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12 Must-Have WordPress Plugins For Your New Blog

Must-Have WP Plugins For New Blogs

What are the best WordPress plugins for a new blog? Let’s dive deep and discover which WP plugins are the best for new bloggers!

First, what’s a WordPress plugin anyway?

Plugins are software that can be added to your blog to enhance its functionality (aka add new features).

There are plugins to make your blog load faster, add a contact form and protect against hackers to name a few.

I’ve created dozens of blogs and have set up blogs for countless others too. One of the first things I do after installing WordPress is download these 12 essential WP plugins.

Here are the 12 best WordPress plugins for a new blog.

Akismet Anti-Spam

Akismet Anti Spam WordPress Plugin | 1 of 12 Best WordPress Plugins

Protect your blog from comment-spam! This is plugin is a must-have for any blog. Spam will automatically be deleted so you are only notified of real comments.

I find it to be amazingly accurate as it stops a good 95% of the spam comments I get on my blog. It’s one of the best WordPress plugins around!

Rating: 4.5 stars ⏤ Number of Downloads: 1,000,000 ⏤ Price: Free ⏤ Link: Akismet

Yoast SEO

Yoast SEO WordPress Plugin | 1 of 12 Best WordPress Plugins

This is the number one SEO plugin for WordPress. Best of all, it’s entirely free.

In every blog post, you can choose your target keyword (gives you the keyword density), edit your meta description (it’s the text that readers on Google see in the search results) and it helps you write great content (grammar help).

As a new blog, you won’t be getting much Google traffic. But it’s still important to optimize each post for SEO right from the start.

Rating: 5.0 stars ⏤ Number of Downloads: 5,000,000 ⏤ Price: Free  ⏤ Link: Yoast SEO

Social Warfare

Social Warfare WordPress Plugin | 1 of 12 Best WordPress Plugins

Social Warfare is by far the best WordPress social sharing plugin. Most WordPress social sharing plugins slow down your site, but the Social Warfare share buttons are both lightning fast and beautiful.

You can choose different styles, add share counts and more. My favorite feature is the ability to add Save buttons directly on images and choose my preferred pin image.

See the hovering Pin – Facebook – Twitter icons below? Hit the Pin button and see it in action!

Rating: 3.5 stars ⏤ Number of Downloads: 60,000 ⏤ Price: $29 ⏤ Link: Social Warfare

Pretty Links

Pretty Links WordPress Plugin | 1 of 12 Best WordPress Plugins

Affiliate income is an awesome passive way to make money online!

Affiliate marketing is when you get paid a commission for selling someone else’s product. When you sign up to an affiliate program, you get an ugly long link to add in your blog posts.

When you link to affiliates, it’s always better to link to them with a pretty link from your own domain.

Which would you rather click?
Link 1:

Or this link created with the Pretty Links plugin
Link 2:

Plus, you can track outgoing affiliate clicks with this free plugin. Awesome-ness!

Rating: 4.5 stars ⏤ Number of Downloads: 200,000 ⏤ Price: Free  ⏤ Link: Pretty Links

Thrive Leads

Thrive Leads WordPress Plugin

One of the most important steps new bloggers must take is to create an email list.

Once you have an email list set up, Thrive Leads helps you grow your email list by converting visitors into subscribers.

The templates Thrive Leads has are built to convert. You can create welcome mats, exit intent popups, slide ins, top bar, inline and sidebar forms.

The optin forms from my blog were all created using Thrive Leads.

Rating: 4.5 stars ⏤ Number of Downloads: 700,000 ⏤ Price: $67  ⏤ Link: Thrive Leads

Monster Insights

Monster Insights WordPress Plugin | 1 of 12 Best WordPress Plugins

Google Analytics is a free tool from Google that gives you information on your traffic.

You can see how many people visit your blog, from which countries they’re from and how they got to your blog.

With Monster Insights, you can see the most useful analytics data presented in an easy to understand way – right on your WordPress admin.

Rating: 4.0 stars ⏤ Number of Downloads: 2,000,000 ⏤ Price: $99/yr  ⏤ Link: Monster Insights

ShortPixel Image Optimizer

Shortpixel Image Optimizer | 1 of 12 Best WordPress Plugins

Ever save an image and notice it’s file size is HUGE? Well big file sizes mean slow loading sites!

How do you get the file size down but keep the quality of the image intact?

You need an image optimization plugin.

