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11 Must-Have Wordpress Plugins for Newbie Bloggers

Updated on May 21, 2017
Kyriaki Chatzi profile image

Having started my own blog recently, I learned a lot about WP plugins and their importance to the success of a website.

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You know for a fact that there's no shortage of successful blogs on the Internet these days. So, as you witness all these success stories about bloggers and their online business endeavors, you find yourself thinking: “Why don't I give it a shot?”

But, all these new terms and words sound so intimidating you're one decision away from calling it quits. The good news is that starting a blog is not that hard. You just need the right tools to make your blog stand out from the crowd. And that's where Wordpress plugins step in. But, which ones do you actually need as a new blogger?

You just need the right tools to make your blog stand out from the crowd. That's where Wordpress plugins step in.

1. Akismet (for Handling Unwanted/Spam Comments)

Spam comments are one of the biggest headaches for bloggers worldwide. Not only do they degrade your blog's quality but moderating them can be very time-consuming. Imagine having to erase dozens of spam comments every day.

Akismet is a spam filtering plugin which tracks down malicious or spam comments using an ever-evolving algorithm. As soon as this Wordpress plugin catches spam comments, it restricts them from even landing in the moderation queue as pending, saving you lots of time.

You don't need to download this plugin as it's already featured in any Wordpress installation. What you do need to do, though, is activate it and get an API key.

Cost: Free

Alternative: Antispam Bee


2. Social Warfare (for Sharing on Social Media)

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Whether your blog is days old or you're a veteran in this field, you certainly understand why social networks need to become your priority. From Pinterest and Facebook to Twitter, Instagram, and Google+, one post share can help you flaunt your content in the face of thousands of new readers. But, here's what most people don't know: how your content is shared is actually more important than if it's shared. Social Warfare makes sure your readers share the content on your blog in the optimal way possible.

Do you want the share buttons to follow your readers as they scroll down the page? Sure thing! Do you want to show how many times your content was shared? You got it! Or would you like your readers to pin every single photo in your blog making it more Pinterest-friendly?

Raise your online voice to new heights and stop blending in with the rest of the crowd with a little help from your favorite social media platforms.


Cost: Free

Alternative: Sumo Share


3. SEO Yoast (for SEO Optimization)

These days thousands of blogs compete against each other to gain top positions in search engines. The targeted use of keywords plays a key role in this competition. And while Wordpress does its best to make your content SEO-friendly out of the box, top-shelf plugins compensate for where Wordpress fails to meet your needs.

Also described as the ultimate SEO plugin, Yoast SEO is what you need when you first start a blog, and you're still getting to grips with how this search engine approach works. Featuring built-in content analysis, meta keywords, snippet management and much more, this is a must-have Wordpress plugin for every newbie blogger out there.

Remember, though, that the free version can only get you this far. If you want to skyrocket the SEO performance of your blog with internal linking suggestions, content insights and much more, you need to consider going premium after a while.


Cost: Free

Alternative: All in One SEO Pack


4. Wordfence (for Security)

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As with everything Internet-related, security is one of the most important issues when going live. Thousands of phishing websites, accounts and IPs do their best to take down your site in any way possible. So, from the moment you post your first blog, you need to protect your site against malware and hackers.

Wordfence is an easy-to-use and high-quality Wordpress plugin which mainly focuses on shielding your site against anything from backdoor vulnerabilities and fake Google bots to “spamvertising.” You can also run frequent scans, block suspicious IP addresses, generate strong passwords and much more.


Cost: Free

Alternative: All in One WP Security & Firewall


5. Optin Monster (for Building a Strong Email List)

With roughly 2.6 billion users these days, email is one of the most valuable assets for new bloggers out there. How come? Email users worldwide log into their email accounts almost daily to stay up-to-date for both personal and professional reasons. So, a strong email list can connect you with your readers and keep them up with your ever-growing blog content or products.

Optin Monster is a must have Wordpress plugin for every newbie blogger to successfully build a strong email list. From offering a variety of opt-in templates to choose from to helping you figure out where to place them to attract more subscribers, Optin Monster is an easy-to-use plugin with so many options.

Cost: Free

Alternative: Thrive Leads


6. Jetpack (for Related Posts)

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The more time readers spend on your site, the more loyal they become. They go through your articles, find answers to some of their questions, relate to your thoughts and worries and basically start falling in love with your blog. But, how can you make them spend more time on your blog? Simply by suggesting they check out more posts, it's that easy!

