Let’s talk about WordPress plugins! If you run your blog on the WordPress platform, plugins are extremely helpful for you to take advantage of everything that WordPress has to offer. In this post you’ll learn 5 Free Plugins Every WordPress Blog Needs to supercharge your blog.
What are WordPress Plugins?
If you are not really sure what plugins are, let me explain! A WordPress plugin is a piece of software containing a group of functions that you can add to a WordPress blog. Think of them as applications on a smartphone.
One thing to keep in mind when looking at WordPress plugins is that independent providers develop them. Because independent providers develop them, pretty much anyone can create and publish a plugin in the WordPress plugin directory. It is because of this that the quality of WordPress plugins can vary a lot.
Where Are Plugins Available?
The difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org is that .com is a free blogging platform with very limited options (plugins aren’t a part of the free plan) while .org is an open-source software used to create self-hosted websites.
I would recommend starting a self-hosted website from the beginning as it gives you so much more freedom and options.
How Do I Install Plugins?
Installing a plugin on your website is super simple and it only takes a few seconds.
On your left menu click on plugins > add new > and enter a keyword or a plugin name in the search box.
When you click enter you’ll get a list of lots of different plugins. Just look through the list and pick the one you want to install and click “install now”!
Wait a few seconds for the plugin to get installed, when it’s done the button will turn red and it will say activate.
Just click on that button to activate the plugin. For some plugins, you’ll be taken to a new page where you have to enter some information and set up your settings. And for others, you just install them and that’s it. It all depends on what the plugin is for.
Let’s get dive into this!
5 Free Plugins Every WordPress Blog Needs
Akismet Anti-Spam is an anti-spam plugin. This plugin is super handy and checks all comments and filters out the ones that look like spam. It also allows you to moderate and approve non-spam comments before they are published on your site. It isn’t the fanciest plugin however, it’s an important one to use as it will save you a lot of hassle.
Smash Balloon Instagram Feed
Always wanted to display your Instagram Feed on your blog, then this is the plugin for you! Smash Balloon Instagram Feed enables you to add your Instagram feed onto your website in a simple and effective way. This helps to increase Instagram engagement and visibility while keeping your blog looking fresh. This makes it easier for your readers to find and engage with you on Instagram as well.
Yoast SEO is, as the title suggests, an SEO plugin that helps you optimize your website for search engines. We all know how important SEO is to help rank your website better in Google. Although, you can upgrade I find the free version to be more than adequate. Yoast allows you to enter the key phrase for the page, warns you of consecutive sentences, gives you an indication of how easy it is to read your content, reminds you of internal and external links, and much more.
- webmaster tools verification for Baidu, Google, Bing and Yandex
- you can edit how your website will look in search results
- you can easily confirm your website with Pinterest through Yoast SEO
- you can optimize every post and page for SEO with the focus keyphrase, edit how it will appear in search results
- SEO analysis for every page and post with suggestions for improvement
Smush works to Optimize images, turn on lazy load, resize, compress & improve your Google Page Speed with the incredibly powerful and 100% free WordPress image smusher, brought to you by the superteam at WPMU DEV! And whether you spell it ‘optimise’ or ‘optimize’, Smush will compress images without a visible drop in quality. Image optimization is the easiest way to make your site load super fast!
Elementor is a page builder you can use to create amazing landing pages, your homepage, resources page and any other page you want to use it for. It’s so easy and simple to use. In fact, my WordPress template is an Elementor template.
- drag and drop editor
- OVER 300 templates
- OVER 90 different widgets (from images to buttons to testimonials to progress bars and so much more)
- it’s responsive for all devices (you can check how it will look on all devices while editing)
- lots of shortcuts to make editing faster
- and so much more
Let me know which free plugins you think every blog needs in the comments below.