When many of users ask me the suggestion for the best WordPress plugins for blogs, I recommend installing only required plugins.
However, for smooth running and faster growth of your blog, you’ll need a right set of power tools (here WordPress plugins).
In this article, I have shared the must-have WordPress plugins. Considering a bright future in blogging, you should check out this complete list of the best WordPress Plugins for blogs in 2018.
1) Spam Protection Plugins
Akismet is a spam checking tool checks your comments against the Akismet Web service and asks you whether they look like spam or not. You can review the comments for spam under Comments section of your WordPress admin dashboard.
It checks for all comments automatically and filters out comments which look like spam. Other features include status history, URL on each comment body to show hidden links and discard feature to wipe out blocked and spam comments. You as admin can see all approved comments on your dashboard.
Important: You’ll need to have API key from Akismet.com to use this plugin. Don’t worry it’s easy to set up and free for the personal blogs whereas businesses and commercial sites need to be paid service for the same purpose.
Or, you can use WP SpamShield AntiSpam-All-In-One-Anti Spam Protection WordPress plugin.
Here’s another exceptionally powerful and user-friendly WordPress plugin which eliminates nearly every type of WordPress scams like comment spam, registration spam, contact form spam, pingback spam, trackback spam, etc.
It runs in the background and doesn’t need CAPTCHAs to fill up by visitors and gives pleasant user experience while doing its works automatically. WP SpamShield AntiSpam supports almost all forms like Jetpack Contact Forms, Gravity Forms, Contact Form 7, BBPress, MailChimp, etc.
2) WordPress Management Plugins
Jetpack helps the WordPress users in managing their sites by giving a lot of features and functionalities like visitor statistics, backup & security services to protect against brute force attacks, monitoring server issues like downtime, optimizing & speeding up images, and helping them get more traffic by offering tools like Related Posts and Sharing options etc.
Meanwhile, Jetpack is one of the best WordPress plugin for blogs offered by Automattic Inc. for centralized management of all essential functions. And, the good thing about it that this plugin is free all WordPress users to boost up their websites/blogs.
Still, Jetpack is there, YARPP is another useful WordPress plugin which displays a list of related posts, pages, and custom post types, introducing your readers to other relevant content on your site based on a unique, powerful algorithm.
3) SEO Plugins
If you have a WordPress blog/website and you haven’t configured the Yoast SEO plugin, then you are losing a lot because it’s one of the must-have WordPress plugins for your blog.
Say, It’s my favorite too and I’m using it from the beginning of my blogging journey.
It let you control your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) functions seamlessly. It features Meta & link elements, RSS (Really Simple Syndication) Optimization, generating XML sitemaps, image optimization for SEO, title and subheadings, breadcrumbs and social integration.
According to me, Yoast SEO is one of the best WordPress Plugin for blogs and websites to help in their SEO efforts and need not to be a code savvy to improve your Search Engine Rankings.
This plugin is free to use as well as offers pro features (premium) with some advanced functions.
All In One SEO Pack was first built in 2007, and since then it is translated into 57 languages as well as one of the most downloaded plugins for the WordPress users.
It offers SEO along with advanced canonical URLs, Google Analytics support, XML sitemap support, Title & Meta configuration for increasing organic traffic, etc. with latest Google AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) support.
It’s the only free plugin offering custom SEO benefits for e-commerce sites too, including WooCommerce. This plugin also provides the premium features for advanced user for a few bucks.
Google XML sitemap generates a special XML sitemap which helps the search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing, and Ask.com to better index your blog. With the help of a sitemap, search engine crawlers can understand the structure of your website quickly to index better in SERP. When you publish the new contents, it notifies all the main search engines every time.
4) Security Plugins
Wordfence is one the most downloaded WordPress security plugin. It is powered by regularly updated threat defense feed to stop your site from getting hacked or other serious security issues. Wordfence scans your site, alerting you quickly in the case, your site is compromised.
Wordfence Security is 100% free and open source. And, also offer a Premium API key that gives you Premium Support, Country Blocking, Scheduled Scans, Password Auditing and even checks if your website IP address is being used to Spamvertise.
It’s another comprehensive and easy to use WordPress plugin for security purpose. It’s stable and well-supported plugin offering the bunch of security features for completely free.
It offers many security features including firewall, user login security, file system security, and user accounts security, database security, and blacklist functionality, etc.
Loginizer is a WordPress security plugin that helps you fight against brute force attack by blocking website login for the IP after it reaches the maximum allowed retries. You can blacklist or whitelist IPs for login using Loginizer. Other features include Two Factor Authorization, reCAPTCHA, Password-less Login, etc. to improve the security of your website.