I recommend using ShortPixel Image Optimizer. It’s what I use on this blog. The Shortpixel graphic above went from 201kb to 72kb by the way!

I create my Pinterest images using Canva and when I do, the file sizes can be 400KB! After uploading it onto WordPress, it auto-magically reduces the size to 80KB without losing a bit of quality!

Rating: 4.5 stars ⏤ Number of Downloads: 100,000 ⏤ Price: Free  ⏤ Link: ShortPixel Image Optimizer

Wordfence Security

Wordfence Security WordPress Plugin | 1 of 12 Best WordPress Plugins

Secure your website with the most comprehensive WordPress security plugin, Wordfence!

This plugin has a firewall, malware scanner, DDOS protection, IP blocking, login security and more.

If you don’t know what any of that meant, don’t worry. Just install it and let the plugin work its’ magic.

You will feel more comfortable that your blog won’t be hacked by using this free security plugin.

Rating: 5.0 stars ⏤ Number of Downloads: 2,000,000 ⏤ Price: Free  ⏤ Link: Wordfence Security


WPForms Contact Form WordPress Plugin | 1 of 12 Best WordPress Plugins

With WPForms you can create a simple contact form to use in your contact and about me pages. You can also create fun quizzes and questionnaires to interact with your audience too.

You can integrate Mailchimp or Convertkit with your forms to get some extra email subscribers from your contact forms too.

The best part of this plugin is the integration of Paypal and Stripe to accept credit card payments right on your blog.

Rating: 5.0 stars ⏤ Number of Downloads: 1,000,000 ⏤ Price: $49/yr ⏤ Link: WPForms


UpdraftPlus Automatic WP Backup WordPress Plugin | 1 of 12 Best WordPress Plugins

Back up your blog into the cloud and restore it with a single click. Yep it’s that easy with this free backup plugin.

I scoured WordPress and tried a bunch of WP backup plugins before landing on this one.

UpdraftPlus is the world’s highest ranking and most popular scheduled backup plugin, with over a million currently-active installs and a perfect 5 star rating.

Rating: 5.0 stars ⏤ Number of Downloads: 1,000,000 ⏤ Price: Free  ⏤ Link: UpdraftPlus

WP Super Cache

WP Super Cache WordPress Plugin | 1 of 12 Best WordPress Plugins

Is your blog slow? You can switch to Bluehost or Siteground to host your blog. But if you want your blog to run even faster, you will need a caching plugin.

Having a fast loading blog isn’t just good for your readers, it’s one way you can improve your Google ranking too.

WP Super Cache generates static html files for your posts. Your web server will serve that file instead of processing the heavier PHP scripts.

If you don’t understand that, it’s okay. Just install WP Super Cache and let it speed up your blog!

Rating: 4.5 stars ⏤ Number of Downloads: 2,000,000 ⏤ Price: Free  ⏤ Link: WP Super Cache

Speed Booster Pack

Speed Booster Pack WordPress Plugin | 1 of 12 Best WordPress Plugins

This next Wodrdpress plugin also allows you to improve your blogs’ loading speed.

Rather than caching, Speed Booster Pack changes the order in which your blog loads by loading your content first and all the “code” second.

Rating: 4.0 stars ⏤ Number of Downloads: 40,000 ⏤ Price: Free  ⏤ Link: Speed Booster Pack

Which WordPress plugin do you like the best?

If there’s a WP plugin you love that I didn’t mention, let me know in the comments section!

If this post has helped you find the best WordPress plugins for your new blog, I’d appreciate it if you could Save it on Pinterest in your WordPress board!

12 WordPress plugins for your new blog. Every new blogger needs these WP plugins to help their blog be safe, be faster and protected from spam. Here\'s my list of WordPress plugins I encourage all my students to download when they begin their blogs. #wordpress #wp #plugins #blog #blogging #edwindollars

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  • Rahul Arora says:

    Thanks for sharing great plugins Edwin! I have been using most of these on my client websites. I think you can add WP-Optimize and SearchIQ as well to your list. Both these plugins improve website functionality and performance. WP-Optimize removes all unnecessary data to clean your WordPress database, while SearchIQ adds a good site search solution to WordPress site and improve user’s search experience.

  • TheBealy says:

    thank you

  • Pachalo says:

    Awesome post really informative. There were three plugins that I didn’t have on my site and I have downloaded them right away.
    I like your post its right on point with no fluff. Keep it up

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