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10 Must-Install WordPress Plugins of 2016 and Why You REALLY Need Them

Profile photo of Dave Submitted by Dave November 17, 2016

Without doubts, WordPress is a top choice blogging platform for many online marketers.

wordpress-image

It is an effective and efficient content management system (CMS) that allows blogs to hosted, content to be created and content to be promoted.

Millions of publishers prefer this platform for their personal and business blogs and even for normal websites like social networking sites. Yes, WordPress is also used for all types of purposes, not just blogging.

There are lots of benefits in using WordPress. One of them is the power of the user to control the customization of their content and pages for easy user experience.

One of the things that make WordPress very much preferred is availability of thousands of plugins.

wordpress-plugins

These are applications that extend the features and functions of WordPress blogs or sites.

Thus, if you are using WordPress, you need its plugins to enhance the value and user experience of your blog.

That said, if you have been using WordPress or you intend to publish with this platform below are 10 must-install plugins to enhance your blog, and why you need them.

 

 1 – Sucuri Security Plugin

best-wordpress-plugins-Sucuri-security-plugin-

If you want to best for your WordPress blog in 2016 then you should be mindful about security.

Yes, security is a big concern for any online publisher, hence getting the best plugin to secure your site from hackers, data breach, and malware, etc., should be a priority.

Sucuri is a top security plugin you must install on your blog.

This application works by monitoring your site or blog for threats.

Furthermore, it has solid web application firewall that protects your blog from various devastating attacks like Brute force attacks, XSS attacks, malware attacks and DDoS, etc.

You need Sucuri to help in protecting your data and content on WordPress.

 

 2 – W3 Total Cache

Your WordPress blog should be fast so that visitors can enjoy a smooth user experience. If you have a blog that loads faster then it becomes easier for it to get higher ranking in the search engines. Ultimately, this will mean more targeted traffic and better conversion.

A must-install plugin to improve the speed and performance your blog is W3 Total Cache. This application allows your cached and compressed files to be served to your site visitors very fast.

More so, the loading time readily on the server is reduced by the use of this plugin, so you get faster and better performing blog.

 

 3 – Yoast SEO

best-wordpress-plugins-Yoost-

Search engine optimization (SEO) is required to make your keywords, content, pages and WordPress blog visible to the search engines like Google, Bing, and the rest.

A well optimized site means that you will get better ranking results.

Thankfully you need not worry about how to achieve this because Yoast SEO comes handy.

Yoast SEO is a must-install SEO plugin that will take care of your optimization needs.

It adds Meta Tags to your blog and ensures that your blog all round is well optimized for proper visibility in the search engines.

This is one of favorite plugins. You should try it if you haven’t!

 

 4 – BackupBuddy

You need to always backup your blog, as one of the best security measures.

This is important because there are times when things that will make you lose your data occur. It could be hardware failure, server failure, malware attack, or accidental deletion, etc.

To restore your important data, it becomes necessary to install a reliable backup system.

BackupBuddy plugin comes handy if you are WordPress user. It is a must-install plugin to backup and restore your data on WordPress.

I recommend you to install this application before any other plugin.

Why you should install BackupBuddy is that with just a few clicks you can easily get your data and content secured.

This plugin is reliable and also easy to use.

 

 5 – Jetpack

If there is a plugin that offers multiple features for your WordPress blog, it is Jetpack by WordPress.com.

This plugin is a suite of tools needed for enhancing performance, improved security, reliable content creation and publishing etc.

Jetpack’s tools cover all the major areas of Internet marketing like social sharing, email marketing, content marketing, commenting, mobile marketing and much more.

I will say that this is an all-in-One WordPress suite. Luckily, it comes from the owners of WordPress.

Jetpack has stunning features which make it easy for newbies and experts alike to take full control of the user experience and performance.

This should be one of your must-install plugin for 2016.

 

 6 – Akismet

best-wordpress-plugins-Akismet-

As a WordPress blogger you don’t want to be bothered by spamming comments. These not only diminishes the credibility of your site, they unnecessarily fill up your storage capacity and slows down user experience of your blog.

Spam comments could also bring about security breach and you don’t want this to be your lot, right?

Well, Akismet to the rescue! Akismet helps you take care of spam comments on your WordPress.

