WordPress is, by far, my favorite blogging platform. It is highly versatile, especially with the use of plugins.
“What are the best WordPress plugins?” This is an extremely common question among bloggers. You’ll always get different answers when asking this question because every blogger has different plugins they consider awesome. These are my favorites so I’m hoping that it helps you decide which ones to add to your WordPress blog.
Akismet is an amazing anti-spam plugin that will help you fend off annoying, spammy comments. When I first started my blog, I didn’t enable it right away. I didn’t think it was a big deal and I wasn’t sure if it was valuable. When I saw that I had just over 100 spam-filled comments pending on my blog on various posts, I enabled it in my Plugin menu and it started blocking spam comments right away. WordPress comes with Akismet already installed, so be sure you enable it.
Jetpack is another good plugin to have. It has some SEO, security, and backup services that are helpful. It also has downtime monitoring, which is a feature I love because Jetpack will send me an email and let me know if my site is down (and also when it comes back online). Luckily I don’t deal with downtime anymore, but when I was using another host for my blog I had constant downtime problems. Jetpack emailed me every time my blog was down so that I knew when to get in touch with my website host. You also have access to your blog’s stats, although that won’t be a huge deal to you if you use Google Analytics.
3. Yoast SEO
This is the best Yoast SEO plugin that currently exists. If you don’t have it, you’re doing your blog a huge disservice.
If you do reviews and giveaways on your blog, you need this giveaway widget. It’s lightweight and it enables you to add a widget in your blog’s sidebar. The widget displays all of your open giveaways along with how many days are remaining until your giveaway(s) end.
Social Warfare is my favorite sharing plugin. It’s easy to use, effective, and visually appealing no matter what theme you have on your blog.
This is the best Instagram widget I’ve found for WordPress. It’s easy to use and it’ll fit perfectly in your sidebar.
This plugin is great for compressing your images that are in your Media Library. It will compress all of the images you’ve uploaded to your blog, condensing the file sizes so that they don’t take up as much room in terms of your blog’s backend. This is especially useful if you have size limits on your hosting account with your blog’s host, but it’s a good idea to have it even if you don’t have limits because it’ll help your blog’s load time slightly.
If you want the homepage and archive pages of your blog to have excerpts of your posts (recommended) instead of displaying the entire post and you aren’t comfortable editing any of your blog’s code on the backend, get this plugin. You can install it and specify the size of the excerpt in just a few minutes. Excerpts on your homepage and archive pages are great to have because it encourages your readers to click on your posts. If they can read a full post on your homepage, there’s no need for them to click on the actual post because they will have already read it.
Contact Form 7 is a great plugin if you want an effective, lightweight contact form on your blog. Just install it and take a few minutes to change the settings. Whenever someone fills out your contact form, the plugin will email you with their message.
This is an awesome plugin for those of you that post recipes on your blog. There are quite a few out there that look appealing, but I installed at least four or five before finally coming across this gem of a plugin.