Are you new to blogging and looking for the best WordPress plugins to take your blog to the next level?
Plugins, as we all know, are highly helpful in extending the functionality of our WordPress websites. There are more than 54,000 WordPress plugins available which make the selection of right plugins quite overwhelming for the new users.
In this article, I’ll discuss 10 free WordPress plugins I am using for my blog. They are not at all mandatory for a blog because there are a lot of plugins out there performing the same job. However, in my opinion, the ones that I have shared in this article are the most important, helpful, and easy-to-use for new bloggers.
So, let’s have a look at the list now.
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Top 10 Free WordPress Plugins for Your Blog in 2019
Without any further ado, here is the list of 10 best WordPress plugins for 2019:
1. Yoast SEO
You always need an SEO plugin to get good rankings in search engines. Yoast SEO is the perfect plugin to manage all aspects of on-site and on-page SEO. It does everything in its power to please both visitors and search engine spiders. The best thing is its free version does everything you need for making your site SEO-friendly.
The free version of Yoast SEO provides:
- Invaluable tools to write SEO-friendly content.
- The snippet preview to see you how your post or page will look in the search results.
- Facility for setting canonical URLs to avoid duplicate content.
- Full control over site breadcrumbs.
- The most advanced XML Sitemaps functionality at the push of a button.
- Integration with Google Search Console and show how your site performs in the search engines.
2. JetPack by WordPress.com
JetPack is a great plugin for user-friendly designs, marketing, and security of your website. It is developed by the people behind WordPress so you will always find this plugin updated and well-maintained.
The core features of Jetpack are all free and they help you with:
- Hundreds of professional themes for any kind of site.
- Intuitive and powerful customization tools.
- Unlimited and high-speed image and video content delivery network.
- Lazy image loading for a faster mobile experience.
- Site stats and analytics.
- Automated social media posting and scheduling in advance.
- SEO tools for Google, Bing, Twitter, Facebook, and WordPress.com.
- Brute force attack protection, spam filtering, and downtime monitoring.
- Daily or real-time backups of your entire site.
- Secure logins with optional two-factor authentication.
- A record of every change and update on your site.
3. Akismet Anti-Spam
Akismet is a very helpful WordPress plugin that protects your blog from spam comments. As soon as you build a blog, you will start getting spam comments.
Akismet should be the first plugin that you should install on your blog. Otherwise, the spammers will bombard your commenting feature with spammy links and your blog will be spammed.
When I published my first blog post, I got a few comments on it appreciating my content or writing style. After analyzing the links that were dropped in the comments, I got to know that they were nothing more than spam.
Akismet is my personal favorite plugin because it saves a lot of time. I do not have to check manually if the comment is spam or not because this plugin does this job efficiently. It automatically moves the spam comments in the trash folder and deletes them after a specific period of time.
The major features of Akismet include:
- Automatically checking all comments and filtering out the ones that look like spam.
- Observing each comment history, so you can easily see which comments were caught or cleared by Akismet and which were spammed or unspammed by a moderator.
- Revealing hidden or misleading links.
- Seeing the number of approved comments for each user.
4. W3 Total Cache
W3 Total Cache improves the user experience of your site by increasing website performance and reducing load times with the help of a content delivery network (CDN).
Having a fast loading website is important for SEO. Every time a user opens a page on your blog, WordPress has to fetch it from the WordPress database. When you install W3 Total Cache, it creates static HTML files of that page thus making it easy for WordPress to show the page from cache. This helps in reducing server load and fast loading of pages.
The key features of this plugin are:
- Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) support
- Secure Socket Layer (SSL) support
- Caching of pages and posts in memory or on disk or on CDN.
- Caching of database objects in memory or on disk
- Caching statistics for performance insights
5. Google XML Sitemaps
Google XML Sitemaps greatly improves SEO by generating automatic XML sitemaps for your blog. It helps search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo, etc. to index your site in a better way.
