Bloggers who use WordPress, beginners or pros alike, always face one question – what are the best plugins to use to optimize the performance of your website? WordPress has over 40,000 plugins – most free and some premium so it’s understandable that the choices can be endless and as a result, confusing. Another thing to keep in mind is that not all plugins are reliable or even that good.
Some can actually slow down your website, while others create conflicts with other plugins. If you’re not that well-versed with WordPress or are a complete beginner, you can spend the whole day just configuring one plugin and still find that it doesn’t function the way it is supposed to.
Under such circumstances, it becomes essential for you as a blogger to know what plugins will be most efficient for you. One way you can go about doing this is trying and testing out a variety of plugins – but not everyone has that kind of time or even expertise. So here is a list of 5 plugins that you as a blogger should use to optimize your experience with WordPress and blog away without any worries
As the name suggests, WordFence is a security plugin. Fairly basic in nature, it works by adding another layer of security, thus preventing people or bots who might try to hack into your website. It can even block bots by blocking the IP addresses they use to try to access your site. The plugin has been downloaded and is currently actively installed by one million plus users and is the most downloaded security plugin on WordPress. WordFence will also let you know quickly if your website has been compromised. While the plugin is free, there is a premium service that allows you to block specific countries, audit passwords, schedule scans and also check whether your IP address is being used to Spamvertised. In addition, you can also avail of tech support in case of any glitches.
It is extremely important for every blogger to have backups of his or her blogs. It is equally important that these backups be located off-site but still be secure. There is a reason the term ‘human error’ exists and you never know when years of hard work can just disappear in an instant. This is where VaultPress comes in. It backs up and secures everything on a site such as posts, comments, all uploads, Meta data, users, themes and even databases. The plugin is a Premium feature with different plans for different budgets and needs. It has over 20,000 active installs. The best part is that it can restore whatever you have lost in just two clicks.
This plugin needs no introduction. It is on every top 5, top 10, top 15 list of the best WordPress plugins for a very simple reason – it is the best SEO plugin out there. It helps you write better and more SEO friendly content and even shows you a snippet of what your post looks like in search results. It lets you know if the title of your blog is of the optimal length and even whether the description you’ve written helps improve the ranking of the page in search results. It makes you choose a focus keyword and ensures that you use that keyword as much as possible. In addition, it also analyses your page for things such as whether you have written a meta description, whether your post length is long enough, whether the images in your post contain the focus keyword and so on. And all this is just the tip of the iceberg.
One thing that is absolutely essential to ensure the success of any blog is that it is shared on social media. Obviously, you need the appropriate buttons for the same. However, too many buttons and you have confused users who will be too overwhelmed by the choices of social media to share anything. If you’re just starting out or you want to keep it basic and simple, Frizzly is the plugin for you. It adds three buttons – Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest to images on your post. Whenever anyone hovers over the image, the buttons come up encouraging the reader to share.
As any blogger knows, one of the primary needs on your site is a comment box. It allows readers to express how they feel about what you have written and share their opinions with others. Disqus Comment System does just that. It allows comments to be more interactive and connects commenters and websites. The popularity of the plugin can be seen by the fact that it currently has 200,000 plus active installs. It is SEO-friendly, which means that the comments can be indexed by search engines, allows you to import existing comments and even backs up the comments. Comments and their replies can be viewed as threads. You also receive email notifications. It filters out spam and has some optimal admin tools. It even shows you aggregated comments.