The good news is that any first installation of WordPress has this tool already installed. All you need is to activate it with the Akismet server.

Akismet works by allowing its Web Service to flag and filter your blog for spammed comment.

Moderators can easily mark or unmark comments cleared by this application as spam.

Akismet readily blocks spam comments and ensures that they are trashed.

 

 7 – Buffer

To succeed with blogging today you need to be active on social media. Hence, you will need a tool that will enhance sharing of your content on the various social media platforms.

Buffer is a must have social sharing plugins to have for social engagement.

Buffer allows you schedule posts on Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms. You don’t have to worry about not meeting with timely post for your audience.

Once your blog is connected with Buffer, social media sharing becomes much easier for you.

This is sure a very important plugin to keep your social media sharing active while you utilize your time for other ventures.

 

 8 – Thrive Content Builder

You need to build custom pages on your blog if you must stand out as a blogger. With WordPress you can achieve this only with the right plugin.

Thrive Content Builder is a must-install 2016 plugin to build customized pages for branding.

More so, it is recently updated to help you create landing pages with 2 steps opt-in, as well as lots of other features.

Thrive Content Builder has easy to use interface and more than 100 templates you can utilize.

It is a tool to enhance your blog management and email marketing.

 

 9 – Contact Form 7

One of the ways to enhance your credibility online is to ensure that you can be contacted. With the right application, visitors can contact you for queries, support and purchases.

More so, with a contact form you can build a list of contacts to enhance your email marketing.

A must-install WordPress plugin you should checkout today is the Contact Form 7.

This plugin supports spam filtering and secured contacts. You can simple install a code on the page to display this form.

The editing is simple and the interface allows you to customize your field.

 

 10 – Google Analytics

best-wordpress-plugins-google-analytics

It is important to know who your visitors are, how they access your site, what keywords they use, when and where they came from, etc. This knowledge ensures that you can take action to improve your site’s performance and conversion.

A good analysis of your blog will help you earn more. With Google Analytics you will know about your visitors’ behavior and take decisive actions and improvements when necessary.

Google Analytics free and should be a must install WordPress plugin for 2016.

 

Conclusion

There you have it – the 10 must-install WordPress plugins and why you should use them.

Whether you are a newbie or have been using WordPress in 2016, consider these plugins for improved blogging experience.

Most of these tools are free!


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72 Responses to “ 10 Must-Install WordPress Plugins of 2016 and Why You REALLY Need Them” Leave a reply ›

  • Profile photo of Jerry Chong Profile

    Hello Dave,

    These are some of the best plugins for most bloggers today.

    I like that Sucuri’s security plugin is first on the list, no thanks to how much hacking of blogs is getting worse these days.

    But I don’t know if the free Sucuri option is enough to protect a blog from hacking, as Sucuri has paid option.

    The best on this list for me is Akismet because of how much it can save one from spam comments. And best of all, it’s free to use.

    Thanks for writing about these plugins.

  • Profile photo of Anju Jerry Mathew Profile

    Hi Dave,

    Thank you for this list of WordPress plugins.

    I have tried most of them on my niche sites except the thrive content builder because it’s paid.
    Anju Jerry Mathew recently posted…INSPIRATIONAL QUOTESMy Profile

  • Profile photo of Sunday William Profile

    Hi Dave,

    I personally have been a fan of these plugins except for the BackUpBuddy. I prefer doing backup with UpdraftPlus Backup and Restoration.

    Nevertheless, its good to recommend these options as bloggers will sure have field day improving user experience with them.

    These listed plugins readily addresses problems in different aspects of WordPress like content, security, SEO, contact, etc.

  • Profile photo of Artice Upchurch (A.D. Upchurch) Profile

    Hi Dave,

    The plugins you’ve listed are definitely some of the must haves. I’m currently utilizing half of the plugins you’ve listed.

    One of the plugins you’ve listed really caught my eye, and that was Buffer. Are you currently using Buffer, Dave? If so, has it made a huge difference for you?

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts. :)
    Artice Upchurch (A.D. Upchurch) recently posted…Blogging: When You Are Forced To Break The RulesMy Profile

    • Profile photo of Dave Profile

      Thanks for leaving a comment on this post.

      Yes, Buffer comes highly recommended from the research I did before writing this post. You should give it a trial to see how it works for your needs.

