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The 18 Best WordPress Plugins for Blogs

16 Mins read

Featured image courtesy of Unsplash.

There are a lot of steps to creating and maintaining a successful blog, regardless of the niche you’re in. Sometimes these steps can be tricky, tiresome, and frustrating. Fortunately, many bloggers have been here before us, and they have created some of the best WordPress plugins for blogs to make our lives a little easier.

One of the crucial steps in learning how to start a blog is installing plugins. These can expand your website’s functionality, complement your themes, and help your blog become more profitable.

Of course, this process isn’t just for new bloggers. Even the most seasoned blogger may be surprised to hear what kind of plugins are out there!

The best WordPress plugins for blogs are pieces of software that can be added to your blog. Each one comes with a unique set of functions. You can think of them as apps for your website. They aren’t all essential, but many of them are well worth your time to learn about and implement on your site!

In this post, we’re going to teach you how to install a WordPress plugin and then look at the best WordPress plugins for blogs.

Image courtesy of Unsplash.

How to Install and Activate the Best WordPress Plugins for Blogs


WordPress has an extensive list of plugins that are available to you.

In fact, as of this writing, there are 57,722 plugins, and the list is only growing! You can go through the entire list here, or search for plugins that you’re already eager to download. If you don’t have the link handy while blogging, you can always visit the “Plugins” tab on your WordPress sidebar and click the “Add New” button.

You will see a button that says “Install Now” once you find a plugin that you want to use. This will download the plugin to your blog dashboard.

Watch the video below for a visual guide on how to install WordPress plugins!

Your WordPress account will have its own WordPress Plugins tab in the sidebar. This is where plugins can be stored, regardless of whether they’re activated or deactivated.

Keep in mind that there are many plugins you can install, but you should only activate them if you intend to utilize them. Keeping extra plugins that are of no use to your blog can slow down your blog speed, but we’ll explore this concept further down in this post.

The Best WordPress Plugins For Blogs


Now that you know how to install and activate a plugins for blogs, you’re probably wondering which ones are worth your while. You can take all of the time you need to scroll through them, but there are too many for one person to get through. So, we’ve found the best and most user friendly ones for you!

You may be thinking to yourself that you can get by without installing a few plugins, but we’re hoping to teach you why they’re important. Every single blogger can benefit from a plugin or two, and you’ll be amazed to learn why.

To make things easier, we’ve gathered lists of different plugins for all of the different areas you may need them for. So, here are the best WordPress plugins for blogs!

The Best WordPress Plugins For SEO

Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is a tricky thing to master. Fortunately, with the various SEO plugins available, you’ll nail it in no time!

Not sure what we’re talking about when we say SEO? Watch the short video below to learn more and learn about why the best WordPress plugins for blogs revolve around SEO!

Here are our favorites:

Yoast SEO

Image courtesy of WordPress and Yoast SEO.

The Yoast plugin is an invaluable tool that every single blogger should have. It simplifies a hard concept, and keeps you on top of your SEO game! In fact, we might even put it at the top of our list of the absolute best WordPress plugins for blogs.

This plugin consistently ranks at the top of the list for most helpful plugins. It’s designed to provide real-time metrics on how SEO-friendly your content is, giving you a rank of how likely you are to rank against the competition.

The core components of the Yoast plugin are the SEO analysis and the readability analysis.

  • SEO Analysis will allow you to input your desired keyword. From there, it will ensure that the content you’re creating is utilizing your keyword to its fullest extent. If you aren’t doing a great job with your SEO, don’t worry – Yoast will steer you in the right direction.
  • Readability Analysis shows you whether the content you’re creating is engaging and appealing to viewers. It will steer you away from lengthy text blogs, hard-to-follow language, and more in favor of better looking content.

Find out how to install the Yoast SEO plugin here. You can also watch the video below to learn more about why this is one of the best WordPress plugins for blogs.

RankMath SEO

Image courtesy of RankMath and WordPress.

Not a fan of Yoast? Whether you want to switch things up or you’re ready for a more advanced set of functions, the next SEO plugin for you to consider should be RankMath SEO. Like Yoast, this plugin is designed to show you how good of a job you’re doing in terms of ranking for your keywords.