More than 300000+ WordPress websites are currently using Loginizer.
5) Backup Plugins For WordPress
This WordPress plugin offers a complete schedule for automatic backups of your WordPress installation. Decide which content will be stored and push them external backup services like Dropbox, S3, FTP and much more. Later on, with a single backup .zip file, you can large restore an installation.
It offers features like database backup (needs MySQL i), WordPress XML export, optimize backup, check & repair backup, file backup, store backup to the directory or other services, etc. and sending log & backups by email.
Important: The free version is not providing support as good as the BackWPup Pro version. With our premium version, you get first class support and more features.
VaultPress is a real-time backup and security service designed by Automattic.com, the same company that operates 25+ million sites on WordPress.com.
The VaultPress plugin offers all the necessary functionality to backup and synchronizes every post, comment, media file, revision and dashboard settings on your servers.
But these features are not free to use. To start safeguarding your site, you’ll need to sign up for a VaultPress subscription.
6) CDN Plugins
You all know that CloudFlare is one of the best CDN services and provides more than that. It offers the great features like web application firewall (WAF) rule sets, automatic cache purge, Header rewrites, etc. You can get the one-click optimized setting for WordPress by CloudFlare.
You can also get a view of your analytics such as total visitors, bandwidth saved, and threats blocked. CloudFlare also supports HTTP2/Server Push for your site.
You can change settings for cache purge, security level, Always Online, and image optimization, etc. from within the plugin itself and you don’t need to navigate to the cloudflare.com dashboard separately.
MAXCDN is another CDN (Content Delivery Network) available as a paid option to CloudFlare’s free CDN and worth to have it. It offers more reliable and fast CDN and starts from only $9 per month. If you have decent traffic, you should go with MAXCDN service.
7) Optimization & Cache Plugins
W3 Total Cache improves the user experience of your site by increasing website performance dramatically, reducing page loading times via features like content optimization & content delivery network (CDN) integration, etc.
The only WordPress Performance Optimization (WPO) framework designed to improve UX (user experience) and SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Recommended by many web hosts and trusted by numerous large enterprises.
This plugin generates static HTML files from your dynamic WordPress blog. After a HTML file is generated, your webserver will serve that file instead of processing the comparatively heavier and more expensive WordPress PHP scripts.
The static html files will be served to the vast majority of your users, but because a user’s details are displayed in the comment form after they leave a comment the legacy caching engine handles those requests.
The plugin serves cached files in 3 ways (ranked by speed):
1) Mod Rewrite.
3) Legacy caching.
Advanced users will probably want to use Mod Rewrite caching, but PHP caching is almost as good and recommended for everyone else.
This plugin speeds up page load times and improves website scores in services like PageSpeed, YSlow, Pingdom, and GTmetrix.
WP-Optimize is another useful tool for automatically cleaning your WordPress database so that it runs at maximum efficiency. It will help to make more space and take control over it by removing all unnecessary data, defragmenting MySQL tables with a button press, shows statistics. Moreover, it is mobile friendly and easy to use even for the novice to WordPress blog.
8) E-commerce Plugin
WooCommerce is a free eCommerce plugin that allows you to sell anything, beautifully. Built to integrate seamlessly with WordPress, WooCommerce is the world’s popular eCommerce solution that gives both store owners and developers complete control.
With endless flexibility and access to hundreds of free and premium WordPress extensions, WooCommerce now powers 30% of all online stores, more than any other platform.
This WordPress Plugin is a complete e-commerce solution for selling digital and other non-physical products in an ultimately greater way. It let you enable cart system and also integrates with the PayPal to accept payments from your clients.
Complete control over your selling structure at single place. I love this and use it on my website currently to sell my PDF ebooks. It also offers paid version for more features and extensions
9) WordPress Redirection Plugins
Redirection is a WordPress plugin to manage 301 redirections, keep track of 404 errors, and tie up any loose ends your site may have.
It’s particularly useful if you are migrating pages from an old website, or are changing the directory of your WordPress installation.
And it’s 100% free!
New features of Redirection includes ‘404 error monitoring’, custom ‘pass-through’ redirections, full logs for all redirected URLs, Redirection methods along with existing redirection features.
SEO Redirection is another WordPress plugin to manage 301, 302. 307 redirections and to track of 404 errors, you can build and manage redirections quickly for your site.
This plugin is useful if you want to migrate pages from an old website, or are changing the directory of your WordPress website.
