Today, I will be sharing with you some of my favourite WordPress plugins. I have been blogging and using WordPress since 2005 (has it been that long already!?) as my blogging platform. I love WordPress a lot (if you can’t tell from my 9 year relationship with it) because it is fully customizeable, looks very polished and professional and boasts a whole lot of premade themes/features/plugins to enhance the design and browsing experience. There’s just so much to love about WordPress over any platforms (in my opinion at least!)
Free WordPress Plugins Every Blogger Needs
Here are my favourite plugins for WordPress. The list is comprehensive and I use all of them on this website. If you have any favourites, please share – I’d love to see what your favourite plugins are!
Engagement & Presentation
- Disqus – an excellent commenting system that allows for greater engagement and interaction with your readers. Available for many blogging platforms, easy to install, and completely free!
- WP-PageNavi – Adds a more advanced paging navigation to your WordPress blog
- CommentLuv – allows your visitor to leave their latest blog post link when they comment. Great for increasing engagement with your readers!
- Pinterest Pin It Button For Images – Displays a Pin It button directly over your images.
- WP to Twitter – Posts a Tweet when you update your WordPress blog or post to your blogroll, using your URL shortening service. Rich in features for customizing and promoting your Tweets.
Security & Performance
- WP Super Cache – Very fast caching plugin for WordPress.
- WordPress Backup to Dropbox – Keep your valuable WordPress website, its media and database backed up to Dropbox in minutes with this sleek, easy to use plugin.
- Maintenance Mode – Adds a splash page to your blog that lets visitors know your blog is down for maintenance. Logged in administrators get full access to the blog including the front-end.
- Jetpack by WordPress.com – Bring the power of the WordPress.com cloud to your self-hosted WordPress. Jetpack enables you to connect your blog to a WordPress.com account to use the powerful features normally only available to WordPress.com users.
- Better WP Security (now known as iThemes Security) – Helps protect your WordPress installation from attackers. Hardens standard WordPress security by hiding vital areas of your site, protecting access to important files via htaccess, preventing brute-force login attempts, detecting attack attempts, and more.
- Limit Login Attempts – Limit rate of login attempts, including by way of cookies, for each IP.
Presentation & Back End
- Google XML Sitemaps – This plugin will generate a special XML sitemap which will help search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing and Ask.com to better index your blog.
- Contact Form 7 – Just another contact form plugin. Simple but flexible.
- PHP Code Widget – Like the Text widget, but it will take PHP code as well. Heavily derived from the Text widget code in WordPress.
- Akismet – this is normally pre-installed in WordPress, but this is such a staple for my blog in the last 9 years! It automatically filters out SPAM messages, and is very effective at it too!
- Google Analytics for WordPress – This plugin makes it simple to add Google Analytics to your WordPress blog, adding lots of features, eg. custom variables and automatic clickout and download tracking.
- WordPress Editorial Calendar – The Editorial Calendar makes it possible to see all your posts and drag and drop them to manage your blog.