Best WordPress Plugins You Should Use On Your Blog

by

In this post, you will learn everything you need to know about the best WordPress plugins and you will get the list of the best plugins to install on your blog.

Plugins are like software that extends your WordPress blog. You can use a plugin to improve the look and feel of your blog design or to add new features or functionality to your blog. There’s a plugin for everything.

Activating a handful of essential plugins is one of the first things I do after I start a blog. Over the years I have tested many of the plugins and this post is my beginner guide to the world of plugins.


Best WordPress Plugins You Should Use On Your Blog

Mo plugins mo problems?

A word of warning first:

  • Make sure you only use plugins that are necessary to achieve a better user experience. Don’t go overboard installing too many. It’s a bit of a jungle out there with many bloated, buggy and spammy plugins.
  • Adding too many plugins can make your blog heavy and slow to load. Keep your blog simple, light and fast. Keep an eye on your blog’s speed and performance.
  • Some plugins can also add security vulnerabilities to your blog. It’s not uncommon to hear about thousands of blogs being exposed to different attacks due to a bad plugin.
  • You could introduce code conflicts between plugins and any custom work you have done on your theme design. You don’t want your plugins to break your blog or the latest WordPress update to break your plugins.
  • If a plugin is not what you expected or you no longer use it, just delete it.

Take a look at my guide: How To Speed Up WordPress Site

Discover the best WordPress plugins in the official directory

There are more than 53,000 free WordPress plugins in the official plugin directory. There have been more than a billion and a half plugin downloads in total.

Every plugin features a page with the plugin description, number of active installs, the user rating and last updated date. To learn more about a particular plugin you can also view screenshots, FAQ and the reviews. These are some of the signs to look out for to find best WordPress plugins:

  • High number of “Active Installations“.
  • A recent “Last Updated” date.
  • Five star user rating.
  • Click also on the “Reviews” tab and see what people say.
  • Click also on the “Support” tab and see what issues users have.
  • It’s a good sign if the developer is accessible and answers questions in there.
  • Compatible with your WordPress blog version.

How to install best WordPress plugins on your blog

Most plugins can be implemented to your blog with little hassle. You don’t need to know how to code. Just install a plugin, activate it, and job done. This is how you install a new plugin on your blog:

  1. Go to Plugins in the left-hand navigation of your dashboard and click “Add New”.
  2. Find a plugin that you want to try and click on the name.
  3. Then click on the “Install Now” button.
  4. When the installation is complete, click on “Activate”.
  5. The new plugin is now live.

If you wish to delete a particular plugin, go to the “Plugins” section, click on “Deactivate”, then click on “Delete” to completely remove it.

60+ best WordPress plugins for 2018

Here’s a list of the best WordPress plugins for the year 2018. They are hand picked by me after a lot of research. They are actively used by many bloggers, well coded, well reviewed, regularly updated and help you solve real problems. They are versatile and can be used by personal blogs but also by brands and businesses too.

I don’t advise you to activate all of these on your blog. Review the list and see if some of these are relevant to your needs. They are all great and recommended plugins but not all of them are useful for every blog. You may only need to add a handful of plugins from the list below and have all your needs covered.

Now let’s get started with a list of the best WordPress plugins that you should explore.

The mother of all WordPress plugins: Jetpack

Jetpack is an all-in-one plugin that offers many features and is created by the folks that make WordPress. This makes it clean coded, trustworthy and a high quality plugin. Jetpack is one of the very few plugins I would recommend as safe to use to any blogger.

Using Jetpack can help you reduce the number of other plugins you need to run on your blog. Chances are Jetpack will cover all your plugin needs. It helps you integrate all these features:

  • Akismet anti-spam filter blocks and removes spam comments.
  • Two-step authentication makes your blog login more secure.
  • You can get simple stats and learn about your visitors and how they use your blog.
  • You can add contact forms to allow people to get in touch with you anywhere on your blog.
  • It allows you to automatically share your newly published posts to your social channels.
  • You can also add social media icons to your sidebar so visitors can easily follow your social profiles.
  • You can add social media sharing buttons to your posts so people can share your content.
  • You can add links to the related posts at the end of your posts so people can explore your blog more.
  • You can add the ability for users to subscribe to posts and comments and get notified when there are updates.
  • You can get a responsive design to make your blog looks great on mobile devices.
  • You can add infinite scroll to have a more engaging presentation of content.
  • There’s also the advanced spell checker to help you fix typos and spelling.
  • It helps you prevent brute force attacks to further secure your blog.
  • You can monitor downtime and be alerted when your server is down.
  • You can activate a CDN to speed up the loading time of your images.
  • You can use an image gallery to beautiful display your photos.
  • You have set your plugins to be updated automatically.
  • You can generate an XML sitemap and help search engines discover your content.
  • You have the ability to verify your blog with search engines such as Google.

Do install it and review all the different options before continuing your plugin hunt. Just remember not to activate any of the features that you don’t use in order to keep your speed as fast as possible.

Get Jetpack

Plugins to integrate social media into your blog

One of the first things bloggers want to integrate is social media. This includes everything from just having simple “follow me” buttons in the sidebar, to the ability for visitors to share your content on their profiles.

There are tons of social plugins for WordPress but most are just not good enough. One of the main problems is that they slow down your site due to the many files and scripts they load. My main requirement for a social plugin is that it looks beautiful, it can be placed in attractive spots on my blog and that it is light and quick to load.

Best for social media sharing buttons

Let your visitors spread the word about your content to their networks. This is a very extensive and flexible plugin that allows you to easily implement social sharing buttons on your content. It also allows you to add “click to tweet” boxes within your content and a simple overview of how many shares your posts are getting in the dashboard. It’s lightweight too. This is an affiliate link but the plugin is free and everything you need is in the free version.

Get Social Warfare

The best alternative is the Jetpack plugin that I introduced above. It has social media “follow” icons for your sidebar, it has great “share” buttons for the content and can even automatically share all your new posts to your own profiles.

Best for Instagram

If you’re active on Instagram, this plugin is the simplest way of integrating your Instagram profile and the content you post there directly into your blog too.

Get Instagram Feed

Best for Pinterest

Displays a Pin It button directly over your images and helps you drive traffic from Pinterest. Perfect for blogs that feature great imagery such as fashion blogs, travel blogs, and food blogs.

Get Pin It Button For Images

Best for getting shares for content access

Use it for PDF reports and similar. It can help increase your social media presence by making your visitors tweet or Facebook like to get access to the content.

Get Social Locker

Plugins for speeding up your blog

Keeping your blog light and quick to load can work wonders for the experience your visitors are having.

Best for reducing the image size

These plugins reduce your image files size automatically and make your blog faster and easier to load. All this without losing any image quality. Your visitors won’t notice the difference in images but they will get a faster user experience. They do this both for your image archive but also as you’re uploading new images. Both of these do great at what they’re supposed to do so try them out and see which one is best for you.

Get Smush Get EWWW Image Optimizer

Best for caching your blog

This one is a very powerful but also quite complicated and advanced plugin. It caches your content as static files which reduces the processing load on the server. It dramatically improves your speed by using cache as well as Minify and content delivery network (CDN). It helps your server handle a higher load without crashing.

Get W3 Total Cache

Best for loading your pages faster

This one is great for image heavy blogs. Only load images that are in the browser’s view (i.e. above the fold) and load the rest only as the visitor scrolls down the page.

Get BJ Lazy Load

Plugins for search engine optimization

Best for SEO in general

This one is the best SEO solution. It combines what two of the most popular plugins ever used to do. It helps you optimize your on-page SEO (META Title, Description and Keywords) and generates an XML sitemap for search engines to easier find and index your content. It does much more too such as add Open Graph social data so social network display your content properly when it’s shared.

Get WordPress SEO by Yoast

When you start posting often, you will soon have so many posts and pages that it will be hard to manually check them one by one. This plugin automatically checks all your content and informs you of any broken links.

Get Broken Link Checker

Best for redirecting different URL’s

Broken links and page not found errors are not good for user experience and Google doesn’t like them either so may penalize your site. This plugin helps you get rid of all and redirect non-existent URL’s to correct pages. It manages 301 redirections and keeps track of 404 errors in a very simple interface without you needing access or experience with .htaccess files.