Input your keyword(s) of choice and see just how well your content can do. You’ll be given a score out of 100, and you will be guided on how to get there. You’re walked through all of the steps, from having enough images to giving them the right caption. Never miss an opportunity to rank again with RankMath SEO!

Another plus when it comes to choosing RankMath SEO is that it makes it easy to optimize for multiple keywords. You can look at an unlimited amount!

Get a better look at how RankMath SEO words by watching the video below, and click here to find out more and install RankMath on your WordPress blog.

MonsterInsights for Google Analytics

Image courtesy of MonsterInsights and WordPress.

If you’re a fan of Google plugins, then you’ll love the MonsterInsights SEO plugin. This option makes it easy to integrate Google Analytics right into your blog’s dashboard.

You’ll be able to utilize the Google Analytics Dashboard straight from your WordPress account. This gives you access to various reports that are designed to make your blog easier to rank for, such as:

  • Audience reports
  • Behavior reports
  • Content reports
  • Ecommerce reports
  • Forms reports
  • Search console reports
  • Custom dimensions reports

Take a look at the MonsterInsights video below, or click here to learn more.

The Best Plugins for Page Building

Do you need help building your different WordPress pages and making them look professional?

For some, this comes easy. For others, web design is even harder to master than SEO! If you fall into the latter category, you don’t have to stress about it, thanks to page building plugins.

Remember, using a page builder is different than using a theme. While WordPress has various free and premium themes, using a page builder gives you more creative freedom over the design of your site. While some page builders work directly with themes, others are independent from any specific them and allow you to build a blog from the ground up.

Here are our favorite SEO plugins for page builders in our list of the best WordPress plugins for blogs:

Elementor

Image courtesy of WordPress and Elementor.

Website building is complicated, but drag-and-drop functionality isn’t. There’s a reason Elementor has beomce one of the best WordPress plugins for blogs: it’s user-friendly and able to simplify your blogging work.

The Elementor plugin makes creating the design of your website much easier. It’s easy to use and fast to learn, while still being advanced enough to improve your website’s visuals and function in less time.

You can use this plugin for every page of your blog, from your landing page to your “about me” section. It will work with virtually any pre-existing theme on WordPress, while giving you enough freedom to transform these themes into something completely new!

This plugin gives you access to various widgets, including but not limited to:

  • Testimonial sections
  • Icon boxes
  • Image galleries and image carousels
  • Icon lists
  • Counters
  • Headings
  • Shortcodes
  • Menu anchors

Find out more here, including how to download this plugin, or watch the video below.

Beaver Builder

Image courtesy of The Beaver Builder Team and WordPress.

It’s impossible not to be drawn towards this option for the best WordPress plugins for blogs! The mascot is adorable, and what it will do for your blog is even better.

This drag-and-drop page builder does everything on the front end of your blog, so there are no coding skills required! Not only will you end up with a better-looking blog, but you’ll also feel in control of everything. Any blogger will know just how valuable ownership of their designs is!

Some of the features of this page building plugin include:

  • Content modules
  • Pre-made templates
  • Column-based layouts
  • Mobile-friendly layouts
  • The ability to add your own CSS classes and IDs

Join the community of more than 300,000 WordPress bloggers who have started using Beaver Builder today! Click here to learn more.

Form Plugins

Does your blog involve receiving data from customers, prospects, and email subscribers?

If so, you’ll want a quick and easy way to build quality forms. The next few options for the best WordPress plugins for blogs will make you wish you’d used form plugins sooner!

WPForms

best wordpress plugins for blogs
Image courtesy of WPForms and WordPress.

There are more than 3 million active installations for the WPForms plugin. That means it’s proven its worth to bloggers and businesses around the world! The WPForms plugin is designed to help you create online forms in seconds.

You’ll be able to choose from various templates, including:

  • Blank forms
  • Simple contact forms
  • “Request a quote” forms
  • Donation forms
  • Billing/Order forms
  • Email subscription forms

Each template can be customized as needed. They forms are also optimized for mobile, tablet, and desktop viewing!

What makes this plugin valuable is its ability to seamlessly integrate with other websites and services. This includes PayPal, Stripe, Mailchimp, and more!

Check out the video below or click here to learn more.

Gravity Forms

Image via WordPress and Gravity Forms.