10) Analytics Plugins
The Google Analytics is the another important WordPress plugin which enables you to track your site using the latest Google Analytics tracking code and view key statistics by Google Analytics reports in your WordPress dashboard. It is fully customizable and in-depth data for your website/blog.
Google Analytics gives all data about the real-time number of visitors, acquisition channels, and traffic source details. It includes sessions, organic searches, page views, bounce rate analytics reports, geographical locations, 404 errors analytics reports, traffic channels, social networks, browsers, operating systems, etc. and much more.
It is again comprehensive WordPress plugin for collecting visitor statistics coming to your website without depending on external services and uses arrogate data whenever possible to respect your user’s privacy.
On-screen statistics presented as graphs have the direct view through the WordPress admin interface. It also provides the statistics report by email and provides the feature to export data using CSV (comma-separated values), XML or TSV (Tab separated values) files.
11) Lead Generation Plugins
SumoMe is another one of the best WordPress plugins, provides free tools you needed to grow your WordPress site. This plugin will make it easy for your readers to join your email list, share your articles and optimize with analytics. The free tools include:
List Builder will let you create a fancy lightbox pop up to build email subscriptions. I like the social share feature of SumoMe which makes it insanely easy for people to share on mobile or the web all of your great content.
Other features include Welcome Mat, Heat Maps, Scroll Box, Smart Bar, Highlighter and Image Sharer And even more great tools are in available for paid subscription.
Get SumoMe Pro to explode your earning with amazing features.
It provides email Optin forms, notification bars, sliders and modals for link promotion and email collection to grow your subscriber list and generate leads.
You can also promote links and offers with stylish promotion bars, sliders, and models. Target OptIn to specific visitor groups including limiting to specific pages and page types and devices such as desktop, mobile, and tablets. It’ll help you to convert visitors into optimized forms for all browsers and platforms including mobile and tablet with fully customizable forms.
12) WP Contact Form Plugins
Contact Form 7 is the best WordPress plugin for blogs to manage multiple contact forms,customize the forms and to mail contents flexibly with simple markup. The form supports Ajax-powered submitting, CAPTCHA, Akismet spam filtering and so on.
Other good options for Contact Form 7 are FormCraft and Contact Form By Zotabox.
13) WordPress Gallery Plugins
FooGallery is free gallery plugin and features Retina thumbnail support, Add videos to galleries (via the FooVideo premium extension), albums built-in! (Activate the albums extension), gallery custom post type, use of built-in media library to manage images and drag & drop reordering of images and galleries, etc. plus much more.
The paid option for FooGallery is Envira Gallery, and it’s amazing.
NextGEN Gallery plugin has a standard WordPress gallery plugin since 2007 and continues to receive over 1.5 million new downloads per year. It’s great for general use and powerful enough for the most demanding photographers, visual artists, and imaging professionals.
On the back end, NextGEN Gallery WordPress Plugin offers a complete management system for WordPress gallery with the ability to batch upload, import meta data, add/delete/rearrange/sort images, edit thumbnails, group galleries into albums, and more.
On the front end, the NextGEN Gallery provides two main display styles (slideshows and thumbnail galleries) and two album styles (compact and extended) with its free version. And all of which come fully customizable with a wide array of options for controlling size, style, timing, transitions, controls, lightbox effects, and more.
14) Social Media Plugins
WP Social Ninja allows you to add 12 most popular social network (Facebook, Twitter, G+, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Reddit, etc.) sharing buttons which have different layout styles. You can add social sharing buttons according to your requirements before & after post contents or even insert it directly to post (With hand shortcode insertion tool specially designed for WP social Ninja).
You can use standard settings for social sharing buttons or even set custom designs which can be optimized per each page or post individually.
OnePress Social Locker is most popular content locking tool that will help you to increase social media presence by asking visitors “to pay” for your content with a tweet, plus one, or a like.
If you think your materials are valuable then why not to ask visitors to share on the social platforms. It is the excellent plugin to boost your social media presence directly. On SEO side it again causes no issues.
You can get basic version for free; however, the paid version will unlock many new possibilities to you.
The buffer is another service offering the best content sharing on social media and easier management.
15) Image Optimization Plugins
Smush WordPress Plugin, commonly known as ‘WP-Smush It’ helps to resize, compress and optimize image files, improve performance and boost your SEO. It’s incredibly powerful and 100% free WordPress image optimization tool from WPMU DEV team. Thus, it helps in increasing the web loading speed.