With a sitemap, it’s much easier for the crawlers to see the complete structure of your site and retrieve it more efficiently. This plugin provides a complete XML sitemap for search engines without breaking your site or making it slow.
It supports all kinds of WordPress generated pages and custom URLs. Besides that, every time you create a new post, it notifies search engines about the new content.
6. Contact Form 7
Contact Form 7 is the simplest plugin you can use to add a contact form to your blog. You can easily customize it according to your needs. Whenever a user fills this form on your blog, you get an email about it.
Using this plugin, you can create and manage multiple contact forms. The form supports Ajax-powered submitting, CAPTCHA, Akismet spam filtering and much more.
7. Tiny MCE Advanced
Tiny MCE Advanced dramatically simplifies the backend WordPress experience of creating content. It is very easy to use and allows you to add, delete, and rearrange the buttons present in the Visual Editor Toolbar. It empowers your blog by providing different font styles, font sizes, tables, colors, smileys, and so much more.
In the beginning, I used to get really annoyed while producing a blog post because there was no “Justify” button to align the text evenly. After searching for a while I came to know about Tiny MCE Advanced and satisfied my OCD by installing it. LOL 😀
8. Google Analytics Dashboard for WordPress
If you want to track the traffic details of your blog without even logging into Google Analytics websites, this plugin is your answer.
This Google Analytics for WordPress plugin enables you to track your site using the latest Google Analytics tracking code and allows you to view key Google Analytics stats on your website.
The in-depth post reports and page reports help you in further segmentation of your analytics thus providing detailed performance reports for each post and page on your blog.
Google Analytics also provides real-time stats. These stats include:
- Real-time number of visitors
- Real-time acquisition channels
- Real-time traffic sources details
The core features of this plugin include:
- Sessions, organic searches, page views, bounce rate analytics stats.
- Locations, pages, referrers, keywords, 404 errors analytics stats.
- Traffic channels, social networks, traffic mediums, search engines analytics stats.
- Device categories, browsers, operating systems, screen resolutions, mobile brands analytics stats.
- Remarketing, demographics, and interests tracking.
- Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) support for Google Analytics.
- E-commerce support for Google Analytics.
If you want to create and manage an e-commerce store on your WordPress blog, you will find no plugin better than WooCommerce for this purpose. It is a free plugin that is active on more than 4 million sites because of its simple interface and functionality.
It offers a lot of features, customizations, and extensions so that you can smoothly run your e-commerce business. With WooCommerce, you can sell both physical and digital goods in all shapes and sizes, offer product variations, multiple configurations, and instant downloads to shoppers. You can even sell affiliate goods from online marketplaces.
What I like about WooCommerce is its ability to provide and accept different payment options like credit cards, PayPal, bank transfers, and cash on delivery.
10. Broken Link Checker
Broken links destroy your search engine rankings and create a bad user experience. That is why it is essential to keep your blog safe all types of broken links.
Broken Link Checker continuously scans your website for broken links and inform you about them. You can fix those broken links with one click using this free plugin.
I’ve been using this plugin for quite a while now and would suggest you install it too.
The basic functions of this plugin are:
- Monitors links in your posts, pages, comments, the blog roll, and custom fields (optional).
- Detects links that don’t work, missing images and redirects.
- Notifies you either via the Dashboard or by email.
- Links can be edited directly from the plugin’s page, without manually updating each post.
- Highly configurable.
On a side note, if you are having troubles in setting your WordPress blog, read my easy-to-follow Beginner’s Guide to Blogging with WordPress for this purpose. This e-book covers detailed topics (with pictures) about creating and managing your WordPress blog like a pro.
The top 10 plugins in this article are highly recommended to every new blog in town. These plugins will greatly enhance the user experience as well as your own experience of running a blog.
If you have any query in mind, ask it in comments. I’ll answer it. Plus, I’ll look for your feedback on this topic.