Now that you’ve learned how to integrate forms into your website with WPForms, you need a plugin that is designed to help you deal with them!

Gravity Forms allows you to export all of the entries that have been made onto your forms. It will help bring this data into an Excel file with can be easily edited and manipulated. This is done by exporting a CSV file.

We recommend this option of the best WordPress plugins for blogs if you use a lot of forms on your website. It’s easy to underestimate how time-consuming dealing with this data is. With Gravity Forms, you’ll save hours of your life just by activating it!

Click here to take the first step towards making your form-filled life that much easier.

The Best Image Optimization Plugins

Is your blog reliant on pictures to get your message across? Well, then an image optimization plugin could save your life!

Even for the more text-focused bloggers, image optimization can boost your blog’s appearance and speed great deal. So, we recommend these plugins to pretty much anyone.

Smush

Image courtesy of WPMU Dev and WordPress.

With more than a million active installations, Smush is designed to help compress and optimize images.

This plugin uses what’s called “lazy load.” This helps to defer the loading of offscreen images until the user actually scrolls down and needs them to appear. You may think that there are only so many different techniques when it comes to image optimization, but you’d be surprised to hear just how many things there are to making a great photo-ready blog!

Here are some of the many ways that Smush optimizes your images:

  • Bulk Smush: This will optimize and compress as many as 50 images in one click
  • Image Resizing: Change the size of your photo’s width and height with ease
  • Lossless Compression: This function will strip the photo of any unused data

Find out more about Smush, one of the best WordPress plugins for bloggers, click here. You can also watch the video below to see image optimization in action!

TinyPNG

Image courtesy of TinyPNG and WordPress.

Not only does image optimization give you the opportunity to make your website look more visually appealing, but it can also substantially save on page load times. Hefty image sizes will slow down your blog’s pages for visitors, and make creating the site’s design harder for you. So, compress them with this great pick!

TinyPNG’s handy plugin will automatically optimize all of the photos that you upload. In addition, it’ll optimize your background! Have this plugin installed and you’ll be instantly impressed with how it transforms your site.

JPEG files will typically be compressed by between 40% and 50%, while PNG images will be compressed by about 50% to 80%. Image-heavy blogs will obviously be transformed with quality compression, but even the smallest amount of photo-uploading can make a difference in your blog’s creation!

You can optimize around 100 images each month with this free plugin. Find out more about this selection of the best WordPress plugins for bloggers here.

The Best Affiliate Marketing Plugins for WordPress

Affiliate marketing is one of the most common ways that bloggers make money. Since it’s so widely used and has a big impact on your earnings, you’ll want to make sure that you’re doing the most to help it run smoothly! These WordPress plugins are here to do most of your job for you.

Not sure what affiliate marketing is? Check out our guide on making money through blogging to find out more!

PrettyLinks

Image courtesy of WordPress and Pretty Links.

This link management plugin is a pro at helping boost your affiliate marketing results. It is designed to make URL sharing easier, create clean links, and track URL hits.

Most web users don’t put too much thought into URLs, yet we still notice how messy they look when they’re long and full of random characters. This plugin will allow you to create a URL that automatically directs to another URL. So, if you have something messy like “wearethecurious.co/121912891-blogpost-12912891”, you can easily shorten it to “wearethecurious.co/blogpost1” – that looks a lot better!

Another incredibly handy feature of this plugin is that it will track the number of clicks (and unique clicks) for each link you use through the plugin. If you’re an affiliate for different merchants, this is a handy way to make sure that the merchant is tracking the same number of clicks that you’re seeing.

PrettyLinks also provides you with a reporting interface that shows you an easy-to-read chart! Find out more about why you should be using Pretty Links here.

ThirstyAffiliates

Image courtesy of Caseproof and WordPress.

Do you post a ton of affiliate links on a regular basis? ThirstyAffiliates’ Affilaite Link Manager plugin for WordPress might just save your blog.

In addition to shortening and shrinking your links, this plugin helps you manage your link usage. You’re able to use the plugin to group affiliate links into hierarchical categories. So, if you use affiliate links from different websites or for different purposes, you can organize it in easy-to-read sections!

You can use 301, 302, or 307 redirects with this plugin. It will also help protect affiliate links from malware replacements!

