in Blogging

My Top 10 Essential WordPress Plugins

Maja shares her Top 10 WordPress Plugins. After 6 years on WordPress, which ones are the pick of the pack?

Today’s post will be all about WordPress plugins. If you’re new on WordPress you might not quite know where to begin, and if you’re an experienced user you might still want a few new tips. Or maybe you have a few plugin-related tips to share with us? Either way, here are my 10 favorites!

1. Akismet

This should be the first plugin you install after setting up your WordPress site, trust me. It eats spam comments for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Mine has filtered out 788,808 spam comments since I bought this domain in 2010, at an accuracy rate of 99.97%. I get somewhere around 500 spam comments a day, but I only have to manually delete a handful every month. Nice, huh?

2. All in One SEO Pack

This little baby automatically optimizes your WordPress blog for Search Engines. What’s not to love about that? It also lets you customize the title, meta description, meta keywords and so on for each post, which will make them look prettier and more enticing in the eyes of both searchers and search engines.

3. Google Analytics by Yoast

Because who doesn’t love analytics and stats? I know I do! This makes it easier for Google Analytics to dig up data about your blog, your readers and your traffic. Track your WordPress site easily with the latest tracking codes and lots added data for search result pages and error pages.

4. Google XML Sitemaps

Sits quietly in the background while helping search engines to better index your blog. Good times.

5. Instagram for WordPress

This is the plugin that lets me show you my latest Instagram post in my sidebar. It is a comprehensive sidebar widget that can show your latest photos, tagged photos, your favorite photos, your feed, other users photos. Can be shown in three ways with a grid, grid with paging and slideshow options. Snapwidget.com is a good alternative, although they don’t provide a plugin. Instead you get a piece of code that you for example can paste into a text widget.

6. Search Meter

Keeps track of what your visitors are searching for in your in-blog search bar, which can be a great tool for finding post ideas! This one hasn’t been updated for a few years now, but it still works fine.

7. WordPress Backup to Dropbox

Useless if you’re not a Dropbox user, invaluable if you are. Wake up one day with no blog? No problem, it will all be backed up to your Dropbox account. Install it, set it up and forget about it. It will work its magic in the background.

8. WordPress Editorial Calendar

This one is ingenious and one I just couldn’t live without. It makes it possible to see all your posts and drag and drop them into a calendar to manage your posting schedule. It gives you a handy overview over your published posts, your finished scheduled posts, your scheduled drafts and unscheduled drafts. You can drag and drop posts from one day or week to the next, and edit and manage them right in the calendar interface.

9. WordPress Popular Posts

This is a highly customizable widget that displays the most popular posts on your blog. I’ve got mine set as plain text in my sidebar, but you have a ton of options to choose from.

10. WordPress Related Posts

My favorite “if you liked this post you might enjoy..” kind of plugin. It is also easily customizable if you want to adjust the way it works. I love it because it actually let me pick the posts myself if I want to, which is pretty practical!

 

Do you have any favorite WordPress plugins that aren’t mentioned on my list? Tell us about them!

Write a Comment

Comment

To help me prevent spam: *

  1. The only one I don’t already have installed (or have had at some point in my blogging life) is the Backup to Dropbox plugin, but that is so getting installed right now! :)

  2. Ok, so I finally made the switch to wordpress.org, and I keep coming back to your list of plugins to add. I have added the relevant ones, but I’m having trouble with the related posts one. I save my settings, and then nothing. :-( What to do?? (I have tried several others, but don’t like the way they look, or they only appear above my posts instead of after the posts. I want this one – but it’s just not working!

    • I would try emailing the creators, they should have en email address or a contact form in there somewhere! I did that once and they are super helpful :)

  3. Hi Maja,

    Some good tried and trusted plugins here.
    I’ve been carrying out a spring clean (in summer) of my plugins.
    Funnily enough, Akismet was on my target list. Akismet kept showing me spam comments whereas I’d prefer if they didn’t get through at all.

    I’m now using Clef (a crazy way to log in with your phone) and WP Bruiser. Since using these not one bad comment has got through.

    Opt-in Monster and the crowd from WP Beginner own the Google Analytics plugin (formerly Yoast). I’ve replaced it with the Google Analytics app on my phone. The GA app has come a long way.

    Thanks again.
    Best
    Alan