12 Powerful WordPress Plugins For Bloggers
I’ve scoped the web over and over for useful WordPress plugins & I’ve seen these bad boys recommended over and over again.
What Are Plugins?!
Plugin’s are little pieces of software (kinds of codes) that can be used to extend your website functionality. With WordPress being an open source project, developers from all of the world are able to contribute to the software. They often do this by creating “plug-ins” that can add functionality to your site.
Want to read more about WordPress? I wrote a post about it here
(Please note: WordPress plugin’s can only be added to the self hosted version of the software)
Why Would You Want a Plugin?
“Plugins then offer custom functions and features so that each user can tailor their site to their specific needs.” Source: WordPress.org
So basically the main reason for plugin’s are:
- To make your life easier
- To make your website do more stuff
So, Here’s The List:
- JetPack: Active Installs: 1+ million (4 out of 5 stars)
– One of the most recommended plugins by fellow bloggers. Jetpack is basically an all-in-one type of plugin. It gives you a ton of options & information in regards to images, website management, performance & traffic growth/insights.
- Yoast SEO: Active Installs: 1+ million (4.2 out of 5 stars)
– This is my #1 recommended plugin. It allows you to optimize your pages, posts & other content, right on your website. Confused about SEO? It’s complicated, tedious, & totally tricky.
If you want a step-by-step guide to help walk you through your WordPress SEO? Check out The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to WordPress SEO
- Akismet: Active Installs: 1+ million (4.8 out of 5 stars)
– Akismet AKA The Spam Fighter. This plugin keeps those pesky spam comments away. (You need to activate the plugin with the software developers in order to use it – but don’t worry, they walk you through all the steps after you download it!)
- Testimonials Widget: Active Installs: 60,000+ (4.4 out of 5 stars)
– Want to display testimonials or reviews on your website? This plugin gives you that kind of functionality. It’s shortcode & widget ready, responsive, and you can filterable.
- BuddyPress: Active Installs: 100,000+ (4.3 out of 5 stars)
– Gives you the option to have “Member Only” type functionality. Members can create their own profiles, have private conversations & create a sense of community….all from your website!
- Editorial Calendar: (Active Installs: 50,000+) (4.9 out of 5 Stars)
– Are you scheduling your blog posts for certain days & times? The Editorial Calendar gives you a visual calendar to look at to see all your posts. You can also drag and drop posts, to move them & then edit them right in the calendar.
- Yuzo – Related Posts: Active Installs: 10,000+ (4.6 out of 5 stars)
– This plugin helps to show your related content, so when a visitor is done reading one of your awesome blog posts, it will display another article for them to read. This could help visitors stay on your website longer! Yuzo is fast, powerful, & easy to customize.
- Simple Social Icons: Active Installs: 100,000+ (4.5 out of 5 stars)
– This plugin was made by StudioPress, the makers of the Genesis theme. They made social media simple, hence the name of the plugin. Personally, I use this one on my website because it makes social icons: clean, quick & to the point (no settings page needed).
- Caldera Forms: Active Installs: 10,000+ (4.9 out of 5 stars)
– Talk about a powerful form plugin. Caldera allows for extra extensions, so you can go above and beyond your typical contact form. If you purchase the extensions, you have the ability to customize: Payment gateways (like PayPal & Stripe), Action triggers, Custom fields, Verified e-mails, Automatic downloads, Geolocations, and more!
- SumoMe: Active Installs: 80,000+ (4.1 out of 5 stars)
– Sumo Me is known for helping bloggers & business’ expand their e-mail lists. They offer both free & paid options for e-mail opt-in forms.
– Direct plugin developer website is here: SumoMe
– Looking for more e-mail opt-in WordPress Plugins? Check out 5 Best Email Optin Plugins for WordPress!
- Easy Digital Downloads: Active Installs: 40,000+ (4.9 out of 5 stars)
– Looking for a way to sell your digital products? This plugin gives you a TON of options. (Some are free!)
- Pretty Link Lite: Active Installs: 100,000+ (4.2 out of 5 stars)
– Do you have super long links that don’t look too hot? This plugin gives you the functionality to customize your links, which is perfect for those long affiliate links! (Candidly Jules mentions this plugin in her WordPress Tools recommendations)
Before You Go On a Plugin Frenzy….
As a WordPress Designer & Developer first & a blogger second, I take coding & functionality into consideration before installing plug-ins.
Before installing any plug-ins, it’s important to look at the developer, ratings & support. It’s important to pay attention to the quality of any extra codes that you’re adding to your website/theme. Some codes don’t work well with others, and this can cause functionality in your website to break.
That’s why I decided to include the active installs & star ratings of each plug-in. (Star rating & active install stats source: WordPress.org on the date of this post)
Yes, plug-in’s can make your life a million times easier & your website a million times cooler…
BUT in my world, code comes first.
(Please note: I’m not saying that these plug-ins will work perfectly every time, with every theme. I only pulled out the ones with at least a 4 star rating)