After setting up a WordPress blog the first thing that I always recommend to my readers is installing some of the best and most necessary WordPress plugins and some of them are common for all. Plugin adds some specific features to your blog and luckily WordPress offers a large repository of plugins developed for each category. Here I’ve listed some must have WordPress plugins for a new blog.
10 Must Have WordPress Plugins For New Install
1. WordPress SEO By Yoast
WordPress SEO by Yoast , an incredible plugin that has both free and premium version, where the free version provides enough functionality for startup blogs. This plugin generates sitemap for submitting to search engines like Google and Bing. The Plugin adds an extra feature for your post where you can change the way your post will appear in search engines.
It brings an option to change the title, meta description, add targeted keywords to your posts etc. Yoast SEO is one of the best WordPress SEO Plugins and once you start using it you will feel the difference in your search engine rankings too but yes WordPress SEO by Yoast must be well configured before using.
2. Related Post By Zemanta
Increase the user engagement of your blog by proving them with more related content. This plugins adds related post widgets below every post and you can configure the looks of the related post as well. The related post widget can also be added in sidebar area.
It lets you choose how many posts you want to show and style like ( horizontal,Vertical (small and medium), Pinterest style etc.
3. WP User Avatar
Well every blog author wants to display their original photo or Gravatar below their post or as a user profile picture. By default it is somehow difficult to set a user profile picture from the WordPress dashboard. Since WordPress recommends setting your profile picture by another website called Gravatar.com, which is the central website for setting up Gravatar for all online services.
In the beginning I tried a lot to set up my own profile picture using that recommended setting and website but I failed somewhere. So after hunting for a suitable plugin, I finally came up with this one. Though you will find lot of plugins in the directory but not all of them are compatible with the latest version of WordPress. But this plugin will work out for sure, I am using this plugin currently.
4. Author Box
As the Gravatar plugin was for setting up a profile picture but this Author box plugin is a way ahead than that. It adds a author bio information at the end of the WordPress blog. So if you are hunting for a any author bio plugin then this is where you should stop at.
Another cool feature of this author box is that, it adds another tab in the same box that shows all latest posts added by the same author, and that is why I recommend this to every multi author blogs.
5. Add To Any
We all understand how important is social sharing for a blog since it affects SEO and credibility of any website. It is one my favorite WordPress sharing plugin that is completely free to use and easy as well. With over 100+ social sharing options including major social sharing and follow buttons like facebook like, facebook follow, facebook share, WhatsApp, twitter etc.
The specialty about this social sharing is that it works on every platform and is highly customizble. You can place the sharing icons as floating icons, responsive, vertical or horizontal display. The sharing buttons can be placed before and after content as well.
Another social sharing plugin worth having for your WordPress install, ShareThis is one of the best consumer engagement sharing tool which works in almost every platform. ShareThis says that it has been used by more than 3 million users to drive traffic and multiply page views.
It is easy to set up and the plugin is easily available in the WordPress plugin directory. ShareThis has been recommended by some reputed online companies and blogs too including mashable.com, mattscutts.com and smashingmagazine.com etc.
7. Insert Post Ads
Content ads bears the best result since it has the highest CTR (Click Through Rate). If you are wondering to increase your adsense revenue then start using this plugin. All you need to do is to add the ad code snippet and mention where do you want the ads to appear.
Ads within post content is one of the best ways to maximize adsense revenue and it becomes a one time job with Insert Post Ads Plugin. Gone are those days when you need to insert ad codes inside each post individually, that was really painful and time consuming. Insert Ads once and focus only on your content curation.
With over one million active installs, Akismet has become the the best anti spam comments plugin in the WordPress plugins directory. Akismet checks comments and decides if they seem to be any spam comment or not, and then lets you review the same. You can review each suspected spam comment under “Comments” section of your admin dashboard. So You don’t need to manually review each comment and waste your time, this plugin will automatically filter out the suspected ones.
You can track the records of the comments which were cleared or marked as spam by Akismet. The plugin also shows the background URLs which the comments are hiding and above all the plugin speed ups your site. To get the full benefits of this plugin you need to have an API Key available on the Akismet.com. For personal blogs, it’s free but paid version comes for business and commercial blogs.
9. Wp Total Cache
W3 Total Cache is the ultimate wordpress plugin to improve overall site performance in every aspects, be it for increasing server performance, reducing site loading or downloading times or CDN integration. Many webmasters say that W3 Total cache brings about 10 times improvement which in turns improves search engine rankings too. It is effective in browser caching and saves up to 80% bandwidth.
W3 Total cache is quite popular as a speed up plugin as it reduces the page load time, moreover it supports CDN(Content Delivery Network) as well. The plugin comes in both free and paid version but the premium version works much better.
10. Insert Header And Footer
Insert Headers and Footers is developed by wpbeginner and it’s simply fantastic; its name defines it’s purpose. Many a times you’ll need to insert or add code snippets or scripts such as Google Site Verification Meta Code or Google Analytics Code Snippet or any advertisement code etc. so this plugin serves as the best option.
It is simple and easy to use. Insert header and footer plugin is available for self-hosted WordPress blogs only. There is nothing much to say about this but yes it’s awesome.
Though there are thousands of WordPress plugins in the directory but always be careful before installing any plugin after all it will change some functionality of your blog. These top 10 must have WordPress plugins have been verified and currently being used by me.