25 Essential WordPress Plugins & Tools For Bloggers
WordPress is the most popular CMS as well as the best blogging platform. Most of the famous bloggers use and recommend WordPress.
If you’ve chosen WordPress, congratulations! You have taken the right decision. But having WordPress installed is not enough.
You need to take advantage of plugins and tools available for WordPress users to grow and manage your blog efficiently. There are thousands of WordPress plugins and tools out there.
It’s tough to choose the right plugins and tools for your blog when you have thousands of options. To make things easier, I’ve compiled a list of 25 Essential WordPress Plugins & Tools For Bloggers In 2018.
Let’s check the list first.
If you have been blogging for few days, you might have already noticed some irrelevant comments with ugly website links. Those are spam comments.
Akismet is the plugin that can help you to get rid of these spam comments. It filters out all the comments of your blog and blocks the spammers. This plugin is owned by Automattic, the parent company of WordPress.
Most of the time it comes up with the WordPress installation. That means you don’t have to install it separately. All you have to do is activate the plugin and enter the API key.
Jetpack is an all-in-one WordPress plugin which is also owned by Automattic.
From stats checking to backups taking, Jetpack offers almost everything you need to build and manage your WordPress blog efficiently. It’s one of the must-have plugins for your WordPress blog.
Let’s see the features of the Jetpack plugin.
- 100+ Free WordPress themes.
- Free CDN called Photon to make your images load faster.
- Lazy Loading Images for faster loading blog.
- Brute force attack protection.
- Monitoring downtime and send notifications via email.
- Stats for measuring site performance.
- Showing Related Posts to keep visitors engaged.
- Daily automated backups to keep your hard work safe.
- Automated spam filtering.
- Automated social media sharing of your blog posts.
- Automated malware scanning and security fixes.
- Accepting PayPal payments and many more.
3. Yoast SEO
WordPress is the most SEO Friendly blogging platform. But it’s not enough if you want to rank higher in Google and other search engines. You’ll have to install an SEO plugin.
When it comes to WordPress SEO Plugin, Yoast SEO is the best option out there. It has both a free and premium version.
The free version is enough to make your blog SEO-Friendly. Here’s what it offers in the free version.
- Keyword Optimization & Readability Checker.
- Preview your link on search engines.
- Control breadcrumbs,
- Set Canonical URLs.
- Edit Robots.txt and .htaccess file.
- Generate XML Sitemaps.
- Verifying sites on Webmaster tools.
- Social profiles integration and many more.
Here’s what you will get if you upgrade to premium version.
- Redirecting old URLs to new ones.
- Internal linking suggestions.
- Preview your links on social media sites.
- Multiple focus keywords optimization.
- I’d suggest you get started with the free version and upgrade later if needed.
It is an all-in-one SEO tool for bloggers and website owners. It offers everything you need to make your SEO efforts easier and better. Here are some essential SEMrush features for bloggers.
- Checking which keywords your competitors are ranking for.
- Keyword research to find the right keywords.
- Track your keywords' positions on Google.
- Technical SEO Audit.
- Get On Page SEO Optimization ideas.
- Monitoring brand reputation.
- Social Media Tracker and Poster.
SEMrush has a free version for a very limited usage. To get the full benefits of SEMrush, you have to upgrade to a premium plan. You can try the Pro plan for free for 14 days by using our promo link.
Google Analytics tracks your visitors and tells you who is visiting your site, which pages are getting most views, traffic sources, the countries from where you are getting the traffic, and many more.
It’s a must-have tool for bloggers. There are some WordPress plugins like MonsterInsights that allow you to check reports and stats from WordPress dashboard.
Google Search Console is my favorite SEO tool. I check Google Search Console Data once in a week to see which keywords are driving traffic to my blog and if I could do any optimization to increase CTR. This tool also helps me to get new blog post ideas.
It’s a free tool by Google that tracks your site performance in Google Search Results. It also shows who links to your site, your internal links, and manual actions by Google if there's any.
You can remove an URL from Google Search Results from here and submit new URL to index. You can also add your sitemap here and test your robots.txt file.
There are so many other things you can do in Google Search Console. It’s a must-have SEO tool for every blogger.
WordPress is a secure platform. Hundreds of developers are working to make it safer. But bad things can happen. That’s why WordPress itself introduced VaultPress.
