I often get asked by people about what plugins they should install on their blogs, what are the plugins they should install when getting started, or what security plugins I recommend.
And almost every time I get back to them with the same list, and that is why in this article I am going to share with you the plugins that I consider a must have for any WordPress blog.
A while ago, I published another article about WordPress plugins, that you might want to check, 27 WordPress Plugins to Rock Your Blog, but right now I will stick with the most important ones.
Plugins are just like gears that will help your website run smoothly, and it’s up to you to pick the gears and their quality. So choose wisely!
If you are serious about getting more traffic from search engines, then Scribe SEO is a must have plugin because it helps you optimize your articles so they can rank high in search engines from the moment you publish them.
My most successful articles ranked on the first page from the moment I published them and 90% of my other articles are in the top 30 search results. All of this, because I use Scribe SEO.
If you would like, you can read more about it and see how you can install it in this article.
This WordPress plugin automatically creates and submits a sitemap of your website to search engines and it’s definitely one of the reasons why my articles are indexed and rank fast in the search engines.
W3 Total Cache is an amazing plugin because it allows my sites to load faster for a better user experience and higher rankings in search engines.
Plus, it beautifully integrates with Amazon CloudFront to make a totally inexpensive way of delivering your content using a CDN (Content Delivery Network).
W3 Total Cache along with Scribe SEO and Google XML Sitemaps are the plugins that really make a difference in the way Google and Bing index and rank my articles.
I highly recommend you to install your Google Analytics tracking code manually, but if that is a hassle for you of if you want to take tracking with Google Analytics at the next level, then the Google Analytics for WordPress plugin is the best one out there.
I consider backing up your site a really important task, one that you should not skip and one that can cost you all your work if it’s not done properly.
Automatic WordPress Backup is the best free plugin out there and I use it for all my sites and on my customer’s sites before doing any work for them.
From this link install all three security plugins offered by Website Defender, as each of them is worth having on your blog.
They will scan your WordPress installation and check to see if you have any security flaws. Additionally they will secure your WordPress website and report any vulnerabilities discovered and information about how to fix them.
BBQ helps you protect your website from malicious URL requests. If someone sends you excessively long request strings or strings that contain elements know as coming from hackers or spammers, then BBQ will block them.
This plugin puts a limit on the number of login attempts from a specific IP range in a specific time period. If multiple login attempts come from the same range of IP addresses, those IP addresses will be blocked by Login Lockdown.
Redirection manages 301 redirects for your website and monitors 404 errors. This WordPress plugin is really useful when you have ugly URLs or affiliate links. There is a way of redirecting links from .htaccess, but most of the people are not familiar with that. Plus, it’s easier this way.
This WordPress plugin enables your readers to sign up for e-mail notifications when they comment on your articles. This plugin works beautifully along with the next one and they are the plugins that I start using from the moment I ditched Disqus.
CommentLuv lets your readers add a link to their last blog post when they leave a comment on your blog. You can also allow the links to your readers website to be “dofollow” if you would like to.
Personally, I use this as a sign of appreciation for anyone who leaves a comment on my blog and that is why I installed it.
This plugin can really help you better organize your scheduled posts and easily move their dates, just by dragging and dropping their titles.
This plugin comes really handy if you have lots of scheduled posts or a multi-author blog.
If Google Analytics tells you that you have a high “Bounce Rate” and a low “Time on Site” then you need to do something to make your visitors stick more on your blog.
One of the ways of doing it is to install the WordPress Related Posts plugin which displays below your articles a list with related posts based on their categories.
I won’t mention Askimet in this post, because it comes with WordPress, but don’t forget to activate it.
Now that you know my preferences in terms of WordPress plugins, it’s time for you to tell me your favorites. So, what other plugins do you use and would you like to add to this list?
Let me know in the comments section below.