Without doubts, WordPress is a top choice blogging platform for many online marketers. It’s hard to find a blogger or even online marketer now who has never heard of WordPress. In fact, many have not only heard of WordPress but have even used it, one time or another.

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.

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 15 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 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.

Click here to check out and install Sucuri plugin directly from WordPress plugins directory.

 

2 – SumoMe

SumoMe WordPress Plugin

Sumo is a must-install WordPress Plugin because it provides you with lots of useful features and functionality.

You can use this plugin for social sharing, heatmap, opt-in forms, analytical modules, contact forms, etc.

For all of your email campaigns, this is plugin that will readily take care of lots of things for you.

Its Pop-ups and Welcome Mat features are absolutely amazing.

Click here to check out and install SumoMe plugin directly from WordPress plugins directory.

 

 3 – 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.

Click here to check out and install W3 Total Cache plugin directly from WordPress Plugins Directory

 

4 – WP Smush

WP Smush WordPress Plugin

WP Smush is must have plugin for your WordPress.

The function of this plugin is to help you compress and optimize your images. You can use it to reduce the size of the images you use for your posts and pages without losing their quality.

This plugin ultimately helps to speed up your website in the image compression process.

For a faster website and for a well optimized image, WP Smush is a must-have.

Click here to check out and install WP Smuch plugin directly from WordPress Plugins Directory.

 

 5 – 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!

Click here to check out and install Yoast SEO plugin directly from WordPress Plugins Directory.

 

6 – WooCommerce

WooCommerce plugin

WooCommerce is an amazing store building plugin. You need to install this plugin if you want to build and run an online store.

You can use WooCommerce to help you build a WordPress that will help you sell anything from digital to physical products.

One of things I so much love about WooCommerce is that it easily integrates with lots of other extensions and plugin to display and sell products on the store front.

It can also be used to set up variety of payment options like PayPal, Credit/Debit cards, Payoneer, etc. WooCommerce is easy to use both by newbies and professionals.

Click here to check out and install WooCommerce plugin directly from WordPress Plugins Directory.

 

 7 – 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.

 

8 – VaultPress

Vaultpress

VaultPress is a similar plugin to BackupBuddy, but it’s much more robust. It’s also known as a real-time backup as well as security scanning service.

What’s best is that it’s built by the same company that operates and backs up millions of WordPress.com sites. This company is none other than Automattic. Now powered by Jetpack, Vaultpress is a must install for any Wordpres site!

VaultPress is easy to use and has lots of features. With a click of the button you get to back up all of your documents, files, and database 24/7.

You can also use this plugin to scan your website for malicious codes, restore files from the server and increase speed in seconds.

Thus, this is a plugin that will give you peace of mind as your site is provided with real-time security in the automated backup features.

Click here to check out and install VaultPress plugin directly from WordPress Plugins Directory.

 

 9 – 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 also 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.

Click here to check out and install Jetpack plugin directly from WordPress Plugins Directory.

 

 10 – 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.

Click here to check out and install Akismet directly from WordPress Plugins Directory.

 

 11 – 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.

Click here to check and install Buffer.

 

 12 – 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 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.

Click here to check out and install Thrive Content Builder.

 

 13 – 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.

Click here to check out and install Contact Form 7 directly from WordPress Plugins directory.

 

 14 – 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 any serious blogger.

Click here to check out Google Analytics.

 

15 – Testimonials Widget

Testimonials Widget

Testimonials Widget comes handy for helping you display the reviews of customers on your WordPress.

Testimonials are very important for the promotion and sale of a product because many people will only buy a product after reading feedback or testimonials from those who already have used the product.

With the Testimonials Widget, you easily showcase customer reviews, quotes, portfolios, images, basic texts, and videos on your WordPress.

Take advantage of this must have WordPress plugin today.

 

Conclusion

There you have it – the 15 must-install WordPress plugins and why you should use them.

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

Most of these WordPress plugins are completely free to install and start using today! And they have been installed by millions of users already, so you have nothing to worry about in terms of safety and security when using them.

 

 

87 COMMENTS

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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,

  5. 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.

  6. 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!

  7. 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

    • 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.

  8. 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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  9. 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!

    • 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.

    • 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

    • 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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

    • 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.

  14. 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

    • 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 🙂

  15. 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!

    • Hi Ali,

      Thanks for reading this post and for adding value with your comment.

      You are right, too many plugins can slow down a site but it also depends on the plugins. You can have just few plugins which aren’t properly created and they would slow your site more than a dozen well created ones.

      The good thing is that there are ways to find which plugins are problematic if you are having problems of too many plugins.

      You can use a free tool called P3 (Plugin Performance Profiler). It’s able to scan any WordPress site to find which plugins are causing slow performance.