VaultPress is a WordPress backup and security plugin by Automattic. It protects your site from spammers and hackers. And even on host failure.
It automatically creates backups and stores in an offsite digital vault. If anything terrible happens, a quick restore can be done without contacting web host. It also detects viruses, malware, and other exploits and fixes those threats automatically.
W3 Total Cache is a WordPress caching plugin that speeds up your WordPress blog by caching pages and improves the SEO and user experience of your blog. You can also integrate CDN with W3 Total Cache.
It’s easy to set up. A lot of pro bloggers use this plugin to decrease the load time of their blogs. It’s a must-have plugin for any kind of WordPress site.
Not building an email list is one of the common blogging mistakes. Most of the bloggers are guilty of it. I also took so much time to get started with email marketing.
When it comes to email marketing, the first thing you will need is a service provider. GetResponse is one of the best email marketing service providers for bloggers. It’s very easy to setup and use. It has everything you need to build your list efficiently.
Alternatives: MailChimp, Aweber, SendInBlue
10. Thrive Leads
While GetResponse helps you to manage your lists, Thrive Leads can help you to build your list. Thrive Leads is considered as one of the best list building WordPress plugins.
It offers every type of opt-in form to build your list faster. And features like a/b testing, advanced targeting, exit intent, triggers, etc make it a complete list building solution.
It supports all the popular email marketing services like GetResponse, Constant Contact, Aweber, MailChimp, etc.
11. Social Warfare
Social Warfare is one of the best social media sharing WordPress plugins. It has both a free and premium version. This social plugin adds beautiful and lightening-fast social share buttons to your WordPress blog. It’s straightforward to use.
This plugin makes sure that your blog is fully optimized for social sharing. And it will never let you lose your social counts, even if you move from http:// to https://.
Most of the time we share our posts on social media once and never bother to share it again. As a result, our old posts get lost in the archive and don’t get new traffic.
The best way to deal with it is, create social campaigns for your blog posts. This way your blog posts will be shared from time to time on social media sites.
MissingLettr is the tool that turns your blog posts into social media campaigns for 12 months. It has both free and premium plans.
The great thing about MissingLettr is, you don't have to create the social content. It will automatically generate social content and branded imagery. All you need to do is, review and approve the campaign.
13. Contact Form 7
Contact Page is one of the must-have pages for any blog. Your readers, advertisers, or anyone may want to contact you. Having a contact page makes it easier.
There are plenty of Contact Form WordPress plugins out there. With more the 5 million active installations, Contact Form 7 is considered as the best free contact form WordPress plugin.
It’s straightforward to use. Just create the contact form and create a contact page, and then enter the shortcode on your contact page.
14. Thrive Architect
Previously known as Thrive Content Builder, Thrive Architect is the most popular visual editor for WordPress. Now you can design your blog post or page the way you want it without having any coding skills.
Thrive Architect helps you to write beautifully designed blog posts to increase engagement as well as traffic and shares. You can use it to build home page, sales page, landing page, webinar page, etc.
It has some excellent elements like Paragraph, Social Share, Facebook Comments, Divider, Progress Bar, Star Rating, Tabs, Toggle, Table Of Contents, Data Tables, and many more.
Having a table of content makes it easier for your readers to jump to the content they want to read. It also has a benefit on Search Engine. Google sometimes shows the table of content links on the search list. If it happens, it will surely increase your CTR.
There are only a few numbers of Table Of Content WordPress plugins out there. Unfortunately, most of them are outdated now. Easy Table Of Content is the most up to date TOC plugin.
This plugin automatically generates Table of Content for your posts and pages by collecting headings of your content.
Having a table in the blog post makes things easier to find and understand. It can also increase the chance of getting featured on “Featured Snippet” area of Google Search. Tables are also helpful in generating more affiliate sales.
There are several free and premium WordPress table creator plugins available. TablePress is the most popular and widely used table builder plugin.
You can create beautiful tables by using TablePress without writing any code. Just select the number of rows and columns and then start entering your information. You can use HTML code on the table. The shortcode of the table allows you to display the tables on your posts, pages, and widgets.
The best way to generate quick affiliate sales is, publishing coupon codes and deals posts. These are one of the high affiliate sales generating blog posts. They convert like crazy if you can do it properly.
Most of the time bloggers share the coupon code or deal in a generic way. That doesn’t make the user click on the affiliate link before availing the discount. To get rid of this problem, you can use WP Coupons & Deals plugin.