Jetpack allows you to link to posts which are relevant to the current article. Unlike most Related Post plugins, this one doesn't drag down your site's performance as the analysis is done on Jetpack's end, not yours. So, if you're a newbie blogger and still figuring things out, Jetpack is a no-brainer.


Cost: Free

Alternative: Yuzo


7. Backup Buddy (for Backing Up)

Between brute force hacking, malware, and human errors (yes, locking out can happen to the best of us!), your site is constantly exposed to threats. So, regular Wordpress backups are one of the wisest decisions a blogger can make.

Backup Buddy is the most popular Wordpress backup plugin and, the truth is, is quite friendly to newbies. As a brand new blogger, you're not familiar with backup terminologies. So, this Wordpress plugin keeps things simple by guiding you through the options and performing important tasks automatically.

More specifically, it creates backups on a regular schedule automatically, stores date on the cloud and allows you to restore and migrate from backups effortlessly. Could it get any better?


Cost: 80$ (billed annually)

Alternative: BackWPUp (it's free)


8. WP Forms (for Creating Contact Form)

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Now, be careful! If all you want is for readers to be able to send you a simple message, then just download a free contact form plugin and move to the next Wordpress plugin in this list. But, if you want to conduct more sophisticated tasks such as collecting payments or customizing your contact form, then you need this premium plugin.

From the people who brought us Optin Monster (check above!), WPFroms is a contact form Wordpress plugin which is easy to use even if you're a total newbie. It includes a variety of templates to get your newsletter, suggestion or billing form started. Ready to get in touch with your readers?

Cost: 39$ (billed annually)

Alternative: Gravity Forms


9. W3 Total Cache (for Caching)

Even though most bloggers don't care much for cache plugins, it doesn't mean you shouldn't too. Why? Caching in Wordpress allows you to create static versions of your content and serve them to your readers. This approach immediately improves your site's performance and speed.

W3 Total Cache is a free cache plugin which you need in your Wordpress tool arsenal. It helps you rank higher in SERPs, especially if you run a mobile-friendly site, by reducing loading time, improving server performance and optimizing server rendering.

Cost: Free

Alternative: WP Rocket


10. Cerber Security & Limit Login Attempts (for Tackling Unauthorized Login Attempts)

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By default, Wordpress allows you to try to log in using different passwords as many times as you want. While this may be a good thing for you when you can't recall your password, it's not that good when it comes to brute force hacking. That's why plugins which limit login attempts are an excellent way to add an extra layer of security, especially if they're free.

Cerber Security & Limit Login Attempts is considered one of the best of its kind as it comes with various security features. First of all, it limits login attempts when trying to log in via a particular IP address or site.

It also allows you to create a custom login URL which only you, as the site administrator, know. And most importantly, it disables automatic redirecting to login page. You see that one way or the other, your site is secure.

Cost: Free

Alternative: Login Lockdown


11. WP Smush (for Image Optimization)

While a high-quality image is bound to attract more readers to your blog, it's also likely to slow down its performance. That's why image optimization plays a vital role in creating a high-profile blog, even if you're just starting out.

WP Smush is a Wordpress plugin which allows beginners to optimize images without making any quality discounts. All you have to do is “smush” you images, and your site is ready to go. Ready to get started?

Cost: Free

Alternative: EWWW Image Optimizer


4 More Wordpress Plugins for Newbies Which Are Worth Your Attention

  • Mail Chimp, for email marketing purposes

  • Comment Reply Notification, for letting your readers know you responded to their comments

  • Comment Luv, for encouraging your readers to leave a comment

  • Fancier Author Box, for placing an author box at the bottom of the page.

© 2017 Kyriaki Chatzi

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    • Coffeequeeen profile image

      Louise Powles 

      14 months ago from Norfolk, England

      This was really helpful to read, thankyou. I've got a Wordpress account - I really must start blogging again. Thanks for the information.

    • Kyriaki Chatzi profile imageAUTHOR

      Kyriaki Chatzi 

      16 months ago

      @Flourish Thank you so much for your kind words! Hopefully, this article will help a lot of people who are thinking of making their way into the blogosphere.

      @Emma You're o right, Emma. All these suggestions can also help veteran bloggers who're thinking of breathing new life into their blogs. Thank for noticing!

    • Filegravity profile image

      Emma Eva 

      16 months ago from United State

      Nice Article :) These Plugins Are Amazing For New Bloggers as well for old :) Thanks For Sharing :)

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 

      16 months ago from USA

      This is a first rate article and should be enormously helpful for anyone who has a WordPress blog. Very well researched and useful.

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