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 plugins.
Here are 12 must-have WordPress plugins for your new blog.
With WPForms you can create quizzes, contact forms and more.
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: WP Forms
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.
Rating: 4.5 stars ⏤ Number of Downloads: 1,000,000 ⏤ Price: Free ⏤ Link: Akismet
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 keyword density), edit your meta description (it’s the text that readers on Google see) and it helps you write great content (grammar help).
Rating: 5.0 stars ⏤ Number of Downloads: 5,000,000 ⏤ Price: Free ⏤ Link: Yoast SEO
This 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 “pin it” buttons on images and choose my preferred pin image.
Rating: 3.5 stars ⏤ Number of Downloads: 60,000 ⏤ Price: $29 ⏤ Link: Social Warfare
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: https://shareasale.com/r.cfm?b=1147093&u=216448&m=49337 Or this link created with the Pretty Links plugin
Link 2: https://www.edwindollars.com/go/optin-monster/
Plus, you can track outgoing affiliate clicks with this free plugin.
Rating: 4.5 stars ⏤ Number of Downloads: 200,000 ⏤ Price: Free ⏤ Link: Pretty Links
OptinMonster helps you grow your email list by converting visitors into subscribers and customers.
The templates they have are built to convert. You can create welcome mats, exit intent popups, slide ins, top bar, inline and sidebar forms.
The optin forms you find on my site, EdwinDollars.com were all created using OptinMonster.
Rating: 4.5 stars ⏤ Number of Downloads: 700,000 ⏤ Price: $14/mo ⏤ Link: OptinMonster
You can seamlessly add your Google Analytics code to your blog without needing to edit code.
But this plugin does a lot more than that. It allows you to see in a beautiful way your Google Analytics stats right on the WordPress dashboard.
Best of all, it gives you valuable information on which content is your best performing (lowest bounce rate, highest session duration, etc.).
Rating: 4.0 stars ⏤ Number of Downloads: 2,000,000 ⏤ Price: $99/yr ⏤ Link: Monster Insights
Broken Link Checker
This plugin will monitor your blog looking for broken links and let you know if any are found. It monitors links in your posts, pages, comments and the blogroll.
Why do you need this plugin? Because Google doesn’t really like dead links on your blog. It’s that simple. Plus, your readers don’t appreciate you linking to resources that no longer exist.
Rating: 4.0 stars ⏤ Number of Downloads: 600,000 ⏤ Price: Free ⏤ Link: Broken Link Checker
Secure your website with the most comprehensive WordPress security plugin, Wordfence!
Firewall, malware scan, blocking, live traffic, login security and more.
You can feel more comfortable that your blog won’t be hacked into by using this free security plugin.
Rating: 5.0 stars ⏤ Number of Downloads: 2,000,000 ⏤ Price: Free ⏤ Link: Wordfence Security
Back up your files and your database into the cloud and restore with a single click. Yep it’s that easy with this free plugin.
I scoured WordPress and tried a bunch of backup plugins before landing on this one.
Updraft Plus 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: Updraft Plus
WP Super Cache
Your site will load faster if you use a cache plugin. WP Super Cache generates static html files for your posts. Your webserver will serve that file instead of processing the heavier PHP scripts.
There’s advanced settings, but you can simply turn it on and let it speed up your site.
Having a fast site isn’t just good for your readers, it’s one way you can improve your Google ranking.
Rating: 4.5 stars ⏤ Number of Downloads: 2,000,000 ⏤ Price: Free ⏤ Link: WP Super Cache
Speed Booster Pack
This plugin allows you to improve your website’s loading speed. This can help improve your overall site’s usability and may help in ranking your site higher in Google’s search results.
Rating: 4.0 stars ⏤ Number of Downloads: 40,000 ⏤ Price: Free ⏤ Link: Speed Booster Pack