Running a blog and knowing where to start is difficult, so I decided to compile a list of the 8 of best FREE plugins every blogger needs.
While plugins aren’t necessary, they can drastically improve your site and make it run much better!
1. Google Analytics
To run a successful blog, you need to be able to track your analytics and know your numbers. You need to sign up for a Google Analytics account and add the plugin to your blog.
Google Analytics shows how much traffic your blog is getting, where it is coming from, most visited pages, the demographic of your audience and so much more!
With all the data Google Analytics provides, you can tailor your content and site to increase traffic and serve your audience. Sign up for a Google Analytics account here and then install the Google Analytics Dashboard for WordPress (GADWP) plugin.
2. WP Super Cache
WP Super Cache helps to increase the page speed of a website and setting it up is a breeze. I installed this a few weeks ago and my page load time went from 27.16 seconds to 9.28 seconds. Crazy right?!
I think we’ve all heard the horror stories of people who have lost their content due to a web host crashing or having their site hacked. One super simple way to prevent that from happening is by installing UpdraftPlus. It backs up your site so you never have to worry about losing countless hours of hard work.
It just takes a single click to restore the site because UpdraftPlus backs it up into a secure cloud.
4: Wordfence Security
Wordfence Security is another security measure for bloggers. It actively scans plugins, themes, and core files for anything that looks malicious. The plugin also alerts you of any suspicious activity regarding login attempts. The free version works perfectly well, but if you want real-time updates, you can go for the paid version.
With so many hackers and malicious software out there, it’s always a good idea to play it safe with security – especially that of your audience.
I can’t even begin to explain how many spam comments I get on a weekly basis. Thanks to the Akismet plugin, most of the spammy comments get filtered out automatically. The ones that sometimes make it through are flagged for review instead of automatically being posted to my blog.
6. Yoast SEO
I raved about this plugin in my post on 5 ways to optimise your blog posts for SEO. Yoast is very easy to use and helps bloggers create blog posts that are optimised for Google.
7. Pin It Button
Bloggers LOVE Pinterest. The platform is the next best search engine to Google and is a great way to promote content. So, of course it only makes sense to include a Pinterest Save Button on your blog and have graphics designed for Pinterest on every post.
There are several Pinterest plugins out there but one of the most popular is Pinterest Pin It Button. This plugin has different options to customise the save button and it can act as a call to action to people who visit your blog. Why not encourage social shares by making it super easy for your audience?
8. Pretty Links
Pretty Links is a great plugin for those who use affiliate links (Read more on how affiliate links work and how bloggers make money from your purchases).
Instead of using a long URL, like affiliate links usually are, you can create a compact and easy to remember link with this plugin; similar to Bit.ly links. This is helpful when sharing links on social media and some of the best features of Pretty Links include:
- Having the domain name in the link, unlike using bit.ly or tinyurl.com
- Replace keywords in a blog post with a Pretty Link
- Track clicks from referral sources
Are there any plugins you’d recommend to new bloggers that I didn’t list here? Let me know down below!
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Read about 10 Favourite Free Or Cheap Business Tools here.