by OrbitMedia
- On-Page SEO: Anatomy of a Perfectly Optimized Page by Backlinko
- How to Create the Perfect H1 Tag for SEO by Neil Patel
- Comparison of UpdraftPlus free and UpdraftPremium by UpdraftPlus
- How Loading Time Affects Your Bottom Line by Kiss Metrics
- 7 Experts On Why Building Your Email List Is So Important by Campaign Monitor
- How Does Social Media Affect SEO? by OrbitMedia