  • Profile photo of James Ling Profile

    Hi Dave,

    This is a cool list. At least, many newbies will find them useful in creating content, doing SEO, making promotion, securing their blog and adding designs on their blog.

    If you ask me, I will add the WP Social Sharing plugin. This plugin adds attractive responsive social share buttons of Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Xing, Google+ and Pinterest to wordpress posts,

  • Profile photo of Celine Profile

    Hey Dave,

    Indeed, these plugins are important for improved WordPress blogging experience. I make use of these already – W3 Total Cache, Yoast SEO, Akismet, Contact Form 7 and Google Analytics.

    I will also recommend them to bloggers who really aren’t getting results nor taking steps to improve the quality of their blog. These and other plugins could be the game changer for them.

  • Profile photo of Amit Sharan Profile

    Hi Dave,

    What an interesting collection of must-install WordPress plugins for 2016. These have been time tested plugins and they truly deliver on their promises. Its good having them and its splendid knowing that their free versions can still provide basic functionality that will take a blog to another level. Thanks for sharing these plugins!

    • Profile photo of Dave Profile

      Hi Amit,

      Thanks for leaving a comment on this post. I am glad you agree these are time tested plugins that deliver on their promises.

      Yes, their free versions can work well for most people.

  • Profile photo of Sarah John Profile

    My best plugin as a WordPress blogger has always being the JetPack. It comprises of varieties of important tools into one package, and I really don’t need extra free plugins. It is truly helpful of the team at Automattic to provide the ultimate all-one-plugin package for bloggers.

  • Profile photo of Sherman Smith Profile

    Hey Dave,

    Nice list of plugins here.

    I use most of them on my blog except for backupbuddy and jetpack.

    One plugin I highly recommend to help protect your blog from Malware and other virus’ is Sucuri. I speak from experience when my blog was compromised about 2 years ago.

    They have a great tech support team and was able to get rid of the malware that was on my blog.

    Thanks for sharing Dave!
    Sherman Smith recently posted…Why Solopreneurs Struggle With Generating Blog TrafficMy Profile

    • Profile photo of Dave Profile

      Hi Sherman,

      It’s good to see you on my post. I have read and commented on several of your posts in the past and love your blog :)

      Sucuri’s plugin has helped lots of people, glad to hear it helped you too.

      Thanks for commenting.

  • Profile photo of Jonna Cusack Profile

    Thanks for this list.

    Regarding Yoast SEO plugin, it’s a really good plugin but surely just using that isn’t enough to get good rankings, is it?

  • Profile photo of Robert A Kearse Profile

    Hi Dave:

    Thanks for an excellent list. I know I need more of a presence on Buffer, so I will be sure to add that plugin.

    One additional plugin I would suggest is PopupAlly.

    It is critical to build your own email opt-in list. I use the paid version of Popupally, but there is a free version at https://wordpress.org/plugins/search.php?q=Popupally.

    Robert A Kearse recently posted…

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  • Profile photo of David Kilburn Profile

    Great list of plugins. I can’t live without yoast it’s a must for SEO and content marketing. Makes all the difference in the world if used properly.
    David Kilburn recently posted…Goldmines of Free Traffic: How to Get Free TrafficMy Profile

  • Profile photo of Black Profile

    Hi Dave,

    In 2016, many tools and plugins have been used. It becomes absolutely necessary to choose and utilize the vital ones.

    The consideration of security, user experience and conversion must be prioritized to get the best of WordPress.

    I appreciate your list but the features of Thrive Content Builder really appeals to me!

  • Profile photo of steven Profile

    Hey Dave,

    A good list I must remark! These plugins are must-install because they readily address fundamental needs of the WordPress blogger. Its so good to have Yoast and Buffer listed here. They are among my best plugins!

  • Profile photo of Paul Profile

    Hi Dave,

    Thanks for sharing this list of powerful plugins to be installed and used in 2016.

    My experience has been with Google Analytics, Akismet, JetPack, Buffer, Contact Form 7, and W3 Total Cache. These have lived up to their bidding.

    I will really love to try out Backup Buddy and Thrive Content Builder.

  • Profile photo of Carl Profile

    I have a WordPress blog that runs on multiple plugin. I have all of these plugins installed except for Backup Buddy. Indeed, these are vital must-install plugins in 2016!