Imsanity features somewhat same like ‘Smush’ automatically resizes large image uploads.
It features automatically scaling for large image uploads, the bulk resizes feature to resize existing images selectively, allows configuration of max width/height and jpg quality.
And, the best part of imsanity is it does not require any action, once you enable it. It works on WordPress built-in image scaling feature to do that.
Optionally converts BMP files to JPG so the images can be scaled.
TinyPNG is another good plugin for image compression & optimizations, especially for the images in JPG and PNG format.
However, I use their web service to compress my blog images prior uploading to media gallery.
16) Live Chat Plugin
Tidio is another live chat service which allows you to communicate with your customers easily. It is designed specifically for the WordPress community. Just install the plugin and start taking full advantage live chat service provides with no registration required.
Tawk.to is better option has various features and it’s also a free one.
17) Schema MarkUp Plugin
Do you know a Rich Snippet?
It’s a summary of your web page in the search results of search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing and sometimes in the News feed of the social media like Facebook, in the friendly format with star ratings, author photo, image, video, etc.
It gives search engines only the relevant & precise information to display in search result snippets. Rich Snippets are very interactive (photos, star ratings, price, author, etc.) to let you stand out from competition, so why not you add this to get more CTR (Click Through Rate)
This plugin supports the following types of Schemas: Review, Event, People, Product, Recipe, Software Application, Video, and Articles.
18) Database Transfer Plugin:
Duplicator gives WordPress administrators the ability to migrate, copy or clone a site from one location to another. The plugin also serves as a simple backup utility.
Duplicator supports both serialized and base64 serialized string replacement. If you need to move or backup WordPress site, then this plugin can help simplify the process.
19) Affiliate Link Cloaker Plugin
ThirstyAffiliates is a WordPress plugin which empowers website owners with the many essential tools to monetize their WordPress website with affiliate marketing.
It gives you power with its tools like inbuilt affiliate link shortening/link Cloaking, 301 redirections, customizable link URL prefixes, Do follow/ No follow option, etc. plus much more.
The Premium version of this plugin offers:
Autolinker – To get the massive increase in your affiliate income by automatically linking affiliate links to keywords throughout your site.
Stats – This feature helps to get the view on the insights you need to find out or which links are popular on your website.
Google Click Tracking – This feature adds the unique Google Analytics Click Event code on your affiliate links as you insert them.
CSV Importer – It imports your links from other packages in simple CSV format.
Geo Locations – To geo-target your visitors and redirect them to geographically appropriate alternative affiliate URLs, an excellent way to level up your income
Scheduled Links – This feature gives you the power to create special schedules for your affiliate links to automatically change the destination URL, great for sales running during a specific period like Halloween or Christmas.
20) Page Builder & Customization Plugins
You are planning to build beautiful pages and forget about Elementor. How’s it possible?
Elementor is a truly live page builder, with no limits of design. With this page builder, you can stunning web pages especially, landing pages. It’s a drag & drop page builder and free to use. However, Pro version is paid and adds more capabilities.
Today, many premium themes offer Google fonts integration as a built-in feature under typography section. However, it may not present in most of the free WordPress themes.
So Easy Google Fonts WordPress plugin lets you add custom Google fonts to your theme without knowing the codes and integrates with the inbuilt WordPress customizer automatically for a real-time live preview.
It gives you full control over your typography with 600+ Google fonts and automatically enqueues with CSS.
21) Front End Management Plugins
This Plugin is for User submitted contents, enable your visitors to submit their posts and upload images from front-end. You’ve only to add the shortcode given below to any of your Post, Page, or Widget:
That’s all there is to it! Now your site can accept user generated content. Everything is super easy to customize via Plugin Settings page.
This WordPress Plugin protects your blog contents from getting copied. A simple plug-in developed to stop the Copycats.
WP Site Protector features disable content copying by the selection of text, disable right click on your blog and with or without popup message. It has no side-effect on SEO and Search Engines can crawl through your content without any problem.
You can also disable the poppular Keyboard Shortcuts used for copying the content like CTRL+A, CTRL+C, and CTRL+V (on Windows OS). And CMD+A, CMD+C, and CMD+V (on MAC OS)
Important: You can either Restrict or Allow all the options from Configuration screen to disable right click, selection of text and the keyboard shortcuts.
Over to You
I have shared the list of some of the best WordPress Plugins for blogs, and surely it can help you to keep your blog alive and to grow continuously.
If you find any different WordPress plugin and want to add to this list, then feel free to write down in the comment box below. If you have any query or want to feedback on my post, let me know.