It’s the best WordPress coupon plugin. It offers some fantastic features like hiding coupon code, click to copy the code, different coupon code templates, etc. This plugin is built to increase your affiliate sales.
18. WP Review Pro
Writing review posts is another best way to get affiliate sales. But it’s not easy to make your review stand out from the crowd as many bloggers are reviewing the same product/service.
To stand out from the crowd, you need to make your review posts attractive and easy to digest. And WP Review Pro is the best choice for that.
This plugin is packed with so many amazing features. Here are some of them.
- 14 Types of Rich Snippets for Google Search.
- 16 Predesigned templates.
- Multiple rating systems (star, Point, Percentage, Circle, Thumbs)
- User Comment Rating System
- Google Places & Facebook Review Integration,
- Popup and Notification Bar
- Custom Widgets and many more.
If you are writing reviews on your blog, this is the must-have WordPress plugin for you.
Thirsty Affiliates is a must have plugin for Affiliate Marketers. It’s an affiliate links management plugin that cloaks ugly affiliate links and makes it easy for you to add affiliate links in blog posts.
This plugin has some fantastic features like auto keywords linking, geo targetted links, affiliate links error checker, import and export affiliate links, Google Analytics events, etc.
It offers both a free and premium version.
Viglink is an affiliate aggregator service. It has thousands of affiliate programs under its hood. Once you add Viglinks on your blog, it identifies the commercial keywords and automatically adds affiliate links on those keywords.
It’s one of my favorite affiliate marketing tools. But I don’t use it just for generating sales. I use it for finding new affiliate programs that suit my audience. I also use it when I cannot join an in-house affiliate program.
Recently, my Amazon affiliate account has been suspended due to not generating enough sales in six month. So I started promoting Amazon products via Viglink. Viglink Anywhere is very helpful for that.
ShareASale is one of the best affiliate networks for bloggers. It has affiliate programs for almost every niche. You don’t need to have a popular blog to get approved by ShareASale. But most of the affiliate programs of ShareASale approve their affiliates manually.
Though I prefer in-house affiliate programs mostly, it’s a good idea to join Affiliate Programs via ShareASale for less promoting products/services.
If you are not sure which products to promote on your blog, ShareASale is a good place to get started.
I love writing on Google Docs. I tried several writing tools but found it as the best one. But the problem is, it’s not easy to export the Google Docs file to WordPress. If you just copy paste it, the formatting will break.
I’ve tried a lot of plugins to find the solution. But most of them were not easy to use. Mammoth .docs Converter iswas the only plugin that makes Google Docs exporting insanely easier.
If you write at Google Docs, use this plugin. You will thank me later.
Having good images is very important for your blog posts. But it’s not easy to design good images when you don’t have any designing skills. And it’s OK. Not every blogger are designer.
If you are like me who don’t know how to use Photoshop, you can use Canva. Canva is a free graphic design tool that makes image creation insanely easier. It has hundreds of pre-designed templates.
You don’t need to have any designing skills to use this tool. All you have to do is, select a template and drag & drop elements. It’s that much simple.
Also Read: 10 Best Alternatives To Canva
Trello is a project management tool that helps you to keep track of everything. If you have multiple blogs, it will help you manage your every blog from a single dashboard. I’ve been using it for a while.
It’s very easy to use. Just create boards for your projects and add cards on it. You can add information on the cards. You can even add your team members on the Trello board.
Todoist is a task management tool that has apps for almost every platform. You can manage your to-do list from any device. It syncs in real time. The great thing about Todoist is, it’s very simple and easy to use.
Before using Todoist, I’ve tried several task manager apps. But Todoist is only one tool that I can stick with. If you are looking for a tool to manage your tasks efficiently, use Todoist. You will love it.
So these are the plugins and tools that I use and recommend to bloggers who are using WordPress.
Now the question is, do you have to use all of these plugins and tools?
The answer is NO. You don’t have to use all of them. It depends on which kind of blog you are running and how you manage your blog.
But there are some common plugins which are useful for every kind of WordPress blogs. The plugins and tools are -
- Yoast SEO
- Google Analytics
- Google Search Console
- W3 Total Cache
- Thrive Architect
I hope this list will help you to manage and grow your blog more efficiently.
Now I’d like to hear from you? What’s your favorite WordPress plugins and tools?
Let us know via comment.