  • Profile photo of David Profile

    I use several of these. One that I don’t use anymore is BackupBuddy. My websites were hacked through it, and what an endless mess of headaches!
    David recently posted…Three ways to write for the WebMy Profile

    • Profile photo of Dave Profile

      Hi David,

      Too bad your websites were hacked. Didn’t BackupBuddy help you restore them?

      It can’t protect sites from getting hacked but can help with restoring.

      Can you please share your experience with using it?

  • Profile photo of Winford Moore Profile

    My best from this list is the JetPack plugin. I see it as a powerful all-in-one tool for greater WordPress user experience. Its a must install!

    Nevertheless, this is not to say that the other plugins shared here are not good enough!

  • Profile photo of Joseph Profile

    Thanks for these plugins but am still confused about Jetpack.

    Is it really a must-install plugin?

    • Profile photo of Dave Profile

      Yes, Joseph, Jepack is a must-install plugin for a lot of reasons.

      Jetpack has stunning features which make it easy for newbies and experts alike to take full control of the user experience and performance.

      Jetpack’s tools cover all the major areas of Internet marketing like social sharing, email marketing, content marketing, commenting, mobile marketing and much more.

      And the best reason is that it also comes from the owners of WordPress.

  • Profile photo of Marius N Profile

    Hey Dave,

    I like the Thrive Content Builder plugin.

    I am familiar with the other plugins, but hadn’t seen this one before.

    I may just go ahead and get it :)

    cheers!

  • Profile photo of Hannah Edia Profile

    I use almost all this plugins and they are great. Google Analytics and SEO by Yoast, an absolute must.

    I think you should add Jquery for images to hover the pin it button on your images for easy share on Pinterest.

    Sounds simple but not a lot of people bother to add a hover button on their images.

    Thanks for sharing
    Hannah Edia recently posted…44 Product Bonus Ideas for Extra Sales and IncomeMy Profile

    • Profile photo of Dave Profile

      Hi Hannah,

      Thanks for comment on my post.

      Your suggestion for Jquery for images is a good one, particularly for those with very good images on their blogs.

      Enjoy the rest of your day.

  • Profile photo of Joseph Profile

    Hello Dave,

    I just read this post again and noticed you didn’t reply to my earlier comment:

    Thanks for these plugins but am still confused about Jetpack.

    Is it really a must-install plugin?

    • Profile photo of Dave Profile

      Sorry for the late reply, Jospeh.

      Yes, Jepack is a must-install plugin for a lot of reasons.

      Jetpack has stunning features which make it easy for newbies and experts alike to take full control of the user experience and performance.

      Jetpack’s tools cover all the major areas of Internet marketing like social sharing, email marketing, content marketing, commenting, mobile marketing and much more.

      And the best reason is that it also comes from the owners of WordPress.

  • Profile photo of Paul Guzman Profile

    Nice Post Dave.

    I have used all the Plugins you mentioned on this post. However, there are 2 that I do not use anymore.

    1. Askimet – Is now a pay plugin. I believe there is a way to get it free but I am now using WP-spam shield. Works better than Askimet and much more user friendly.

    2. W3 Total Cache plugin is too complicated for my liking. It now has a lot of negative reviews. So, I am now using super cache to speed up things. Much easier and

    Jetpack works great for all my sites but it does slow down page speed.
    Paul Guzman recently posted…Turn your passion into a thriving businessMy Profile

    • Profile photo of Dave Profile

      Hi Paul,

      Thanks for your comment.

      Akismet is still free for small sites.

      W3 Total Cache can be complicated, that’s true. It’s good to know super cache is working better for you.

      Thanks for adding your thoughts to this post.

  • Profile photo of Segilola Salami Profile

    Good list.

    Am not a fan of w3 cache. I have found that when I schedule posts, if I don’t clear the cache the post doesn’t show up in my list of posts and that’s just extra work for me. It defeats the purpose of scheduling in the first place.

    Like someone mentioned, a subscriber pop up is a must have. I would have recommended sumome but if you want your subscriber list to autosync with your mailchimp account, then it would be the paid option to go for.

    Another must have is a mailchimp plugin. if you sync it with your contact form and comments box, then it prompts people to subscribe to your mailing list at the point of contact. I have seen growth using this plugin.

