Looking for absolute must have WordPress plugins for your blog, that will help you grow in 2020?
In this post, I will show you the 15 must have WordPress plugins for blogs that are loved by bloggers around the world!
As a blogger, you do not want to spend your precious time on plugin research. Instead, you want to focus on creating more awesome new content for your blog! That’s why I did all the research for you.
In this post, you find all the essential, must have plugins you need for your blog. In about an hour, you’ll have installed all the plugins you need, and you’re ready to go!
Disclaimer: This blog post contains affiliate links. I may earn a small commission to fund my coffee drinking habit if you use these links to make a purchase. You will not be charged extra. So it’s a win for everyone! Please note that I won’t link any products I don’t believe in or don’t resonate with my blog site. Thank you!
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What are WordPress plugins and why do you need them?
As a beginning blogger, the concept of plugins might be new to you. That’s why I will start with a brief explanation about what plugins are and why you need them.
A plugin is a piece of software with specific features you can add to your WordPress website. You can compare a plugin to the apps you have on your smartphone. It works the same with a blog. You have installed a WordPress theme that comes with some basic functions. If you want your blog to look perfect and run smoothly, you have to install some plugins.
The plugins I am going to share with you today:
– help to grow your blog
– optimize your blog for social sharing
– help to boost Google rankings
– boost your blogs’ speed
– secure your blog
– improve the user experience
There is one downside about plugins, though; plugins can slow down your blog if you install too many of them (max. 10 – 15 plugins). Therefore, only install essential plugins! Most plugins are free but offer a premium plan with advanced features. But up until now, the free versions are enough for my blogs. I haven’t paid for a premium plan, yet. 😊
So, read along, check which plugins are essential for you, and download them. Or download them all if you need a complete basic package of the best WordPress plugins for blogs.
Let’s get started!
How to install a plugin?
Installing a plugin is a piece of cake! Click on Plugins -> Add new in your WordPress dashboard (in the menu on the left) and enter a search query.
Pick the plugin you want in the search results and click on Install Now. Once WordPress has completed the installation, you can click on Activate.
After activating, your new plugins usually appear in the left menu on your dashboard. Sometimes, you can find new plugins at the top of the screen, and sometimes it’s added to the Settings menu. Locate the plugin and customize the settings to your liking.
The best plugins to grow your blog in 2020:
This WordPress plugin helps you to improve your SEO so that you can rank higher in the Google search results. SEO can seem like hocus-pocus for beginning bloggers. At least for me it was! If you’re like me, Yoast will make things much simpler for you! Yoast helps with:
– adding meta tags
– improving the readability of your content
– creating XML sitemaps
– optimizing your content for social media
– connecting your website to Google Search Control
– and much more
Do you see those beautiful social media icons on the right side of this web page? Or at the bottom of the page if you’re reading this on your mobile phone? You can create these icons with the Sassy Social Share plugin. And when your readers click on them, they will be able to share your content to their social media. I love this WordPress plugin because you can completely customize the buttons to match the design of your blog. And you can create buttons for more than 100 social media platforms!
Have you thought about what would happen with your blog if hackers break your website? Or when you make an adjustment that you can’t undo for some reason? This is not something most bloggers think about in the beginning. But it’s a step you shouldn’t skip.
It’s so easy to prevent losing your hard work on something like this. Yes, the changes are small. But if it happens, you want to be prepared for it. UpdraftPlus is the perfect tool for that. It takes these precautions for you, by making automatic backups on a regular basis and stores them to a Cloud Service, such as Google Drive or Dropbox. It’s brilliant! And if something were to happen to your website, you can recover it thanks to this plugin. This is a must-have plugin for every blogger!
People who visit a website usually do not stick around very long when it takes a long time to load. And images often are a big culprit when it comes to loading times. But images are important to your blog. They make a blog page more interactive and engaging, which is good for your SEO.
