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3 Behind-the-Scenes Secrets to Profitable Blogging

Best WordPress Plugins for Bloggers

What are the best WordPress plugins? If you’re starting a blog or website, plugins are absolutely key in giving your site extended features, adding more technical functionality, and–most importantly–make it easier on YOU so you can get back to creating helpful content and reader experiences!

The are the best WordPress plugins for bloggers.

If you’re new to blogging or creating a website, there can be a steep learning curve when you’re taking a DIY approach and trying to design your site in WordPress for the first time.

Hosting… themes… plugins… oh my!

We already talk about how to start your blog with getting a name and hosting here, so today, let’s cover one of the next steps–installing helpful plugins!

What’s a plug-in? The short answer: a plugin is a piece of software that can be added to a WordPress website to extend functionality or add new features.

For example, if you’re going to be publishing recipes on your blog, you’re going to need a recipe plug-in. This is basically an extra tool you download within WordPress that helps you create those cute little recipe cards with nutrition information, cooking times, servings, ingredients and instructions.

Some are free (woohoo!) while others are paid. We’ve noted the cost of each one below.

A word of caution before you go wild creating a plugin palooza on your site: plugins are great, but don’t overload your site with them.

Adding tons of plugins to your website slows down your site speed. Not only will this cause readers to click away if your site takes too long to load, but Google also penalizes slow websites, which hurts your SEO. So just don’t go too crazy, especially in the beginning. I personally have all of the plugins below installed on my website. But my suggestion is to keep it under 20 total plugins.

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Blogger at her desk typing on the computer.

The Best WordPress Plugins for Bloggers

WORDFENCE SECURITY

The best way in the world to protect your blog! This plugin blocks malicious traffic and includes an endpoint firewall and malware scanner. Fortunately, you can get started at no cost!

Price: free

Download Wordfence Security here!

PRETTYLINKS

One of my personal favorite plugins. Use Prettylinks to shorten, customize and track any URL. For example, we always create a prettylink for our affiliate links. Instead of some super long, gibberish looking link, you can create a link like katekordsmeier.com/bluehost – making it super clean and easy to post in places like social media, on podcasts, live videos, etc. You can also see how many total and how many unique clicks you get, which is an added perk.

Price: free (or upgrade for advanced features, but I use the free plan)

Download Prettylinks here!

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UPDRAFT PLUS

Backup and restore your site on automatic schedules so you’ll never lose your work again. This is a non-negotiable! One of the worst things that could happen to your site is if it crashed with no backup. You’d literally have to start over from scratch! Think about all the time and headaches you’ll save with the peace-of-mind of having a tool like this.

Price: $112 per year

Download Updraft Plus here!

Kate at her computer wearing glasses.

SHORT PIXEL

Short Pixel optimizes your images automatically while guarding the quality of your images and making your website load faster. All a win-win for SEO and reader experience!

Price: free to start, upgrade as your blog grows

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Download Short Pixel here!

WP ROCKET

Want your WordPress to load faster in just a few clicks? WP Rocket to the rescue! It improves site performance and site speed by caching your site (don’t worry–you don’t have to understand what that means in order to use it!).

Price: $39 your first year, $49 after

Download WP Rocket here!

YOAST

The best plugin for an all-in-one SEO solution. It includes on-page content analysis, XML sitemaps and more. In layman’s terms, this means it instructs you on how to optimize your posts with your chosen keyword, improves your technical configuration, and helps with faster indexing on search engines.

Price: free (or upgrade for advanced features, but I use the free plan)

Download Yoast here!

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Woman on her iphone in a chaise.

HEADER AND FOOTER SCRIPTS

If you are running a WordPress site, sooner or later you need to insert some kind of code to your website. Most likely it will a web analytics code like Google Analytics, a social media script, some CSS stylesheet, or maybe a custom font. This plugin will do all the magic for you, without having to know code!

Price: free

Download Header and Footer Scripts here!

EASYAZON

Want to make money on your site with Amazon? The quickest and easiest way to insert your Amazon affiliate links into your site’s content is with this convenient plugin.

Price: free

Download EasyAzon here!

ULTIMATE NO FOLLOW

Properly set up links on your blog by letting Google know which ones are promotional and which ones are educational. This is a MUST to be compliant with Google’s policies. If you don’t properly disclose your no-follow links, you’ll likely be penalized in a future algorithm update–so practice good disclaimer hygiene from the beginning!

Price: free

Download Ultimate No Follow here!

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Milotree pop up

MILOTREE

A smart pop-up to grow your email list, Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, and Pinterest that appears in the bottom right corner of your site (see example picture above).

Price: $9/month

Download Milotree here!

HELLOBAR

A sticky bar at the top of your website to help you easily collect email addresses from subscribers. I used the free version when I started blogging. Note that your email service provider may provide something like this already that you can embed on your site.

Price: free to start, upgrade as your blog grows

Download Hellobar here!

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GROW BY MEDIAVINE (FORMERLY SOCIAL PUG)

Maximize your social shares and drive more traffic using beautiful social sharing buttons. Choose from various placements on your website, custom styles (including button shape, color, size and label), show share counts, and much more.

Price: $34 annually

Download Grow by Mediavine here!

WP RECIPE MAKER or TASTY RECIPES

A recipe plug-in helps your recipe stand out from the blog post, and enables your readers to print the recipe if needed. It also gives you the functionality of having your recipes rated by your readers, which improves SEO, and the ability to add information like Cook Time, Calories, Servings, etc.

I recommend WP Recipe Maker, which is what I use on my blog (the premium plan, see above for an example of what this looks like), or Tasty Recipes (developed by the Food Blogger Pro team and also a great option). Create by Mediavine is another option (and it’s free! but certain features are only available if you are part of the MediaVine Ad Network).

Price: WP Recipe Maker is $49-$149; Tasty Recipes is $79

Download WP Recipe Maker here or Tasty Recipes here!

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NUTRIFOX

Create custom nutrition labels effortlessly. I use this on my wellness blog, Root + Revel.

Price: $9/month

Download Nutrifox here!

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INLINE RELATED POSTS

Easily add related content to your blog posts to keep readers on your site longer. See the recommended blog post above for 30 Easy Ways to Make Money? That’s exactly what Inline Related Posts does!

Price: free

Download Inline Related Posts here!

KING SUMO

Helps you grow your email list using viral social giveaways. We’ve done tons of giveaways on Root + Revel with our favorite brands, and King Sumo makes it so easy to grow our list and our social following, all while providing an awesome opportunity to our community!

Price: $198 for a lifetime subscription, or try the free web app version 

Download King Sumo here!

CLASSIC EDITOR

Prefer WordPress’s Classic Editor to the new (confusing) Block Editor? This plugin will save your sanity! I much prefer the Classic Editor and am relieved to know that this official WordPress plugin will be fully supported and maintained until at least 2022 (or as long as is necessary).

Price: free

Download Classic Editor here!

Now, over to you! What are your favorite, must-have WordPress plug-ins? Leave a comment below and let us know!

Affiliate Disclosure Policy

This post includes affiliate links, and I will earn a commission if you purchase through these links. Please note that I’ve linked to these products purely because I recommend them and they are from companies I trust. There is no additional cost to you.

 

Comments

  1. Mara Kucirek says

    I’m so excited to finally have a list of plug-ins to use! Navigating the world of WordPress can be so confusing! Thank you for taking the time to break it all down Kate!

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