Get Redirection

These two can save you a lot of time. For example, if you have moved the domain name and now want to change all the internal links throughout your blog. You don’t need to go and edit each of your posts and each of your links one by one. These plugins make it a much quicker process.

Get Search and Replace Get Velvet Blues Update URL’s

Best for schema rich snippets

This one is useful for many different purposes such as if you run a blog with food recipes. It helps you add all the necessary microdata so that your content such as recipes show up correctly with images, rating and more in Google’s search results.

Get All In One Schema Rich Snippets

Plugins to help you monetize your blog

Best for ecommerce

Use WordPress to create your own online store to sell your products or services. Or to sell subscriptions and memberships. This is the best WordPress ecommerce plugin. It’s created by the same people who have created WordPress.

Get WooCommerce

Best for Google Adsense and other banner ads

Makes it easy to insert banner ads from Google Adsense and other marketing platforms into your blog content.

Get Ad Inserter Get Quick Adsense

Best for selling memberships

A user, role, and content management tool that makes WordPress a more powerful CMS. It allows you to sell memberships to your audience.

Get Members Get WP-Members

Best for accepting donations

Some bloggers monetize their blogs by accepting reader donations. This plugin helps you do just that. Add PayPal buttons in your content or the sidebar.

Get PayPal Donations Get Patreon Button

Best for adding a job board

Another plugin built by Automattic, the company behind WordPress.

Get WP Job Manager

Plugins for popups, CTA’s and improved conversions

Best for pop-ups

If you’re trying to convert more of your visitors, it’s worth testing pop-up boxes. This plugin offer beautiful and straightforward solutions that are not too user unfriendly.

Get Popups Get Popup Maker

Best for building your email list

This plugin makes it easy to integrate your Mailchimp newsletter to your blog. Easily insert subscribe forms and other calls-to-action in order to get more of your visitors to subscribe to your mailing list.

Get Mailchimp for WordPress

Best for browser push notifications

Your visitors can opt-in to receive browser push notifications from you. This plugin works for Chrome, Firefox and Safari browsers.

Get OneSignal

Plugins for maintaining your blog safe, backed up and secure

Best for optimizing the database

Allows you to clean up and optimize your database to make it run better. You can also remove all your post revisions automatically. I recommend you run this plugin on a regular basis such as once a month.

Get WP-Optimize

Best for backing up your files

On-demand backup. It can also backup in an automated schedule. It allows you to save the database backup to your computer, in the cloud or get it sent via email.

Get UpdraftPlus

Best security plugins

A set of tools here to help you keep your blog secure. Security monitoring, malware detection, two step authentication for your logins and more.

Get Sucuri Get Wordfence

Plugins to help you power up your content

Best for including charts

Make your posts more shareable and social media friendly by creating and adding a variety of interactive charts with this plugin.

Get Visualizer

Best for showing maps

Need to show maps in your posts? This is a simple and great looking solution that works with Google Maps.

Get Leaflet Maps Marker

Best for frequently asked questions

Do you have a frequently asked questions section of your blog? This plugin helps you display it all in a nice and easy format.

Get Quick and Easy FAQs

Best for podcasting

The most popular podcasting plugin for WordPress. Supports iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play and more. Covers all your podcasting needs.

Get PowerPress Podcasting

Best for creating unique content

The new WordPress Gutenberg editor will help you give a boost to your blog content with better and more unique design that’s beautiful but easy to make even without any design or coding ability.

Get Gutenberg

Plugins to improve your blog’s look and feel

Best for improving the navigation menu

Boost your navigation menu with this mega menu and fly out menu. It’s responsive, retina and touch ready.

Get Max Mega Menu

Best for integrating beautiful fonts

This plugin makes it easy for you to use a different font (more than 600 available) to spice up your blog.

Get Easy Google Fonts

Best for responsive sliders

Nice and simple way to create post and image sliders for your blog.

Get Soliloquy

Best page builders

Page builders are a big topic on their own. They replace the way you create your content and help you create amazing, unique full-width and modern design templates. You can present your content in very different ways from post to post and from page to page.

Lots of templates are already available for you to customize already and you can build your own too. All without the need of coding. This is not normally something that’s very easy to do with WordPress but with the addition of a page builder it becomes possible for everyone.