    Segilola Salami recently posted…How to get self published books into librariesMy Profile

    • Profile photo of Dave Profile

      Hi Segilola,

      Thanks for taking time to comment on this post.

      I get what you are saying about W3 Total Cache plugin. You can report this issue to the developers, they might be able to fix this on future versions.

      You really added some value with your comment.

  • Profile photo of Omar Saady Profile

    Hi Dave,

    Thanks for sharing this awesome list of must have plugins.

    I have already installed the most of them, but I see that there are two plugins that give the same job. Jetpack and Buffer. Jetpack has the same function as buffer for sharing your posts on social media without lifting your fingers.

    Thanks
    Omar
    Omar Saady recently posted…TOP 7 Ways to Gain High Page Rank LinksMy Profile

  • Profile photo of Grace Joseph Profile

    Although some of these plugins like the contact form and Google Analytics plugin can be installed on blogger as widgets, there are some whose features are more advanced on WordPress. This would be one advantage WordPress has over the blogger platform.

    Very useful plugins and basic ones any blog should have, thanks for recommending them, it’s a whole lot. I especially like the W3 Total Cache that can reduce a blog’s load time.
    Grace Joseph recently posted…Tecno Phantom 6 Specs & PriceMy Profile

    • Profile photo of Dave Profile

      Hi Grace,

      Thanks for reading and commenting on my post.

      WordPress certainly has a lot more advantages over the blogger platform, with the many plugins available.

      Have a lovely day.

  • Profile photo of Mark Benny Profile

    I really do not know for others, but over time, i found out that JETPACK makes my blog load slowly and so i had to disable it despite how much i really wanted to use it.

    Great collection, these are really the basic plugins every blog must have
    Mark Benny recently posted…Make Money Writing Freelance: Top 40 SitesMy Profile

    • Profile photo of Dave Profile

      Hello Mark,

      Thanks for reading and commenting on my post.

      I haven’t heard such problems with Jetpack. Did you check if it was conflicting with some other plugins or theme of yours?

      That might explain the problem you experienced.

  • Profile photo of Christopher Jan Benitez Profile

    Great post, Dave!

    I’ve heard great things about Thrive Content Builder. I’m just not sure about the price tag, to be honest. Would you suggest this tool to experienced WordPress bloggers who are already using different tools that perform the tasks Thrive Content Builder can do?
    Christopher Jan Benitez recently posted…Keep Calm and Blog On: The Most Productive Blogging Tools of 2016 and BeyondMy Profile

    • Profile photo of Dave Profile

      Hi Christopher,

      Thanks for reading and commenting on this post. I’d say you already answered your question right there:

      If a blogger is already using different tools that perform the same tasks that Thrive Content Builder does, then it’s not needed :)

      Unless the different tools are complicated to use or not as good as Thrive Content Builder.

  • Profile photo of Bruce P. Profile

    Dave,

    Thank you for some great information! I am new to getting up and running with WordPress and now have a better understanding of:

    * What a plug-in is
    * Excellent reasons on why I want/need to use them
    * A better way of thinking on how to maximize my efforts in regard to my business and brand.

    Thank you, and I look forward to reading more of your posts!

    Bruce

    • Profile photo of Dave Profile

      Hello Bruce,

      Thanks for reading and commenting on my post. It’s good to know you learned a lot from this.

      I remember reading and getting inspired by your posts too. I also look forward to reading more inspiring posts from you :)

  • Profile photo of Ali Rand Profile

    Hi Dave,

    This is a good list for people just starting out, but they need to remember to only install plugins they actually need.

    Because the more plugins you install, the slower your site can become.

    Here’s how I cut down on plugin bloat from this list:

    1. I combine 2 plugins into 1 with WordFence Security – it keeps my site safe from hackers AND protects against spam comments.

    2. Instead of the bloated Yoast plugin, I use a much lighter plugin – The SEO Framework.

    3. Instead of the Google Analytics plugin, I just popped in some code for Google Tag Manager.

    4. And I wouldn’t install Thrive, as I can build pages fine with my theme.

    Of course this all depends on your website!

    Also, I’d give honorable mentions to Duplicate Post or Shortcodes Ultimate (if your theme doesn’t have these capabilities). Love them!

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