5 Must Have WordPress Plugins

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In this post I’ll share with you the best free WordPress plugins for your blog or website. In my opinion, each plugin listed is a must-have for every WordPress blog.

One of the things I love the most about WordPress is the ability to install plugins.

Plugins are a great way to increase the functionality of your site without the hassle of trying to learn and implement code.

There’s a plugin for just about anything you can think of. If want to add a certain feature to your blog, just Google what it is you’re looking for, and add the word “plugin” after it. For example: “social media plugin.”

While there are many great plugins available in the WordPress plugin directory, there’s only a small number that I would consider must-have plugins.

The Best Free WordPress Plugins

Here are the top WordPress plugin I’ll be going over in this post:

  1. Antispam Bee
  2. W3 Total Cache
  3. Yoast SEO
  4. JetPack
  5. Contact Form 7

1. Antispam Bee

antispam bee

One of the first plugins you should be installing on your WordPress blog is an anti-spam plugin.

I know that Askimet is the top anti-spam plugin for WordPress users, but I think that’s mainly because it comes bundled with your WordPress installation, and most people don’t realize there are other options out there.

I actually prefer Antispam Bee for fighting spam. Antispam Bee is free, easy to use, and does an excellent job at combating spam.

2. W3 Total Cache

w3 total cache

If you’re concerned about the speed of your site (which you should be), you should definitely be using a caching plugin. W3 Total Cache is the plugin I use for my website.

Whenever someone visits your site, they are actually requesting a lot of information from your web host. This information includes requests for images, css, and content. If your content hasn’t been updated, it isn’t necessary for this information to be retrieved from your server over and over again.

This process can greatly affect your sites loading time. Caching works by creating a copy of your pages and storing them in your server as a static file.

When this happens, whenever a visitor reaches a page on your site, the server will show them the static version of your content. That way, the server doesn’t keep pulling information from your server when it isn’t necessary.

There are a lot of settings within this plugin, so I recommend doing some research to find the right settings for you. I know that most web hosts have tutorials available for choosing the best settings for your host.

Related Post: Speed Up Your Blog Using W3 Total Cache

3. Yoast SEO

seo by yoast

In my opinion, Yoast SEO is hands down the best WordPress SEO plugin. There is a free and premium version of this plugin, and I do just fine using the free version. WordPress SEO has really helped me make my content SEO friendly.

The Yoast website has a great tutorial for getting the plugin set up with the best SEO practices.

4. JetPack

jetpack

I absolutely love the Jetpack plugin. Jetpack includes over 30 features to boost your blog or website.

In order to take advantage of these features, you have to connect Jetpack to your WordPress.com account. If you don’t have one, I highly recommend that you create one.

A few of my favorite features are:

  • Related Posts: adds related posts below each blog post.
  • Subscriptions: allows readers to subscribe to posts and comments.
  • WordPress.com Stats: displays your site stats in your WordPress dashboard.
  • Proofread Writing: checks for spelling and grammar errors on your posts and pages.

Update: I no longer use JetPack for my website. I discovered that this plugin was using up too many resources on my server.

5. Contact Form 7

contact form 7

I think contact forms are a great addition to any blog or website. Contact forms give your readers a convenient way to get in touch with you.

Also, it’s my personal opinion that contact forms look a lot more professional than just placing your email address on a page.

Contact Form 7 allows you to quickly add an attractive contact form to your site.

Related Post: How to Add a Contact Form to Your WordPress Blog Fast

So, that’s my top five list of the best free WordPress plugins. Do you have any plugins to add to the list? Let me know in the comments.

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