Here are three of the most popular options. I personally use Beaver Builder (below is an affiliate link) but it’s useful for you to explore all three and see which you find the best.

Get Siteorigin Get Elementor Get Beaver Builder

Plugins for your sidebars

Best for customizing sidebars

Create your own custom widgetized areas and sidebars. Allows you to pick on which posts and pages a sidebar should show and also what type of sidebar to show on which sections.

Get Custom Sidebars Get Content Aware Sidebars

Best for sticky widgets

Allows you to put in a sticky widget in your sidebar, so it scrolls through alongside the visitor. This helps you never have any blank space in your sidebar.

Get Q2W3 Fixed Widget

Plugins for tracking visitor activity

Best for Google Analytics

This plugin makes it easy for you to insert your Google Analytics code and start tracking your visitors. Learn more about Google Analytics and how tracking data helps you run a better blog.

Get Google Analytics

Best for tracking search box usage

This tracks what your visitors search for in your “search” field. You can know what your visitors are looking for and what they find. Can help you make your design more usable and give you some topic ideas to cover.

Get Search Meter

Best for GDPR compliance

This one helps you comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). It informs your visitors about all the cookies you use and gives visitors a choice if they want to opt-in or out of the different types of cookies.

Get Cookiebot

Plugins to keep visitors staying longer

Best for related post flyouts

This is a New York Times-style alternative to related posts. It displays a fly out in the bottom right corner of the screen with a related post.

Get upPrev

Displays a list of related posts at the end of your articles. Allows customization of the display – you can even show thumbnails of the posts.

Get Contextual Related Posts

This replaces the default search form. It is very much like Facebook or Google search. Upon starting to type a search query, your visitor will get a list of different options and results. Comes with detailed analytics and controls.

Get Relevanssi

Best for pagination

Adds a more advanced paging navigation interface.

Get WP-PageNavi

Best for table of contents

Automatically creates a table of contents for your long form posts and allows you to display it in a beautiful and user-friendly way.

Get Table of Contents Plus

Best for live chat

Tawk.to live chat plugin is a great WordPress alternative to the big players such as Intercom and Zendesk. You can use it to do customer support, answer questions, get feedback and even sell better. It’s free too.

Get Tawk.to

Best for estimated reading time

This one is great if you simply want to inform your audience how long the content they are about to read is. It inserts the “estimated reading time” on top of your post.

Get Reading Time WP

Plugins to boost your comments section

Best to remove comment and contact form spam

This one is made by the company behind WordPress is the most effective spam fighter there is. Works on everything from comments to your contact form submissions. It saves you a lot of time with your comment moderation. Activate it and forget it. It’s also part of the Jetpack plugin.

Get Askismet

Best for disabling comments from posts and pages

This is for those that don’t want comments on their blog or just on certain posts or pages. Makes it easy to manage where to accept comments and where not to.

Get Disable Comments

Best for replacing default comments with Facebook comments

Facebook comments are integrated with Facebook accounts so your visitors can comment using their Facebook profiles. It also places their comments directly on their Facebook profile with the link back to your blog so has the potential to drive more visitors to you.

Get Facebook Comments

Plugins for team work and multiauthors

Best for managing a content calendar

Helps you organise your content calendar and the posting schedule, and take control of your content strategy. Get everyone on the same page and make your collaboration and other activities more streamlined.

Get CoSchedule

Best for dealing with image uploads

Several authors uploading images for their posts can be a nightmare in terms of consistency regarding the image quality and the dimension and the size of the images. This plugin helps you deal with that. You decide what type of images you prefer and the plugin fixes the images to your preference as they’re being uploaded.

Get Imsanity

Best for copying content templates

When working in teams of people who may not be coders or comfortable with too much editing, you could allow them to copy older posts and follow their templates instead. This plugin does just that.

Get Duplicate Post

Plugins for blogs written in multiple languages

Best for multilingual content

For all you running multilingual blogs. This plugin makes the process of having multiple versions of your content in different languages very straightforward and user-friendly.

Get Polylang

Best for translations

Allow translations with a single click between 58 languages on your blog.

Get Google Language Translator Get GTranslate

This is it. All the best WordPress plugins that you can use to improve your blog and extend its functionality. Happy blogging!