I believe there is no point repeating Why WordPress is best blogging platform and Benefits of WordPress. Harsh has already shared a handy guide to Install WordPress, or you can follow his WordPress guide for more comprehensive information about WordPress.
Here, I’m going to list some of the basic WordPress plugins, which you should consider installing on your blog from day one.
Most of these are free basic WP plugins for your blog, and a couple of them at the bottom are bonus one, which will take your blog to next level of optimization.
So, you want to start blogging on a new WordPress blog, and you still don’t know which plugins to miss and which to keep. So, we have the solution with the some popular plugins ever used. And these essential WordPress plugins are that you will find on any new or old WordPress blog.
You can start a new WordPress blog very easily and give your time to learn the essential things. Or, you can use this handy list of plugins for your new installation and start working on promotion.
Free & Basic WordPress Plugins for Every WordPress blog:
I’m going to share all the plugins, which I believe is important along with I will name some of the alternatives. Some hosts have issues with certain plugins, for example, W3 total cache is very useful plugin but it perform better with VPS hosting, whereas WP super cache works excellent with shared hosting too.
Without wasting any more time. Here are the essential WordPress plugins for your new start-up blog.
WordPress Comment Spam is something that you will face from day one. First time when you start a WordPress blog, and you get some cheesy line in comments, you should not get hyper excited. It might be a spam comment saying something in the following context
“I love you blog and you got excellent writing style.” “Your writing style is excellent and I have subscribed to your blog.” Check the URL, and you would realize that it’s leading to some spam site or affiliate site. Akismet is an official WordPress plugin from Automattic to prevent spam comments in WordPress.. I think that it is the first plugin that you should install on any new blog. Your new blog will have WordPress commenting feature, and your blog will be filled up by spammers if you don’t use this plugin. The spammers just want to throw their links on your articles without any idea of the discussion. So, this plugin will essentially automatically move those comments that it will consider spam into the trash can and will also permanently delete them time after time. It is a must have.
You need to grab WordPress.com API, which you can always get by creating a free profile on WordPress.com site. In fact, for next plugin “Jetpack” you will require to have a free WordPress account. Akismet>
Another plugin by WordPress, which allows you to monitor your site and have access to many more features directly from wordpress.com. To activate this plugin, go to wordpress.com and create your new WordPress.com ID. You will then be able to get the jetpack activated. The Jetpack plugin brings all the earlier services that you might have enjoyed on wordpress.com blog to your self-hosted blog. It brings you with many functions such as site stats, proofreading, BuddyPress, subscriptions and some other exciting widgets to your wordpress.org blog.
Jetpack also gives the feature to make your blog social by adding social share buttons, recent tweets in the sidebar. Though, if you don’t need all this feature you can simply use WordPress.com stats plugin, or if you are using another blog analytic program like Google Analytics, you can skip this plugin. <Download Jetpack> Learn more about Jetpack.
Floating Social share bar plugin:
Social bookmarking has become a major ranking factor for SEO. Specially having a Google+1 button is very important for any Website. One thumb rule of getting more share is by placing your social sharing buttons at the prominent place. Floating social share bar plugin is a free plugin that let you add sharing buttons on your desktop and mobile site both. Having sharing buttons will also encourage your readers to share your article.
WP super cache:
One of the best cache plugin for WordPress, which adds tons of caching features like gZip compression, site cache, Preload files for faster loading and less server load. The plugin is very famous and all for good reasons. You can create a cache of your homepage and allow it to load faster. It is one of those basic WordPress plugins, which you should have on your blog from day one, as Google started ranking websites based on site speed. Here is a video tutorial to learn setting up Super Cache plugin:
Contact form 7:
When we search for contact form plugins, you will be bombarded with many. There are many premium one too, like Gravity form and so on. But this plugin, Contact form 7 is simplest plugin to configure. One similar plugin is contact form by Yoast, which also shows the referral source, which is sometime very useful for knowing how your visitor navigated your site, before using the contact form. You can also customize it according to your needs. The form can be created, and every entry from it will be sent to your specified mail ID. You can also create multiple forms with multiple tables. Contact Form 7>
Note: If you are using Jetpack plugin, you need not need to use this plugin. You can add contact form using Jetpack plugin.
Google XML Sitemaps :
Sitemap submission is an important part of letting Google find all your pages. In fact, this is an essential thing that you should be doing after setting up your blog. Simply, install Google XML sitemap plugin, generate your sitemap and submit sitemap manually to Google Webmaster tool and Bing webmaster tool. This plugin, auto updates when you publish a new post and notify all major search engine. Even if you are not using this best free plugin, make sure you have some alternate plugins to generate sitemap. Sitemap plugin>
If you are using an old blog, you can use image sitemap and video sitemap plugins and submit it to Google.
WordPress SEO by Yoast:
The plugin is better than All in one SEO and offers way more feature than any other free SEO plugin on WordPress. WordPress SEO by yoast, inherits all feature of All in one SEO and offers feature from many additional plugin by Yoast. Which includes, Meta robots plugin, RSS footer by Yoast, XML sitemap and so on. This plugin also allows you to noindex your non-useful pages (or articles to make your site rank higher and more valuable. It can also be an alternative to Google XML sitemaps and can create sitemaps too. Here is a nice guide on Setting up WordPress SEO by yoast.
Check out: Best WordPress Plugins for SEO
The plugin that have the PubSubHubBub functionality in WordPress, or I must say that the plugin allows google to know that you have written a post by sending it the FAT PINGS. This plugin thus allows you to tell Google that you are the original author of an article that you just wrote. In short : It keeps the scrappers and spammers away! More over, if you are complaining about slow indexing of your blog, this plugin will make huge different. Part of must have WordPress plugins. This plugin doesn’t require any configuration, All you need to do is install and activate this plugin. plugin>
WordPress Database Backup :
Talking about WordPress basic plugins, and how can we not include a backup plugin. WordPress works on Php and mysql, and it’s not a big deal when your database crashes or your blog got hacked and you are not able to recover. This database backup, helps you to take schedule back up of your blog and send you a copy of it. Something, every WordPress blogger should be doing from day one. Plugin>
At the time of backup, your server load might increase, but a normal shared hosting usually holds this much of load. Download Database backup plugin.
- Also read: WordPress Backup Trick for Automatic back-up
Bonus Plugins for new WordPress Blog
So above is list of plugins that you should be installing. Here I’m listing some of the plugins, which you should consider installing. Though, make sure you don’t create a clash of plugins. For example, use Super cache or W3 total cache but not both.
W3 Total cache :
The plugin is a neck to neck competitor of WP super cache. But, it caches a lot and actually allows your site to fly. While the WP super cache asks you to use other plugins like WP minify along with it. This plugin have all the power in one. It already contains the options for those purposes. But, too much power can be harmful. This plugin crashed my whole blog once due to over-caching. <Download Plugin>
WordPress plugin directory is full of useful plugins and you can find and download unlimited plugins for free. But, for a faster experience I would recommend you to install only those which are essential and important. If you would like to suggest any more basic WordPress plugins, that you should include in this list, do let us know via comment.