Top 10 WordPress Plugins You Should Use

top 10 wordpress pluginsWhen you first create a new website or blog you will find 3 or 4 plugins already installed just waiting for you to activate. Interestingly these are commonly not the WordPress plugins you should be using. Sure you may activate Jetpack, as it’s quite popular for bloggers because it makes for a great quick start bundle.

As you canvas the web and start visiting other blogs, you find that a whole new world of plugins crop up everywhere. If you’re like many bloggers, you’ll give the promising plugins a go and you’ll end up loving some and quickly deactivating and deleting others.

Before we get into my list of the Top 10 WordPress Plugins You Should be Using, allow me to give you a few tips about choosing WordPress plugins before you install and activate them.

Remember some may look fabulous but in reality they’ll end up conflicting with your theme or other activated plugins and they may even harm your blog. So do some quick investigating.

  • Go to WordPress.org to check out the reviews, star rating, download count, and a listing of any known issues.
  • Verify that the plugin is compatible with the current version of WordPress
  • Check the last time the plugin was updated. If it was 2 or 3 years ago, I’d stay clear.
  • Look to see if they have support or any topic threads to glance through

The true purpose of any WordPress plugin is to optimize and improve your blog or website.

Top 10 WordPress Plugins


1. All in One SEO and SEO by Yoast

Yep, in my book it’s a tie. I have used both on different sites and I love both of them. The purpose of each is to optimize your blog posts for search engines, in other words SEO. Both setup fields below each new blog post for you to enter SEO focused titles, tags, descriptions, and keywords – SEO by Yoast adds suggestions for each field.

2. Akismet

This plugin is a spam protecting umbrella that no blog should be without. If you have ever had your comments fill up with gibberish spam that seems to be ever flowing, you will welcome Akismet. This plugin truly stops most recognizable forms of junk mail and spam and allows you to blacklist certain words, phrases, and IP address of known spam origin.

3. Contact Form 7

Every blog needs a contact form, some way for your readers to contact you and not imply leave comment. Contact Form 7 works with Akismet to ensure that spammers don’t abuse your contact form and it’s super easy to set up. It also works with seamlessly with the plugin Really Simple Captcha if you want to incorporate captcha into your contact form.

4. Shareaholic

This plugin adds a social bookmarking menu and a related content widget to your blog posts and pages. You have options for the placement and look of the social sharing buttons and the use of floating share buttons. Shareaholic can also be configured to track the number of shares and to track the analytics of the social interactions.

5. CommentLuv

Now some may differ with me here as CommentLuv has been known to have conflicts with a few WordPress themes and plugins. I use it because I like how it allows your reader to add a link to their recent blog post when they leave a comment. That may entice some readers to leave a comment when they otherwise may simply click away.

6. WordPress Smush.it

We all know that you should be using images in your blog posts, but these images also run the risk of slowing down you site. WordPress Smush.it works to reduce the image file size thereby increasing the load time and efficiency of your blog.

7. Google XML Sitemaps

As a new or even seasoned blogger you want to get your site noticed by Google and other search engines. Using a plugins such as Google XML Sitemaps helps to get your blog indexed quicker. Even though you can add your Google script to your WordPress editor and directly to some theme settings, I always recommend adding the XML sitemap.

8. Limit Logins

This plugin works to stop hackers from getting access to your site through crafty algorithms and brute force attacks. The plugin by default is set to allow three attempts to log into your WordPress dashboard. If the user enters three incorrect login attempts they are denied access for a set period of time. You have control of this time frame and the number of login attempts. Chances are, if a hacker can’t access your site in three attempts they will move on.

9. Covert Messenger

The Covert Messenger plugin generates an instant message type popup to your blog with the intent to grab the attention of your reader forcing them to take action. You can set the appearance, wording, placement, and timing of your popup window to whatever you feel fits your blog best. It is installed here and you can see it over there in the right hand corner. Had you noticed it before?

10. Covert Context

If you are an Amazon affiliate and hope to make affiliate income by promoting Amazon products through your blog, Covert Context is a must-have plugin. It automatically inserts in-text contextual ads based on the content of your posts. As the reader’s curser hovers over text a window pops up displaying a relevant amazon product enticing the reader to click.

For example if you have a blog in the nutrition and healthy eating niche, an Amazon product popup will appear for words like apples, energy bars, and juicers. Your reader is already interesting in this topic and may click to purchase the recommended items.

WordPress Plugin Deserving an Honorable Mention

11. SEO Slugs

I haven’t played with this plugin yet but it’s on my dashboard looking intriquing. SEO Slugs uses stop words which are words ignored by search engines. For example, if your blog post title was something like
“What You Can Do Immediately For Higher Rankings”
your permalink would look like this “/what-you-can-do-immediately-for-higher-rankings”.
What you want is for your permalink to look like this: /immediately-higher-rankings. This plugin automatically removes stop words from the permalink, helping you to rank better.

So there you have it, my list of the top 10 WordPress plugins every blogger should use with an honorable mention. BTW: Items 1 – 8 are free plugins, items 9 & 10 are for purchase

This Top 10 list has stretched on a bit longer than intended and I hope you are still reading. If so, what other WordPress plugins would you recommend?

To your hard-earned success,
Marilyn T

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Comments

  1. I’m using all but the last two right now. I definitely see how they’d be useful! I thought about grabbing Covert Messenger but it wouldn’t work very well with the opt-in form I have at the bottom on my website.
    Amanda Thomas recently posted…Top 10 Best Places to Buy PLRMy Profile

    • Hi Amanda,

      I noticed that opt-in at the bottom of your site, what plugin is that?
      BTW – you can position the Covert Messenger in jut about any location on your site, I chose the lower corner.

  2. Great list. I have a few of these and I’ll have to look into the rest.
    Salma recently posted…Princess PressureMy Profile

  3. Fantastic list. I knew most of them, but several were new to me and I’m going to check them out. Always something new to learn. Thanks for putting this list together.
    Edie Dykeman recently posted…Top Ten People I Miss The Most – PersonalMy Profile

  4. Limit Logins is a new one by me. Never heard of it before today, but it certainly makes SENSE to use it! Thanks for the list and for the heads up. I need to check that limit logins plugin out!
    Bonnie Gean recently posted…The Top 10 Projects I Need to Finish This YearMy Profile

    • You’ll love it Bonnie. It’s easy to set up and even makes me more conscious of my password and the need to change it occasionally.

  5. Great list and thanks for sharing. I have most of these plugins for my site, not SEO Slugs either and wondering how that would work, sounds like a great one.
    Miriam Slozberg recently posted…Spreading the Influence with Carly Alyssa ThorneMy Profile

    • Thanks Miriam.

      Seems many of us commonly use 4 or 5 of the very popular, but it’s nice to discover a new treasure once in a while too. Nice of you to comment!

  6. Awesome list Marilyn. I think all of them are in my standard wordpress installs for my niche sites, except the last 2. I’ve seen your little popup thing on your site many times and I just haven’t ran with it yet. Something I will look into seeing if I can find a good use for it.
    Misty Spears recently posted…Kindle Book Publishing Project Update #1 – Getting StartedMy Profile

    • Thanks Misty,

      Curious how it works for you when you give it a try. I would think it would be super for attracting attention to your affiliate product reviews.

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