WordPress is the primary CRM software used by most blogs in existence. Recent reports show that 25% of all websites on the Internet are using WordPress.
The beauty of using WordPress is that you can customize it by adding plugins. These plugins can provide the look and feel you want for your blog, provide security and provide functionality missing in WordPress.
Have you ever installed WordPress and then wondered what plugins should you be using? That is a common question to ask especially since there are almost 34,000 free plugins listed on WordPress’ website.
One of the most common questions I get from my readers is what are the best plugins to have installed on their blog. Here is my list of the best plugins every blog should have.
I have almost 100 WordPress websites of my own. I have built up a list of plugins that I use on my websites. Here are the most essential plugins that I highly recommend that you use.
- Wordfence Security
- Google Analytics
- WordPress SEO by Yoast
- nrelate Related Content
- Limit Login Attempts
- Table Press
Askimet comes installed by default with every WordPress installation but you must activate it before it starts to work. Askimet provides protection against spam comments made on your website. Now that my website is getting lots of traffic it really attracts the spammers. On average in one week I get almost 8,000 spam comments on my website. Thanks to Askimet it automatically filters out these and moves them to the spam folder.
This plugin will greatly improve the speed performance of your website. Have you ever visited a website that loaded very, very, very slowly? I bet you probably just skipped out and went somewhere else instead of waiting for the website to load. If you want to know how to greatly improve your website’s page load speed using W3TotalCache then check out my initial blog post How I Decreased my Website’s Page Load Speed by more than 50% and then my follow up post where I got my page load speed to improve even more.
You want to protect your website from hackers. Wordfence Security provides both a free and a paid version. If someone attempts to hack into your website by guessing userids and passwords then this plugin will block their IP address. This plugin will also scan your website for changes to any files and for malware.
This plugin is created by WordPress. Jetpack provides simple stats about visitors to your website. It will tell you where they came from, what keywords they used to find your website and how many visitors you get daily. But that is now all the functionality that Jetpack provides. It also provides an easy to create contact form (I use to use Contact Forms 7 but now use Jetpack), provides email subscriptions to your blog and to comments, provides social sharing buttons, ability to embed media from sites like YouTube, Digg and Vimeo, posts directly to Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Google+ when you publish a new post, a mobile responsive version of your WordPress theme, a CSS editor and several other features. If you do nothing else, make sure you use Jetpack for the stats of visitors to your website.
Google Analytics will provide the same tracking feature found in JetPack but will provide more detailed tracking. It will tell you how your keywords are ranking in Google and what sites are linking back to your blog. You can also combine your Google Adwords account to Google Analytics to track how paid traffic is performing.
The last thing you want to happen is to have somebody hack into your blog or install malware on it. ValutPress plugin will constantly monitor your website and will alert you if there is a security breach or malware on your website. This plugin will also make backups of your blog anytime something changes and will restore your website from a last known good backup if something happens to your website. This plugin has both a free and a paid version. I use the paid version.
– If you want to really improve the SEO on your website to improve its ranking in Google then you need this plugin. It may take some time to truly understand all of the features found in this plugin but once you understand it then it provides SEO features that are the best in the industry.
If you scroll to the bottom of this blog post – or any blog post on my website – you will see images and title of four related posts. The nrelate plugin creates this list of related posts on my website. One of the features Google considers in ranking a website is bounce time which is how fast people leave your website By providing links to other relevant posts then you can keep people on your website longer. The plugin provides several different formatting options for how the related posts are displayed.
You can never be too careful about protecting your website. Limit Login Attempts is another plugin that provides protection for your blog. By default WordPress allows unlimited login attempts either through the login page or by sending special cookies. This allows passwords (or hashes) to be brute-force cracked with relative ease. Limit Login Attempts blocks an Internet address from making further attempts after a specified limit on retries is reached, making a brute-force attack difficult or impossible.
Thanks for this list. The only one I don’t have is VaultPress. I use a different plugin for backups, but this looks like it’s a lot better.
Would be interested in knowing what plugin you use for backup. I love the freedom of mind that Vaultpress provides in that it immediately backs up my website any time something is changed.
Solid list of plugins you’ve got there. Some already widely accepted ones like limit login attempts, seo by yoast and akismet – but also a couple of highly useful but slightly lesser known ones (nrelate Related content springs to mind).
Thanks for another useful post!
Great thing about plugins is that it allows you to customize your site as you want.
… It will tell you how your keywords are ranking in Google …
could you please explain how this works?
I use GA for quite some time now but haven’t seen anything like this.
Looking forward to your reply.
In Google Analytics when looking at the data for your website go to the Acquisition–>Keywords–>Organic and it will give you this information.
Very informative. Thank you for the plug-in tips..