If you want to place images without increasing your bounce rate, you should optimize them. Which means that you can resize your images without affecting their quality. The Smush plugin does that for you. Smush compresses and optimizes your images by using lossless compression. And lossless compression means the quality of the images will remain the same. In the free version, you can compress up to 50 images at once! Click the button, and Smush does the work for you!
It’s great to receive comments and feedback from your readers. But, in reality, many of the comments you’re going to receive come from spammers. They try to use your blog to drop links to their spam sites. This happens to every blogger, but you can prevent this with the help of Akismet. This plugin filters these comments out and makes sure they are not published.
This plugin improves the user experience of your website. How? By increasing the performance and by reducing loading times. W3 Total Cache reduces your hosting server’s workload, which results in a faster website for you!
Sometimes it’s required to add a code to your header or footer to add a particular feature to your blog. Sometimes you need to add a code to your header or footer to verify ownership of your site. And as a beginning blogger, you don’t want to mess with the code of your WordPress blog. You can use this plugin instead. It adds the code in the correct way to the code of your blog, so you don’t need to tamper with it.
This plugin helps to prevent attacks on your website. It masks the page that you usually use to login to by using a personalized URL. Every WordPress blog has the same URL to login to, which is; yourdomainname.com/wp-admin/. A customized URL makes it a lot harder for hackers to trace your login page and thus to attack. A small effort to install this plugin but of invaluable worth!
Both your visitors and Google (SEO) dislike websites that take long to load. The Lazy Load feature prevents the pages on your blog to load until a visitor scrolls through them. This speeds up your blog and thus reduces the risk that your visitors leave your blog!
Security is of the utmost importance when you’re a blogger. Hackers and attacks are always lurking. This plugin makes your blog as unattractive as possible for malicious visitors. It identifies and blocks them and comes with a malware scanner.
For many bloggers, including me, Pinterest is a great source of free web traffic. This is why you want to make it as easy as possible for your visitors to share your content to Pinterest. This Pin It button makes sharing your content to their Pinterest boards extra easy. The Pin It button appears on all your blogs’ images. When a visitor clicks the button, it creates a fresh pin to their Pinterest account with your image + a link to the corresponding webpage of your blog.
Did you spot my Pinterest feed in the right sidebar? Or at the bottom of the page if you’re reading this from your mobile phone? You can either share one of your boards or your recent pins. This makes it easier for your readers to follow you on Pinterest, so you won’t miss out on new followers.
You might delete some posts from time to time when you don’t need them any longer. Which is fine, except for the fact Google considers that to be a broken link. And because of that, Google can lower your rank in the search results. This WordPress plugin redirects broken links to an existing page on your site. This will help you to keep your blog tidy and to stay close friends with Google as well.
When you use affiliate links, you might have noticed already that the links provided to you often don’t look so pretty. And search engines also don’t like websites that are full of affiliate links, as well. That’s why it’s important to clean up your affiliate links. Which is exactly what this plugin does for you. It masks affiliate links with a Pretty Link!
Plus, this WordPress plugin keeps track of your Pretty Links’ statistics right away. You can, for example, track the number of clicks on your pretty links.
Elementor is a page builder that makes working with WordPress a lot easier. You can also buy the premium version, but the free version already has a lot to offer! Enough for me so far!
Elementor is a drag and drop visual editor. This means that you can instantly see what your page looks like. This saves you tons of time going back and forth between the editor and the preview.
These are the best and most essential plugins for your blog. They will help you grow your blog, feel safe, and monetize it. They’re all real must-haves as far as I’m concerned! I hope this post about WordPress plugins will help you get started. And again, just use those that are really necessary for your blog. You can deactivate and remove all plugins at any time. So, don’t forget to do this when they are no longer relevant to your blog.
What are your favorite WordPress plugins? Did I forget to mention essential WordPress plugins in this post? Leave a message in the comments! Share this article with other bloggers who may benefit from it. Sharing is caring! 😊
Thanks for reading!