Especially when you are new to WordPress, it can be overwhelming trying to figure out what plugins you should use. There are so many free and paid plugins, how do you know which one will be beneficial for you and your blog? This list will give you the top plugins bloggers should install on their WordPress!
When searching for new plugins to install, it is important to carefully look at what your blog needs. Do you need help creating posts? Are you looking to create an opt in for emails? Maybe you are looking to sell products.
Spend time searching for plugins one by one within these separate areas, to minimize confusion. Tackle one task or problem at a time, so you don’t end up with 50 plugins installed at once!
Unfortunately, some plugins interact with each other negatively, which is why it is important to take it one step at a time, so you don’t run into any issues. If you have 50 plugins at once, you won’t be able to tell which plugins are conflicting with each other!
This list of plugins bloggers should install include both free and paid versions for the following topics:
- Page Building
- Image compression
- …and more!
Of course, this isn’t an extensive list of all plugins available for these topics, but just some of my favorites that I have found to be helpful!
Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.
One of the very first plugins bloggers should install is Yoast SEO.
Yoast is one of the most popular SEO plugins for WordPress, and for good reason! I have used it since the beginning of my blogging career, and still have no complaints! I currently use just the free version, and have found that to be beneficial.
Yoast helps bloggers improve their SEO, even if you have little to no knowledge about it! The plugin walks you through step by step how to optimize your post for better search engine rankings.
At the end of your post, you will find the Yoast plugin. Here, you can update your keyword, meta description, slug, and more. Yoast will let you know what improvements you need to make, and what you did well!
Yoast also analyzes your readability, meaning how well your writing reads to users. There will be suggestions for how to improve this as well, such as, you have 3 consecutive sentences starting with the same word.
Yoast updates your scores in real time, so you always know how you are doing!
Yoast SEO is important to bloggers because it:
- Helps Google and search engines figure out what your post is about
- Increases your chances that search engines will rank your post
- Stays up to date with current Google algorithms
- Improves your writing
Yoast only takes a few moments to get up and running, and is very user friendly!
Elementor is another one of my favorite plugins bloggers should install! I have also used Elementor since the beginning of my blogging career, and have yet to switch to any other page builder!
When I first started blogging, I found the default WordPress page editor to be confusing, and I could never get my posts to look how I wanted them to. With Elementor, I was able to customize and edit just about everything on my posts!
Elementor makes building your pages and posts as easy as drag and drop. Literally! From the menu, you drag and drop what you want on your post: headings, text, spacers, images, HTML, videos, buttons, anything you want!
Since using Elementor, I haven’t been able to go back to any other page editor- and I have tried! My heart is with you, Elementor!
The pro version has tons more options, and is only $49 per year! In terms of blogging costs, that is practically nothing, especially for high quality material!
With the premium version, you get access to more options such as adding picture galleries and slides, reviews, countdowns, social media sharing buttons, insight into your Facebook page, and more!
If you are really serious about upping your blogging game, get the pro version- it is so worth it, and super cheap! Otherwise, try out the free version and see what you think! You won’t be disappointed!
WP Rocket is another great WordPress plugins bloggers should install! I didn’t get this plugin until later in my blogging career, and I regret not having it sooner.
If your blog is slow loading, and you have been wracking your brain trying to learn how to speed up your site, WP Rocket is for you! Im not even joking, minutes after I installed this plugin, my site was noticeably faster!
WP is a caching plugin, including page caching, cache preloading, static files compression, and lazy loading.
Even if you have zero idea what any of that means- its ok! WP Rocket does all the work for you. Your only job is to install it!
For one year, WP Rocket only costs $49! Honestly, $49 is totally worth all the stress that I had before this plugin trying to speed up my site, and finding the perfect caching plugin.
WP Rocket also has an additional plugin called Imagify, which you can purchase through WP Rocket (which you can try for free) but costs under $5 a month! I used a coupon code at the time and I only pay like $2-3 a month, so keep an eye out for discounts!
Imagify is an image compression plugin, which helps your site speed up even more, because your images don’t have to take so much time to load! Definitely worth a couple bucks per month!
Check out WP Rocket here! You won’t be disappointed with the results!
If you are looking for a free image compression plugin, consider taking a look into Smush!
Smush is very user friendly, easy to use, and does all the hard work for you! With the free version, you are able to “bulk smush” 50 images at a time. If you are a new blogger, you probably don’t have too many images yet, so this shouldn’t take too long!
However, if you have hundreds or thousands of photos, you may want to upgrade to the premium version, at least until you get through all your pictures!
Smush is helpful to bloggers because it compresses your images. This means your page won’t take as long to load, which is good for not only your SEO, but for user experience!
Smush also has lazy loading, which makes your pictures load only when the reader get the the photo. This helps save even more time on page speed!
I used Smush as a new blogger, and eventually upgraded to Imagify (explained further above). While Smush does increase your page speed, it is not the best image compression plugin out there.
However, for a new blogger, this is a good place to start! Just know you will most likely want to upgrade to a paid version like Imagify in the future!
Optinmonster is another one of my favorite plugins bloggers should install.
This plugin allows you to build your email list, which will be important for making sales later on. You can also build popups through a drag and drop method to try to convert your readers to make a sale!
You know those popups you get on a website like Old Navy, where you put in your email and you get 10% off? This is essentially how this plugin works!
This plugin works with all the popular email marketing services (I will discuss my favorite below), so it can be easily integrated into your site!
There is no coding needed, so anyone can do it! Plus, you can customize every part of your pop up, for ultimate customization.
You can even add animations, thank you messages, and you can control when the popup comes up for your reader.
As far as marketing pop ups go, OptinMonster takes the cake! Even email list services like the one I will describe below doesn’t have nearly as many customization opportunities!
ConvertKit is my favorite email list provider. While this is on the pricier side, it is worth every penny!
ConvertKit allows bloggers to create popup messages (similar to OptinMonster), except you can offer other opt ins. For example, you can offer free downloads of an ebook, course, PDF, et. This will help you get more email followers!
With ConvertKit, you can also set up automated sequences. This means all new subscribers can go through the same chain of emails, so you can set it and forget it!
ConverKit also keeps track of all your subscribers, and where they are in your sequence. You can analyze data for just about everything as well- open rates, those who unsubscribe and when, what links subscribes click on the most, and more!
There are plenty of tutorial videos provided, so you won’t ever feel confused!
If you are looking for a cheaper email service, look into MailerLite. This one is not as comprehensive in my opinion, but it is free for your first 1000 subscribers!
If you are planning to sell products or services on your blog, consider getting the WooCommerce plugin.
WooCommerce allows you to sell both physical and digital products, so you can sell practically anything! From subscriptions, to bookings, to memberships, WooCommerce has got it all.
The plugin will handle all the payment issues, and accepts the major credit cards, so you don’t have to worry about all that!
If you are selling physical products, WooCommerce will help with setting shipping rates, if necessary.
Additionally, you can design your store with this plugin, making it everything you dreamed it would be!
You can also add smart coupons, create Google ads, and market your audience effectively. WooCommerce is awesome because you can edit and adjust just about everything!
You will have complete control over your data, and it is 100% secure, so you and your buyers will not need to worry when purchasing from you.
As always, if you have any questions about WordPress plugins (or anything blogging related!), please feel free to reach out, or leave a comment below!
My goal is to help you as much as possible, so no question is a silly one!
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