Another simple function of this plugin is the ability to add images to affiliate links. This is great for those who use images and banners to help promote their links. Just don’t forget to optimize that image with one of the image optimizing plugins above!

Find out more about ThirstyAffiliates here.

Affiliates Manager

Image courtesy of wp.insider/wpaffilaitemgr and WordPress.

It’s one thing to be an affiliate yourself, but what if you have an Ecommerce store and you’re selling your own product? If you want to drive both traffic and sales to your store (and blog!), then you need this Affiliates Manager plugin in your life.

Affiliates Manager is a great plugin for people who have their own affiliates. This plugin works as an advertising method for your shop and blog. It helps to track referrals that affiliates send your way, while also organizing all of the commissions.

Some of the various ecommerce solutions that this plugin works with include:

  • WooCommerce
  • Simple Shopping Cart
  • iThemes Exchange
  • WP eStore
  • Stripe Payments

Having your own affiliates can be challenging. From paying affiliates to tracking whether it’s a worthy form of promotion for your products and brand, you’ll need a plugin to help you out.

Check out Affiliates Manager here.

The Best Caching Plugin

Caching plugins are an underused tool for your blog. The concept sounds complicated, but having one of these handy plugins will save you from some extra stress! The need for one is simple: it makes your site even faster. And who doesn’t love speedy sites?

Watch the video below to understand more about caching before figuring out why you need a plugin to help!

WP Super Cache

Image courtesy of Automattic and WordPress.

There are more than 2 million active installations of the WP Super Cache plugin. We know that there are a lot of blogs out there, but that’s still a pretty massive user base!

This plugin will help generate static HTML files from your blog. Your website server will serve these files once an HTML file is generated. This is done instead of processing hefty WordPress scripts.

To make your caching even faster, this plugin comes with “garbage collection.” This will help clear out old files in the cache directory, and it can be done in a few ways.

  1. A cache timeout. Determine how much time you want to go by before cache files are no longer fresh.
  2. A scheduler. Set up a time for when you want the garbage collection to go by!
  3. Notification emails. Get informed when your cache files are ready to be cleared out.

Get more information about this handy plugin here.

The Best E-commerce Plugins

As we mentioned above, plenty of bloggers utilize e-commerce to complement or grow their business. Whether you’re using plugins on your blog or right on your landing pages, you’ll need a plugin to simplify your life.

WooCommerce

Image courtesy of Automattic and WordPress.

WooCommerce is easily the best ecommerce option of all the best WordPress plugins for bloggers. It’s a free platform that’s designed to help you launch or maintain a bonafide retail business online. Some of its features include:

  • Creating storefronts by using various themes
  • Customization of pages
  • Easy SEO integration

You can also manage your payment systems with this plugin. WooCommerce payments allows you to accept various forms of payment, including bank transfers, mobile wallets, and more. There is also a WooCommerce tax function that helps automate confusing calculations.

There are more than five million active installations on this plugin. Big and small companies alike depend on WooCommerce to help them hawk their wares online!

Find out more about this plugin here. You can also watch WooCommerce’s video below to find out all of the reasons why you need this plugin for your online business.

Mailchimp for WooCommerce

Image courtesy of Mailchimp and WordPress.

Need a little extra assistance using your WooCommerce plugin? This option uses MailChimp, one of the most popular marketing automation platforms. It focuses exclusively on the marketing strategies that you use for your e-commerce platforms.

Here are some of the reasons you should consider installing Mailchimp for WooCommerce, in addition to all of the other plugins you’ve already decided to install today!

  • This plugin helps you sync new subscribers to your audience
  • You can set up marketing automation that can remind customers about site-related information
  • It will help showcase product recommendations
  • It will help you track and segment customers

Any experienced (or inexperienced) e-commerce user knows just how tricky email marketing can be to manage. We’re grateful for all of the help we can get!

Find out how this additional e-commerce plugin will help you here.

More of the Best WordPress Plugins for Blogs to Install Today

Did none of the best WordPress plugins for bloggers listed above stand out to you? Or are you on the hunt to activate all of the best ones available?

We’ve collected more of our favorite plugins and listed them below for your convenience!

