Today, I want to talk about the most essential plugins for new WordPress blogs. Plugins are good for their purposes but the more you get them on your blog, the more the chances of running into trouble.
NB: This is Part VIII in the series to create a money making blog. If you missed the previous parts, click here to go to the table of contents.
Why some plugins are bad!
Before I show you my most essential plugins for new WordPress blogs, let’s see why we have to apply a huge degree of caution why adding plugins to our blogs:
- Some poorly coded plugins can break your blog. Some get incompatible with your server configuration and may crash the server.
- Some plugins have some monitoring scripts to gather some critical information from your blog and submit to some remote location, exposing your blog to security dangers.
- Some poorly written plugins have weaknesses that can be exploited by hacker to bring down your blog.
- Some plugins make your blog very heavy and that’s bad for search engines and human friendliness.
- Some plugins are too unnecessarily complicated. Their authors have not clew what it means to be user friendly.
- Some plugins can just be so annoying and will keep kicking your visitors away with popups.
- Some will not want to cohabit with others and this may cause you a whole lot of uncertainties.
However, some plugins deliver exactly what they were developed for without much of any negative impact. Here are 6 I recommend for new WordPress blogs:
Top 7 essential Plugins for new WordPress blogs
1 – > Security plugin
Security is the first thing to attract attention in blogging. After setting up your new blog, failure to secure it is simple preparation for the end. My recommended plugin for top security is Better WP Security I have already talked about this plugin and how to secure your blog in this post. I recommend you check it out.
2 – > Performance Optimization
This is an area most bloggers neglect in the beginning. It’s as important as having a blog. Search engines and human readers deserve (or want) to be given the best. If your blog’s speed and overall performance is poor, you will be compromising a reasonable portion of your market share. In part 9 of this series, we will be seeing more details how to optimize our blog with W3 Total Cache Plugin.
3 – > Commenting and social engagement
This is a very crucial aspect of blogging and we must start talking about it from the onset.
- You will need people to interact with you through the comment box.
- You will need to reward and encourage them to speak their minds.
- You will need something to get them coming back to your blog and being engaged more and more.
The master plugin that will help you in getting all these is CommentLuv Premium. This is a 6 in 1 plugin that keeps your blog active, interactive and attractive. What does it really do?
- It rewards visitors for leaving a comment by giving them a back link to an article on their blogs. This encourages visitors to comment in order to grab the reward.
- It rewards commentators by linking back to their home page through the keyword link feature.
- It helps commentator gets more Twitter exposure by dropping their Twitter Account name along side the comment.
- It helps the blog owners in one of the more effective ways to fight spam through the GASP premium feature.
- As blog owner, commentLuv Premium helps you get return visitors by using the ReplyMe function. What this does is send a mail to the commentator whenever his/her comments gets a reply. Pretty nice trick to get that one back to the blog.
- If you hate backlink hunters like me, this is surely the beautiful part of it. The new addition into CommentLuv Pro, the Anti Backlinker is the strongest filter I have come across. With very strict options, blog owners can literally control who drops a link and set rules for qualified commentators.
- Visitors can use commentLuv to share your article on social media.
These 7 points put together and the ongoing addition of new features by Andy and his team make this plugin one of the must-haves if you care about social engagements, activities and interactivity on your blog.
4 – > Social Media
Social media has completely transformed blogging in recent years. It has been an important tool in generating referral traffic, community building and expansion. It’s a crucial social proof factor, playing an important role in money making. Linking your blog to your social media profiles is a rapid way to turn your visitors into social media followers and viral traffic generators.
How does the blog interact with Social Media?
- By adding the social media sharing buttons on our blog, visitors will be given a facility to share our articles on their profiles – tweet, share, like, google+,linkedIn, etc
- Our articles are automatically shared to Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn as soon as the ‘Publish’ button is hit.
- Visitors can easily click a button to like a Fanpage, follow a Twitter Account or join a Google+ Circle from the blog.
For social media plugin, I recommend JetPack. Now, I will show you 4 things JetPack will do to your blog that are so mighty.
I know some people will scream when they hear JetPack. Some bloggers have had issues with it. If it doesn’t work for you, just disable it but for the most part, it works like charm.
4 reasons to Install JetPack right now!
JetPack is a many in one plugin developed by WordPress for WordPress blogs. That means it offers a bundle of features that would have only been made possible by the installation of many other plugins. Here are 4 of these features:
a – Publicize
Link your different supported social media accounts. Each time a new post is published, JetPack will automatically post it to your profiles. You can add many social media accounts for more exposure.
b- Sharing Buttons
The social sharing buttons allows the site visitors to share your articles with their followers on social media. Now this is different from publicize where your articles are automatically published on your own social media profiles.
c – Subscriptions
One of the things we want as bloggers is to get as many readers as possible subscribe to our blogs so that we can get to them as soon as our new article is up. This is just what you get with JetPack’s Subscriptions feature.
This feature will add 2 check boxes usually below the comment box so that commentators can sign up to get fresh updates from you blog by mail or get notified when there is a comment reply. Looks a cool engagement feature
d – Statistics
Stats are important component of online business. These are pointers to the direction your business is going. What you get from JetPack stats is where your traffic is coming from, search engines, keywords, most visited posts, where your blog drives traffic to, etc
5 -> WP Smush.it
I will talk more about this plugin in the next part of this series. It’s an important plugin you need to get for speed optimization. Check it here.
6 – > Yet Another Related Posts Plugin
What this plugin does is create links to related contents on your blog posts. These are called internal links and are very important for SEO. They help to reduce bounce rate and increase time on site by carefully pointing readers to related articles on the blog. Get it it.
7 – > Broken Link Checker
Broken links are links that are not accessible. They are dead and are therefore bad. This contribute to decrease usability and a bad image for SEO.
This plugin will constantly monitor your links and report dead links with options to remove or edit them. Keep your new blog clean. Check the plugin here
These are my 7 essential Plugins for new WordPress blogs!. Note that I was just giving you some basic plugins we need to start going. With time, we may have to add more plugins but we have to be so meticulous in our choice of plugins.
In the next part, we will be looking at Performance and speed optimization tips and recommendations. So leave your thoughts in the comment box below and share this article on social media to give me a lift. See you on the next part.