TablePress

Image courtesy of Tobias Bathge and WordPress.

Forget images. Do you use tables in your blog posts? These can be incredibly hard to build, and even harder to make look appealing throughout your content. So, why not have a plugin do the work for you?

TablePress allows you to both create and manage tables throughout your site. It uses a spreadsheet-like interface, so not only will you not have to code, but all of the steps will come naturally!

Table users can install this handy choice of the best WordPress plugins for blogs here.

Appointment Booking Calendar

Image courtesy of codepeople and WordPress.

Does your blog help generate leads for a service that requires appointment bookings? Whether you offer online consultations or in-person appointments, it’s helpful to find a plugin that can manage them all.

The appointment booking calendar plugin by codepeople helps you take bookings and link to payment processes with ease.

Are you worried about overbooking? This plugin also comes with the ability to define capaities for every time slot available. You can also direct emails to a specified email address after each booking payment is completed!

Start booking appointments today with this simple plugin by clicking here.

Akismet Anti-Spam

Image courtesy of Automattic and WordPress.

Spam comments are one of the most frustrating things that a blogger can deal with. After all, you want to be able to filter genuine comments from pesky robot-generated ones! How else will you gauge your user engagement?

Akismet anti-spam helps filter comments, leaving only the non-spam ones on your site. This plugin will run every single comment made by a visitor to your blog through Akismet, and only the non-spam comments will be posted.

Stop reading spam and start reading insightful comments here.

WordPress Plugins Questions & Answers


Now that you know which plugins you need, you may be wondering a few things about the plugins themselves. We have gathered some of the most common questions about plugins and answered them below!

Image courtesy of Unsplash.

Why Use Plugins?

We have hopefully answered this question by sharing this list of the best WordPress plugins for blogs!

Even at We Are the Curious, we use WordPress plugins for all of the fantastic and time-saving reasons specified above. These plugins help with various different ways of blog management, from working with you on content creation to helping market it.

Each blogger may have their own reasons for using distinct plugins. The ones that you choose will depend on what niche of blogging you’re in.

Are WordPress Plugins Free?

Image courtesy of Unsplash.

There are thousands of free WordPress plugins. Most of the plugins featured on WordPress’s directory are completely free-to-use, or at least free to try.

However, many plugins will feature a premium offering as well. Depending on the plugin, this may mean you have to pay for increased storage or additional features. Other quality plugins are only available as a paid option.

While you may find some premium plugins worth your time and money, most bloggers can get by using almost entirely free plugins. Our list of the best WordPress plugins for blogs includes free and premium functions.

How Many WordPress Plugins Can I Have?

After reading about all of the great WordPress plugins out there, you may be tempted to download them all! Unfortunately, we recommend against that.

Having too many plugins can be bad for business. It can slow down your site, increase the odds of your website crashing, and lead to security breaches. So, it’s recommended that you only activate between five and twenty plugins.

This is one of the reasons why you should be sure to deactivate plugins that you’re not actively using. Give them a try and see if they’re worth keeping, or if you’d rather use the space for something else.

Does Plugin Use Require Coding Knowledge?

Nope!

The most convenient part about using plugins on WordPress is that all of the complicated coding work is done for you. Some plugins may benefit from understanding coding, and there are even plugins to assist you with that if it’s something you’re familiar with.

Thankfully, any blogger can use a plugin with zero coding knowledge. All you really need to know how to do is click “Install!”

Image courtesy of Unsplash.

Boost Your Blogging Game With Plugins Today

We all need a little bit of help sometimes. It’s nice to be able to imagine running a blog by coding everything yourself and tracking every single detail that runs through your content, but it’s simply impossible. That’s why all of the best blogs get a little bit of help!

To summarize, here are some of the reasons why you might want to get the best WordPress plugins for blogs:

  • To boost your SEO game
  • To help build your site pages
  • To create better forms
  • To optimize images
  • To speed up your web pages
  • To help with affiliate marketing tasks
  • To run a better e-commerce site

After discovering so many of the best WordPress plugins for blogs, you may regret not reading this post sooner. WordPress plugins can make your life easier, boost your marketing capacity, help you make money, and help you get seen on the internet sooner.

So, what are you waiting for? Stop reading this and get to activating those plugins!

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